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Make Your Own Styling Gel

March 8, 2012

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If you use thickening and styling products for your hair, but prefer all-natural ingredients and low cost, why not make your own?

Think Flax!
Inexpensive and widely available through health food stores and many supermarkets, flaxseed has earned a reputation as something of a “miracle food.” 

Perhaps you already use flax in your diet. The slimy mucilage—about 12 percent of the dry weight of the seed—that makes flaxseed such a good source of soluble fiber is easy to extract and use as a hair-styling agent.

Here’s how.

Making flaxseed hair gel
Make a decoction of flaxseed by simmering (stove or microwave) a tablespoon of flax seeds in a cup of water until the water is reduced by half. You can alter the consistency of the gel by adding more or fewer seeds.

Strain out the seeds (the foot of an old nylon stocking works well), and store the gel in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Use the gel as you do a commercial product, by combing it through wet or dry hair and setting, scrunching, or simply drying as usual.

Interesting side note
Flax is among the most ancient plants used by humans. People began weaving the long flax fibers into cloth more than 4,000 years ago. But archeologists have found dyed flax fibers dating back 30,000 years or more in Eurasian caves. They theorize that these early peoples didn’t make fabric, but braided the flax fibers to make string, which they could use to tie up bundles or weave into nets and snares for fishing and hunting.


Margaret Boyles lives in a wood-heated house in central New Hampshire. She grows vegetables, eats weeds, keeps chickens, swims in a backyard pond in summer, snowshoes in the surrounding woods in winter, and commutes by bike whenever possible.

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