Have you ever thought about making your own hair products? What if I told you that you could save a ton of money, avoid unwanted chemicals and ingredients, and that there are recipes simple enough for even the most novice of diy-ers? Don’t believe me? Go grab your apron and let’s whip up some all natural Flax Seed Hair Gel using only 2 ingredients! (Ok, 3 if you want to get fancy!)
The basic ingredients needed for this recipe are flax seeds and distilled water. I also like to add essential oils into the mix to help extend the shelf life of the product, make it smell great, and supercharge the gel’s nourishing properties, but they are optional.
Nourishing Benefits of Flax Seeds
Flax seeds are high in Omegas and other vital nutrients good for hair and skin. By taking them internally (through diet) or externally (through infusions like this gel), they are able to strengthen and nourish the hair, soothe and address scalp issues, and can even promote hair growth. Now, of course the specific benefits will vary from person to person, especially considering unique lifestyle and genetic factors. Still, I think it is safe to assume that your DIY flax seed gel will offer much greater benefit to your hair than a chemical concoction you could pick up at the drug store!
What Type of Flax Seeds Are Needed?
I have always used golden flax seeds with great success, though I have read that brown seeds produce more (even double!) the amount of gel. Either ingredient will provide nourishment, moisture, and hold, so I suggest first using what you have on hand.
Why Use Distilled Water?
There are a couple of reasons that I would suggest using distilled water over tap. Firstly, this recipe contains no preservatives. Water is a total breeding ground for bacteria, and tap water can contain extra bacteria that might cut your gel’s life ever shorter. In addition, tap water sometimes contains chemicals or minerals (like… eh hem… chlorine) that do nothing loving for your hair.
Which Essential Oils are Best for Hair?
Adding essential oils can make the gel smell fantastic and, in my experience, even double the shelf life. Some essential oils can also add nourishing benefits to your hair! Grab my free printable on 17 Essential Oils for Hair below!
2 Ingredient Flax Seed Hair Gel
- 2 cups Distilled Water
- 1/4 cup Whole Flax Seeds (find them here!)
- Get Fancy with Optional Ingredient #3: Essential Oils! (Don’t forget to grab a free printable list of the best essential oils for hair here)
You will also need a sauce pan, wooden spoon, nut milk bag or other strainer, and a storage container. (See notes on storage below.)
Bring water to a rolling boil and pour in flax seeds. Reduce heat to a medium simmer and stir often for 7 minutes.
At this point you will notice the mixture beginning to thicken. Watch it carefully, continuing to cook for up to 3–5 minutes more. I know my gel is ready when a “string” of liquid sticks to the spoon. Note that the mixture will continue to thicken as it cools and refrigerates. You are looking for a snotty texture rather than a true gel at this point.
Once finished, pour immediately into a nut milk bag or other strainer over a large container. I have tried several different straining techniques and strongly recommend using a nut milk bag for this step. The gel is difficult to push through other molded options, especially as it starts to cool. The flexibility of the bag, however, allows for waiting a few minutes while the temperature becomes manageable for using hands to manipulate and squeeze out every last drop.
Storage and Shelf Life
It is important to keep this gel refrigerated when not in use due to the high water content and absence of preservatives. When made without essential oils, I have found it to last around 2 weeks (and believe me, the spoiling is obvious by the funky smell!). When using oils though (especially lavender or tea tree), I have noticed the quality of the product stay high for about a month – sometimes even longer.
I like to store the entire batch in a mason jar or other tightly sealable container. I then section out 1–3 oz into a small silicone squeeze bottle for daily use. As the squeeze bottle runs low, I just top it up from the jar in the fridge. This is very helpful for two reasons:
- Squeezing the gel out instead of dipping into a jar eliminates contamination that could cause the batch to spoil before its time has come.
- If I forget to put the small bottle back in the fridge a few times, only a small portion goes bad instead of the whole batch.
Does This Gel Actually Work?
I have found this gel to be great for smoothing and de-frizzing my waves and curls. When applied to damp hair and left to dry naturally, it leaves my waves bouncy and soft, and even adds a slight sheen. This gel is also perfect for flexible-looking styles that still need shape and hold (like my husband’s). He also applies it to damp hair, and then adds some of our DIY pomade after it has dried for extra texture and shine.
This gel will not become stiff or crunchy, so if you happen to have a mohawk or spikes it might not be your cup of tea. But for someone like me who appreciates bounce, shine, and healthy feeling locks, this recipe is positively perfect!