Moisture and Shine…Organically!
Flaxseed gel is yet another natural hair community favorite that has been around for as long as I can remember. I’ve always used it as my “summer hair gel” and now include it in my new Ayurvedic Hair Care Routine. In the past, I’ve had issues using flaxseed gel during the winter; for some reason I would not get the same good results that I get during the warmer weather months. This time around I’m hoping to keep it as a year-round product staple so I plan on doing some testing and tweaking with the recipe as the weather cools. In the meantime, I’ll keep it very simple and share what I’m doing right now.
Let’s begin with the benefits of using flaxseed gel in your hair. The list is almost unending but to start, it’s all-natural and packed with amazing moisturizing properties. A major plus is that it’s very easy and inexpensive to make. I buy my flaxseeds in the bulk section at Whole Foods for $2.39 per pound. I usually get about a 1/2 pound (just a little over $1.00!) which lasts me at least six months in a refrigerated, airtight container. You can also order them online – here is a link: flaxseeds).
Another great thing is that 1/4 cup of flaxseeds can make more than one batch of gel! I usually get two batches out of my seeds; some people get three batches. Is that cost-effective or WHAT??
Flaxseeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which is very nourishing for hair. Not only does flaxseed gel provide hair with enriched moisture and shine, its moisturizing properties gives curls some really nice juiciness and great definition. All of this adds up to healthier hair and, of course, healthy hair promotes hair growth!!
How To Make Flaxseed Gel
- 1/4 cup of flaxseeds (1/2 cup if you prefer a thicker gel)
- 2 cups of water (I use filtered water)
- 1 tablespoon of aloe vera gel or juice (optional)
- 3 drops of essential oil (optional)
- Fine-mesh strainer
- Wooden spoon
- Bowl and/or air-tight container
- Lotion dispenser (optional)
- Plastic Ziploc bag
Add the water and flaxseeds to a pot and cook mixture on a low/medium setting. Stir occasionally (and gently) with the wooden spoon and bring it to a boil. When a white, frothy, egg-white consistency forms, turn off the heat and continue to stir gel until it stops simmering.
Place the mesh strainer over a bowl and pour hot gel into the strainer. Using the wooden spoon, gently press onto gel and seeds to strain out as much of the flaxseed gel into the bowl as possible.
Allow gel to cool down. Add your aloe gel (or juice) and essential oil of choice. I use lavender.
You can also add oils (like olive, coconut or almond) to the gel if you’d like. This is what makes this gel so great; you can add different ingredients and see what works best with your hair.
Pour gel into an airtight container and keep it refrigerated. The flaxseed gel lasts about two weeks (12-14 days). Not a long shelf life, but still very much worth it in my opinion. Place your used flaxseeds into a plastic bag and keep it in the refrigerator until you make your next batch of gel.
How I Use My Flaxseed Gel
I use my flaxseed gel as part of my new weekly Ayurvedic hair care regimen. A detailed linked is provided at the beginning of this post but I’ll also give you a quick rundown of what I do.
After washing and deep conditioning my hair, I generously spray a tea rinse throughout my strands and scalp. Next I apply a leave-in conditioner (SheaMoisture’s Jamaican Black Castor Oil Leave-In Conditioner is my favorite) to my soaking wet hair followed by a moisturizer. I then apply my flaxseed gel. While applying products, make sure to work the creams and gel into your strands. I finish off by applying a light coat of organic castor oil to my ends to seal them in and add an extra layer of protection.
Allow your hair to air dry or sit under a hooded hair dryer for 45-60 minutes. I prefer using my hooded dryer followed by a handheld dryer to help dry and stretch out my hair a bit more. To add more volume I use an Afro pick to elongate my hair even more.
If my hair feels a little parched during the week, I’ll add a light layer of the leave-in, moisturizer and gel to my hair and let it air dry.
Many naturalistas have raved about getting wonderful results using flaxseed gel on twist outs, bantu knots and other natural hair styles.
NOTE: Because of flaxseed gel’s goopy, eggy consistency, things can get a bit messy when applying it on your hair. To help with this I add some of my gel into a lotion dispenser and pump it into my hand. I only add the amount that I’m going to use and leave the remaining gel in the airtight container.
One More Thing…
Some time ago I had a painful paper cut on one of my fingers. I happened to use flaxseed gel on my hair the day after cutting my finger and the following day I noticed that it had completely healed!! Also, I notice that my nails are stronger when I use flaxseed gel on a regular basis.
Just thought I’d share that with you (wink)!