Woo-wee! (Or is it “whewee?”)
After recommending this little recipe to several people who’ve asked for homemade hair gel ideas, I thought maybe it was in my best interest to try it myself before continuing to pass it on.
Flax seed hair gel. Easy enough.
Only it wasn’t easy. It might have been one of the most difficult homemade beauty product recipes I’ve ever worked with.
That being said, I have two things to announce:
I challenge you to figure out a way to make this recipe more productive and less messy.
Here’s the recipe and the way I did it:
Flax Seed Hair Gel Recipe
Flax Seed Hair Gel
from By Nature With Love
- 2 Tbsp whole flax seeds
- 1 C. water
- Aloe vera gel (optional)
- Essential oil (optional, for yummy scent)
Boil the water and then dump the flax seeds into it. Stirring pretty much constantly, allow the flax seeds to boil into the water until a gel consistency starts to occur. Mine took about 5 minutes. DO NOT OVER COOK. Strain the gel from the flax seeds using a fine-mesh sieve. Place in a squeeze or pump bottle, and add about a quarter as much aloe vera gel (for thinning the gel and adding moisturizing properties to the mix) as you have flax seed gel. Add up to 4 drops of your favorite essential oil. Shake well. Use as you would any hair gel.
So here’s the scoop.
This what flax seeds look like before you do anything to them:
Then you take 2 Tbsp of these babies and dump them into a pot of boiling water.
Boil it until you’ve got a gel-like consistency.
It starts to look like this:
Now, it’s VERY important that you continue to stir as you do this, because otherwise the flax seeds are going to attach themselves to your pot and refuse to ever leave. Like a 20-year-old son in your basement with free internet access.
As it’s boiling, you want to monitor it, because if you let it go too long, you’ll just end up with a big blob of flax seeds.
Take it out of the pot BEFORE the flax seeds gel together. (My first batch didn’t go well, as you can tell.) You’ll be able to pour the liquid off your spoon without all the flax seeds clumped together, but it will be thickish in consistency.
After that, drop it in a fine-mesh sieve. IMHO, don’t even bother with cheesecloth. Unless you want a giant mushy ball of cheese cloth that you’re forced to rub all over your head. (My second batch didn’t go very well, either.)
Finally, I dropped it all into the fine-mesh seive, over a bowl.
With the back of a large spoon, try pressing down on the gelled flax seeds. Some clear gel should start falling in your bowl.
As I was doing this, mostly what I accomplished was getting a spoon very, very slimy.
Eventually, I just gave up and hoped gravity would start doing the work for me.
I left the seeds in the sieve and the sieve in the bowl and walked away.
Five minutes later, I came back to see how dependable gravity is these days.
Then, I took the gel that had collected in the bowl and funneled it into a small glass bottle with a pump lid.
The amount I ended up with? Approximately 2 Tbsp flax seed gel.
Not really worth it, iff’n you ask me, for the mess it made.
Flax Seed Hair Gel: Does It Work?
I used straight flax seed gel in my hair first. It was very effective, and didn’t flake or clump. However, it did feel a little dry and crunchy (though brushing un-crunched it immediately).
It held my bangs back (in kind of a slicked-over look) for quite some time, until I stepped out in the wind.
Then, I added the aloe vera gel and some palmarosa essential oil.
(About 1/2 Tbsp of aloe vera to the 2 Tbsp flax seed gel.)
The hold was much softer, and I have it in my hair at the moment. It gives a little definition and a little hold – and the scent is light and lovely.
In Closing: I’m a fan of the way this stuff works. Really.
I’m just not a fan of how difficult it was to separate the flax seeds from the resulting gel.
So here’s the challenge: Figure out how in the heck to get the gel out of the flax seeds without coating your kitchen with slime.
If anyone can come up with an easier, more effective way to do this, you will win my everlasting love and devotion.
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I forgot to mention that I boil it and wait for it to be the consistency of hot gelatin (jello), and pour it straight from boiling through the sieve into the mason jar. It thickens as it cools.
I use a small sauce pan and 1 cup boiling water (from when I am making tea) to 1 rounded tbsp flaxseeds. I live in Toronto, Canada, which means it’s humid and we have hard water. I end up with 3/4 cup of gel with no need to thin it. I pour it through a fine mesh sieve into a 1cup mason jar, and store it in the fridge. Discard the flax seeds. I make a new batch twice per week, but there are 3 of us using it.
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sepeate the seeds from the water when it is hot. Very easy
Use a stocking for the straining of the flaxseed gel. Put the foot of a stocking into a wide bowl and wrap the top/opening of the stocking over the mouth of the bowl. Then pour the flaxseed mixture into the foot of the stocking. Use some tongs and squeeze as much of the gel out. ASAP transfer this gel to your storing container. Voila!
