Homemade Shampoo With Rye Flour: Natural Pro-V for Thick, Shiny, Healthy Hair!


In our day and age shampoo is a necessity.  Everyone has it, and everyone uses it frequently.  Most commercial shampoos are made of a number of ingredients, almost all of them being chemicals, and almost none of them being natural.  Shampoo is actually a detergent, rather than a soap.  If you read the ingredients, you won’t find soap in there at all.  Many of the ingredients are questionable as far as our health goes, including potential carcinogens and developmental and reproductive toxicity such as glycol, diethanolamine DEA and cocamide DEA, methylparabens, propylparabens and formaldehyde.  Shampoos contain many thickeners, artificial fragrances and colors, and known skin irritants such as sodium laureth sulphate and alcohol.  If you can’t pronounce the words on the ingredient list, chances are you shouldn’t be pouring it on your scalp at regular intervals.

The good news is that there ARE alternatives.  Many of you have probably heard about washing your hair with baking soda.  This works in that it cleans the oil out of your hair, but it is also a strong base on the pH scale, and can dry out your hair if you use it long enough.  Some people also complain that it changes your hair color.  I used baking soda for 2 and a half years.  I liked using a 1-ingredient product that I was familiar with, but eventually I started noticing it was drying out my hair, and I started using conditioner to help with that.

Then I came across an article from another green blogger. Sonya from Kanelstrand shared her experience using rye flour. This article has inspired me to write this post.  In fact, it has brought me to great levels of excitement and I can’t help but tell everyone I see…

Rye flour.

Yes!  3 heaping tbsp. of organic, finely ground rye flour mixed with water so that it resembles a runny paste.  Rub it evenly onto your scalp and let it sit a few minutes while you finish your shower.  Then rinse off very well with warm water.

It is as easy and as cheap as that.

Does it work?
Yes!  Check out my pictures!  It leaves my hair squeaky clean, and adds a shine and softness incomparable to baking soda, or anything else.  No greasy roots, no dry ends.  No stripped hair.

Why does it leave your hair shiny and healthy?
Rye flour is loaded with vitamins, proteins and minerals.  You remember all those Pantene ads on TV where they talk about the Pro-V they add to their shampoo?  Well, the pantothenic acid they add in synthetic form is actually present in rye flour, in its natural form.  You can actually buy synthetic pantothenic acid vitamins to add to your hair to increase the strength, shine and overall health.  While those versions are man-made these occur naturally in rye flour, helping restructure dry and damaged hair, boost shine and improve manageability. Click here for more information on how pantothenic acid benefits hair.

Rye flour also contains all the vitamin Bs, vitamin E, and phytonutrients such as lignans, phenolic acids, phytic acid, plant sterols and saponins which are also used to help with hair re-growth and even skin regeneration.

Rye flour is naturally perfectly pH balanced.  This is a huge reason why you should use it over baking soda.  Rye flour tests 5.5 on the pH scale which is the same as our hair, and so will not dry it out or strip it of its natural oils.

What kind of rye flour to buy?
I use certified organic dark rye flour that is finely ground.  (ie. you can’t see bits of husk in it).  I have a flour mill so will likely try grinding my own soon…

Who shouldn’t use it?
Those with Celiac disease should not use it since rye flour contains gluten.

Is it easy to switch to using rye flour?
As with the baking soda method, you may experience a period of time when your scalp and hair adjust to the change.  If you have been shampooing every day with a regular commercial shampoo you may notice a few weeks where your hair gets greasier faster, but you may not experience it at all.

Can I use a conditioner with it?
Yes you can.  Or you can use apple cider vinegar (with a ratio of 1 cup water to 1 tbsp. vinegar) as a rinse.  Pour it on your hair, let it sit a moment, then rinse well.  Once your hair dries, it no longer smells like vinegar.  Apple Cider Vinegar works as a detangler.

Tips:

  • After washing with rye flour, rinse VERY WELL to make sure there is no flour left in your hair.  It will itch… I have done it.
  • Do not use if you have Celiac Disease.
  • Make sure the flour you use is finely ground and doesn’t contain bits of husk or you’ll be brushing that out of your hair forever.

For more information on washing your hair with rye flour read:
Kanelstrand: Homemade Shampoo Review: Rye Flour
Washing Hair Without Shampoo: Rye Flour

This post has been shared on From The Farm Blog Hop, Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways #112, and Heritage Homesteaders Blog Hop #4.

 

Homemade whole wheat Pita Bread from scratch. Preservative-free!

Commercial pita bread, along with other bread, wraps and pizza shells, are easy to find in the grocery store.  But they are all loaded with preservatives to keep them fresh and soft.  Pita bread is actually simple to make, and if you want to store it longer than a few days, simply freeze it fresh.  With basic ingredients and a bit of time to allow for this yeast bread to rise, healthy pita bread can be made at home from scratch.

