Day 47: Dry Shampoo

Years ago when I had a cyst removed from my scalp I was not allowed to wash my hair until the stitches came out. It was soooo hard. My roots were greasy, my scalp itched and all I wanted to do was to give my head a good scrub under the shower with whatever was my favourite shampoo at the time. Worse was to come. The wound never healed and it was discovered that part of the cyst had been left behind. I had to go through the procedure all over again and endure another two weeks of not washing my hair.

At the time I survived by spot cleaning around the front hairline with a cloth and diluted shampoo and alternating with a commercial dry shampoo which I kept away from the open wound. I also used baby powder as a dry shampoo and which worked surprisingly well.

This week I've suddenly developed an aversion to going out in the morning with wet hair. I do not want to spend the day with a wet cold head and so I decided to experiment with some homemade dry shampoo recipes.

I'm grateful I did.

Most of the recipes are the same: cornflour (cornstarch) applied to the roots and then combed or brushed out. Some include cocoa powder (for brunettes) or cinnamon (for redheads). Baking soda or arrowroot are also included in other recipes but since baking soda can be drying to hair long term I decided to leave it out, and since it's taken me thirty years to actually purchase arrowroot and I still have no idea how to use it when cooking, I left it out also.

My recipe ended up being a good few spoonfuls of cornflour (cornstarch) and about half that amount (or less) of unsweetened cocoa powder. This has worked well so far, but not being one to leave a good thing alone, I've added a teaspoon of cinnamon. If nothing else, the smell is gorgeous. I certainly am not complaining about going about smelling like spicy chocolate.

When it all comes down to it, you want it to work, and this recipe definitely does. I washed my hair Sunday morning. A once over with a shampoo bar (forget lather and repeat unless I'm feeling too lazy to get out of the shower in which case it's helpful to feel that I'm actually doing something rather than standing there wasting all the family's hot water), a smear of conditioner on the length, and a rinse with a diluted apple cider vinegar rinse.

Normally I would have washed again Tuesday morning, but Tuesday morning I was running late and couldn't be bothered washing, so I tried the dry shampoo. It worked.

I thought I would wash this morning, but my hair seemed fine, so a few more sprinkles of the dry shampoo powder (you can get a helpful son to put some holes in the lid of a container if you don't have a shaker, or use an old makeup brush to apply the powder) and I was good to go.

I was thinking that I'd come home and do a scalp wash, but again, my hair seems fine. I'm now thinking that if I can make it through tomorrow without washing, I might as well see if I can go until the weekend. A whole week without washing: wow! And despite my sad tale of the cyst and not being able to wash, there was one advantage: my hair was the softest it had ever been. I'm hoping for similar results by the end of this week.