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

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, an outdoor trip that will not give you the luxury of a bathtub or shower (which your little one refuse to do a bath without), or generally, it’s a challenge washing your baby’s hair 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 meant to absorb the oil from the scalp called the sebum, which makes the waxy or greasy appearance and feels.

Once the oil is absorbed, it remains in the scalp with the powder, so the hair may look cleaner but might feel the opposite to the user. To avoid the dirt build-up, which could lead to scalp irritation and more serious skin condition, it’s still recommended to wash your hair and scalp using your shampoo of choice to clean it 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. Once consulted and approved by your doctor, make sure to use dry shampoo only when desperately needed. Unlike us adults who can keep going even if we 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 his/her hair. Using plain white corn starch or arrowroot powder might look grayish for darker hair. 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. This is 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 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.
  • 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. This is 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 absolutely needed. Too much dry shampoo might cause follicles to clog, which weakens hair strength, leading to hair loss and skin infections.

Dry Shampoo Products That Are Safe for 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 safe option, which is 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.

  • Naturevibe Botanicals Organic Arrowroot Powder (4.7 out of 5 stars) – The advantage of using just one component product is that it 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 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 might as well let them know why and how often do you plan to use it for your baby. The best guidance will come from those who studied and practices the best care for our little ones.

Take away

There is an ongoing discussion about dry shampoo and its short and long-term effects. A long list of brands are available in the market promising effectiveness, and I believe that in moderation, it is a very helpful product that could be of great value, especially to those who have a crazy hectic schedule most days. We can all agree that washing your baby’s hair as often as you could is still the best and healthiest way to go.

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.

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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