Ok, I know the title of this post is “Best DIY Gel”, but DIY Flaxseed Gel is actually the “Best Gel”, hands-down. This stuff is more nourishing, defining, and smoothing than any other gel or styling product I’ve ever tried. It is the perfect balance between hold and bounce, and the best part is you can tweak it to meet your specific curly/wavy hair needs.
I honestly didn’t think miracle products existed. I have battled thick and wavy/curly hair my whole life without the slightest idea how to manage it until I was enlightened by Lorrainne Massey’s Curly Girl Handbook, which details “The Curly Girl Method” (first published in 2001 and updated in 2011). It was then I decided to embrace my curls and stop damaging. Today, I never shampoo or straighten my hair, and I barely use heat tools… I’ve never looked back.
I’ve been experimenting with lots of different styling products, many of which I have or will review on Beauty Botanica, but I think I may have found my Haircare Holy Grail: DIY Gel. The basic recipe is a flaxseed gel, which can be found by doing a simple internet search.
Basic Flaxseed Gel Recipe
2 c. water
1/4 c. flaxseeds
Boil water and flaxseeds together for 5-10 minutes, stirring constantly. When seeds suspend at the top of the water and a frothy egg-white-like consistency begins to form, strain contents.
Here is a video that details the process by YouTube user Naptural85:
When I first tried this recipe on my hair, it gave me a very light, soft hold, but left me frizzy on the hot and humid day. So I scrounged the forums at www.naturallycurly.com and found this forum thread where women share their experiences with making flaxseed gel. I learned that you can tweak the ingredients depending on the needs of your hair:
- If your hair is weighty and needs help curling up, add 1/4 tsp of magnesium sulfate to the above recipe.
- If your hair needs more hold and moisture, start by adding 1/4 tsp of honey or agave nectar (I prefer agave nectar) to the mix, and add more if you feel you still don’t have enough hold.
- If you hair needs more hold and moisture, add 1/8-1/4 c. of aloe vera gel. The kind I used was Fruit of the Earth Aloe Vera Gel. Be sure to look for one with NO alcohol, dyes, or menthol.
- If your hair needs more moisture and shine, add 1/2 tbsp of oil. You can add olive, avocado, almond, jojoba, coconut, sesame seed, grapeseed, or any other oil that works for your hair. For more information on gels for your hair type, visit my post here.
I added 1/4 tsp of agave nectar, 1/4 c. of Fruit of the Earth Aloe Vera Gel, and 1/2 tbsp of almond oil. I also added 20 drops of lavender essential oil and 1/3 tsp of grapefruit seed extract to help preserve the mixture and make it smell nice. I store this mixture in the fridge and it should keep for up to 2 weeks. Here are the results I got from this amazing DIY Gel!
My hair looked shiny, had beautiful hold and curl definition, and finished touchably soft. The only downsides were that it took a long time to dry and when applying it to my hair it feels funny. But if you ask me, those are small prices to pay for the BEST STYLING GEL EVER, especially when one batch of this stuff costs less than 25 cents! How can you go wrong?
So try it and let me know what you think. Seriously, try it. I have been reading about this basic flaxseed gel recipe for ages, thinking, “Oh that sounds cool, I’ll have to try it someday.” But I never got around to it. And now I’m thinking “What took me so long??”