Washing Hair Without Shampoo: Rye Flour.


Have you ever thought of turning to natural ways of washing your hair? After all, shampoo has not always existed. In  fact, it’s a pretty recent invention, as even my gran remembers the alternatives.

I have always had a bit of a problem with shampoos. The normal synthetic ones made my head itch, and the ‘organic’ or ‘natural’ ones are rather pricey. So, I decided to try something completely different, and delve into the world of home remedies and recipes in search of a completely natural and healthy way to wash hair.

If you are like me, then you probably like to experiment with random beauty recipes :-) It’s always great fun! (And sometimes not so fun when things go wrong). So if you would like to find out some recipes I have tried and tested for natural hair washing and conditioning, then follow my posts!

Washing Hair With Rye Flour:

This is really simple and easy, and works really well, so I can safely say that it’s one of my favourite methods! Rye contains a whole range of vitamins and nutrients-most importantly a whole complex of vitamin B, which is one of the most important for our hair. Rye is also a flour low in gluten, therefore will not get ‘doughey’. This recipe is suitable for all types of hair.

What you need:






  • 2/3 Tablespoons of Rye Flour. (Try to get the finely ground version, otherwise you may end up with bits stuck in your hair.)
  • A little warm water. (Definitely NOT hot water, or the flour will get lumpy.)
  • 1 Tablespoon of Cognac *Optional.  (This is best for brunettes/darker hair. This recipe works fine without it too! It’s just a pleasant extra, at it’s very good for your hair, smells lovely and adds shine. My preferred brand is Hennessy, it’s good, and easy to find.)

How to make:

Put the flour in a cup/bowl/whatever, keep adding a little bit of water and mixing. Try to get it as lump-free as you can. It should have a runny consistency, kind of like shampoo. Add the cognac last, if you choose to use it.

How to use:

  1. Simply use it like a normal shampoo. Wet your hair and apply, concentrating on the roots. You don’t really need to apply this to the lengths of your hair, they will be washed when you are rinsing the flour out.
  2. Give your roots and scalp a good massage. The texture of this ‘shampoo’ should be a little slippery. It’s not going to bubble (obviously), but trust me, it washes hair perfectly.
  3. Rinse your hair after you are done. This ‘shampoo’ rinses out very easily. If you are worried that this concoction will get stuck in your hair and become dough, don’t worry yourself :-) To make dough, you need a flour with a high glycogenic index (which rye is not), eggs and a whole lot other ingredients…
  4. Use a natural or a home-made conditioner.


Do not try with any other flour! Or you may end up having to wash dough out of your hair…


Enjoy natural ways of washing hair! And subscribe if you are interested in more natural shampoo recipes, as well as much much more!

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20 thoughts on “Washing Hair Without Shampoo: Rye Flour.

  1. You can also do this with gram flour, (made from chickpeas). I am having success with it, and it is well used in India. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Hello!(: Can I ask what brand of rye flour you use? I’ve heard of some successes and some failures using rye, and I don’t want to get one that causes difficulty removing flakes.

    • Hey! It varies, though I tend to stick with Doves Farm Organic flour. They do a finely ground kind, as well as a ‘flaky’ kind, so make sure to get the right one ;-)

  3. Hey there! I’m really interested in trying this out. Would whole grain rye flour work, as long as it’s finely ground?

    • I am indeed! It’s still my favourite method :-) Everyone always comments on how healthy and shiny my hair is! For quickness sometimes I do settle for an organic shampoo, but whenever I have time I always use rye flour.

    • Hey, I have never had this problem, however I always take extra care and use drain unclogging liquids once a month or so in my house anyway, always have!

    • Hey! Currently, due to a lack of time, I use organic conditioners that I have purchased. However, when I get plenty of time to myself I use home made nourishing masks instead, I’ll do a post on them as soon as I can :-)

  4. Can you tell me how often you wash your hair with the flour? I tried it yesterday for the first time and am happy with the results. With baking soda I was washing my hair every 2 or 3 days. But my hair was getting dried out. Thanks for the information!

    • This is definitely something that will vary from person to person. I usually wash my hair every other day as I was ‘blessed’ with limp oily hair, however it has definitely improved since I have stopped using shampoos regularly!

  5. Hi! How much better is rye flour compared to baking soda? I’ve been using baking soda recently and I just read that it might be messing up my hair’s pH balance. (And I’m having this theory that maybe using apple cider vinegar cancels out whatever the baking soda does to mess up the pH balance, but I’ve tried ACV on my hair with the baking soda once and my neck and shoulders started itching like crazy, so maybe ACV isn’t for me.)

    Also, another question: what can I use for conditioner? My hair gets really dry so I’d like to have alternatives for conditioner. Right now I still use Pantene, but I would definitely like to stay away from that as well.

    • Hey Franceen :-) Rye flour is infinitely better than baking soda, as it does not irritate (or change PH as you mentioned), but is very mild and nourishing, and it contains micronutrients which are great for your hair. Apple cider vinegar is a great way of doing a final rinse of your hair after washing, but it MUST be very diluted, something like a tablespoon to a litre of water, I can’t quite remember now, as I’ve not done it for a while.
      You’re quite right to be wanting an alternative to Pantene, it’s actually one of the nastiest on the market, as it’s formulated to leave a chemical coat on your hair. Great natural conditioning masks can be made of honey, egg yolks and bananas (they all wash out very well), or even just using some olive/peach/argan oil on your fingers and running them through your hair once it’s semi-dry. When I have no time I just use an organic conditioner from shops such as Lush, Burt’s Bees or Neal’s Yard.
      Hope I could answer your questions.

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