Finally!!! I have put off trying this DIY project for a little while, primarily because I wasn’t too convinced gels would work on my hair texture. However, doing a little research, I found some gel recipes that just might work for my tresses! This is my version of a twisting gel using FLAXSEED!
Flaxseed has many benefits for hair, which we will discuss later, but as a gel it gives hold without crunch or dryness, moisture, softness and shine. Its also all natural, of course, and the seeds are reusable!
For my version, I wanted to use the gel to add a little extra hold and definition for my twist outs. Some people may use flaxseed gel alone for wash-n-go’s, but since I steer clear of wash-n-go’s at all costs, I added a few more ingredients to make it the perfect curling, holding, moisturizing DIY product for my twists!
Here is my DIY Flaxseed Twisting Gel:
1 cup flaxseeds
2 cups water
1/2-3/4 cup shea butter – softened/melted
1/4 cup of aloe vera gel
1 tbsp safflower oil
1 tbsp almond oil
1 tsp vegetable glycerin
10 drops lavender essential oil
5 drops grapefruit essential oil
*** You can always substitute your personal favorite carrier oils in place of safflower or almond oil. The same goes for the essential oils. As an aside, I find that adding a little grapefruit essential oil to my more pungent essential oils (such as lavender, peppermint, and rosemary) helps to brighten and soften the overall scent. You can also substitute the shea butter for a different type (avocado butter blends super well) or leave out the butter all together if you want a lighter product. Hold the honey if you have any bee allergies! Finally, if you live in a dry climate and/or during dry winter months, you may want to leave out the vegetable glycerin as it may make your hair dry (see my review on humectants for the reasons why): Hair Care 101: Humectants ***
1) In advance, you will want to have on the side a pair of tongs, a wide mouth glass jar, and a cut stocking or strainer to strain out your gel.
2) Prepare your flaxseed gel portion by bringing your seeds and 2 cups water to a boil. Allow to boil for about 5 minutes or until you see a white froth start to form along with thickening of your solution.
3) Once your gel has formed, carefully pour your solution through your strainer or stocking into your glass jar. I initially tried this with cheese cloth and made an entire mess! Even a strainer was not too productive. The stocking works best in my opinion. Now, because the gel is thick and hot, you will need a pair of tongs to carefully squeeze out the gel from your stocking sack of gelatinous seeds. This requires skill and a little patience!
4) Now to add in our other ingredients! I used about 1/2 cup of the gel for my mixture. While the gel is still hot, I added in my melted or softened shea butter. I also add in my other ingredients making sure to whip in the aloe vera gel last when it was closer to room temperature. I use my hand held blender on medium-high until the texture was creamy.
As an aside…the shea butter I used was a 10 oz container of 100% unrefined shea butter I purchased at an outdoor festival for only $3!!! This particular festival was at the New Orleans French Market, but I have seen vendors who sell similar bottles/jars of butters and oils at various festivals, in various cities throughout the years. This is a good, cheap, and easy way to stock up on DIY hair/skin care essentials that you want to use in your personal projects…so always keep a look out next time you’re at the local jazz, food, art, or cultural festival!
1) I start with freshly washed, conditioned and detangled hair separated into sections.
2) I’m making small twists. I take smaller sections from my larger sections and lightly mist the individual small section with a blend of H20 and oil from my handy spray bottle. Then I add about quarter sized amount of my twisting gel from roots to tips and twist that section. I repeat this, working through each larger section of hair, until all of the hair is twisted.
3) Store your remaining twisting gel in a tightly sealed jar in the refrigerator!
I allowed twists to stay in for a whole day before untwisting. To untwist, I coated my hands in a little coconut oil and individually pulled apart each twist into 2-3 sections. I liked the results overall. I think this will be a good twisting product for the hotter summer months since it’s less heavy and maintains the shape of the twists without drying out my hair!
More about the benefits of Flaxseed for hair!
Flaxseeds come from flax, one of the worlds oldest known crops. It’s chock-full of Omega-3 which makes it great for nourishing hair and skin. Along with anti-inflammatory properties, it can help promote hair growth. As a gel, it’s a very inexpensive and healthy way to style hair for wash-n-go’s, twist outs and smoothing edges for up-dos/ponytails. Unlike many store bought gels, it’s all natural and will not dry out your hair or cause flaking, instead it actually adds softness, shine, and moisture with its hold! It also helps to define your curls without the “crunchiness” you can experience with those manufactured gels.