I’ve been experimenting with DIY hair care for awhile now (my original reasons for switching here), and have been looking for a solution to the whole needing-to-be-pH-balanced-for-your-hair issue. I have found my solution! A simple DIY pH balanced shampoo (The pH of hair is 4-5.). And it’s even better than what I was using before.
I was reading about using rye flour and water as a shampoo because it’s pH balanced for hair. (Check out this and other no-poo methods here.) I tested the pH with some pH strips to make sure. Here is the rye flour in filtered water with a pH of 5, compared to filtered water alone with a pH of 7.
The rye flour solution made my hair feel nice, but I had flour flakes left in my hair. I tried several times, wasting a lot of water trying to get it out, but I just couldn’t. I have black Asian hair – flour flakes meant it was a hair FAIL. Then I experimented with aloe vera combined with a few different things (because it has a pH of 3-4), but it just made my hair feel like it was coated with something (aloe vera, presumably). I kept thinking about how nice the rye flour felt and did several google searches to see if anyone had figured out how to get the dang flour bits out! No one had. Some were saying that they used the jet setting on their showerhead and rinsed sections of their hair, others said they used a nit comb afterwards to try to get the flour bits out. Agh. WAAAAAY too much work for this lazy DIY-er. Then I had a brilliant idea.
Strain or sieve the rye flour water.
Eagerly I found a strainer that I thought was pretty fine to try it out. I still had flour flakes, though at least I got rid of the big ones.
Then I got really really brilliant and decided to try my David’s Tea steeper cup. Worked like a charm. There are still some very tiny flour bits in my hair, but they are not noticeable unless you are running your fingers through my hair and staring at it. (And if you’re doing that, you’re definitely crossing a line I don’t want to be crossed.)
So here’s my recipe (I have relatively long hair, so if you have shorter hair, use less!).
DIY pH Balanced Shampoo
- 2 tbsp rye flour (from well.ca – or here from amazon.com)
- 8 tbsp filtered water
- tea steeper with very small holes (I use one from David’s Tea)
- 2-3 drops of essential oil (optional – I use Lavender or Rosemary)
Mix the rye flour and water really well with a spoon, and/or shake vigorously in a jar. I let mine sit for at least a few hours before using it – sometimes up to 24 hours – in order to let the flour “steep” well in the water.
When you’re ready to use it, pour into the tea steeper over a mug or jar. I pour about half the amount in, and swirl it around in a circular motion to get the liquid out. When it’s almost fully strained, I rinse out the strainer before pouring in the other half (otherwise it’s too clogged to filter out the water). Now I have my mug full of “shampoo” – I add my essential oil and swirl it around before taking it into the shower.
I pour it slowly over my hair and really try to work it in to my scalp and the ends of my hair. I let it soak for a bit before rinsing it out, then follow with an apple cider vinegar conditioner.
So – how does the cost of this compare to my previous shampoo recipe? Here’s the breakdown:
|Product||Amount||Cost||Amount for recipe||Cost for recipe|
|Bob’s Red Mill Organic Dark Rye Flour||623 g||$ 4.29||30 g||$ 0.21|
|Lavender essential oil (wholesale)||15 ml||$ 27.00||0.15 ml||$ 0.27|
So, each use costs about 50 cents (Canadian) if you use this recipe. If you shampoo your hair every 3 days, then the shampoo will cost you about $5 for a month. Pretty good, if you ask me!
What do you think? Would you try washing your hair with rye flour?
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