Flax Seed Hair Gel..the revoloution for my curly hair!

Thursday, July 29, 2010
Been poking around Natruallycurly.com and reading all the posts with the ladies who have decided to abandon conventional hair products and get back to using more natural products which are safe for curly hair and also not stripping or causing reactions on the skin.

When i hear natural sometimes I tend to think the item is going to be more expensive than the store item which i can get for a budget price. Going green does not always mean cheap. It's an adjustment but using items closer to the natural state of things does work better in the long run if the family budget allows for it and i can maintain it well.

Okay so let's lay out how much hair care was costing me before i went the natural route:

Living Proof No Frizz shampoo and conditioner: 2oz bottles = $10 each = $20
Living Proof No Frizz Styling creme: 2 oz bottle = $14
Tresemme Hair Spray: 11oz = $4.99
Bioterra Hair Gel: 38 oz = $9.49 (with club card) plus 13oz bottle to use for travel and refill with the 38oz = 5.99 (with club card)
Giovanni 50:50 Balanced Hydrating-Clarifying Shampoo, for Normal to Dry Hair
8.5 fl oz = $7.97
matching conditioner: $7.97

total: $54.47
The no frizz items only last for at most 1 and a half months. The hair spray last really long b/c i barely used it except for the third or fourth day of having curls. Bioterra 38oz lasts a long time. I think about 2 years...had i not stopped using it it would have finally run out this month. The Giovanni used for clarifying once a week and it took a lot to clarify and deep condition my hair maybe 2 months. Not bad but ever other month for Living Proof was driving me up the wall. Besides the ingredients still had Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate in the shampoo and that is drying.

Okay, so having been fed up with no relief from frizz at all...a researching I went. Found Naturally Curly.com and started reading about what these girls have been doing ot better thier curly locks. My hair profile according to the website is a 3b. I have nice corkscrew curls and they can be loose but yes my hair comes out like curls from a curling iron naturally. A blessing and a curse. The girls follow the Curly Girl method or the system of co-washing which is conditioner washing. Using only conditioner to cleanse the hair. Wen is the infomercial version of this process. Couldn't go that route b/c it's so expensive. However the girls on the board said they used inexpensive conditioner like Suave Naturals (which you can get in the dollarstore... hey $1 not bad) for the first rounds of cleansing then used a quality conditioner for the leave in portion.

While this sounded like the way to go for me i still read on and looked for other methods. Shampoo bars. Made with oils and all things moisturizing. They are portable and take forever to use up for nice prices from $3 to almost $10. This sounded like something i could definitely go for. Supporting artisan soap makers and moms, while getting clean and conditioned hair.So i looked at Chagrin Valley Soap. Many of the NC posters use these soaps religiously. So to the web page i went and read the ingredients and was loving it. Okay the prices are really good and the sample prices were also good but i kept looking. To Etsy I went and found that some soap makers used sodium hydroxide in their shampoo bars and had to keep looking. Thanks to CV i knew what ingredients i wanted in my shampoo bar: coconut oil, jojoba oil, shea butter and a few other really moisturizing oils and butters. I was worried about castor oil weighing down my hair but i would have to try it out. Found Koala Care on Etsy and she has this amazing bar called Aphrodite's Shampoo Bar Soap. For $3.50 this mid sized bar (cause CV's are huge) had what i wanted (i think now it's $4.50). Shipping was $2.50 so for $6 happiness achived and conditioner, conventional conditioner knocked out.

To follow that rinse with Apple Cider Vinegar for shine and that's like $1.50 for a small bottle at the grocery store.

Now for the thing this post is name for: Flax Seed Gel
This has the buzz of all the natural beauties on NC forums. Flax seed gel is a natural gel you make at home from boiled flax seeds.
Basic Recipe:
1 C. Water (distilled is great if you have hard water)
1/4 C. Flax Seeds
Natural Preservative like (grapefruit Seed Extract or Vitamin E)

  1. Mix one cup of water to a quarter cup of flaxseeds and add to a pan.
  2. Heat slowly, stirring often to stop seeds from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  3. Continue to stir gently as water comes to a boil.
  4. A frothy jelly will form and it is crucial to turn the heat down a little when seeds settle in the jelly rather than falling immediately to the bottom of the pan turn the heat off.
  5. Carefully pour the liquid through a strainer over a bowl checking for any seeds that may have passed through.
  6. Essential oils or preservative can be added at this point.
To this recipe my preservative is Vitamin E ($6 for 200 capsules at Walmart) and for hold, agave nectar ($3 at grocery store) and for more moisture and great scent Sweet almond oil ($2 at Walmart Latino section of the hair styling products), oh yeah Flax seed at grocery store 1lbs for $2.99.

