If you’ve been searching for an economical hair gel, you might be curious about flaxseed gel for natural hair. You’ve probably noticed that high-quality gels are expensive. The alternative is to go with a low-priced gel, but they are generally full of chemicals.
Are they safe? Will they stunt hair growth if you use them regularly? YouTube is filled with naturals using gels to make slick ponytails. The problem is, chemical-laden gels can destroy both edges and ends.
In this article, Ill discuss flaxseed gel for natural hair, and how to use it. By the time you’ve finished reading this post, you’ll know all about the gel and whether it’s right for your natural curls.
Flaxseed Gel Benefits
What is flaxseed gel, and why should you use it over store-bought gel? Flaxseed gel is made from boiling and straining flaxseeds. Water and flaxseeds are usually the only two ingredients in the gel, but you can choose to add essential oils or other moisturizers.
Flaxseeds have numerous benefits for natural hair. It’s the omega-3 fatty acids in flaxseed oil and gel that make them ultra-moisturizing for curly hair. Using flaxseed gel is one of the best ways to apply essential fatty acids topically.
Also, flaxseeds are loaded with other nutrients that the hair loves: Vitamin E, copper, magnesium, folate, vitamin B6, zinc, potassium, and protein. The gel is so helpful that naturals are even using flaxseed gel hair masks.
Flaxseed gel allows you to retain the length you’re working hard to grow by moisturizing the hair. It helps define your curl pattern for wash and go’s, and it works well to manipulate curls for twist-outs, braid-outs, and bantu knots. Use it for all curl patterns: 4c, 4b, 4a, 3c, 3b, and 3a.
Flaxseed Gel Pros and Cons
A bag of flaxseed will give you shinier, bouncier curls for many months. It’s inexpensive and offers strong styling and holding power. Plus, it’s natural and void of chemicals, which is rare for hair gels.
But are there any cons to using flaxseed gel? Not many. One thing naturals complain of is that flaxseed gel can potentially harden the hair to the point of feeling crunchy. While it’s true that flaxseed gel stiffens the hair, it isn’t drying or harmful.
The stiffness provides hold. If you find the flaxseed gel makes your hair too hard, you can experiment by using less or adding softening ingredients to your batch.
Does flaxseed gel need to be refrigerated? Yes, and this is definitely a con because it makes it hard to travel with it.
How to Use Flaxseed Gel on Hair
There are several ways flaxseed gel can be utilized for natural hair. You can make a flaxseed gel wash and go that cuts frizz. You can also use flaxseed gel for curl definition.
Have you thought about flaxseed gel for edge control? You can use it for making high puffs and ponytails because it lays down edges. Flaxseed gel is much more helpful to naturals than conventional gel because it doesn’t smother the edges with a chemical coating. Stressing your edges and then spreading a layer of chemicals over them will likely cause alopecia.
Flaxseed gel twist-outs and braid-outs are ideal for naturalists. You’ll find that the gel eliminates frizz and gives you control over stray hairs.
How to Apply Flaxseed Gel to Hair
The easiest way to apply flaxseed gel to hair is by using an applicator bottle. But if you haven’t purchased one yet, you can always use any plastic or glass container.
Flaxseed gel feels great on the fingers because it is slippery. You can use it to shape and define curls, and it dries fairly quickly. Try experimenting with some different amounts of flaxseed for your natural curls. You may find you need to adjust amounts, depending on your hair, style, and if you have low porosity hair.
Best Homemade Flaxseed Gel
If you’re natural, you’re probably going to love flaxseed gel because it’s chemical-free, economical, and gives your hair nutrients while it holds styles. How long does flaxseed gel last? It will keep up to one week in the refrigerator. Be sure to keep it sealed tight when you’re not using it.
The flaxseed gel recipe below is easy to make, and it gives consistent results every time. The recipe is adapted from Naptural85’s YouTube video.
Flaxseed Gel Recipe
- 2 ½ cups water
- ¼ cup whole flaxseeds (not roasted)
- Clean pantyhose or cheesecloth
- Place the water and flaxseeds in a pot and bring to a boil. Be sure to stir the mixture to avoid seeds getting stuck on the bottom of the pan, and for a more even texture.
- When the flaxseeds form a thick mucus, turn off the heat. Leave the gel to sit 30 min to 1 hour.
- After the gel has cooled, pour the gel into the cheesecloth or clean pantyhose and hold it over a container.
- Press your fingers against the pantyhose to squeeze the gel into the container. Discard the seeds.
