homemade hair gel

i’ve been asked A LOT about taming curly hair and frizz while being no-‘poo and i’ve always offered the “don’t use heat and use coconut oil like your life depends on it” advice.

well curly girls, i’ve done my research and found these NATURAL ways to make gel/mousse to tame those curly locks (see, i really do care and think about you guys! lol).

so here goes:


VERSION 1 – easy but needs to be kept in the fridge-

  • 1/2 to 1 tsp unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup warm, distilled water
  • 1-2 drops of essential oils (your choice)

mix and dissolve the gelatin into the water. use as you would a normal store gel, but keep it in the FRIDGE!

VERSION 2a little more work, but can be kept in a container in the bathroom-

  • 1 cup distilled water
  • 2 tbsp flax seed
  • 1-2 drops of essential oil (whatever you like)

mix together water and seeds in a small pot. bring them to a boil and remove from heat. let it sit and “marinade” for about a half hour. strain out seeds.
when it’s cooled off, add the oil and mix, mix, mix! you can place this in a jar and use as you would regular store gel. make sure to keep it tightly sealed!!!

please try these and let me know what you think!!! woohoo!



[photo credits here & here. recipes from a combo of other sources.]

43 thoughts on “homemade hair gel

  1. Soooo…. I have a question that has a really long explanation. I just started no-poo not too long ago and about the second time I think that I washed, I used a tiny (and I mean TINY) amount of coconut oil on the ends and a little higher of my hair. Well I guess that little amount was even way too much because the lower half of my hair was still greasy by the end of the day. (I had applied the oil when my hair was still damp and when it dried it was never fully dry because it was so oily.) I have rinsed with just water once and washed with the bs wash and acv rinse another time since then and I still cant get it out! My hair is naturally curly but without using my diffuser (avoiding any heat on my hair as well) it just falls flat and with the added oil weighing it down… I feel like I have dreadlocks! What should I do?

    (Sorry for the long comment, I just wanted to give you as much info as possible! Thanks for any help you can give!)


    1. hey there! i’m sorry you’re having trouble with the CO :( when i put CO on my hair, it’s usually about a pinky nail amount for all my hair. unfortunately, bs won’t get CO out of hair, but since you used so little, i’m wondering if applying it directly to where you put the CO will take it out? be careful to not overwash and dry out the ends of your hair. from here on out, stick to the other no-poo friendly deep conditioners :) if it still won’t get out, your best bet will be to get a very cheap shampoo that doesnt have any silicones in it (no ingredients that end in -zane, -xane, -cone, or -conol) and ONLY wash the ends of your hair with it, where the CO is. it’ll take it out. you may need to deep condition after if it dries out your hair too much. don’t use it after that :)


    2. I did the same thing the first time I used CO as a conditioner, except it was all over my head! I whipped up a couple of egg yolks and used it as a “shampoo.” It took about two washes this way, but it all came out. Like dissolves like, so the fats in the yolk took out the oil in my hair.


  2. I just used the homemade gel that mixes gelatin with water and it worked better than my old gel! My curls are defined and no longer frizzy( my hair was very frizzy when I switched to no poo) thank you so much for this post! It definitely makes me want to push through this transition phase.


    1. did you apply it to your wet hair or dry hair? before no poo i put mousse in my wet hair because that’s when my curls set and my curls would be messed up and frizzy if i moussed it while dry.


  3. I was wondering if you could use 100% Aloe vera gel as hair gel i know that sounds really weird but its gel and its safe to use on hair so tell me what you think. thanks.


  4. Hi Alex Raye, I’ve been transitioning to chemical free over the past year and can’t believe I only just found your blog. Mostly I just wanted to say thank you! And you are awesome, and your blog is awesome!
    Also, I’m making up my first batch of flax seed gel and am excited to try it out!


    1. I live in an area with hard water and if I don’t use distilled water… the no’poo doesn’t work! Discovered this by accident when suddenly my hair was wonderful while visiting my parents (overseas) and when I came home again it was back to gunk/transition phase!!! ;-)


  5. So I made the flax gel. I am not sure quite how to use it. It’s pure liquid so it’s hard to get it from my hand to my hair without it dripping all over the bathroom. I am new to wavy hair. Never needed product. Is it just for the ends? Maybe I should put it in a spray bottle?


  6. Any idea if you can blend vinegar into the gel for a thickened version of conditioner? I have kids and I’m scared they’ll get it in their eyes.


  7. I make flax seed gel all the time. You have to boil it for quite a while, until the seeds suspend in the liquid, then pass the gel through a strainer before it cools. I add orange EO because I like the smell. My husband calls it my “fruity hair snot”! Does have that consistency!


  8. Could you use chia seeds instead of flax? I only ask because they make a gel after only 15 minutes of being in water without boiling. Seems much easier.


    1. Hey! Thank you, thank you, thank you for this hair gel recipe. I went no poo’ back in January and have been having major issues with frizz ever since. I have just whipped up a batch of this gel in under an hour, and it works very well. It smoothed my hair out and didn’t make it look dirty or greasy. So, thanks again.


    1. Same here, first time i made it is was very runny but worked fine, next time is was really gel-y and made my hair very hard. I will try Jane´s idea next : )


    2. I tried the flax gel a few times & found it very difficult to strain & also it just worked “OK” on my curly hair. I found another version (aloe vera & gelatine) – that works great. Here is link & recipe

      For a light hold, use these ingredients:
      ½ cup water
      1 tsp gelatin
      ½ cup 100% Aloe Vera Gel
      a drop of your favorite essential oil (optional)
      For a stronger hold, use these ingredients:
      ¾ cup water
      1.5 tsp gelatin
      ¼ cup 100% Aloe Vera Gel
      a drop of your favorite essential oil (optional)
      1. Measure out your water. Pour just enough into a bowl or glass so that you can sprinkle the gelatin on top and let it gel.
      2. Heat up the remaining water to boiling. Once it’s hot, pour it over the gelatin and stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved.
      3. Place this ‘water Jell-O’ in the fridge for a couple hours until it’s completely set.
      4. Now, scoop all of your gelled water into a blender along with the aloe and essential oil. Blend on the lowest speed until all of the gelatin clumps are fully broken up.
      5. Pour into an empty squeeze bottle



  9. I have a 7 yr old son with short super cool styled hair. I don’t want to put chemicals and perfume in his hair. I use 100% aloe vera gel to style his hair. The more you use the more of the wet look you get. It also stays styled looking when it drys and you run your hands thru it. He has lots of allergies. So this is safe. Love it!


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