When I was a teenager I used to wash my hair daily with regular shampoo and conditioner and I still always had greasy but yet dry and damaged hair which I then straightened every day to make it somehow manageable.
But then I stumbled across natural shampoos and started experimenting with them when I was around 18. And ever since then I’ve been using mostly natural silicone-free shampoo and conditioner. I was also able to extend the time between washes to 3-4 days which made me extremely happy because let’s be honest what’s more annoying than washing your hair daily?!
Here’s a picture of what my hair looked like after I’ve been washing it with natural shampoo for a while but still straightened it (I also had some highlights in it). Unfortunately I can’t find a before picture where you can see the extent of my awful teenage hair.
So now after going vegan and trying to live a more sustainable life I also started to not just think about the ingredients in my beauty products but also about packaging and I’m trying to produce less waste. That’s how I stumbled across no-poo which means no shampoo (as in conventional shampoo).
First I tried out some hair soaps but I didn’t find the perfect one, most of them were actually too nourishing for my hair so that they weighed my hair down and made it go greasy very quickly or they were the exact opposite and dried my hair out completely.
And then I decided to give this rye flour hair wash a try. And to anticipate it: BEST DECISION OF MY LIFE!!
Now you may think: She’s crazy! Well yes maybe, but give me a second to explain.
First of all it only works with rye flour. Don’t even try using another flour, you will never be able to get it out of your hair again (keyword: gluten!). So why is rye flour so great? Well it has lots of minerals and nutrients in it which aren’t only healthy when consumed but can also nourish your body from the outside. And rye flour also has a ph-value of 5 and your scalp has a natural ph-value of 4.5 – 5.5, so it’s perfect and doesn’t strip your scalp from it’s natural oils which means that in the long run it will produce less of these oils which then means less greasy hair. Win!
So how do I do it?
I’m currently washing my hair once a week, usually on Sundays. My hair will then look good until Thursday/Friday and the last two days I will have to wear it in a bun, but I usually wear my hair in a bun 9 out of 10 days anyway so I’m okay with that.
I experimented with my rye to flour ratio for quite a while. I started out with more of a paste-y constancy which reminded me more of just regular shampoo but this didn’t clean my hair too well, it did stay a little waxy after washing with this paste. Now I’m using a mixture of 4 tbs of rye flour mixed in with 250ml of lukewarm water.
My hair wash routine now looks as follows:
First I brush my hair with a brush with natural brittles for about 10 minutes (I actually do this about 3 times a week to distribute the natural oils throughout my hair). Then I wet my hair with warm to hot water to loosen up the oils and then I start spreading the rye flour mixture throughout my hair focusing on my roots. It’s important to massage it in for a few minutes to really help the flour soak up the oils. After massaging my scalp a little I wash everything out with lukewarm water, this takes a little while until you get all of it out of your hair again, however it’s not a problem if you don’t get it out 100% because you can just brush out the flour crumbs once your hair is dry. After washing it out I also rinse my hair with 700ml of cold water that has 1 tbs of apple cider vinegar mixed in. This does two things: first it makes your hair shiny and second it helps with washing out limy water, because where I live we have quite hard water. I don’t wash out this mixture, your hair will smell like vinegar while it’s still wet but once it has dried the smell just vanishes, so don’t worry. Of course the hair doesn’t get this freshly washed shampoo smell either, it just smells like hair… obviously. I do not use a blow dryer or any heat in my hair so I will just let it dry on it’s own and brush it once it has dried.
Since rye flour is quite nourishing it gets a little too much for my hair every now and again so when I notice that my hair doesn’t get as fluffy anymore after washing I will wash with a paste made from baking soda and water. This does clean the hair better than the rye flour method but it also dries it out a little so I wouldn’t recommend using the baking powder method too often. Especially if your hair is on the dryer side as mine, It might work really well with greasy hair I think.
As for sweaty hair after a work out, well I usually do not really sweat on my head when working out but if the work out is really intense and my hair does get sweaty I just rinse it out with water, that’s enough to get out the sweat and also freshens it up a little in between washes.
Last but not least I’m going to show you a before and after picture. In the first picture you can see my hair after not washing it for 8 or 9 days I’m not quite sure anymore and in the second picture you can see my hair after the wash.
Have you tried out any no-poo methods yet? And how did they work for you?