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?