Cornstarch for Hair: Benefits + DIY Hair Care Recipes 

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase.

Have you ever considered the possibility that the secret to luscious, healthy hair might be hiding in your kitchen cupboard?

Surprisingly, it’s cornstarch!

This common household ingredient, generally associated with thickening soups and sauces, is a game-changer in the realm of hair care.

With its unique properties and natural purity, cornstarch can be a phenomenal alternative to chemically laden commercial hair products.

A woman wearing orange top is combing her hair while her other hand is with a cornstarch.

In this enlightening piece, we will explore the remarkable benefits of cornstarch for hair and introduce you to some simple yet effective DIY hair care recipes!

Fast Facts

  • Cornstarch is a natural and safe ingredient for hair care, free of harsh chemicals.
  • Its benefits include oil absorption, cleaning power, waterless cleansing, improved texture, better hair volume, and reduced frizz.
  • You can make dry shampoo, hair mask, straightening mask, and hair gel from cornstarch.
  • However, potential downsides include allergic reactions, residue buildup, dryness, and the need to avoid certain ingredient combinations for DIY mixtures.

What Is Cornstarch?

Cornstarch, scientifically known as maize starch, is a fine white powder extracted from corn kernels’ starchy center. 

This starch is made up of tiny molecules that have the unique ability to absorb water and form a gel-like consistency.

You’ll commonly find it useful in the kitchen as it helps improve the consistency of sauce, soups, and gravies. 

It is also a good baking ingredient, providing structure and tenderness to various food products.

Additionally, cornstarch finds utility in non-culinary contexts. It is a base for talcum powder and can also be a good addition to your hair care arsenal.

Is Cornstarch Good for Hair? Benefits of Cornstarch for Hair

Cornstarch is generally good and safe to use on hair because it is a natural ingredient derived from corn. 

It doesn’t contain harsh chemicals or synthetic compounds that could cause harm to the hair or scalp.

Because it has a large particle size, it’s able to absorb excess oil without penetrating deeply into the scalp. For this reason, it is less likely to clog hair follicles or cause any damage.

cornstarch in a wooden spoon on a wooden table.

Excited to know about the many benefits that cornstarch can offer your hair? 

In this section, you will discover how cornstarch can revitalize your hair routine for a fresher, vibrant look while embracing an eco-friendly approach to beauty!

Oil Absorption

One of the best cornstarch hair benefits is oil absorption. Cornstarch’s porous structure allows it to soak up excess oil from the scalp and hair effectively. 

This benefit is good news for people with oily hair follicles who want to extend the time between washes. 

Cornstarch particles bind to the oil and sebum, giving the hair a fresher and less greasy appearance.

Cleaning Power

Cornstarch is a natural alternative to commercial dry shampoos.  After all, most dry shampoos contain chemicals and additives that some people prefer to avoid. 

Cornstarch offers a natural alternative free from synthetic ingredients. It allows individuals to maintain clean-looking hair even without washing.

Waterless Cleansing

Cornstarch’s fine particles provide a gentle way to cleanse the scalp and hair without the use of water. Unlike traditional shampoos, cornstarch cleanses by absorbing and not by washing.

That said, it leaves the hair’s natural oils intact.

Improved Texture

Using cornstarch for hair texture works because the fine particles of this starch adhere to the individual strands, giving it a slightly rougher texture. 

This rougher texture aids in easier styling, as it helps hair products to adhere better. It also improves the hold of hairsprays and gels for maximum effect.

Better Hair Volume

You can turn to cornstarch for hair volume if you have fine or limp hair. By absorbing excess moisture, including sweat and oils, cornstarch reduces the weight of the hair and prevents it from becoming flat. 

This reduction in moisture contributes to increased volume and a more lifted look.

Reduced Frizz

Frizz is often caused by excess moisture in the hair, which can cause the hair’s cuticles (outer layer) to swell and stick out.

Because cornstarch can reduce moisture, it reduces the chances of the hair strands swelling. This way, it tames frizz and gives the hair a sleeker appearance.

Portrait of beautiful smiling woman with long hair looking away isolated on beige background.


Applying cornstarch to the hair is simple, cost-effective, and convenient. 

Whether you are using cornstarch for oily hair or looking to simplify your hair care routine, cornstarch is a good option because it is easily accessible and portable. 

It’s particularly handy when traveling or on busy days.

Downsides To Consider When Using Cornstarch on Hair

While using cornstarch for hair offers benefits, there are also some risks and considerations to keep in mind.

Allergic Reactions

Some people may be sensitive or allergic to cornstarch.

Before applying any cornstarch-based mixture to your hair, it’s important to perform a patch test on a small area of skin to check for any adverse reactions.

