Dry Shampoo for Baby – What To Know & Our Top Picks

Dry shampoo with harsh chemicals can damage your baby’s sensitive scalp. It’s better to choose a dry shampoo with all-natural ingredients instead. Applying the dry shampoo should be done carefully and gently. Remember that a baby’s scalp is different from an adult’s, so only use dry shampoo in emergencies. If you’re unsure about the kind of dry shampoo to choose from, then consult with your pediatrician for a better outcome. 

What is “dry” shampoo? How does it work? Is it safe for the baby? These are some of the questions that came into mind when I first heard a dry shampoo product said to be “safe” for kids. We can all agree that giving our babies a full bath is still the best practice, but we also can’t deny that there will be days when this task seems impossible.

It could be a very hectic day for the entire family. Unfortunately, this outdoor trip will not give you the luxury of a bathtub or shower (which your little one refuses to do a bath without).

Generally, it’s a challenge washing your baby’s hair and washing them with a body wash because they don’t feel comfortable. For any of these cases, dry shampoo is the answer to lighten the load a bit.

What is dry shampoo?

The idea of dry shampoo is ultimately a product that reduces hair’s greasiness without the need for water. The main or base ingredient of dry shampoo is usually corn starch or arrowroot powder.

The powder is supposed to absorb the oil from the scalp called the sebum, making the waxy or greasy appearance and feel. That’s why this product works wonders for those with oily scalp and greasy hair.

Once the oil is absorbed, it remains in the scalp with the powder. It keeps the hair fresh, and it may look cleaner but feels the opposite to the user. It would be best to avoid dirt build-up, which causes scalp irritation and a more serious skin condition.

To achieve that, you need to find a shampoo of your choice that should clean your scalp and hair thoroughly.

How to use dry shampoo?

A cute infant boy is wrapped up in a white towel.

For babies, it will be best to always consult your pediatrician before trying any product, for it might cause allergies due to their extra sensitive skin and sensitive scalp. Once consulted and approved by your doctor, make sure to use dry shampoo only when desperately needed.

Unlike adults who can keep going even if they feel a little uneasy, babies will be fussy, irritated and might disrupt their regular activities.

Choose the product

First and foremost, choose the right product for your baby’s hair. Are you using homemade or store-bought? Powder or spray? If you are using powder, you might want to consider the color of their hair.

Using plain white corn starch or arrowroot powder might look grayish for darker hair as it leaves a white residue. The scent can also be a deciding factor since they are still sensitive to strong scents.

Apply dry shampoo to a dry scalp

Make sure that their scalp is dry, not wet, not damp, no sweat. It’s important because in applying dry shampoo to damp or wet hair or scalp, the powder will absorb the water or the sweat instead of the oil.

Sprinkle the white powder, or spray to the roots of the hair. You can also use a kabuki makeup brush to control where and how much product you will apply.

Let it sit for few minutes

For the product to absorb the oil from the scalp, you want to leave it for a couple of minutes and let it do its magic.

Don’t use too much product

Use just enough and only apply dry shampoo to the greasiest part of your baby’s scalp. An excess product might clump and build up unnecessary irritation affecting their scalp health.

Tapioca and rice powder are some other better alternatives.

Massage the product to the scalp

Gently massage the dry shampoo product to your little ones’ scalp and brush off excess powder. Make sure that it doesn’t just sit on their hair and is applied to their scalp.

Avoid using it every day

For adults, it is only advisable to use dry shampoo 2 days in a row at most. It’s to avoid skin irritation on the scalp, which could lead to more serious conditions.

Our little ones have pretty sensitive skin, and it’s best to use dry shampoo only when needed. Too much dry shampoo might cause follicles to clog, weakening hair strength, leading to hair loss, skin infections, and leaving extremely dry hair.

Type of hair

You need to pay attention to the hair type of your little one. For babies with fine hair, you need to be careful about the kind of dry shampoo to use. It can very easily make your baby’s fine hair heavy and clumpy.

A co-washing regime is usually the best for curly hair babies where shampoo isn’t used each time but replaced with conditioner. For such hair, dry shampoo works great.

Dry shampoo products safe for your baby

An infant girl is happily laying on her tummy, after some dry shampoo was applied to her hair.