Pita bread is also perfect for quick homemade mini pizzas.  Simply top with your favorite pizza toppings, pop in the oven for a few minutes, and serve!  You can also make pita chips out of pita bread.  Try your hand at cinnamon pita chips by coating with butter, cinnamon and sugar, and then popping in the oven for a few minutes to crisp up.  You can also coat with oil and salt to make a crunchy, savoury chip.  Whatever you choose, homemade is healthier!  Enjoy!

 

Ingredients:

2 1/2 tsp. yeast
1.5 c. warm water
1 Tbsp. sugar

2 cups white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp. salt

1/2 c. cornmeal for dusting the baking sheets.

Directions:

  1. Combine yeast and sugar with warm water in a 2 cup pyrex measuring cup (or a bowl).  Set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine flours and salt.  Whisk together..
  3. Once yeast mixture is active (bubbly and ‘growing’),  make a “well” in the middle of the flour mixture and add the yeast mixture all at once.  Stir gently with a spatula until it forms a rough ball.  Dump contents on floured counter top and kneed for 10 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic-feeling.
  4. Place in large, greased bowl.  Flip once so both sides are coated lightly with oil. Cover bowl with damp tea towel and allow to rise until about double, 1 hour or more.
  5. Remove dough from bowl and place on floured counter top.  Kneed for a few minutes.  Divide into 8 equal-sized pieces and shape or roll each into a circle, about 1/8th of an inch thick.  (Like small pizzas).  Let rise on floured counter top for about 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 450F.
  7. Heat pans for ONLY 2 minutes in hot oven and then remove.  Prepare baking sheets by sprinkling cornmeal on top to prevent dough from sticking.
  8. Carefully remove pitas from counter top and place on hot baking sheets that are covered in cornmeal.
  9. Bake at 450F for 6 minutes.  They will bubble up.  Remove from oven and allow to cool enough that you can pick them up and cut open the pocket.
  10. Slide a sharp bread knife inside each pocket to open them up, careful to not rip the pocket.
  11. Cool bread completely under a damp rag to help keep the pockets soft.  Store in airtight container or bread bag.

Notes:

  • Use organic cornmeal (as well as other ingredients) to guarantee they are not genetically-modified.
  • Any pitas that you accidentally rip can be used as pizzas.
  • I have yet to try this with 100% whole wheat flour but that will be my next experiment.  I’ll post it here when I try it.

This post has been shared on Frugally Sustainable’s Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways #48.

 

Homemade, Whole Wheat Tortilla Shells. Soft, tasty and preservative-free.

Tacos, fajitas, tortillas, wraps… whatever you call them, they make an easy, quick meal that almost everyone likes, even the pickiest children.  You can stuff them with vegetables, peanut butter and bananas, salmon, beef, chicken, fruit, pretty much anything goes.  You can make them as healthy as you like.  Or can you?  Have you ever read the ingredients of typical soft taco wraps?  Here is an ingredient list for Dempster’s original flour tortillas.

Enriched wheat flour, water, vegetable oil (canola or soybean), salt, sodium acid pyrophosphate, potassium sorbate, sodium bicarbonate, sodium propionate, monoglycerides, sodium stearoyl-2-lactylate, fumaric acid, cellulose gum, carrageenan, maltodextrin. May contain sulphites. [K804]

Impressive!  Just want you want to eat, right?  Aside from the soybean oil, I can’t even pronounce the other unacceptable ingredients.    They are pretty much all preservatives.  No wonder they last so long.

I flatly refuse to buy these anymore.  It takes me half an hour or less to make them from scratch.  They taste delicious.  They freeze nicely and store in the fridge as long as bread does.  The ingredients are simple, and now you can really, truly have healthy, safe tortillas.  You can even buy or make tortilla presses which would significantly decrease the amount of time it takes to make them.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1 c. white flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 c. warm water (may add more to achieve appropriate texture)

Directions

  1. Mix flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl.
  2. Slowly add water, mixing to combine.  Add extra water by the tbsp. if needed.  Dough will form a ball.  Do not make too wet!
  3. Kneed dough for briefly.
  4. Divide into 8 equal pieces.
  5. With flour on counter and on rolling pin, roll out each piece into a flat, thin circle. Add flour to rolling pin and counter as necessary to prevent dough sticking to counter.
  6. Cook in ungreased frying pan over medium-low heat until one side is just starting to bubble.  Flip and repeat.  Caution: this stage is easy to burn.  Keep heat low and watch carefully!
  7. Serve warm or cold.  Enjoy!

Notes

  • The longer you cook your tortilla the harder (crisper) it will get.  Don’t let it brown or it will be hard to fold!
  • Store in airtight container for the length of time you would store homemade bread.
  • These freeze beautifully!
  • Makes 8 tortillas.
  • Doubles easily.

This recipe has been adapted from Whole Wheat Wraps Recipe.

This post has been shared on Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways #32.