A Quick Fix For Oily Hair . . . “Dry Clean” It!

This stuff saved my life this week!

Well, OK…maybe that’s a BIT of an exaggeration…but not much! Let’s just say I had a HAIR EMERGENCY on Tuesday and was VERY GRATEFUL I had recently seen this idea by Danielle on Hookable Designs.

The funny thing is…I hadn’t originally intended on doing a post on this only because my hair is SO dry that I would never have the need to de-grease my hair. Well…that’ll teach me to NEVER say NEVER!

Here is my sad story…with a happy ending! (I just LOVE a happy ending! If I hear a movie has a sad ending…I won’t go. Unfortunately that rules out a LOT of movies!)

Anyway…back to my sad…then happy…story. On Tuesday I had a photo shoot scheduled with a wonderful photographer by the name of Stephanie Neal. (I have to brag on her for one second! She was just named Best Family Photographer by Salt Lake Magazine in their annual Best of the Beehive” issue. Check her out!)

Sorry…having difficulty keeping on track today!

So…I needed some professional “head shots” for some upcoming stuff and finally decided to bite the bullet and make an appointment. No reflection on Stephanie…or photographers in general for that matter…but having my picture taken is one of my LEAST favorite things to do! I am completely neurotic about it. So I was WAY stressed as the “big day” approached.

That morning I allowed myself plenty of time to get myself ready and went all-out in my primping session. I had even purchased a new product called Moroccan argan oil that someone had emailed me about after my post about Coconut Oil Deep Conditioner. It’s a spray that you put on after you wash your hair, and before you blow dry, that is supposed to give your hair a “smooth, glossy shine”. Well, being the original “if SOME is good…MORE must be better” girl…I pretty much saturated my hair with it. After blow drying my hair for about 5 minutes…I began to sense that something had gone terribly wrong. My hair wasn’t getting “dry”! No matter how long I kept blowing hot air on it…it stilled looked wet…and stringy….and oily!!

As I stood there staring at the disaster in the mirror, trying to suppress the rising panic I was feeling, all of a sudden the post about Dry Shampoo popped into my head!

I quickly located the recipe in my bookmarks and was thrilled to see I had all the ingredients on hand. All TWO ingredients (3 if you’re counting the WATER…which I’m not.) I quickly threw the stuff together and even snapped a few pictures of the process! (You can take the girl out of her blog…but you can’t take the blog out of the girl…..or something like that.)

I call it my:

Oily Hair “Dry Cleaner”


  • 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
  • 4 tablespoons of water
  • 1 tablespoon of rubbing alcohol

Mix together, pour into a spray bottle and give it a shake!
Now, spray anywhere on your head or hair that needs to be de-greased.

NOTE TO PEOPLE WHO TEND TO OVERDO THINGS (LIKE ME!): You do not need to drench your hair and/or scalp, just dampen it. Got it.

Run a comb or your fingers through your hair to distribute the “dry cleaner” evenly, then hit it with the blow-dryer. Repeat if necessary. Which it was….so I did.

But after a few blasts of this stuff and my trusty hair dryer, the OILY MESS was gone and my hair was completely DRY! I was able to finish styling my hair and I was only like THREE minutes late to my appointment. MIRACULOUS!  (Now…if only the pictures turn out as well as the end of this story!)

Chances are I won’t ever find myself needing this particular product again (DRY hair syndrome!)  But hopefully I’ve learned at least one thing…..

NEVER say NEVER!  :-)

Print Friendly
Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on Twitter29Pin on Pinterest415.2kGoogle+0

Enjoy This Post? Never Miss Another!

Subscribe to Jillee's FREE email newsletter and receive more great tips and ideas!



  1. says

    PERFECT!!! I love this! My hair is SUPER oily. I have to wash my hair every day or it’s just completely disgusting. Thanks for this tip!

  2. says

    Fantastic- a girl can always use this in her arsenal of “fix-it’s” when it comes to hair. Thanks!

  3. Em says

    This sounds awesome. I’m going to mix some up this evening!

    Would it works without using a hair dryer? My hair throws hissy fits when I use a hair dryer on it.

    • Ginger says

      Yes! No hair dryer needed. You only dampen your hair slightly, and the rubbing alcohol speeds the drying process.

    • Ginger says

      I have dark hair and found the cocoa unnecessary. I have tried it both ways and prefer it without the cocoa. If you mix it properly and shake the bottle well before using, it isn’t that heavy an applicarion…

  4. says

    I am a no poo girl and have struggled this summer, like Wendy B, so this was a big help.

    At the risk of sounding like the dad on “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”, my favorite DIY glass cleaner – I think I found it on Crunchy Betty, has close to the same ingredients so I gave it a try. It worked great!

    1/4 C white vinegar
    1/4 C rubbing alcohol
    1 tbsp corn starch
    2 C water

    I do have to shake the mix before I use it each time.

    • says

      I’ve always used a cornstarch and water mixture to clean the windows (on the very rare occasions that I do so ;-) ). It’s something my mom always did, and probably something her mom always did. It works spectacularly. I’m intrigued by the addition of vinegar and rubbing alcohol. I’ll have to give that a try next time and see how it compares.

    • Ginger says

      Best glass cleaner EVER!

      White vinegar
      Crumpled newspaper

      Cleans the worst stuff off your glass and hard surfaces! Leaves absolutely no streaks!
      I learned it as a child cleaning the windows of my grandfather’s 40 foot yacht.

