When I first went no poo in 2008 I would occasionally use corn starch as a dry shampoo: it really soaked up the extra grease and made my hair look and feel cleaner. I just sprinkled it onto the top of my scalp then very thoroughly brushed it out. It meant I didn't have to get my hair wet for another several days, and though I only used it during the initial adjustment period over the course of a few months, I actually liked it better than the no poo baking soda/vinegar combo (I'm now water only).
In the interest of science, or um, something, I mixed up some cornstarch and cocoa powder.
I put very little on some of the more greasy areas near the scalp with a make-up brush. Then I combed it into my hair, first with a coarse comb, then with a finer comb.
The results - I smell like a hot chocolate.
I look like someone who dyes their hair but hasn't for a while - white roots in patches. Possibly not enough cocoa but I'm thinking maybe I should have used coffee?
But the hair is less limp and the treatment doesn't appear to have removed too many oils. We'll see how the day goes and I suspect the conclusion will be that I'm very popular with bugs.
I usually caution against essential oils as they can irritate and are pretty intense volatile oils. My recipe for medium brown hair is a mix of 90/10 cornstarch and cocoa I add brown rice flour in the summer months. I use it sparingly and I brush it through with a boar hair brush before i add the powder and after.
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On the whole, my hair feels less oily which I don't know if I like as it's harder to comb out the knots.
My scalp isn't happy with the treatment, it sweating more and feels a bit tacky as the cornstarch responds to the sweat. But the next day, things are feeling better if a touch itchy.
I can see tweaking the recipe for dry shampoo to match my skin better. Maybe not so much cocoa smelling. I'll be applying it further away from the skin for the next attempt. I don't think this is something I would want to use more than once a week.
No bugs were attracted to my hair during the day... which is contrary to normal.
It sounds like it just needed to be brushed out more, maybe? When I use a dry shampoo, I sprinkle a bit in, at the scalp. You only really want it to absorb the excess oils at the scalp, without stripping the oils from the length of the shaft. Then wait a while, then brush it all out. The easiest for me, is sprinkle it in before bed, then brush it out, in the morning. There isn't really supposed to be any left, by the time you're done brushing it out.
Very interesting, thank you for posting about this, r ranson. I am looking forward to trying the formula. I will make sure to use non-GMO cornstarch if that is what I opt for (instead of the arrowroot, which I don't think I have on hand).
As a side note, I have noticed that whenever I use DE (diatomaceous earth) for something (like adding to seeds to keep the insects off, powdering parts of the garden, etc.), the dust that gets in the air or my hands, does amazing things to make my hair look more fluffy and give it more body. That was an accidental discovery. It also, however, then makes the hair get oily faster in the next couple of days, too, probably because the DE dries it out and the scalp is reacting to that. Anyway, just wanted to share for those that are looking for a bit more body shortly before it's time to wash it. :-)
My skin is starting to rebalance now. It was making more oil yesterday, but today it seems to be feeling better.
I suspect this modern dry shampoo is designed to accompany a haircare schedule that includes washing with water and shampoo at least once a week - unlike mine which is about twice a year.
What I'm looking for is something more like hair powder of the pre-industrial days. This would be added to the hair to improve structure and volume. That's why so many wigs started getting white, because the hair powder was white. I'm not sure if cornstarch was common in Europe in the old days.
For the next experiment, I think I'll try some fullers earth added to it.
After a few very hot days, the cocoa in my hair is starting to smell rancid. not nice. I'm going to have to use real shampoo on my hair to get it out. I'm thinking most of these food-based formulas are designed for people who wash their hair at least once a week and not for No-Poo hair care.
I'll have to adjust my formula to not have so much food in it.
I have only ever used it, short term, but I've also never put food or clay into it. Clay can cause breakage, food goes bad. But, the thing that prevents me from using dry shampoo regularly, is because even though the '100 strokes' brushing is good for many hair types, it's not good for ALL hair types, and mine is one of those that it can ruin. But, heavy brushing is pretty much a necessity, if you're using dry 'poo, in order to get the powder all the way out, as well as to redistribute the natural oils from your scalp evenly into your hair.