Saturday, January 25, 2014

Just The Flax


Somehow, recently, I was wandering the natural DIY forums and stumbled upon flax seed hair gel.  Flax seeds what?!  How on earth does that work?  I was intrigued since I am the mother of 2 boys and have frizzy locks, myself.  I had to try it. Flax seeds are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids which are great for scalp health. I got pretty excited ESPECIALLY once I realized that flax seeds were, like, 3 dollars at Trader Joe's and a little goes a long way with this recipe.  Winning.

 There are a lot of variations to this crazy easy concept and you can modify it depending on your hair and what you like.  Some people add aloe vera gel for softness or honey for nourishment.  I did both so I could have the whole experience.  I found a lot of recipes online and you can make a one cup version or a 2 cup version depending on how much you use.  It is perishable and needs to be kept in the refrigerator so you don't need to make a huge jar that you'll end up throwing away.  The process was so easy, it's no big deal for me to make it  as we need it.  I have been using the one cup amount and it's been enough for Liam and I to use it daily for a week and we still have plenty more left.  James doesn't like gel, no matter how granola it is.

Here's what you need:

2 Tablespoons of flax seeds
1 cup of water
A fine mesh strainer or pantyhose/trouser sock

That's it.

Optionals are aloe gel, honey, and essential oils.  The first batch I made, I used the aloe gel but didn't find that it was necessary for my hair type.  My friends with super curly hair prefer it because it adds more softness and less crunch.  It's totally up to you to experiment.  You would only need a little bit, like a tablespoon or less and even that can be adjusted to your liking.

One more thing to discuss before we get into the process, is straining.  You end up needing to strain the gel from the seeds which has the potential to be a goopy mess.  I tried a mesh strainer which was just ok, then I watched this video and was enlightened to the usefulness of pantyhose as a straining device.  THEN I took it to the next level with a chip clip and it couldn't be easier.  Here, I'll show you.

First, add your seeds to your water and let them gently boil for ten minutes.
(please excuse some of these photos. I was in a hurry and needed to get kids ready for the spelling bee and didn't want to get out the tripod)



As the seeds boil, the water they are cooking in will become gelatinous.


Like so.

Mucoid would be the word, but ew.

THEN put your panty ho (hose would be plural so one would be ho, right? No?) over a bowl or liquid measuring device.  I use a pyrex one cup measuring pitcher but you can use whatever you want.


Then,  with all the seeds and goo inside the sock, hold it up and clip a chip clip on it and slide it down until the gel starts straining out into your bowl.  Warning: the gel will be HOT.


(see what I said about bad photos?)

Keep sliding your clip down until all the gel has strained out.   I slide it up and squish it down as many times as it takes to drain the gel.  It will vary each time.  You can save the seeds for one more go if you want to be a serious conservationist. 

Let the gel cool a bit and then you can incorporate your add ins.  I use essential oils for scent.  I have done peppermint and lemongrass because it smells fresh and amazing.  Just add a few drops at a time until you are satisfied with the scent.  

Put the gel in a jar with a lid and keep it in the fridge.  It should keep up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.   

For Liam's hair, I just get it wet in the morning, put in the gel, and comb it through.  Here he is with a creepy face after a full school day.   The gel was holding fast and I was so impressed!


For my own hair, I just comb some through after my shower at night and style as usual in the morning.  I spritz all over with this hairspray, which is also a cinch to make, and I have excellent hold all day.  The other great thing is that this gel washes out with minimal effort.  Some gels I've used on the boys are a PAIN to wash out and I hate that. 

So, there you have it.  If you try it, let me know what you think.  If you hate it, it is so cheap, all is not lost.  Happy hippying!











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