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The french coffee press is a good idea if you want to make a huge amount of gel, but I find that a disposable tea bag works well for smaller amounts. After you boil it you can just squeeze the gel out of the bag and compost it, seeds and all.
I made flaxseed gel for the first time. I used the 1/4 cup of the brown seeds to 2 cups of the water. I got a nice amount of gel from that batch. I used the strainer method and had some issues. I poured about half of the mixture into the strainer and then by the time I poured the rest of it, it had thickened somewhat and wouldn’t strain. So, I wasted quite a bit of it. Also, I saw on YouTube, that if you mash the seeds against the bottom, it is supposed to force the gel through. I have to use that method next time.
As for the end product, I love it. I do not have the option of purchasing gel because my skin is so sensitive and I am allergic to EVERYTHING…literally, everything. I had no adverse reaction to it and it held wonderfully. I actually did a wash n go and it still looked nice the next day after I pulled it up in loose bun and slept on it. I definitely feel it was worth it.
Fyi the easiest way to extract is to use a french coffee press. It works wonders. Pour hot mixture in the press lower the plunger to about a centimeter over mixture pour in container and viola no mess. Yeilds about 12 oz of gel.
I’m a bit of a vintage girl by heart, and flax seed setting lotion is something I live by — My hair is thick, frizzy and wavy and it keeps my pincurls beautifully and my hair sleek, shiny and soft.
I don’t know if this will help, as it’s not gel it’s setting lotion (about the consistency of a slightly runny egg white), but one tablespoon of whole flax seeds and 3/4 C of water, all tossed into the saucepan at once and simmered on low for about 12-15 minutes works wonders.
I have a saucepan with a little spouted edge on either side and I just pour the mixture through a little one-person tea strainer into a plastic cup. I let it cool, cover it with tin foil and stick it in the fridge. It’s good for two weeks, easy to comb through damp hair and set and it’s got no odor what’s so ever unless you add an essential oil to it. Absolutely no mess, I get about half a cup of setting lotion out of it. Hope that helps!
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Just happened upon this recipe, and tried it with a few modifications…I used double the water and 3 T flax seeds (that was what I happened to have handy). Then to strain, I used a Kuchenprofi 18/10 Stainless Steel Funnel with Filter–my favorite tool for situations like this! Worked out well, and a little less messy. Needed to stir the seeds in the filter, but that was not a huge deal. When it was finished, I added a little vitamin E oil, jojoba oil, aloe, glycerine, and lemongrass essential oil. It does not emulsify, so I have to shake it. So far, so good!
Forgot! It is great with 1/4 cup seeds to 2 cups of water ;0)
You can use the same method but pour when gel is of a thinner consistency. The gel will thicken when cooled. If you would like a thicker gel, pour gel back into the pot and it will thicken.
I find boiling to a thick yet runny consistency is best; take the still runny liquid off the heat and immediately strain through a metal sieve. Use brown flaxseeds and the mixture will yield more gel. It will also continue to thicken once off the heat as it cools. [Can’t be doing with all that hand straining, hot fingers stuff!]
Hope that helps 🙂
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I saw a tutorial that instead of using a mesh sieve they used panty hose http://youtu.be/aWaH8GIbLrM
To save the mess, I first put my seeds in a muslin bag while boiling but it took a lot longer to get the right consistency. I then saw a stainless steel mesh drain saver in my kitchen drawer that I had never used. I flattened the bottom a little, put my seeds in the mesh and then placed them in a small pot that already had the water in it. It worked well and they are cheap to buy.
After a few years of making this and tinkering with straining I cracked the code to making this without having it all over the place! I can totally relate to the difficulties. See my post at http://www.happyrealwomen.com/easy-flax-seed…essential-oils/
Happy Flaxseed Hair Gel making 🙂
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If you use brown Flax seeds you get a lot more gel and you’ll not have to go through the painstaking wait. you just let it cool and it will thicken. You don’t cook it till it gets all the way to the gel point. Just till it looks like snot. Ewww I know but thats what it looks like.
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Has anyone tried using Flaxseed Meal with this recipe instead of whole flaxseeds? I plan to try that this week but wondering if anyone already has and what results would be. Thinking that removes the entire headache of straining and the seeds. (remove the seeds before starting instead of after finishing). Please let me know if you have tried or can think of a reason why it wouldn’t / shouldn’t work. Thanks.