This has given me the perfect curls. Oh yeah must add EVCO just for volume and yes more moisture ( my hair is very thirsty). I use the EV Coconut Oil ($8.99 at Vitamin Shoppe) last because it seals the hair shaft. Air dry and my hair is just WONDERFUL! The gel lasts for about 2 weeks and i have made a more concentrated mixture so that the hold is stronger. My curls are tighter and frizz free! i love it! It's soft and touchable and even lasts in rain. I can even stretch out washings to almost 7 days and my hair looks better the more gel i add to it and do on water rinse mid week in case of the rim of fuzz appears from sleeping and tossing and turning due to pregnancy (so can't wait to get my body back so i can sleep still on my back).

Total: $30.48

Since I'm using very small amounts of everything this $30.48 is going to stretch a long way. I've only used a half cup- 4oz out of 16oz of the flax seed so far and the almond oil maybe half teaspoon (OMG my hair smells great between this and the EVCO..good enough to eat). ACV is only two cap-fulls in warm water. The shampoo bar has barely wasted away, same with the coconut oil. The vitamin E, two capsules per FSG mix and 1/2 tsp agave nectar. This is a great investment b/c i know this will last over months and $2 here and $6 bucks there my hubby will not complain about anything especially since he has seen the change in my hair health and look.

So for almost $6 more than the cost of just the shampoo and styling creme, I'm getting a much better value and usage. This to me is FABULOUS!

UPDATE: her is my hair i hope you can see it well:

The difference between this and my profile pic...i can touch it and it moves well and it's soft! and $23.99!!!!!!!!!!
Photobucket Image Hosting


Deena said...

Hi there- thanks for the post! Just wanted to clear up one little thing. You talk about shampoo bars and how when you went to Etsy you saw that "some soap makers used sodium hydroxide in their shampoo bars" and so you ruled out these bars.

As a handmade soap maker, I'd like to shed light on this common mistake. Making soap is a process of combining fatty acids (i.e.: plant oils or animal fats) with a highly alkaline substance. In bar soap, this highly alkaline substance is lye - sodium hydroxide. (FYI: liquid soaps are made using potassium hydroxide- still considered 'lye'). If the soap maker has properly calculated, she will have made a "recipe" where all of her sodium hydroxide will chemically react with her fatty acids (oils) to produce two things: soap and glycerin (that's right- glycerin is a byproduct of soapmaking).

There IS NO SODIUM HYDROXIDE LEFT in the soap after the 'saponification'! Sorry to shout that, but this comes up all the time and I get people asking me to make them soap (or a shampoo bar- same thing) without lye. Grrrrr. Soap cannot come into existence without lye.

Lye is a 'natural' substance in that the naturally-occurring version comes from basically 'steaming' ash. This is why the soil after a forest fire is very alkaline. It is also why people put 'potash' on their gardens when they need to make the soil more alkaline for certain plants. Potash is lye diluted with dirt, ash, etc...

Anyway- of course we now make a standardized version of lye in the lab, but it's the same chemical and does occur naturally. Most of us soapmakers just don't feel like messing around with a bunch of wood ash to make it- messy and annoying! Some re-enactment societies DO make lye this way though when they show how soap was originally made (as it was supposedly 'discovered' when food grease dripped onto cooking fires back in the day).

So- to get to the moral of the story... Bar soap (including shampoo bars) does NOT include sodium hydroxide. The process of making soap is NOT a 'physical' process (like melting oils and butters and pouring into a jar to make a body butter), but rather a CHEMICAL process where you combine 'A' and 'B' and end up with 'C'. Soapmakers not only calculate very carefully to not end up with any lye in the finished product, they also often 'superfat' which means they add a small percentage of extra oils to make a super-moisturizing bar soap.

That's it! Just my soapmaker contribution to the discussion. Soap (and shampoo bars which are normally just super-super-fatted soap) cannot exist without having used lye (sodium hydroxide) in their making. However, there is NO sodium hydroxide left in the final product. :-)

(FYI: Detergents- most shampoos and body washes- are made following a similar process but with petroleum instead of plant or animal fats. This process yields a 'soap like' substance-- detergent -- but NO glycerin.)

Deena said...
This comment has been removed by the author.