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One of the top recommendations you'll hear for healthier, curly hair is to cut down on cleansing. Cleansing too often leads to dry hair, frizz, and a number of other curly issues. But how are you supposed to wash less when your roots get greasy and your hair falls limp on day 2, 3 and 4? Or what if you exercise every day or live in a hot climate?

We have a natural ingredient that can clear that up for you so you can go longer between washes and still love the way your hair looks and feels, and chances are you have it in your kitchen cabinet: cornstarch. It's affordable, effective, and can improve the overall health of your hair.

Why use cornstarch?

According to the Cosmetic Ingredient Review, cornstarch is “a starch obtained from corn, Zea mays, that functions as an abrasive, absorbent, skin protectant, and aqueous viscosity increasing agent.” It can be used to absorb moisture from your hair and scalp. For example, cornstarch can be used as a shampoo to cleanse your scalp. The cornstarch will remove the excess oils from your scalp.

It can be used in a dry or wet form of shampoo. This can be a great method if you are exercising regularly and you do not want to shampoo your hair often. Or, if you just want to stretch your wash day but you want to also cleanse your scalp.

DIY dry shampoo recipe

This recipe by Wellness Mama incorporates cornstarch or arrowroot powder as an alternative. If you find that the light powder shows up on your dark hair, you can substitute with cocoa powder.


  • 5 drops of essential oil of choice (optional - she uses lavender)
  • An old make-up brush to apply


  1. Put the drops of essential oil into the arrowroot or cornstarch and mix with a spoon. Store the mix in a small jar or old powder container.
  2. Apply with an old makeup brush to the roots or oily parts of your hair. Applying with the brush is optional, but it removes the need to comb through as much and is better for styled hair. If you don’t use the brush, comb the powder through your hair and style as usual.

Cornstarch in your products

Even if you are not a DIY mixtress, you can actually find cornstarch used in hair products on store shelves. The Cosmetic Ingredient Review describes an aqueous viscosity agent as “substances that increase the thickness of the aqueous (water) portion of cosmetic products.” This can aid in the thick consistency of a cosmetic product.

Some of your favorite hair products include cornstarch in the ingredients. Simply check the ingredient list to see if it is listed. Ready to incorporate some of these benefits into your hair regimen? Here are some products that include cornstarch:

Products with cornstarch

Do you use dry shampoo on your hair? Do you prefer store-bought or DIY? Let us know in the comments!