Tried this. A bit too many particles that are visible in your hair. Only did it that way once. Just pour over the strainer when it is still very hot then straining is a breeze. This is such a non messy process but I make it about once a week so the kinks are getting worked out.
I read on on a blog somewhere else that a girl uses panty hose stretched over a mason jar to strain and that it works fantastic! also read that when you are boiling and start to get foam to turn the heat down, stir a little more to see if seeds suspend in gel yet rather than sinking to bottom and at that point if they suspend immediately strain. should take no longer than 8min max to cook seeds. also can add more water to make it thinner. some people say that glycerin rather than aloe works better as well.
Gabrielle Boulard, R.N.
6 T. whole flax in 1 cup h2o soaked 6-8 hours yields 1/4 c. gel after draining in a sieve for an hour and mashing the seeds against the sides to finish. Repeat again
for another 1/4 c. yield (doubling the amount of water for one time does not work).
While draining in a clean lady’s trouser stocking or nylon knee high tied to a kitchen faucet also works, a sieve is much less mess. Cooking destroys the essential fatty acids beneficial to hair health and appearance. Add seeds to smoothies, soups, stew, cooked cereal, muffins, bread, meatloaf, etc. Refrigerate gel and use within 2 weeks,
as a sour odour after much longer will indicate it has spoiled. Excess gel can be frozen in an ice cube tray, stored in a baggie, and thawed as needed. Add a drop of essential as desired &/or a few drops of light weight vegetable oil for dry hair.
I figured out how!!! I too seen the vid on YouTube that used the stockings to separate gel from flaxseed. That too was noneffective and caused more of a mess than not. I solved this Dilema by getting a squeez bottle from my recycling, a mental mesh sifter and an old gel container. Place the squeeze bottle (empty and clean mustard/ketchup bottle) w/o lid into the metal sifter over ur container and squeeze. And you are done! And u are clean and u will not suffer from any burns from hot gel if u use an oven mitt. 😉 I will make a YouTube video of this soon
This is just a thought, but would it work if you were to bind the flaxseed up in cheesecloth or even pantyhose and then boil that like a teabag? Or even put a cheese cloth at the bottom of the pot, then just net all the seeds in it?
I mean, put the cheesecloth at the bottom of the pot before you boil the flaxseed so it is sitting on the bottom of the pot the entire time. Sorry, I get ahead of myself. 🙂
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Soak the flax seeds overnight first then boil the next day. Boils in less time and produces a lot more gel. It’s also easier to strain. Seems like the gel lets itself go from the seeds easier. Hope this helps!!
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I used my juicer to separate the gel and flax. I waited until the mix was warm and put it through. works like a hot damn..seeds came out near dry and lots of gel. give it a try.
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i use cheesecloth to strain mine – it’s even easier than pantyhose! way easier, i thought. i use the tongs to squeeze it out, like she does with the pantyhose in the youtube video. you can also add a little bit of cornstarch to thicken it if you have fine, wavy hair. i store them in small restaurant take out cups (1oz) that i get from a wholesale club so i can give them out as samples. add some vitamin e as a natural preservative.
Thanks for a really informative blog. I made my first batch of flax seed gel a few days ago and it came out perfectly. No mess at all. One thing I did that none of you seem to have mentioned was to soak the seeds in water overnight and for most of the next day.
By the time I got home from work the seeds had already formed a soft jelly in the bowl of water. I just took the contents and dumped them in a pot, added more water and boiled it all up for about 5 minutes.Then I strained the seeds using a sieve.
Washing the pot was also a breeze because a thin film of gel had formed on the inside, which I easily stripped away as one continuous piece.
I used brown seeds since I couldn’t find the gold anywhere.
Does anyone else do the overnight soaking thing? It might help.
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Try using a French Press. They’re intended to separate coffee from coarse ground coffee beans, but work amazingly well for this recipe. I used five tablespoons of brown flax seeds and three cups of water, and got well over a cup of gel.
Another option is to skim off the mucilage as it floats to the surface, using a spoon. Unless you mix it with something else, however, this will give a much thicker gel.
Adding some lemon juice is a good idea, primarily because it will make the gel last longer. (Kept in the fridge, most websites agree flax gel goes bad after two weeks.) Also this will lower the pH, as the natural pH of hair is around 5; as well as give a nice lemony scent.
Aha! I suspect, (I haven’t checked yet) that if you put the flax seeds NOT straight in the water, but rather in something, like a piece of cheesecloth, you might not have this problem. maybe. like I said, I haven’t checked yet. best of luck!
uh, okay, I tried this several days later. um, well I got some very amazing gel…, but I also got a blob of gooey ground flax in an old stocking. and not much gel. will try something else next. (I used ground brown flaxseeds BTW)
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I accept your challenge. This technique for making flaxseed gel is quick and easy:
Add 1/4 cup flax seeds to 1 cup of piping hot water that has been boiled. Let sit ~24hrs.
