A big step towards greener living is changing your beauty routine. The chemicals contained in industrial products and plastic packaging can be harmful for the environment.

Hair products such as shampoos and conditioners can be particularly dangerous, as their chemicals can pollute the water supply. However, sustainable beauty alternatives are often expensive or difficult to access.

Creating homemade products is sustainable, cheaper and easier than it seems. 

Stephanie Weston Smith, Senior Technician in Fashion Design at Nottingham Trent University, started experimenting with sustainable hair care options a few years ago. 

She does not define herself as an eco-warrior but believes that “making small changes is just as important as big changes.”

She researched and tried the best options to getting rid of frizzy hair and after many experiments realised that rye flour is a great ingredient to wash curly hair – and it smells good too. 

She shared her shampoo and conditioner recipe with CBJ Magazine. Watch the video here to learn the process and get some of her tips.


For the shampoo

  • Rye flour – 1 tablespoon
  • Water – 2 tablespoons

Prepare the mixture right before you are ready to wash your hair. Apply the shampoo in sections, massaging it into your scalp – leave for a few minutes and then rinse thoroughly.

For the conditioning rinse

  • Fresh herbs – 2-3 sprigs of your chosen herbs* 
  • Boiling water – 1 pint
  • Apple cider vinegar – 1 tablespoon

*these can include pretty much any herb you like the smell of, but Stephanie suggests rosemary, sage, lavender or mint. 

This mixture can be made the night before or even a few days before and left in the fridge. Dip the ends of your hair into the liquid and leave for a few minutes – rinse over full head and then rinse again with water.

Stephanie says, “there can often be a vinegar type smell when drying your hair after this treatment, but that quickly fades and you are left with the fresh smell of herbs.”