Residue Buildup

Using excessive amounts of cornstarch or improperly rinsing it can lead to residue buildup on the scalp and hair. This buildup can make your hair feel heavy and look dull.

Make sure to practice proper hair hygiene to prevent this issue.


While one of the many uses of cornstarch for hair is oil absorption, it is worth noting that using it too much or leaving it on for too long might also lead to scalp and hair dryness. 

Close up hand holding dry damaged hair problem in white bathroom.

Reaction With Other Ingredients

When creating DIY mixtures, knowing how different ingredients interact is essential. 

For example, certain ingredients might negatively react when combined, affecting the effectiveness of the mixture or even causing damage to your hair.

Here are some examples:

  • Chemical dyes and bleaches: Avoid mixing cornstarch with chemical hair dyes or bleaches. 

    Cornstarch is not designed to interact with these products and could interfere with the chemical processes, leading to unpredictable color results or damage to the hair.
  • Hydrogen peroxide: Hydrogen peroxide is a common ingredient in hair bleach and lightening products. 

    Mixing cornstarch with hydrogen peroxide can create an unstable mixture that may release harmful gases or cause chemical reactions.
  • Ammonia: Ammonia is commonly found in hair color products and is used to open the hair cuticle and allow color to penetrate. 

    Mixing cornstarch with ammonia can lead to unpredictable results and potential damage to your hair.
  • Sulfur-based products: Sulfur-based products are often used to treat scalp conditions like dandruff or psoriasis. 

    Mixing cornstarch with sulfur-based products may not be effective and could lead to irritation or adverse reactions.

Inconsistent Results

It is worth noting that different hair textures and types may respond differently to cornstarch-based treatments. 

We recommend considering your hair’s unique characteristics and needs before trying any new treatment.

Using Cornstarch for Hair Care

After learning about the benefits and the downsides of cornstarch on hair, you are now ready to explore and create your own hair care recipes.

You can use cornstarch powder for hair by making a dry shampoo, a mask, or a gel. This way, you can harness its power and be well on your way to healthier and cleaner hair.

Here are some recipes you can try to incorporate cornstarch into your grooming routine.  Remember to use only the best cornstarch for hair care. This one from Rumford is a great option!

Cornstarch Dry Shampoo

This dry shampoo uses cornstarch as its main ingredient and works to refresh your hair between washes.

What You’ll Need for Cornstarch Dry Shampoo

Gather the following supplies before creating your DIY dry shampoo:

  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • Mixing bowl
  • Whisk or fork
  • Optional: 1 to 2 tablespoons cocoa powder for dark hair or cinnamon for light hair
  • Optional: essential oils (lavender, rosemary, or your preferred scent)
  • Small sieve or fine mesh strainer

How To Make Cornstarch Dry Shampoo

Follow these steps to make your own cornstarch dry shampoo:

  1. Prepare the cornstarch base. In a mixing bowl, put ¼ cup of cornstarch.
  1. Optional step: add natural coloring agents. If you want the dry shampoo to blend better with your hair color, use either cocoa powder or cinnamon. 

    Add one to two tablespoons of cocoa powder or cinnamon to the cornstarch. Use more or less, depending on your preference. 

    Use a whisk or fork to combine them thoroughly. Doing so will ensure an even distribution of color.
  1. Optional step: add the essential oil. You can add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the mix for a more pleasant scent. Lavender, rosemary, or citrus oils work well.

    Whisk the mixture to distribute the fragrance evenly.
  1. Sift. Run the mixture through a small sieve or fine mesh strainer to remove clumps. This step will ensure a smooth texture and help in better application.
  1. Store the dry shampoo. Transfer the dry shampoo mixture to a clean container or an empty spice shaker.
Simple shampoo powder containing just natural ingredients, cocoa powder, cornstarch and essential oil placed in a tin can container with brush

How To Apply Cornstarch Dry Shampoo

After making the shampoo, follow these steps to apply it:

  1. Section your hair. Part your hair in sections to access your scalp.
  1. Apply the dry shampoo. Sprinkle a small amount of the dry shampoo onto the roots of each parted section.
  1. Massage it in. Using your fingertips, massage the dry shampoo into your scalp gently. This step will help distribute the powder better.
  1. Let it sit. Let the dry shampoo sit on your scalp for two to five minutes.
  1. Comb your hair. Use a comb or brush to work the mix through your hair gently. Doing so will remove any excess powder and distribute the dry shampoo evenly. 

Anti-Frizz Cornstarch Hair Mask

This DIY frizz-control hair mask works by smoothening the hair cuticle, providing hydration, and controlling frizz. Use it to make your hair smoother, shinier, and more manageable. 