The next day, strain seeds and put in an applicator bottle or bottle with a pump dispenser.
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hello hello. i have to agree with a previous comment that you should try this with BROWN flax seeds. i have done it several times now using pretty much identical steps as you’ve provided, and the result yielded much more gel and less mess. i would also agree with someone else who said to set the timer for 7 minutes, lest you get your gel too thick. i’ve made some batches thinner as well, and that worked just fine. mine doesn’t seem to last too long out of the fridge…maybe 5 days max. the refrigerated batch lasts about 3 weeks, though. i’ve been adding a wee bit of olive oil and honey to mine for moisture as well. thanks for all the wonderful ideas you share!!!
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I used 2c distilled water and 4 tablespoons of BROWN whole flax seeds, I personally think using more water and using brown flaxseeds is the key. The first time I tried this with golden flax seeds and hardly got any gel, with the brown seeds I ended up with a cup of gel. Hope this helps!
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There is a great youtube video with some great ideas for this same recepie… and quite a bit less messy!!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWaH8GIbLrM try this link. if it doesn’t work, it is called Do It Yourself: Homemade Natural Hair Gel with Flaxseed. by Naptural85.
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A FOOD MILL….. It is used to remove the seeds from cooked tomatoes, and yes they do work very well, I have one for canning. You can google to see what they look like. My mother inlaw gave me mine, so it is quite old:) I hope I qualify for the whole love and devotion thing:)
Good luck, I hope you can find one. You might check and antique shop.
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I have tried making this hair gel . I love the gel hate the mess. That being said I am going to try making a much smaller batch and also have the seeds in a tea bag like cheese cloth inside a pantie hose before putting it in the boiling water. Hope that works for me because I am not about to give up what works really well . P.S. no etchy scalp ya!
One more thing. I set a timer for seven minutes using the 1/4 cup measure I just provided. Seven minutes is the perfect length of time for gel.
First, you used the wrong ratio of flax to water. Try 3 TB or 1/4 cup to 2 cups of flax seeds. This will yield about 1 1/2 cups of flax gel. I add pure jojoba to mine. One teaspoon per two cups. I also experiment, like you, with different essential oils. I’m also going to experiment with a few other natural, gelatinous seeds and herbs to see if I can blend them together and come up with a stronger hold. The jojoba definitely calms the flax and creates a softer, no crunch hold. There’s a great lady on youtube that has experimented with gels from flax, to chia, okra and others. I recommend you check out her channel.
I grinded my flax seeds and strained with panty hose like one of the previous comments said and my gel has grains of flax in it. It makes it look like sand/dirt in the product. Grinding the seeds first did not work out for me.
I didnt boil the flax seeds very long. Just long enough to get a bit mucilaginous. I used a cup of liquid and two tbs. of flax seeds and I’m going to scoop instead of spray-I have issues with clogs in my spray tops. Everything went off without a hitch or a mess.
Someone used pantyhose instead of a mesh and it seemed to work well for them. Here’s the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=aWaH8GIbLrM#!
To get the gel pour the mix (flax and gel) in a knee high stocking and squeeze the gel. Only do this when your gel has cooled. When I did this I got one and halves container full of gel
Grind the flax seeds first and then soak in water for a couple of hours. More gel will be more easily available from ground than whole seeds. This is the same trick folks use to extract the gel to use as an egg substitute. I happened to know about this trick already from someone else before I went looking for a safer alternative to commercial hair gel products.
Clarification: I grind the dry seeds in a coffee grinder.
I have heard that using brown flax seeds yields more gel than golden flax seeds. Something to try. 🙂
Get a pantyhose/stocking put some of the boiled seeds in it and use tongs to slide the gel out 🙂 (I got that from Naptural85 on youtube)
You can use pantyhose to strain the gel from the seeds, saw it on YouTube.
I’m a no-poo person (I don’t use shampoo). I use baking soda, but it’s not all that easy to put on. I now mix baking soda and the flax gel in a little cup. It’s a pasty consistency and almost seems to lather on the hair. Works well!
