Make Your Own Hair Gel For Less Than A Quarter!

Recently, I was reading this post about how Mandy, a lovely lady with incredible long, curly hair, takes care of her hair.  While reading the comments, I noticed someone that said she made her own hair gel using flaxseeds.

I was intrigued.  I make my own ricotta and marshmallows and even ice cream cones (still perfecting that one but I’ll post the instructions when I do), so making my own hair gel sounded like the next logical step, right?

(My mom thinks I’m crazy to make things like this when I can just go out and buy them.  But, I really enjoy making things that other people think can only be purchased in a box or a bottle.  If I can make it and enjoy the process of making something with my hands, and it ends up being better, healthier, or cheaper, then why not?)

So, I googled around and found this video tutorial for making your own flaxseed hair gel.  In brief, you simply boil 1/4 cup of whole flaxseeds in two cups of water and strain through a fine mesh cloth (pantyhose are common but I used cheesecloth because unlike pantyhose, I actually have cheesecloth on hand).  You can add essential oils for scent and nourishment – I just added a few drops of lavender.

The results?  The “gel” was really not very thick, though you may be able to boil it longer or add more flaxseeds to get it thicker.  It’s very much the consistency of egg white, so it’s a little messier than regular gel or mousse, but honestly, I don’t mind because adding product to my hair is always messy.  It made about 1 1/2 cups of gel.

The gel holds great – I would say as well, or maybe even a little better than, “regular” gel.  It doesn’t flake unless you get too much around a curl, and doesn’t dry too crunchy.  (I actually rinse my hair at night and let it dry while I’m sleeping, then put product on it, dry, in the morning.  I’ve put gel/mousse on my hair dry for years and not only does it make it faster to get ready in the morning, I think it cuts down on the crunchiness because you tend to put less gel on dry hair.)

The homemade flaxseed gel didn’t do anything amazing for my hair, but I felt like it was equally as effective as the Garnier Fructis or Aussie mousse that I typically use; it didn’t weight my hair down at all like a lot of gels might.

I used Arrowhead Mills Organic Golden Flaxseeds from Vitacost (get a $10 off $10 coupon code here), so this gel was actually organic.  I’m not even going to let you think that I’m going all-out organic for hair care – that wasn’t even remotely part of my goal, but it is a really nice bonus to be putting something completely natural and organic in my hair!

Of course, all this is well and good – it works well, is easy to make, and doesn’t contain any chemicals.  However, it may not be something I would do if it cost me more than what I’d normally buy.

So, here’s the breakdown:

1/4 cup flaxseeds – $0.19 at Vitacost’s current price of $2.46 for a 14 oz bag, less with a $10 off $10 code!
2 cups water – free
3-4 drops lavender oil – unknown, but just a few pennies; let’s say $0.05

Final cost for about 1 1/2 cups of organic hair gel – less than $0.25!  Yep, it’s worth the little bit of effort it takes me, considering that I would usually pay anywhere from $1.50-3.50 for the mousse I’d use in place of this homemade hair gel.

Has anyone else tried making their own hair care products?  Was it a hit or a miss?



  1. I’ve seen people ask Mandy how she does her hair, but I hadn’t ever seen the answer! Thanks for sharing the link. I was also really interested to read how you do your hair, Carrie. I have yet to find the perfect products/method to manage my hair.

    • I haven’t found the perfect method yet, either! I highly recommend the book Curly Girl (you can get it at the library). I don’t do everything the author suggests, but I have had a lot more hair satisfaction since I started doing a few things: not using shampoo (maybe a few times a year) and just rinsing nightly, not using a comb (I scrunch my hair up to give it more curl and only comb it when I need to cut it – it does NOT get ratty and is very easy to comb), and using a diffuser to blow dry it (after I put gel on it, dry, in the morning). I’ve also started using big clips to hold the roots of my hair at the top of my head up while I blow dry it so that it has more volume. (My hair tends to be flat on the top of my head.)

      Anyway, definitely read the book Curly Girl if you haven’t yet! It was eye-opening to realize that curly hair is NOT the same as straight hair and should be cared for totally differently!

      • MB Partlow says:

        On the recommendation of a male friend, I bought my 15 yo daughter the book Curly Girl. It has changed her life and how she manages her hair. She has very thick hair, and a lot of it, and it’s all crazy curly. But now she has it under control. Will have to get her to try making her own hair gel–so I don’t get the “MOM! I’m outta hair gel” call on a busy school morning.

        • You are an amazing mom for doing that for your daughter! I kind of feel sorry for kids who have curly hair and their parents don’t – you have to care for it so totally different than straight hair to get it under control. :) My mom has curly hair, but straightens it so I had to figure it out on my own. :)

  2. Sarah H. says:

    That is awesome! Almost makes me want to try using gel in my hair – almost!

  3. Use egg whites. That’s it.

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