Let’s talk about how sexy it is to run your fingers through someone’s hair after they’ve put gel or hairspray in it. Spoiler alert: it’s actually not that sexy. Even if you firmly reside in the “no one can touch my hair” camp (no worries, I’m your neighbor!), you have to admit that most hair holding concoctions leave a lot to be desired. They turn your thousands of lovely locks of hair into crunchy, hard clumps that have to be gently combed out so that you’re hair doesn’t break (ugh) or washed out before you even think about doing anything else with your hair (double ugh).
Flaxseed gel is not most gels. It somehow magically holds your hair in place while keeping it pliable. It doesn’t leave any buildup or flake off if you decide not to wash your hair immediately. And it’s next to free. The cost breakdown here is almost laughable because all you’re using is water, 2 tablespoons of flaxseeds (which go for $2-3/pound) and maybe a drop of essential oils. The only downside to it is that it’s a lot less shelf stable than most things I like to make. It’ll stay good for 2-4 weeks if you refrigerate it; meaning if you use a lot, you’ll probably have to make a new batch every month. Luckily, it takes less than 10 minutes to whip up.
1 cup of water – Whenever you’re making a homemade body product that involves water, you’ve got to take a few extra precautions. The short and short of it is that, just like water helps keep you alive, it can give sustenance to all kinds of gross things that you don’t want growing in your gel or lotion. If you want to know more, head on over to Crunchy Betty and read what she has to say. She’s funny and smart; I think you guys’ll get along.
2 T of flax seeds – When boiled, flax seeds turn into sticky mushy things that are perfect to use as eggs in vegan cooking, as glue for weirdo projects where you’re not allowed to use elmer’s glue and… as gel to keep your hair in place!
Essential oils (optional) I used tea tree oil and peppermint to make my gel smell good and to keep it from going rancid as quickly. You can also use lavender, rosemary or eucalyptus oil since they’re also anti-bacterial/fungal
Honey (optional) Honey provides a little extra hold and is a natural humectant, which means that keep your hair moisturized.
1. Pour the water and flax seeds into a pot and boil them.
2. 5-7 minutes after it’s come to a boil, you should have a gel. Cook longer if you want a gel with more hold. My hair is really thick – meaning it needs a heavy hand when dealing with it but it’s also curly enough that if I stick it somewhere, it won’t really move on it’s own – and I go with 6 minutes.
3. Strain the flax seeds out of the gel using a thin mesh sieve and/or pantyhose to squeeze out the really thick stuff that’s stuck to the seeds.
4. Add essential oils and honey if you want and put it in a sealed container, and store it in the fridge.