I actually use this recipe but i don’t use aloe gel i have an aloe plant right outside my door i just cut off a piece maybe about two inches long and use a potato peeler to shave it in 🙂 i also use a 1/2 cup of flax seeds to two cups of water for my gel and i can come up with a big ol’ mason jar filled with gel!!!I do refrigerate mine I don’t know it seems to really keep the gel at a good thick consistency for me. I also do not put essential oils in my gel i actually put a couple of bay leaves some honey and the first time i did it i used 100% all natural almond extract i smelled like a biscotti for a week!!!!The second time i used honey bay leaves and just one stick of Cinnamon for 2batches(to get the amount of a large mason jar) it is a little time consuming but if you just let your hands fly away you’ll find its actually very therapeutic to do something so mundane 🙂 I didn’t use essential oils because i found the recipe late at night and didn’t have any but in the end i was very glad i didn’t because now i know no matter what i can make it at whatever time and who doesn’t have these ingredients in any kitchen cabinet????!!!! also i only used one stick of cinnamon for two batches because I’m actually not a fan of the smell but i found because it isn’t so harsh that i smell like a baked pie 🙂 everyone has bin complimenting me on it, Ive bin using the recipe to help with my hair thinning problem and it seems to be working 🙂 if you would like to see the deep caramel color of my gel follow me on instagram at @alysa625!!!Blessed be
I used those cups where it’s a huge round opening at the top and gets smaller into a nozzle to drain to a bottle
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if you look at naptural85 channelon youtube she has a very simple way of doing that with a pantyhose….I tried making the gelust today using her method and was very successful…and I love the product
put the seeds in a mesh tea ball “thingy” then add to boiling water….not real straining required
I put mine through the coffee plunger, it works great and no mess.
This is a wonderful idea. I already have a coffee press, and I wasn’t looking forward to fighting with the squishy wet stocking.
This gel is totally awesome. I just made a batch — It is bringing out the curls yet is not crunchy. I ended up using a jelly bag to strain the gel, which worked pretty well. Thanks!
This is the best way i have seen to make the Flax Seed Gel. And you end up with a lot of it and it is a lot less messy 🙂 Here is the link to the Naptural85 video I found. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWaH8GIbLrM
How long does this gel last for and do you have to refrigerate it too?
Hi there, I think that it depends on what oils and preservatives you add. I usually boil brown flaxseeds in rosewater and after sieving into a bowl I add a tbs of veg glycerine, a tsp of avocado and grapeseed oil, a tsp of west indian black castor oil and a tsp of olive oil. I add 2 or 3 drops of vitamin E oil and 2 drops of Rosemary oil as a preservative. I also add 2 or 3 drops of geranium rose or Lavender essential oil. I give the gel a good stir and transfer the mixture into a plastic pump dispenser and leave it to cool before placing it in the fridge. This usually keeps for 3 weeks to a month refridgerated although personally I would not keep the gel for longer than a month.
Hope this helps 🙂
Oddly enough I was just about to send Naptural85’s version of making flaxseed gel the PROPER & EFFICIENT way 😉 It’s one thing for someone to blog about their experience but then another to pretty much do a 1/2 tailed job and expect amazing results. It’s not water and considering it’s gel like consistency, a strainer just doesn’t sound like a good idea even before beginning. Thanks for sharing all the same.
just put the flax seeds from the pot into a old pantyhose and squeeze :]
Anyone with really curly hair use this? I have really curly thick hair but soft fine strands. I would love to replace what I’m currently buying
I have super curly hair and I just made my flax seed gel today. I haven’t gotten around to trying it yet, but my best advice is to try it. If it doesn’t work, you can always go back to what you know or experiment more.
A lot of people in articles and formulas about the Curly Girl method recommend it! (Or at least, something that you make yourself with the same name. I suppose the recipe could be slightly different!)
I used organic flax seed (only kind store had) and they are much browner than the ones shown above. I used a paint straining bag I bought for making milks. And I got quite a bit out of it. I’d say about 1 1/2 cups. And even though the seeds are brown the gel isn’t. My hair is still wet so I can’t say how well it works yet.
soak the seeds in water overnight . then boil
Just made the gel cooked inside of the knee high. Will let you know how is works on my wavy, brown hair. I think I used too much EOs because it is powerfully strong scented.
Hey 🙂 Chances are you didn’t get much yield because you over cooked it. I’ve make
Hey it is great it you use an old stocking to strain the seed and squeeze the stocking and contents in to the glass container. If you want more flax gel add your concentration of water and seeds. It is not as messy. I have done it a total of three times now and it works wonder ..
Hi Dixie14, I did as you recommended and it worked perfectly the very first time! I boiled the flax seeds about 10 minutes, poured the boiling hot mixture into a stocking and it strained right through with absolutely no problem! Thanks so much for the post.
I love the flaxseed gel! I’ve been using it for some months and it works so well.