Homemade Flaxseed Gel
The great thing about making flaxseed gel at home is that you can add other helpful ingredients. Here is a list of ideas:
- Flaxseed Gel with Honey. This humectant helps to draw in moisture and gives flaxseed gel a stronger hold.
- Flaxseed Gel with Aloe Vera Juice. Using Aloe juice will give you a diluted form to use the flaxseed gel as a leave-in
- Flaxseed Gel and Castor Oil. This is an excellent combination for growing the hair and protecting length.
- Flaxseed Gel and Shea Butter. You can mix flaxseed gel and shea to make a fluffy flaxseed gel custard.
- Flaxseed Gel and Marshmallow Root. Combining these two elements will give your gel even more slip, making it great for detangling.
- Flaxseed Gel with Coconut Oil. This combination is a go-to for naturals because of its conditioning It will help to soften your hair.
How to Strain Flaxseed Gel
Pour the flaxseed gel from a saucepan into one knee-high pantyhose or cheesecloth, then press and squeeze all the gel into a container.
If you don’t have clean pantyhose or cheesecloth, you still have options. You can use a fine strainer to strain it while it’s hot. Pour the hot mixture through a fine strainer into a heat-proof container. The strainer will catch seeds and allow the gel through. Stir the seeds with a spoon to make sure all gel is collected.
How to Preserve Flaxseed Gel
So, you’ve made a beautiful container of flaxseed gel, but you’re concerned about the expiration. The fast expiration deters some natural queens from making the gel because it’s just one more thing to worry about.
Always keep your flaxseed gel in the refrigerator to preserve the life of the gel. It’s difficult to travel with, so you’ll probably need to keep a container of store-bought gel on hand for trips.
You may have heard of using grapeseed extract, but it is unclear whether it works to preserve the flaxseed gel. Use a professional preservative for your DIY concoction instead.
How long can you keep flaxseed gel? It expires after about one week, but you can prolong the life of your gel by adding Germaben to the container after the gel has cooled. You’ll need to measure the amount you use to make sure it is only 1%.
Germaben is liquid and antimicrobial, so it is perfect for preserving the life of your DIY gels and conditioners.
How Often Can I Use Flaxseed Gel?
It can be used as much as you want, but you may have problems if you’re trying to apply it to the same hair without washing first. Does flaxseed gel damage hair? No, but reapplying the gel more than once without washing may cause flakes.
Wondering when to apply flaxseed gel? Use the gel after washing, to hold the hair in a style.
Alternative to Flaxseed Gel
You might be curious about flaxseed gel vs. okra gel. Okra gel is a great alternative to flaxseed, and some naturals even prefer it. Okra is harder to find, but some natural queens love it for its conditioning and detangling effect. Use okra gel as a detangling pre-poo, a conditioner, and a styling gel.
Flaxseed is shelf-stable, making it easy for stores across the U.S. to have it in stock. Flaxseed is also more economical than buying fresh produce like okra.
Another alternative to flaxseed gel is flaxseed custard. You can make the custard with flaxseed gel and 4-5 tablespoons of shea butter. Add the shea butter to the flaxseed gel before it has cooled, then whip the mixture with a beater until the consistency is thicker.
And what about flaxseed gel vs. aloe vera gel? Aloe is an excellent ingredient to add to your natural hair regimen, and it’s convenient because you can find it pre-made and preserved at the store. But they have different effects.
Aloe vera doesn’t hold the hair into a style as flaxseed does so you may want to save your aloe for mixing into your products, or as a layer in your natural hair care routine.
Flaxseed Gel vs. Kinky Curly
Homemade flaxseed gel is both practical and economical. If you’re comparing flaxseed gel to Kinky Curly Curling Custard, the main difference is the price. KCCC is useful but can be a drain on the wallet.
KCCC wins over flaxseed gel for being convenient though. You might consider purchasing KCCC to have on hand for special occasions and making batches of flaxseed gel for regular use. And KCCC has a sweet aroma, but does flaxseed gel smell? Not at all, so you may want to add an essential oil like lavender to your batch.
Wondering where to buy flaxseed gel? If you’re looking for the best store-bought flax seed gel, you’ll want to try Aunt Jackies Don’t Shrink Flaxseed Elongating Curling Gel, which has great reviews on Amazon.
Flaxseed gel is ideal for natural and transitioning hair because it doesn’t have chemicals and it gives great holding power. The gel is loaded with beneficial nutrients for natural hair, making it a keeper for your natural hair regimen.
Have you used flaxseed gel for natural hair, and if so, did you like the results?