I switched to the curly girl hair method about eight months ago. (Updates to come on that front.) In sticking to my zero waste beauty routine, I needed a zero waste yet curly girl friendly hair gel. So flaxseed hair gel it is! This recipe is incredibly easy and it’s all over the internet. Yet, I managed to come up with a single portion size to not waste unused gel.
Time: 7 minutes
- 2 Tbsp flaxseeds
- 1 cup water
- 2-4 drops of essential oil (optional)
Yields a single serving of 3-4 fl oz portion.
The traditional recipes uses 1/4 cup of flaxseeds and 2 cups of water boiled for 10 minutes. That amount yields a cup of gel. I could never use this amount in the time before it went bad. But you could store half of it in the fridge while you use the first half. I think it’s such a quick recipe that I don’t mind making a fresh batch every 1-2 months.
- Bring water to a boil. Add flaxseeds and stir constantly.
- After 5 minutes, strain the gel from the flaxseeds into a bowl with a fine mesh strainer.
- Strain again into your container with a tea infuser. (Strain quickly so it’s still liquidy and goes through the fine mesh. See some of my tips below.)
- Add essential oil and stir.
And that’s it! Seriously, people. Below I’ve included some pictures of the process and some of the tricks I’ve learned along the way.
Unlike other recipes out there, this one is indeed zero waste. I bought my flaxseeds in bulk and I store my gel in a glass mason jar. This is my all time favorite tea infuser! It’s very fine so nothing but the smallest bits of tea get through the mesh. And it works great for straining out the little pieces of flaxseed.
The water boils quickly! It’s only 1 cup after all. That’s why I also have all my materials set up and ready so I can quickly strain the gel.
You really need to stir constantly so the seeds don’t stick to the bottom and burn. It takes just five minutes and you’ll see the bubbles form right away. The bubbles are big and look sticky. You know it’s done when you lift the spoon and it’s stringy and the seeds stick to the spoon.
Strain into a bowl and stir the seeds around to let some of the gel through. Then quickly pour the gel from the bowl through the tea infuser. The gel never gets that hot anyway especially since this is recipe yields such a small amount. So you don’t have to worry about straining it right into your container.
My trick is to strain it twice! For this you have to work fast. You don’t want the gel to cool too much because then it won’t strain through the tea strainer. It’s best to have it set up so you can easily pour through the mesh strainer and then pour quickly through the tea strainer.
Some variations of this recipe use a stocking leg to squeeze all the gel from the flaxseeds. You could use old pantyhose but I just think it’s messy and a bit wasteful. But if you have an old pair lying around, go for it! Get the most out of those flaxseeds.
I love using lavender essential oil to add a nice relaxing fragrance to my gel. Rosemary essential oil is also great for hair.
Here you can see how it’s like regular gel! It works amazing too. It lasts me 1-2 months. I don’t store it in the refrigerator. I did at first, but I didn’t really see the point. It didn’t go bad in the amount of time it took me to use it.
I never used gel before switching to the curly girl method. I always thought it looked heavy and gross. But really, it makes curls shiny and hydrated when used right. So I did my research and learned how and why to use gel.
I take about a quarter sized amount in my palms and rub it all over my hands. Then with my head up side down, I run the gel over and through my wet/damp hair. I like to use the shake and rake method to evenly distribute the gel before I scrunch the ends to form the curls.
And that’s it! Hey, I even managed to post on #zerowastewednesday! I hope you enjoyed this recipe. I know I say this about all my eco beauty recipes, but this one is just one of my favorites.