My hint: since it is a bit messy to prepare the gel, I prepare a large amount of it and just pour it in an ice cube tray that I put in the freezer. You can keep it for as long as you want, you just have to get your flaxseed ice cube out of the freezer whenever you want 🙂 For me, it works great!
Simply desire to say your article is as astounding. The clarity in your
submit is just cool and i could think you’re an expert in this subject.
You crack me up, girl friend! I will try to make this at home.
I use the el cheapo knee high stockings and put the flax seeds in the
stocking and then tie a knot making sure it is as small a ball I can
manage. Then I boil the ball of flax seeds and just squeeze out the gel
with tongs when done. I got a huge amount of gel this way, no mess
either. I did not need to even squeeze out the panty hose either there
was enough liquid in the pan, but I did. : )
This seems like the easiest, non-messy way to do this! I was curious if you covered the ball with water or how much water you used?
Yes. Get a knee high stocking. Because its stretchy, it fits perfectly around the mouth of a jar, mason jar, or cup that will allow you to pour the mixture. Then you can squeeze it (with tongs or 2 chopsticks) to get more of the gel out.
I love flaxseed hair gel!!! it works great!! I found this elsewhere and have been doing it for months. I don’t find it hard, but I’m pretty lazy about separating all the gel from the flax, I just boil it up till its thick while stirring the whole time, run it through a strainer, add basil, rosemary, ylang ylang and lavendar essential oils, and I save the flaxseeds to boil again for my next batch. If I don’t get all the gel I don’t stress- it make more than enough, and I can reuse the flaxseed with residual gel again so I don’t feel wasteful. I just do 1/4 cup flax to 2 cups water. It last forever in the fridge and it smells really good!! there was a video online I followed without doing the stocking part. again, lazy about getting all the gel out……
does anyone know if putting a few drops of basil and rosemary in hair gel is contraindicated in pregnancy? I love it for my hair, but I know both of these are supposed to be avoided in pregnancy… does that mean in all concentrations, even in beauty care products, or just when being used medically?? I can’t’ exactly ask a MD, they just dont know anything about essential oils……
This seems like a better method than using a strainer:
With much excitement I announced to my man that I would be making this for him….
He replies… “um… can you just try homemade hair paste instead? gel makes my hair look like those guys from jersey.”
Ugh! Really?!….reeeally?! Okay little crunchies, anyone have a hair “paste” recipe?
Hi, there. In case you haven’t yet figured out an easier to make it, I’ll tell you what I’ve read here in Brazil – though I haven’t tried it yet. One way is to put 2 tbsp of the seeds in a glass half full of water and let it rest overnight. Then use the sieve. The consistency is not so thick/dense (sorry for not finding a better word to describe it) but they say it works as well. Another way is to boil as you do but not for so long. 5 minutes maximum and use the sieve while it’s still liquid. After it colds up the consistency will grow thicker. Hope it helps. I’ll buy my seeds tomorrow and try it out 🙂
Someone said they added coconut oil to make the hold softer and less crunchy. I’ve tried coconut oil but it makes my hair a little greasy. I add a couple of teaspoons of grapeseed oil to the mixture. If you want a leave-in conditioner instead of a gel, this is the way to go XD
Kimmie in Fort Worth
What about trying it with chia seeds? They have an even more gelatinous ability than flax.
i use a pair of clean stockings and squeeze it thru with (plastic) chopsticks on each side.. no issues with getting a good yield so far
Ladies u have to remember: your gel will last longer if u put it in an air tight container and refrigerate it. It only last for three wks. The essential oils is what reserves it for three wks.
I know u dont want to feel coldness on your head but remember its healthy. When u rinse out your conditioner u have to rinse with cold water (for about five seconds at the end) to close up your pores, which strengthens your roots.
Use a non-stick pot. Then stir constantly at medium heat for approximately 10 minutes. Afterwards seive directly into the container you wish to use.
Hi everyone, I tried this what feels like a hundred times and could not get the gel to drain. I find another site (http://crabappleherbs.com/blog/2007/11/05/old-fashioned-flax-hair-gel/)that said to drain the seeds immediately while boiling hot and the gel will sift through easier. I tried it and it worked! My sieve has pretty small holes (used for straining tea) and once the seeds cooled the least bit, I couldn’t get one drop of gel. But boiling hot, the gel came right through. While I was holding the sieve with one hand, I stirred the seeds with a spoon to get more gel out. My yield was very high with this method. I have boiled the seeds again and again and it’s working like a charm! Hope that helps…
I second the pantyhose method! Must faster 🙂
I’ve been making this for a couple of years and I love it. I have super-fine straight hair and live in the south with lots of humidity. I kept my curls for two days using this! The recipe I used called for 1/4-1/2 cup of flaxseeds to 1-2 cups of water, and I always end up with lots of gel. Just make sure you refrigerate it, or it will start smelling really rancid–it kept in the fridge for about 2 months. I believe you can also add grain alcohol(vodka) as a preservative. Using this daily actually made my husband compliment how shiny and bouncy my hair looked. I really need to make some more as all my store bought hair products are making me break out.
