This DIY hair gel has seriously changed my life!! I’m all about natural products, but when it comes to hair gel it’s been really hard leaving the expensive “specialized” products out of my routine. My hair is so frizzy and curly if I went without it I’d literally look like a poodle. But most of the products designed for curls contain toxic chemicals you certainly don’t want getting absorbed through your skin. So I went on a search for the best homemade hair gel recipes. Through trial and error I finally find one that works for me and my curls.

I’ve tried mousses, creams, gels, gel creams, serums, oils, eggs, bananas, mayo, and avocados and this DIY flaxseed gel beats them all. It defines and shines without being crunchy.

If you’re not familiar with the toxins in hair products here are just a few:

1. Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate (SLS/SLES)

Sodium lauryl sulfate is a surfactant, detergent and emulsifier used in thousands of cosmetic products, as well as in industrial cleaners. It is present in nearly all shampoos, scalp treatments, hair color and bleaching agents, toothpastes, body washes and cleansers, make-up foundations, liquid hand soaps, laundry detergents and bath oils/bath salts.

The real problem with SLES/SLS is that the manufacturing process (ethoxylation) results in SLES/SLS being contaminated with 1,4 dioxane, a carcinogenic byproduct.

Research studies on SLS have shown links to:

Irritation of the skin and eyes

Organ toxicity

Developmental/reproductive toxicity

Neurotoxicity, endocrine disruption, ecotoxicology, and biochemical or cellular changes

Possible mutations and cancer

2. 2,5 Diamine Toluene Sulfate

The European Union’s Scientific Committee on Cosmetic Products issued its opinion in 2010 on 2,5 diamine toluene sulfate concluding that it cannot be considered safe and is an extremely potent skin sensitizer. A serious blood disorder called aplastic anaemia has long been linked to the use of 2,5 diamine toluene sulfate on the scalp in hair dyes.

The Journal of Carcinogenic Toxicology describes 2,5 diamine toluene sulfate as “probably carcinogenic to humans,” toxic to the brain and central nervous system, kidneys and liver.

3. PEG-3 Cocamide

The National Library of Medicine HazMap describes this ingredient as a “known human immune system toxicant” and the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Pesticide Programs, says that this ingredient may be a cause of cancer to humans. Yet it’s still used in many hair products!

4. Aminomethyl Propanol

This active ingredient is generally considered safe at levels of concentrations below 2%. Unfortunately, many hair products, especially those that require a strong pH adjuster like straighteners or hair color, use concentrations well above 12% which is considered to be highly toxic and potentially carcinogenic.

5. Parabens

Parabens may be listed as methyl paraben, ethyl paraben, propyl paraben, butyl paraben, isobutyl paraben or E216.

Studies have shown that parabens can affect your body much like estrogens, which can lead to diminished muscle mass, extra fat storage, and male gynecomastia (breast growth). Other studies have also linked parabens to breast cancer, as researchers found traces of parabens in every sample of tissue taken from 20 different breast tumors.

The EPA has linked methyl parabens in particular to metabolic, developmental, hormonal, and neurological disorders, as well as various cancers.

Sounds healthy right?

On To The Good Stuff…

This DIY hair gel recipe can be adapted to your needs, but here are the basics to get you started. I just love that it’s all natural, safe to eat or bathe in, and it works even better than ANY store bought hair gel I’ve EVER tried. It’s strong enough to tame the curls without adding that crunchy feel.

What You’ll Need:

2 cups of filtered water

1/2 cup of whole flaxseed

fine mesh strainer

1 Jar and 10 minutes of your time 🙂


Bring your water to a boil, add the flax and stir continuously.

Bring the heat down to med/low and keep stirring so it doesn’t stick.

Once you see a white film start to form around the side of the pan it’s almost done.

Keep stirring until you get to your desired consistency, slightly jelly, snotty, and slimy.

10 minutes is way to long and the gel won’t even go through the strainer.

For me 6 minutes was plenty and now it’s ready to be strained.

What worked best for me is an upcycled strainer jar. The plastic on my strainer broke so I cut out the mesh and fit it to a mason jar.

I immediately poured the seeds and goo in my strainer jar and using oven mitts inverted it on my hair gel container. If you can’t make a strainer jar it’s recommended to pour the goop in 3 or 4 separate batches over the strainer and push it through with a spoon. I like the jar so gravity does all the work while I clean up.

I got almost a full jar of hair gel here!!

You can even save the used seeds in the fridge and use them for another batch.

Here’s where you can be creative. I added a spoonful of manuka honey and coconut oil to help hold moisture in the hair.

I also opened a vitamin e capsule and added that for preservative.

Lastly I added 3 drops of lavender and 4 drops of rosemary essential oils, both help with hair loss and growth.

You could add some aloe vera juice if it’s too thick, but I didn’t have that problem.

That’s it! Just keep it in the fridge to keep it fresh, it should last at least 2 weeks if you add the extras.

I hope this changes your life like it has mine, I’m never going back!!!

If you try it let me know! Who needs $30+ Ouidad when you can make this for pennies?!

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