What You’ll Need for a Cornstarch Hair Mask

Gather the following ingredients and supplies to make your anti-frizz cornstarch hair mask:

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¼ cup plain yogurt or aloe vera gel
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 5 to 7 drops of preferred hair oil (argan oil, coconut oil)
  • Mixing bowl
  • Whisk or fork
  • Shower cap or plastic wrap
  • Towel

How To Make the Cornstarch Hair Mask

Ready to make your own cornstarch hair mask?

Here are the steps:

  1. Combine the cornstarch and yogurt or aloe vera. Combine two tablespoons of cornstarch and ¼ cup of plain yogurt or aloe vera gel in a mixing bowl.

    Mix the ingredients thoroughly with a whisk or fork until you achieve a smooth and consistent mixture.
  1. Add the honey. Add one teaspoon of honey to the mixture. Honey helps to provide moisture and nourishment to your hair.
  1. Add the hair oil. Add five to seven drops of your preferred hair oil. Hair oils like argan or coconut oil can help further control frizz and add shine.
  1. Mix well. Use a fork or a whisk to combine all the ingredients until you get a creamy, mask-like consistency.
  1. Do a patch test. Apply a small amount of the mixture on the back of your hand or a small section of hair. Observe the area or the section for any adverse reaction.
A woman is brushing her hair with hair mask in the bathroom.

How To Apply the Cornstarch Hair Mask

Once you’ve made your hair mask, all that’s left to do is apply it, and you’re all good!

Follow these steps:

  1. Prep your hair. Before applying the mask, ensure your hair is clean and slightly damp. 
  1. Section your hair. Divide your hair into sections to ensure even application.
  1. Apply the mask. Apply the mask generously to each section with your fingertips, focusing on the lengths and ends where frizz is most common. Avoid applying directly to the scalp. 
  1. Comb through your hair. Run a fine-toothed comb through the length of your hair. Doing so distributes the mask evenly.
  1. Wrap your hair. Once you’ve applied the mask, gather your hair on top of your head. Put on a shower cap or wrap your hair in plastic wrap to create a warm environment and help the mask penetrate.
  1. Let the mask do its job. Leave the mask on for about 20 to 30 minutes to allow the ingredients to work their magic.
  1. Rinse your hair. After the waiting period, rinse your hair thoroughly with lukewarm water to remove the mask.
  1. Dry your hair. Gently squeeze out excess water using a towel. Let your hair air-dry. You may use a hair dryer on low heat to speed up the process.

Cornstarch Hair Gel

This DIY cornstarch hair gel works by using the thickening properties of cornstarch to create a gel-like consistency that can be used to style and shape your hair. 

This cornstarch gel for hair provides a light hold and can help control frizz and flyaways, giving your hair a polished and controlled look.

What You’ll Need for a Cornstarch Hair Gel

Here’s a list of the supplies you should prepare for your DIY hair gel:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • Saucepan
  • Whisk or fork
  • Empty and clean container with a lid
  • Optional: a few drops of essential oil (e.g., lavender, rosemary, or your preferred scent)

How To Make the Cornstarch Hair Gel

Here’s a step-by-step guide to making your own gel:

  1. Prepare the cornstarch mixture. Pour one cup of water into a saucepan. Add one tablespoon of cornstarch to the water. 
  1. Mix well. Use a whisk or fork to mix the cornstarch and water thoroughly until the cornstarch is fully dissolved.
  1. Heat the mixture. Place the saucepan on the stove over low heat. Continuously stir the mixture as it heats up.
  1. Wait for the mixture to thicken. Keep stirring the mixture until you get a gel-like consistency. This process should take around two to three minutes.
  1. Let the mixture cool. Once the mixture has thickened, remove the saucepan from heat. Set it aside until it reaches room temperature.
  1. Optional step: Add essential oil. Add a few drops of your preferred essential oil to the mix for a better-smelling hair gel. Stir well to distribute the fragrance.
  1. Transfer to a container. Pour the hair gel into a clean with a lid. You can use a small jar or an empty hair product container. Seal the container with the lid and store it in a cool, dry place.

How To Apply the Cornstarch Hair Gel

Applying this DIY hair gel is a breeze! Here’s how to do it:

  1. Prep your hair. Start with clean, damp hair. If your hair is dry, spritzing it with water is best to prep it for the gel application.
  2. Apply the gel. Rub a small amount of the DIY cornstarch hair gel between your palms to evenly distribute it. 

    Apply the hair gel to your hair. Focus on the areas you want to style, shape, or control.
  1. Let it set. You can either let your hair air-dry or use a hair dryer on low heat to set your style.
A woman is drying her hair in front of a mirror.

Cornstarch Hair Straightening Mask

This DIY cornstarch hair straightening mask reduces frizz and leaves the hair looking smoother and more manageable. 

Remember that cornstarch’s effects for hair straightening may vary depending on your hair type and natural texture.

