What I love about Curly hair girls is how we keep experimenting with different methods, products and keep trying new recipes. Many of us here are fans of homemade flax seed gel. But we always struggle while applying it in the shower. Half of it always goes down the drain. So, here we are today with a new recipe of flax seed gel which is more spreadable and easy to apply on hair. This recipe is submitted by Sagarika Raj, our very active member of the Indian Curl Pride group.
Thanks a lot Sagarika for taking out the time to share the recipe!!!! You rock girl <3<3<3
Ingredients and where to buy them from:
Flax seeds: a little over 1/3 cup (up-to the 117ml mark on your measuring cup)
Available in regular grocery stores. Hindi name is Alsi.
Water : 1 + 1/4 cups (or 310ml)
It is recommended to use distilled water for longer shelf life. You can get distilled water from medical supply stores and supermarkets or you can just use boiled water.
Xanthan gum: ½ teaspoon (or 2.5 ml)
Optional ingredients : Aloe vera gel, Glycerin, Almond/Coconut oil or any other oil of your choice, lavender oil (or any other essential oil for fragrance).
**The proportion of Xanthan gum in the recipe may vary depending on what appliance you use for mixing. Hand blender or chopper makes the flax gel more runny because of its sharp blades. If you are using a hand mixer, then you might have to reduce the quantity of Xanthan gum. Xanthan gum works as a thickener. So, its quantity used also depends on the consistency of flax gel. If your flax gel is thicker then use less xanthan gum and vice-a-versa.
**Use measuring cups and spoons for measuring your ingredients.
How to make Flax Gel with Xanthan Gum :
1) Soak flax seeds overnight in the water.
2) Soaking the seeds overnight gives a better yield. Boil the water and flaxseeds together on medium heat till the gel forms (about 8 to 10 minutes). An egg-white consistency should form before you switch the heat off
3) Strain the gel into a utensil.
5) Mix them well with a spoon or fork and let the mixture cool down to a temperature at which you can touch (I don’t like to bring it all the way to room temperature as the gel hardens and I find it hard to mix in other ingredients.)
6) Blend them well using a hand-mixer (I don’t have one, so I used a regular blender, hand-mixer gives a slightly better texture and makes the gel smoother and fluffy).
7) Now make a paste of Xanthan gum – add Xanthan gum to warm water and stir continuously till the lumps are gone and a smooth paste is formed.
8) Add the Xanthan gum paste to the flaxseed gel (result of step 7 to step 6)
9) Blend the mixture using hand mixer or blender again.
10) Pour into a container and store it in the refrigerator.
- Play with the recipe and find out the exact amount of ingredients you need. The measurements I mentioned are what works well for my hair texture and volume.
- Soaking flaxseeds ahead of time (even if not overnight) helps extracting more gel. The extraction process is easier too.
- You can store the used flaxseeds and reuse them with some more fresh seeds next time. But I am not a big fan.
- Clean and disinfect the containers you use to store the gel. This helps in prolonging the shelf life. Disinfect with vinegar or alcohol and wipe out the water content before you pour in the gel.
- Use a container with dispenser, so that you don’t have to touch the remainder of the gel every time you use and transfer microbes which might again lead to reducing the shelf life (example: ketchup bottle, bottle with a pump, shampoo bottle).
- Make larger quantities once you are confident of the process and the amount of ingredients you need and freeze half of it. I freeze into ice cube trays and unfreeze one cube for refreshing or 2 for freshly washed hair).
- Wash all the utensils used immediately when it is easier to clean.
- While applying the gel, make sure both your palms are wet and coated with gel, so that you don’t cause frizz touching the hair.
Significance of the ingredients:
Flaxseeds – they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which help improve the elasticity of the hair and reduce breakage. The gel consistency helps preserve the curl pattern and it helps in clumped curls.
Xanthan gum – this is plant derived, usually from corn or soy or wheat. The helps stabilize the viscosity (consistency) of the gel. It acts as a thickening agent without reducing any of the properties of the flaxseeds.
Oils – help lock the moisture in your hair. Softens hair. Use oils as per your hair texture and volume. Make sure you use virgin oils.
Jojoba oil, Grape seed oil, sweet almond oil , avocado oil, coconut oil, argan oil, olive oil, castor oil, shea butter- this is in the increasing order of heaviness.
Essential oils – for fragrance and ayurvedic properties.
Rose oil – perfect for waivies, adds strength and shine
Lavender oil – promotes hair growth, anti-inflammatory properties ease dandruff issues
Rosemary , Jasmine, Peppermint, chamomile oils – relieving soreness and promotes hair growth
Aloe vera gel – soothing agent, adds shine to hair, reduces pH and closes cuticles hence reflecting the sunlight which makes hair look shinier, helps repair hair damage.
Glycerin – it is a humectant and helps retain moisture in the hair. Helps define curls because of the thick viscosity, reduces fizz.