now i want to study flaxseed gel for different applications; so you are my starting point thank you……
I just tried to make the flax seed hair gel. My problem was that I couldn’t get much more than a drop or two from just letting the seeds drip from my sieve. Maybe my fine mesh sieve was too fine. Anyway, I had saved the cooking water and after it had cooled began to kind of mess with it and feel of it. When I felt that the cup of water that I had cooked the two tablespoons of flax seeds in was slimy, I had a thought. What if i reduce it down, boiling away the water? Will I just be left with gel? Sooo…that is what I tried, and it worked!!! I was left with way more gel than just a couple of drops!!!
I took the cup of flax seed cooking water and simmered it for about 6 minutes. It reduced probably by half or more. I compared the consistency of the few drops of gel that I had gotten earlier with my reduced cooking water and it was exactly the same. To me, it felt more like egg whites. From 1 cup of water after reducing, I was left with almost 2 oz of gel.
Then, I took the same clump of flax seeds and cooked them again with another cup of water, waiting for it to get gel-like. Then reduced that cooking water too. I ended up with a total of just under 4 oz. of gel.
I then put in about 5 drops of orange essential oil. Smells yummy!! Now, I just need to try the gel after washing my hair. I’m going to try going no ‘poo starting Monday for two weeks since we are on vacation.
I tried a variation of some of the above recipes and loved the way my hair felt. Unfortunately, mine smelled like dead fish. I added spearmint oil to try to counteract the fishiness. No change. I was wondering if maybe I overcooked it, or maybe my seeds themselves were the issue. Any ideas would be helpful. Thanks.
Stephanie Smith Brown
Your seeds were probably old / rancid.
This post gave me the courage to finally try it myself. Kind of messy to apply, (mine was like egg whites – maybe I should have boiled longer?) but, man, did my curls look good! The curl held all day, even in the humidity, but my hair wasn’t sticky or crunchy. Thank you!!
In order to get the most gel from the flaxseed just purchase those 25 cent pantie hose and a small 6 oz container and some spare tongs. Place the hose around the container and when the flaxseed is up to your boil of choice drop it in hose. Then pull off the hose (looks like a Christmas stocking) and take your tongs and just squeeze the gel into the container until you have gotten the most you can get out. This is so helpful for me because I am extremely impatient and with this route it cuts the prep time in half. Hope this helps!!!
I don’t use flaxseed as a gel, but as a conditioner and detangler. I love how it makes my hair feel! I follow these directions pretty much exactly, except I make smaller batches:
My “green” daughter has been home for spring break this past week so we decided to try this recipe so she could take homemeade hair gel (and hairspray) back to school with her.
Since you gave us the heads up, here’s what we tried.
The flax seeds we had were the dark brown ones so our gel was a little golden in color.
We started like you did with 1 cup water and 2 TBSP Flax seed. We had gel at about 1-1/2 min so I put it through the sieve by stirring until the glob made it through. We put the same seeds back in the pan, added another cup of water and boiled them again. This time it took about 5 minutes to reach the gel stage.
I put them through the sieve, again stirring until it stopped dripping. Then I dumped the glob of seeds onto a piece of muslin that I had soaked and then wrung dry. I twisted the muslin to squeeze out the gel and got about 2 more TBSP this way. So, altogether, we ended up with 3 oz. of gel that we added 3 drops of grapefruit EO to for a little preservative and fragrance. She loves it! Thanks!
P.S. The chickens loved the seeds! Everybody wins!
She gets a lot of yield i think
You could try using a cloth tea bag or cheesecloth to hold the flax seeds in the pot of water, then just give the pouch of flax a few sqeezes to get all of the gel out & just toss the lot into your green bin or compost.
No sieve to wash!
I’ve not personally tried it, but the method I’ve heard to use is to put the flax seeds in a tea ball. I’ve been meaning to try it, but that would mean I need to, you know, actually buy a tea ball.
Ah! Finally! I wondered how long it would take for Flax Seed hair gel to show up here!
It’s messy. But man, it works!
I’ve sort of perfected the system, though… wanna hear?