What You’ll Need for a Cornstarch Hair Straightening Mask

To make your own straightening mask, you’ll need to prepare the following:

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Mixing bowl
  • Whisk or fork
  • Saucepan
  • Shower cap or plastic wrap
  • Towel

How To Make the Cornstarch Straightening Mask

Here are the easy steps for making your straightening treatment mask:

  1. Mix the cornstarch and coconut milk. Combine two tablespoons of cornstarch and ½ cup of coconut milk in a mixing bowl. 

    Mix thoroughly with a whisk or fork until the cornstarch is fully dissolved, then transfer the cornstarch and coconut milk mixture to a saucepan.
  1. Heat the mixture. Over low to medium heat, heat the mixture while continuously stirring. Keep stirring until the mixture thickens to a pudding-like consistency. This process should take two minutes.
  1. Cool the mixture. Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the mixture to cool down to a temperature you’re comfortable applying to your scalp and hair.
  1. Add honey and lemon juice. Once the mixture has cooled down, add one tablespoon of honey and one tablespoon of lemon juice. Stir well to combine all the ingredients.
  1. Test the mixture. Test a small amount of the mixture on the back of your hand or a small section of your hair to ensure you’re comfortable with the texture and the ingredients don’t cause any allergic reaction.
  1. Apply the mask evenly to your hair. Apply the mask to your hair using your hands or a brush, starting from the roots and working your way down to the tips. 
  1. Cover and wait. Put on a shower cap or wrap your hair in plastic wrap to keep the mask in place for about 30 minutes to one hour.
  1. Rinse. After the waiting period, rinse your hair thoroughly with lukewarm water until all the mask is removed.
  1. Dry and style. Gently pat your hair dry with a towel and let it air dry or use a blow dryer on a low heat setting. Style your hair as desired.

How To Apply the Cornstarch Straightening Mask

Proper application of the mask is necessary to maximize its effectiveness.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you:

  1. Prep your hair. Before applying the mask, make sure your hair is clean and slightly damp.
  1. Section your hair. Divide your hair into sections to ensure even application.
  1. Apply the mask. Using your fingertips, apply the mask generously to each section. Focus on the lengths and ends. Avoid applying directly to the scalp.
  1. Comb your hair. To evenly distribute the mask, comb through your hair.
  1. Wrap your hair. Once you’ve applied the mask, gather your hair on top of your head. Put on a shower cap or wrap your hair in plastic wrap to create a warm environment and help the mask penetrate.
A woman is putting plastic wrap on her hair.
  1. Let the mask work its magic. Leave the mask on for about one to two hours, or you can also opt to leave it overnight for more intensive treatment.
  1. Rinse your hair. After the waiting period, rinse your hair thoroughly with lukewarm water to remove the mask. 
  1. Dry your hair. Gently squeeze out excess water from your hair using a towel. Let your hair air-dry, or use a hair dryer on low heat.

Frequently Asked Questions

When Is Cornstarch Bad for Your Hair?

Cornstarch can damage your hair when overused, leading to issues like irritation and product buildup.

Excessive application of cornstarch can also lead to stripping natural oils, causing dryness and potential discomfort. 

Moreover, relying solely on cornstarch might result in an imbalance in hair health as it cannot remedy all underlying concerns. Allergic reactions and temporary effects should also be considered. 

Using cornstarch-based treatments in moderation is crucial, so follow proper guidelines and be mindful of potential risks.

Does Cornstarch Make Your Hair Fall Out?

No, using cornstarch for hair is unlikely to cause hair fall.

However, excessive and improper use of cornstarch and other cornstarch-based products can cause issues like the ones mentioned above. 

It is best to use cornstarch in moderation and follow recommended guidelines to avoid any potential negative impact on hair health.

Revolutionize Your Hair Care Routine With Cornstarch!

Cornstarch is a hidden gem in the world of natural hair care. Its powers extend far beyond the kitchen, providing a cost-effective and natural solution for the hair’s excess oil and lackluster volume.

Blending cornstarch with cocoa for darker hair or combining it with coconut milk for a spa-like treatment can transform your hair care routine.

Nevertheless, it’s crucial to exercise caution. Overuse may result in dryness and irritation.

Welcome cornstarch into your hair care arsenal, but always remember that balanced usage is the secret to unlocking its benefits.

Searching for More Natural Ingredients for Hair Care?

Check these out:


  • Janille Gultiano

    Jan, a distinguished freelance makeup artist, also boasts a BA in Mass Communication, laying the foundation for her diverse talents. For over four years, she's carved a niche as a captivating content writer, with her articles resonating in various spheres. Beyond writing, her expertise extends to crafting robust Public Relations and Corporate Communications strategies. Each endeavor reflects Jan's unique blend of creativity and precision

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *