washing hair with rye flour

In this post, I am sharing with you how and why I have been washing my hair with rye flour so that you can do it successfully, too!

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You wash your hair with WHAT????

I can hear you ask that very good question.

I have been washing my hair with rye flour for a while now and I am so happy with it that I want to share it with everyone. I often go 5+ days between washings and my hair doesn’t get oily.

Why wash your hair with rye flour?

It works. That should be the top reason. Why would I want to do anything if it doesn’t work, right? Not only does it wash your hair, it leaves it soft, shiny, and easy to comb through.

It also helps especially if you have oily hair, itchy scalp, or dandruff.

Inexpensive. There are many good shampoos out there but many of them are very pricey. I love anything that’s inexpensive!

Sustainable. Rye is an easy to grow resource.

Natural. I know that these days that term gets thrown around quite a bit. However, it doesn’t get more natural than grinding a grain into a flour and washing your hair with it.

No plastic. If you know me, that’s a very important reason for me. There is so much plastic out and I love any and every chance to cut down on single-use plastic.

pH balanced. Rye flour has the same pH as your skin. That is great news for your scalp and helps your hair grow healthy.

No fuzz. Washing your hair with rye flour is as simple as mixing it with some water and applying it to your hair. Your rinse just like you would any shampoo. Done. Very simple.

What do you need?

All you need is rye flour. You might be able to find it in your local grocery stores. If you don’t you can easily find it online.

I actually prefer using rye berries for a number of reasons: the berries will keep for months if not years. Also, I can use them for bread baking or sourdough starting. I can even sprout them and then use them in my bread. Since I have a grain mill attachment for my Kitchen Aid, I don’t mind grinding the rye into flour in bigger batches. I then keep the flour in the cabinet ready to go when it’s time to wash my hair.

rye berries for hair wash

Again, you might be able to find rye berries in the bulk food section of your local grocer, in a bakery supply store, or online. Obviously, the more you buy the less expensive the less expensive the rye berries get.

If you do buy the whole berries, grind them into the finest flour you can. Then sift out the bran and keep for other uses (you can use the bran in your greased loaf pan for extra crunch and ease of removing the bread, add to your cereal for extra fiber, or simply compost).

How much rye flour?

As a rule of thumb, I recommend using

2 TBSP of rye flour for short hair,

4 TBSP for shoulder-length hair, and

6 TBSP for long hair. Once you get more comfortable with washing your hair with rye flour, you can tweak and adjust those measurements to your liking.

How to apply the rye flour to hair?

Put the rye flour into a bowl or container. I simply use a big glass measuring cup. If you’re not comfortable with using glass in the shower, you can use any other metal or plastic container.

I like to mix everything up once I am already in the shower. I simply add enough water to create a consistency similar to regular shampoo. Using my hands, I apply the rye flour mixture to my scalp and roots until my head is covered. Kind of like applying hair color. Then I massage it in well. If I have more time, I like to leave the rye mixture in my hair for longer.

applying rye flour to hair
hair wash with rye flour

Then, using the highest water pressure I can get, I rinse the rye mixture out. I like to make sure I get all the sections. This might take a bit longer than washing out regular shampoo.

At this point, your hair might feel a little different, too but don’t worry!

If you like, you can now use an apple cider vinegar rinse (1 TBSP of ACV in 1 cup of water).

Brushing it out

Even though I use very fine flour, I often find little pieces in my hair still after rinsing. I like to brush them out. Otherwise, they would show up as little specks that look like dandruff. Sometimes, I brush out my hair right in the shower or I do it afterwards with just my head over the bathtub. I have also brushed out my hair outside on our front porch. Any brush will work but I recommend something like a boar-bristle brush.

You can now blow-dry your hair or let it air dry or style it any way you like.

Mistakes to avoid and tips:

Use only rye flower! Do not use wheat or spelt flour! Those contain gluten and create a gooey mess in your hair that you’ll have a hard time getting out.

You might need to give your hair time to transition. Especially, if you have oily hair and have been using shampoo for that. It strips your hair and scalp of oil and as a result, your scalp will make more oil. And then you wash more often … you get the drift. Washing your hair with rye flower will soothe your scalp but it might take a while. If your hair becomes too oily in between washings, you could use dry shampoo or if you’re starting in the winter, simply wear a hat.

You can mix the rye flower with water and use it immediately or let it sit for up to one hour. People have been reporting slightly different results but honestly, I have not been able to tell a difference.

If you’re using whole rye berries, make sure to sift out the bran. The less bran you have in your flour, the easier it is to wash out.

You can also wash your face with it!

I really hope that you will be giving the rye flour hair washing a try.

Let me know all your questions and comments below!

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How and Why I wash my hair with rye flour

22 thoughts on “How and Why I wash my Hair with Rye Flour”

  1. Thank you Anja, I will definitely experiment 🙂 Just 2 more questions please: 1. how much water do you put with your 6 tablespoons of rye flour? 2. How long did it take before you were able to go 6-7 days between washing you hair, or were you able to do this even before the rye flour?

    1. Sure! 1. It’s a bit hard to say. Start out just adding a little water and more as necessary to create the consistency of commercial shampoo – or pancake batter 😆. 2. For me the positive effects came right away. I don’t seem to need a transition period. However, everyone is different. I’d say just try it out. If your hair gets too oily, simply wash it. I am sure it will get used to it over time – or maybe will love the rye treatment right away. Hope this helps and good luck!!

  2. Hi

    Thank you for the informative video!

    Do you always apply the mixture on dry hair first and when then add water little by little in the shower?

    I have been using rye flour for 2 months now after using rhassoul clay for years, but the clay was too drying. At this point my hair gets oily too soon (day 3), it is blonde and fine. I think my mixture is too runny – yours seems way more “stodgy”.

    1. Hi there, while I like to apply my rye flour mixture to my dry hair (it sticks better) I am sure you could apply it to wet hair, too. Just make sure your mixture stays and doesn’t run off immediately. Maybe you need to experiment a bit to see what works best for you. Hope this helps!!

  3. Hi Anja,
    Looking for natural ways to decrease inflammation I have in one of my finger joints I came across your youtube video. I liked the way you presented it, and I’ll give it a try. Now I’m checking your website and I see that you wash your hair with rye flour, well, I would like to try this too however, I have a question before I try it. Do you know if this works on Goldwell Elumen colored hair, temporary color, which lasts several washes? Years ago, I had a reaction to regular color products that contain peroxide and ammonia.
    Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts. Where are you located?
    Hoping you are well.

    1. Thank you, I am glad you find all this helpful! I think they rye flour would work really well on colored hair but honestly, I have not tried it on temporary color. You could always do a strand test or simply try washing your hair a few days before you’d color it again. Hope this helps!!

  4. Now this is something I’ve never heard of. My hair needs conditioning, does the rye flour alone work like a shampoo alone? This is so interesting!

    1. I am not sure about conditioning but my hair doesn’t need it. Rye won’t strip the hair of its natural oils and has vitamins and proteins in it that are good for your hair. Maybe you want to try it out? Remember that there may be a transition period, though!

  5. This is very interesting! Where does this come from? Is there a history of washing your hair with rye flour from somewhere?

    1. That is such a good question to which I don’t know the answer. I know that a lot of people in Germany are washing their hair with rye flour. Maybe you’d like to try it out and see how you like it?

  6. I’ve been washing my hair every four or five days. I guess that means I’m ready to try this. This does make me nervous. 😂 But I love the all natural approach. So do you ever use shampoo?

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