First of all, I use 1 tbsp flax to 1 cup water. SO I would have doubled the liquid in this recipe. Cook until you get the same consistency, but you end up with way more!
Secondly, dump the aloe. The aloe makes things crunchy, and not in DIY-goddess way. It makes it crunchy and it makes it clump to the hair.
Thirdly, DO NOT put the sieve in the pan. I thought that this was a brilliant idea, but what you end up having is a whole bunch of flax gum inside the sieve, and water outside the sieve.
SO this is what I did, and this is how it worked the very best!!
I added 4 tbsp of coconut oil to the water and flax seed mixture. Heated it all up. Let it get all gel-like. THEN I put the sieve over a large bowl, poured in the flax mixture, and put a smaller bowl inside the sieve. I filled that small bowl with rocks from outside, and then let the whole thing sit.
Came back 20 minutes later, lifted the weighted bowl out, stirred it a bit, added more…
Works like a charm!
AND the very BEST part is that you can use the still-gummy flax seeds to make gluten-free crackers! Add some black sesame seeds. Add some sunflower seeds. Add some chia seeds. Add some minced garlic and shallots. Salt and pepper. Rosemary. Spread out and dehydrate or bake.
Hair gel AND crackers?
This. Is. Brilliant.
I’m going to test it out next week, including the crackers. If it’s as amazing as it sounds, there will be a whole post on this sometime in the future. With credit and overwhelming love to you. Sound good?
About the aloe – I’ve had very good luck with the 100% dietary type – no additives. I often use it by itself when I just want softness without hold. A liter costs about $8 at our local health food store. One drawback – it needs to be refrigerated. I have toyed with the idea of adding alcohol, but am afraid the drying effects would counter the moisturizing benefits.
Anyone know how much alcohol would be needed for a preservative?
Stephanie Smith Brown
I don’t store mine in the fridge or use Aloe. I make 3 cups of gel at a time and use 1 teaspoon of grapefruit seed extract + a few drops of lavender essential oil. I put it in an old baby shampoo bottle with pump and keep it in the shower. (I’m naturally curly, so that’s where I use it.) I’ve never had any issue with it going bad or growing things.
Tea tree oil, citrus fruit essential oils, or citric acid can be added as preservatives.
Just be aware that tea tree oil, along with lavender and soy, mimics estrogen. Maybe some people want it, but others don’t. With our family history of breast cancer, I avoid estrogen and anything that mimics it. If you google tea tree oil + lavender + estrogen, you’ll see what I mean.
sounds great and i will be trying this process soon.
It reminds me of trying to strain warm raspberry jam when making a glaze. It takes… a while. I just keep working it back and forth with the edge of a metal spoon in the sieve. Scrape, scrape, scrape, and occasionally scrape the goo off the outside of the sieve with the edge of the spoon. Eventually you’ll have just the seeds in the sieve.
I want to try this (yes, even after everything you said) and as soon as I get some aloe gel, I will. But maybe I’ll double the recipe â€“ that does seem like a lot of work for only 2 Tblsp!
I’m such a loser! To even try this would be a joke for me, it would give the impression that I was going to take time to actually style my hair. My hair is so broom straight that I haven’t done anything but wash it for years. I’m way too lazy!
I made a flax seed hair gel once, and while I remember it being kind of messy, I do think I got quite a lot more gel than 2 Tbsp. The only thing I did differently was that I didn’t boil the flax seeds. The slime from the flax seeds will come out also in cold water. I don’t know if this makes a difference or not but I
So what I did was I mixed 1 part water with 2 parts flax seed, let stand overnight and then strained the gel out. I did like you, first mixing around a bit with a fork and then, realising it would take forever, just let it stand for a good while. Then I mixed in 1 part aloe vera. (By the way, aloe vera gel does not only add moisture, it also helps style the hair. I know many people use pure aloe vera gel as a hair gel too.)
I’m also surprised by the color your flax seeds are. The ones they sell here are always dark brown. I wonder if it’s the same thing, or if either has been treated in some way.
This is off the top of my head (so I haven’t tried it), but what if you put the sieve in the pan while it boils? That would keep the flax seeds off the bottom of the pan, so they don’t burn, and then you lift them right out when you’re done. Maybe start with a little more water and pull the seeds out when it first starts to gel, then boil it down to the right consistency without the seeds. It can take a long time to reduce something, but it’s pretty painless.
I’d try it myself, but 1) Not sure I have fax seeds 2) I don’t ever use hair gel, and 3) I’m hosting a Mardi Gras dinner party this weekend, so no extra time.
Kristin @ Peace, Love and Muesli
Guess I feel down with trying this recipe. Oops. I have the flaxseeds…