2-Ingredient Silky-Smooth Play Dough

We’ve had 3 snow days this year. The first two were fantastic. We stocked up on treats and wore our coziest clothes all day and stayed inside and read and played games. It was like something out of Gilmore Girls.


Our third snow day was not so perfect. I had one sick kid, a toddler in a terrible mood, and the third just bouncing off the walls. I was tired and sore from working out and we were all just kind of off a notch or two.

Turns out all we needed to make two of the three happy (the third needed Sprite and saltines) was making this play dough. I used to make this way back in my babysitting days and it was just as fun as I remembered it. We have a plethora of unused beauty and personal grooming products from my husband’s work, plus a plethora of cornstarch from that time I waaaay overestimated how much cornstarch I was going to need for a recipe (plus a plethora of piñatas, but that’s irrelevant here), so we had everything we needed.

Let’s make some cornstarch conditioner play dough!

You’re going to need some hair conditioner and cornstarch.

How to make corn starch condition play dough

There’s no need to use anything other than the cheapest (or free-est) stuff–save your Bumble & Bumble for your hair. But I would use something that smells good to you because this play dough will have a strong scent and it will stay on your hands.

Place the cornstarch in a large bowl and add your conditioner.

Recipe for cornstarch condition play dough

As I should know by now (and as you guys may have noticed), I perpetually underestimate how large my mixing bowls should be and I end up transferring them to a larger bowl later on. It works wonders for my dirty dish workload. So use a bigger bowl than you think you’ll need, and don’t think that only a Pyrex measuring cup will do the trick, because it won’t. Mix in the conditioner with your hands–it will just start coming together and it will be pliable and very, very smooth. You may need to add more conditioner as you go).

cornstarch conditioner play dough

Use food coloring to color as desired. Keep in mind that food coloring may discolor skin, which is troublesome to some people. It’s non-toxic and will come off soon, but you might want to be mindful of it when deciding to add color or how much color you want to add.

Silky Play Dough from Our Best Bites

Keep covered when not in use.

Need more great kids activities? Get this recipe, +49 other kids activities in our free Kids Activities download!

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2 ingredient play dough from Our Best Bites


This silky-smooth 2-ingredient play dough can be made in just a few minutes with stuff you already have in your house–hair conditioner and cornstarch!


  • 2 cups cornstarch
  • About 1 cup inexpensive hair conditioner
  • Food coloring (optional)


  1. Place the cornstarch in a large bowl.
  2. Mix in the hair conditioner with your hands–it will just start coming together and it will be pliable and very, very smooth. If desired, add a drop or two or food coloring.
  3. You may need to add more conditioner as you go. Use food coloring to color as desired. Keep covered when not in use.


  • Don’t use the expensive hair condition or lotion, but I do recommend something that is either scent-free or a scent that you/your kids like.
*Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.


  1. Just made this! This seriously is awesome and so easy! My DD loves to mix her play dough colors together, and this made it so easy to replace her army-colored dough with bright colors again! I used Garnier Fructis conditioner. It was hard to make purple, I think because of the dyes in the conditioner, but pink and yellow and white were all fine. Thank you for sharing this!

  2. I wanted to try this so I used whatever conditioner I had on hand, my own! Dove moisture therapy….the smell is so strong, it’s nauseating – I had to open all my windows.

  3. I tried this tonight with my girls and it was awesome! Needed more flour than what the recipe called for but trial and error created the perfect dough! Thanks for sharing!

  4. I had great success with the V05 conditioner. Just bought the cheapest conditioner there was. I put two cups of cornstarch in a huge bowl and just dumped in the conditioner without measuring (I do think I ended up using about a cup, so 2:1 ratio). While stirring, it just kept looking like it would be a crumbly mess. When I started to use my hands to knead the mixture like dough, it started coming together and getting really smooth. I ended up putting it on a flat surface and kneading it like dough until it was the consistency I wanted. Not sure if it will be dry tomorrow or not (I noticed one person commented that theirs was dry the next day), but for the fun it was and for the price it cost and especially the low effort it took to make it, it was DEFINITELY worth it (easier than salt dough in my opinion). Thanks!

  5. Interesting! I’ve always made salt dough for my kids and I absolutely hate the dry salty residue it leaves on my hands, which makes me not want to join the fun when my son asks me to help him make things. I’ll have to try this soon and see how it goes. It’s very similar to a recipe I tried for bath paints, the only difference was using kids’ body wash instead of conditioner, which was a lot of fun.

  6. I am surprised OBB recommended this! I also used the shaving cream and it went from flaking pieces to super sticky- either extreme was too much for my kids to play with! And it did take an entire bottle of shaving cream, certainly not 1 cup, and food coloring stained hands on all 3 kids before I became super frustrated and started the clean up project!

  7. I am also a bowl underestimater and I always pick the wrong knife. drives my husband crazy. I love no cook play dough though so we’ll try this! Question: is it stickier than most playdough? Like could my toddler roll it with a little wooden rolling pin without it sticking to it? We got these free sample eco-friendly playdoughs that are horribly sticky – to the counter and everything.

  8. I’ve never seen this version of homemade play dough, but I think I will love it. I’ve been wishing for a snow day today. We just moved from VA to CA and our friends had their 12th snow day today but we’ve had none. Not that I’m complaining about it being 78 degrees, but I could use an unexpected day off with nothing to do but play with my kids.

  9. Such a fun idea!! I needed this on our first snow day (of two) this week. I had one sick, I was tired from being up with said sick child and the other kids wanted to DO something but it was way too cold and the roads were treacherous. Anyhoo… thanks, now I’m prepared for the next snow day or Spring Break!

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