Flaxseed as a leave-in conditioner or hair gel is a fantastic DIY cosmetic. It moisturises the hair, adds body, enhances curls and fights frizz. And all that without any stickiness, weight or crunchiness ! Love it !
Try out the basic recipe first without anything extra, and over time add ingredients one at a time to see how your hair reacts. Want more ? Try these extra ingredients & secret techniques:
Note: measurements are for 2 cups distilled water + 4 teaspoons flax seeds
Soaking for thicker gel & higher yield
Soaking the flax seeds overnight in distilled water makes the gel much thicker and easier to use.
Blending to improve consistency
To make the mixture more light and fluffy, whip it with a hand blender or a mixer, to trap air bubbles inside. This destroys the "snots" and makes the mixture easier to apply.
Freezing to improve consistency & increase storage time
Freezing the mixture also helps with the consistency, and of course lets you store it for ages. Tip: freeze in an ice cube tray, and defreeze each portion as needed !
Epsom Salts for curls:
Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) makes the hair more curly. Be careful though, it´s also drying and not everyone´s hair likes it. Add 1/4 teaspoon to the mixture when it´s boiling. Apparently letting it boil together with the flaxseeds make it less drying then if you add it after its already boiled.
Almond oil or Shea Butter for frizz control.
Use sweet almond oil, 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon to the mixture when it´s cooled.
Honey or Agave nectar for hold
Be very sparing with this, too much will make your hair lanky or stringy.
Essential oil for scent or to fight problems
A few drops of your favourite essential oil can be added add the end, when the mixture is cool. Essential oils don´t just smell pretty, they can nourish the hair, fight dandruff or help with oily scalp. Read up properties of essential oils.
Remember to use very sparingly, and to use only pure, quality stuff. Use essential oils, not fragrance oils (these are synthetic)! So please double-check !
Xanathan gum to make the mixture thicker
If you´re making a hair gel, not a leave-in conditioner, you might want something that´s thicker, not so "snotty". Xanathan gum is a natural food additive, and it´s completely safe for you and your hair. It does give the mixture a more "product-y" feel: the more you add, the more stiff it will make the hair and the more hold it will have.
Add a pinch (1/4 ts or less) to the mixture after removing it from the heat, mix, and watch the mixture thicken instantly. If you want it thicker, add another pinch, repeat until you are happy with the consistency.
Honeyquat for shine & moisture
Add 1 ts honeyquat the mixture. After you try it you can add more to your next batch if you want more shine and moisture.
Aloe Vera for more moisture
For less hold and more moisture, mix the finished flax seed gel with an equal (or smaller) amount of Aloe Vera Gel.
Marshmallow root as a detangler
Marshmallow root is available as a tea. Steep 1/2 cups in 2 cups distilled water, overnight. Strain and use the water to boil the flaxseeds in.
You can steep herbs in boiling water, and use that water to boil the flax seeds. Try chamomile to make blonde hair shine, black tea for brunettes, nettles for oily hair, rosemary to darken, marigold to bring out highlights... some ideas *here*
Photo via Createyourownlegacy