You can lean towards the most organic and natural ingredients option: plain corn starch or arrowroot powder. Some use baby powder, but because of its talc ingredient, I will not recommend that you use it directly to your baby’s scalp. You can also check these products and consult with your doctor before using them for your baby.

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  • Naturevibe Botanicals Organic Arrowroot Powder (4.7 out of 5 stars) – The advantage of using just one component product will minimize the chances of skin allergy or irritation for your baby. If your baby happens to be allergic to arrowroot powder, you can then lookout for products that might contain this as one of the active ingredients moving forward.

Naturevibe Botanicals Organic Arrowroot Powder, 2 lbs | Arrowroot Flour or Arrowroot Starch | Gluten Free and Non-Gmo | Manihot esculenta (2 Pack of 1 lb) | Cooking and Baking | Packaging may vary.

  • Act+Acre Plant-Based Dry Shampoo (4.2 out of 5 stars) – Natural and unscented powder spray with fulvic acid and rice to refresh oily hair and build volume, talc-free and colorless for light and dark hair. It claims to have just 6 plant-based ingredients, nothing else and infuses 65+ minerals into the scalp.

Act+Acre Plant Based Dry Shampoo | Natural and Unscented Powder Spray with Fulvic Acid and Rice to Refresh Oily Hair and Build Volume | Talc Free and Colorless for Light and Dark Hair

  • Handmade Heroes Drop Dead Gorgeous Dry Shampoo (4.2 out of 5 stars) – Claims to have 100% natural and vegan ingredients. Rice powder is the base component of this product instead of starch. Cruelty-free, made with no parabens, preservatives, or synthetic chemicals.

All Natural, Vegan Dry Shampoo Powder (Medium/Dark Hair) By Handmade Heroes

Beauty by Earth Dry Shampoo (4.1 out of 5 stars) – Also claims to be 100% natural and organic as well as being USDA Organic Certified, non-GMO, gluten-free, sulfate, and paraben-free. This product contains corn starch, arrowroot powder, and baking soda, all as a base component.

Organic Dry Shampoo Light - Dry Shampoo Travel Size, Hair Powder Dry Shampoo for Women and Men, Volumizing Powder for Hair and Texture Powder, Hair Volume Powder for Blonde Hair


Always consult your baby’s pediatrician before using any of the products above or any product in general. Show your doctor the ingredients, and you might as well let them know why and how often you plan to use it for your baby.

The best guidance will come from those who studied and practiced the best care for our little ones.

Tea tree oil for baby hair

Although dry shampoo has its own usability during complicated situations, it always helps to know your options. One such option is using tea tree oil to keep your baby’s scalp healthy and fresh smelling. 

Tea tree oil works as an excellent cleaning agent because of its antibacterial properties. In addition, it keeps the scalp protected from many bacterias, viruses, and fungi that can accumulate on your baby’s scalp due to increasing pollution in the air. 

It provides the necessary moisture needed to the scalp, which can help keep your baby’s scalp nourished. The essential nutrients and supplements in tea tree oil also help promote hair growth which is vital for your baby. 

For usage, you need to mix a few drops of tea tree oil with other oils of your choice, like coconut. Then, gently massage your baby’s scalp with the mixture. It’s better to read the ingredients for your baby’s scalp could have an allergic reaction.

Take away

There is an ongoing discussion about dry shampoo and its short and long-term effects. A long list of brands is available in the market, promising effectiveness. In moderation, it is a beneficial product that could be of great value, especially to those who have a crazy hectic schedule most days.

Each parent wants their baby smelling great with clean hair as often as possible. We can all agree that washing your baby’s hair with baby shampoo or a body wash as options for some is preferable. But changing times will require changing approach, and we should always be open to new ways and new ideas.

Still, our top priority should always be our children’s welfare and safety. Anything that feels unsafe or is not clear, always consult your doctor to get the best guidance possible. Feel free to ask us questions or share your own experience related to this topic in the comment section below.

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Currently located in the Philippines. Mother of an active curly boy whose energy rarely runs out. When I am not busy keeping up with my son, you'll find me reading, cooking, or most of the time keeping the house clean.

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