That is the only ingredient. Well, except for water. And you can add essential oils…or not. Boil it up, let it cool to the touch and add some essential oils if you like…. and voila!
You have an all natural hair gel rich in omega 3’s that nourish and moisturize your hair while giving it a natural hold. I have even started this, gotten in the shower while it’s boiling, and use it that morning when it cools.
Facts about Flax
Haha, I couldn’t resist! Flax seeds are found two seed varieties – brown and golden. The fibers of the plant stem are used to make linen and cloth, and flax is one of the oldest known crops. It is known to be used in ancient Egypt.
Flax (also meaning linen) is mentioned in the King James Bible a total of 16 times (linen (9), flax (7)). The Hebrew word used in these instances is pishteh (you can find the Strong’s definition and Bible verses here ).
When you boil flax seeds you are actually making a mucilage from the seed’s water soluble, gelatinous, plant gum-like substance.
After reading the links above, it makes me wonder if the women in Biblical times knew about using flax seed hair gel. One could guess that nothing was wasted, so it might have been. I also found modern day cooking and medicinal uses.
FYI, oats and okra are two other plants that have this gum like substance that is released when boiled. Being a Texas girl, growing up my sister and I ate our share of boiled okra and always made faces at the slimy okra goo!!!
God is so good to provide for us in all kinds of ways.
I am recognizing more and more that I need to pay careful attention to what I might consider waste and not take for granted the unsuspecting benefits right before my eyes.
Tips for Making Flax Seed Hair Gel
I was frustrated that my hair was so soft and shiny until I put gel and hairspray on it, at which point it was dull and somewhat straw-like. I figured there had to be a better alternative, so started searching the internet and found this recipe a few years ago. I LOVE her YouTube channel, so make sure you check it out!
I have very fine hair, so I need something with ‘sport gel’ holding power. The original recipe just wasn’t enough for my hair, so I tested a few different flax seed amounts to find what works.
I love, love, love this recipe! It consistently works like clockwork if you follow these tips:
- Let the boiling water get frothy and foamy so that it thickens up better to get that stronger hold. My experience is that less froth/foam = less hold even if you follow everything else to a tee.
- Invest in a Ball canning funnel. They are heat resistant, which is nice. You can find them in the canning section where they sell canning supplies. I got mine at Walmart.
- This recipe consistently makes 1 cup or slightly less of hair gel so use a 1 cup glass jar or container that you can seal. I like these Ball canning jars best (comes in a 4-pack, also at Walmart).
- When you are done boiling the flax seeds, pour the gel/water and seeds IMMEDIATELY into the glass canning jar, using the canning funnel and a mesh strainer. The gel is a very thin liquid and strains out like water at this point. Don’t worry, the gel continues to thicken as it cools to room temperature.
After much trial and error, I’ve found this is the easiest and least messy way to strain the seeds out and very few if any seeds are in the gel. Have everything ready to go when you take the gel water/seeds off the burner.
I know it sounds crazy, but even waiting two minutes or so can make the straining much harder, so don’t think you need to let it cool. The gel begins to thicken up immediately. Trust me on this one!! If for some reason you miss this window (like I have), reheat the gel water/seeds to boiling and strain as described above.
- Wait until it cools to the touch before you add essential oils. Essential oils evaporate, so this is really important. Add 10-15 drops of any combination of essential oils for your hair type and stir with a toothpick or bamboo skewer.
- As soon as it cools to the touch, you can use it.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
- This hair gel travels well. It is fine to leave at room temperature for a few hours. Refrigerate when you get to your destination to keep fresh. I accidentally froze a small jar of hair gel in a hotel refrigerator a month or so ago. Just stick it in a sink of HOT water to thaw.
- This gel works well as a pomade to hold stray strands or for curly hair also.
Steps for Making Easy Flax Seed Hair Gel + Essential Oils
1. Pour a heaping ¼ cup flax seeds (1/4 level for ‘regular hold’ gel) into 2 cups of water. I used brown flax seeds.
2. Bring water to a frothy/foamy boil and boil for 30 minutes.
3. Strain IMMEDIATELY using a fine mesh strainer, canning funnel and glass jar of at least 1 cup capacity. You can see a few seeds in the photos below. Don’t worry, just pick them out as you find them.
4. Once cool to the touch stir vigorously and add 10-15 drops of any combination of essential oils for your hair type. This is optional, but your hair will absorb the nutrients along with the gel’s omega 3’s. If you hair is dry, add a few drops of Vitamin E as well. The oils will also act as a preservative, extending the use a little longer. See the air bubbles in the photos? That’s from the stirring!
Tips for Using Your Gel
- Like the very last picture above, just dip your fingers in the gel and pull some out, and apply it as normal.
- As far as hold, try using the same amount as you would store-bought gel.
- Style as usual! Where you don’t get the gel completely dry (or if you use it as a pomade to lift roots or tack down stray hair, or mousse for curly hair) you will notice it being a bit ‘crunchy’. Scrunch it with your fingers or brush it to get rid of that crunchy feel.
Don’t Throw Out Those Boiled Flax Seeds!!!
In case you didn’t know, flax seeds are quite a nutritional powerhouse. I can never seem to get my baking in sync with hair gel making. I’m pretty sure you could put them in baked goods to ‘healthy-ize’ them. One of these days I’m going to get it together and do this.
BUT you can feed them to your dogs, horses or other animals… or eat them yourself! Our dogs love them, and I eat some as well. Here is more information to read on the health benefits of flax seeds!
What do you think? Do you have anything to add? I’d love to hear from you.
Pam is an experienced, professional, freelance B2B copywriter, consultant and trainer. She blends her love of studying God’s Word and interests in natural beauty, health and home alternatives and communication skills to bring you resources to improve your everyday life. You can also find her at