    • Ushi says

      Lisa, thank you so much for adding your variation! I have been in a neck brace for 6 weeks and I have very thick hair long hair. Needless to say, washing it isn’t easy and I have been reading about No ‘poo to try while I recover. I am going to try your version tonight.

      Jillee, your blog is amazing and so helpful and informative. I have so many things pinned and bookmarked that I want to try. Your homemade icepack was a lifesaver for me this past December. Thank you for sharing!

    • Faith Davis says

      I just got done repinning the glass cleaner from Crunchy Betty and this is the next post I looked at. Too funny. :)

  5. Karen Moret Harrison says

    Once for Halloween, I decided to dress up like a man. I slicked my hair back with a product I found in the African-American section. It was called bergamot oil. Anyway, when I got home I tried to wash it out. No go. I tried shampoo again, still oily. I went ahead to bed, and decided to try again in the morning.

    At my wit’s end, I tried Dawn dishing washing liquid. Still oily and stringy. I called my hairdresser, and he recommended I try Tide (without bleach). I tried it, and it worked, but my hair felt like straw. I bought some Aussie 3 Minute Miracle, and left it on for waaay more than 3 minutes! I finally had my hair back!

    • Ms Kay says

      I hear you! I am African American and every time I get something out of the European-American section it messes my hair up too. Hope your hair has recovered nicely.

      • Ash says

        I think she was just trying to say different hair products are made for different types of hair… Sheesh!

      • Ashley says

        Agree with you Ash. “Wow” seems to be a little touchy… Ms Kay didn’t say anything off side. Keep your knee jerk posts to yourself.

      • Rhonni says

        Exactly. I would have never thought that Ms. Kay was trying to be ugly or offensive. Someone was definitely twisting things there.

      • Move Forward says

        Given that styling products are not referred to as ‘European American’ this was obviously a ‘jab’ at the fact that referring to the manufacturers ethnicity focus for the product was not necessary in describing the end result. The product name and it’s effect on the hair would have been sufficient. Additionally, all retailers who carry that type of product refer to that department as ‘African-American or African beauty’ non-the-less a little sensitivity goes a long way.

      • amanda says

        Holy crap are you serious here? Sensitivity may go a long way, but not getting your panties in a bunch over everything politically correct can go a whole lot further. Get over it.

  6. Linda says

    How is it that you always come up with great posts every few days? I’m so glad I found you.

  7. Bobbie Conrad says

    Thanks Jillee! I have to wash my hair daily to avoid the oily head look! Add in fine hair and you get the picture! Maybe now I can wash my hair at night instead of every morning :)

  8. WendyB says

    Oh awesome!! I’m not a full-fledged no ‘poo girl, but I try not to shampoo my hair more than twice a week. This summer’s heat is making that hard to do. I think I’m going to go mix some of this up right now and see how it works. Maybe I won’t have to shampoo today like I had planned. Thanks for the recipe!

  9. Amanda says

    Thanks for the tip! I get pretty bad ear infections frequently and whenever it happens I have to LIVE with dry shampoo since the moisture from washing my hair makes my ears hurt more. I’ll be trying this soon!

    • Marnie says

      Use a ear plug to keep water out of your ears while you bathe or swim. I use them on my daughter that has similar issues. Look for macks ear plugs. Found them at Wal Mart.

      • Tina says

        That is a great suggestion Marnie! I used to suffer from frequent ear infections as a kid, and the water from showers was soooo painful! I would recommend Amanda use the Mac’s Earplugs to completely cover the ear canal, or talk to your doctor about customer ear plugs. I had a set, and I had to wear them swimming or when I showered. They really were worth it.

    • Vanessa says

      I had a nasty ear infection with a ruptured ear drum, and I used a cotton ball with vaseline to plug my whole ear canal while I showered.. Works so well! The warm water feels good on the outside, but your ear is totally sealed so no water gets in. Just a tip for future reference!

    • Ginger says

      I used to have problems with water in my ears, and still do. My childhood doctor called it “swimmers ear.” As an adult I went to an Ear, Nose, Throat doctor about it.

      He was kind of an old fashioned small town doc. After the issue I was having was cleared up, he gave me two things to do to prevent problems. AND THEY REALLY WORK!
      1. Put a few drops of rubbing alcohol in your ear after a bath/shower/swimming. As long as the skin inside the ear is not broken it does not hurt. And even when my ears are irritated the worst I feel is warmth – some would call minor burning – that lasts only a few seconds.
      2. Ear plugs, especially in the shower/bath. He suggested two types. The first was Vaseline on a cotton ball. Works like a champ, inexpensive, and easy! The second was a silicone plug – often seen for noise reduction. These are malleable and can be fitted to the ear perfectly and easily. You can find these at any drug store in packs of 6 or 8 fairly inexpensively. They can be used in the shower or the pool and work great!

      Just had to add my two cents…

      • Dorothy says

        Check with an EAR SPECIALIST before using alcohol in your ears. When my mother last saw her audiologist, we asked specifically about using alcohol in her ears (Mom’s sister had told her that the Dr. she sees told her to do that too.), they said absolutely not! Since alcohol is a drying agent, it dries out the lining of the ear canal and the ear drum, as well, causing cracks in the thin membranes; this lets in bacterial and leads to infections, as well as other problems with the ear drum. Sorry, I don’t mean to sound critical; just wanted to pass along the info.

      • Silly says

        Silly Putty. Not kidding. I’m a water lover, and after terrible ear infections as a child and 7 sets of tubes – they are the only ear plugs that work and won’t let in a drop of water.