Healthier Alternatives to Dry Shampoos

Dry shampoos are a very convenient option when you don’t have time or access to a shower. Unfortunately, that convenience comes with some significant drawbacks. Dry shampoo is not the most healthy option for your scalp, and it can damage your hair, too. In this post, we’ll go over some healthier alternatives to dry shampoo that your scalp and hair will love!

What’s Wrong with Dry Shampoo?

Dry shampoo seems like the ultimate time-saving hair saver, right? Well, dry shampoo actually works to stifle your hair follicle at its base, making it difficult for your scalp to breathe properly. If you use it too much, it can eventually cause hair loss or other problems. Even a “natural” dry shampoo has its detriments for your hair and scalp.

Additionally, dry shampoo often contains talc, a powdery substance that has been linked to certain cancers. You don’t want that absorbing into your scalp and skin if you can avoid it! In addition to being canned aerosols that can deplete the ozone layer, most commercial dry shampoos just aren’t a good idea all around.

Healthy Alternatives

You might not know it, but there are many things you can use instead of dry shampoo to give your hair a boost when you don’t have time for a shower. There is no real replacement for a good shower to maintain healthy, growing hair, but in a pinch, you can try any of the following.

  • Apple cider vinegar is a wonderfully healthy hair treatment compound that works for all hair textures and styles. It’s great for refreshing oily hair, and you can even use it instead of your usual shampoo. Just dilute it with water and spray it lightly on your roots to imitate the effects of dry shampoo.
  • Dry clay strips the oil from your hair then brushes out naturally, leaving your hair with the same effect as you’d have with normal shampoo, but done through a dry mineral. You can even mix it with milk powder to create a particularly powerful impact.
  • Arrowroot is another oil-stripping powder that’s naturally-derived and helps remove excess oil and impurities from hair. To make an arrowroot solution to soak your hair, mix one part arrowroot to one part vodka and four parts water, or just apply the dry powder to your roots in a pinch.
  • Oatmeal’s skin and hair-protecting qualities are well-known and extensively utilized. Buzz your plain oats in a blender or other mixer until they’re a fine powder, then add one part oats to one part baking soda to create a hair-healthy oil absorber.
  • Cornstarch and cocoa powder combine to create an excellent oil-remover for dark hair types. Your hair will benefit from the wonderful cocoa smell of the mixture, and the dark brown of the cocoa powder will help disguise the color of the corn starch in your hair. Just make sure to give it some time to absorb and then brush it out thoroughly if you have a lighter hair color!
  • Salt and cornmeal is the light-haired counterpart to the above cocoa powder remedy! While salt and cornmeal will stand out against dark hair until it’s absorbed and brushed out, it will blend in nicely with blonde and light hair colors. Add one part salt to eight parts cornmeal to create the perfect dry mixture for your hair.
  • Natural hair serums specifically meant to fortify and strengthen hair are excellent alternatives to dry shampoos, too. Look for something that will strip excess dirt and oil from your hair (or at least assist in removing it), like our Activating Serum.

Benefits of the Activating Serum

Collective Laboratories Activating Serum has been specifically designed to provide many benefits to your hair, in addition to regulating your scalp’s oil levels and maintaining overall hair health. This hair serum dry shampoo substitute doesn’t strip away the oil from your hair like many of our other remedies here do; instead, it balances it out, working with your hair’s natural oil to create an optimal environment.

Your hair needs a measure of oil to stay healthy, after all. Keeping your hair 100% oil-free all the time is just as detrimental as letting your hair become overly oily. Our highly-rated Activating Serum helps you maintain that perfect oil balance in your hair between shower days without stripping it away completely, leaving you with the ideal balance.

Collective Laboratories Activating Serum was created over twenty years with the help of some complex science, helpful natural remedies, and careful study of the benefits of many compounds. The result of these years of research is a remedy that not only keeps hair healthy between washes but also helps decrease hair loss, among other things.

What Makes It Unique?

The Activating Serum is so unique because it contains a blend of both natural and scientific remedies. There’s nothing else quite like it on the market today. This hair serum dry shampoo substitute combines the effective natural history of things like lilac, ginseng, and burdock extract to create a remedy rooted in natural substances, while also putting the science of Trichogen and HotFlux to work alongside them.

In this way, the Activating Serum provides a solution quite unlike anything else available today. Most dry shampoo alternatives are either based on entirely natural or fully scientific remedies. While this in no way means they don’t work well, a hair serum dry shampoo substitute like the Activating Serum has the edge over them both because science and nature both support it.


As far as alternatives to dry shampoo go, there are several options out there to choose from that will help you maintain the health of your hair. Most of them are DIY remedies that work off of natural ingredients, which is great for your hair! However, many of these alternatives are missing the benefits of advanced science and testing that Collective Laboratories Activating Serum has.

This doesn’t mean that any of the other remedied we’ve listed here are ineffective; that couldn’t be further from the truth! However, if you’re looking for a product that will provide the most natural balance to your hair between washes, give this hair serum a try.

Christine Lee

Christine is an avid historical fiction reader. Her love of reading drew her to a career in writing. She has worked mainly for large digital publications in her 15+ years as a content producer, editor and journalist. She holds a B.S. in Anthropology. Health and DIY topics are Christine’s favorite areas to cover in her writing. Reviewed by Collective Laboratories' Medical Advisory Board

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