5 Alternatives to Dry Shampoo You Already Have in Your House

Or you could wear a hat.
Or you could wear a hat. / triocean/iStock via Getty Images

You’re running late for the next thing on your schedule and decide you don’t have time to wash your hair like you’d planned. One glance at your greasy roots sends you rummaging through every drawer and cabinet for some dry shampoo, but you surface empty-handed (and now a little sweaty). Here are five common household substances that you can use instead.

1. Baby Powder

Baby powder’s well-known powers of absorption have made it a popular option for DIY dry shampoo. Shake a little onto your fingertips and massage it along your roots to absorb excess oils. Start with a little and add as needed, so you don’t temporarily turn your hair white.

2. Cornstarch

Cornstarch is another kitchen staple that will work in a pinch; you can pour some in a salt shaker for easy application. For darker hair, mix with cocoa powder and/or cinnamon for a better blend. (You might smell like a freshly baked cookie, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.)

3. Makeup Setting Powder

The setting powder that keeps your face from looking oily can fix your oily roots, too. The easiest way to apply it without making a mess is with your fluffiest makeup brush. “The real game-changing difference for me was the soft, silky feel that replaced the typical hay-like, chalky texture that's inevitable with most other dry shampoos,” POPSUGAR contributor Lindsay Colameo wrote.

4. Apple Cider Vinegar

Celebrity hair stylist Christophe Robin shared his not-so-secret alternative to dry shampoo with The New York Times: five ounces of water mixed with five drops of apple cider vinegar, applied to the roots via spray bottle. Once your hair dries, it should look and feel less greasy. “Unlike dry shampoo, there’s no residue, and the vinegar is a wonderful tonic for the scalp,” he said.

5. Hand Sanitizer

The alcohol in hand sanitizer can dry out your hands, and it will do the same to your hair. It’s too harsh to become your go-to dry shampoo, and people with sensitive scalps might want to avoid it altogether. But if you’re facing some sort of greasy hair emergency and it’s the only thing you’ve got, you can rub a little onto your roots.