Linseed Hair Gel: a Green Alternative




Introduction: Linseed Hair Gel: a Green Alternative

Before I begin: this is my first instructable so if you see anything I could improve don't hesitate on commenting, also english is my second language, if you see anything written in "weird" english please tell me about it so I can fix it.

About a month ago or so I was feeling lazy to go cut my hair and since my hair cutting machine died after a horrible fall I haven't been able to do it myself. What do we do? the alternative to avoid a light bulb like head for people like me who have thick straight hair which doesn't naturally fall even when it's 1" long it's hair gel.

But I really don't want to use the industrial product, it has many things I don't want to put on my head beginning with alcohol which combined with a really hot environment with a lot of sun (I live in a very hot and sunny area) will surely dry my scalp, sure there are gentler products but these have become prohibitively expensive where I live, besides, this is instructables and it's all about making, not buying.

So I asked my mother if she knew how to make hair gel and she gave me this recipe. I'm sure some of you have seen it or heard about it but still here it is for those who haven't.

Why use it?

-Cheap ingredients
-Very easy to make
-Gives good results

Step 1: Gather Materials

For this you'll need
-1 cup of water (~236ml)
-2 tbsp of linseed (also called flaxseed)
-A small pot (mine's not so small but it was what I had)
-A strainer (one that can be used with hot liquids, I used an old one used for these kind of things)
-1 small container to put the final product

Step 2: Cooking

Add the water to the pot and place it on the stove.

Wait until it's hot and add the 2 tbsp of linseed.

Step 3: Let It Boil

Let it boil a little while ~2min, it should have light gooey texture (see attached video).

Step 4: Strain It

Strain it while it's hot.

Tip: if it is too thick to strain you can add a little bit of water to help it, be careful not to add too much.

Step 5: Ready to Serve

Let it cool down, it now should be a little thicker. Pour it in the container you'll use to store it, I used an old hair something container that was laying around the house.

This time it was a little too thick and had to add some water but it should produce ~2/3 cup (~157ml)

You can use it now or later.

It spoils in about a week if not refrigerated (3-5 days if you live in a hot area) which is the reason why the recipe is to produce a small amount. If it is properly refrigerated it will last around 15-20 days, I've been told that it can last over month by freezing it, but in the test I made the texture was not the same as it was not thick enough.

Step 6: End Results

Apply it on your hair and wait until it dries

It last for hours while undisturbed, and after being disturbed leaves the hair in a nice shape.



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    17 Discussions

    This is definitely an awesome instructible. A couple of things, though, and mainly just because I'm a perfectionist, but first, you're grammar's a little off at the start of your second paragraph, it's not important, I just have a thing for proper grammar, you simply neglected to add the word "ago". Nobody else would have noticed it, though, so it's not as important. Second, you might want to look into embedding that video, rather than attaching it. It just makes it more convenient for people to watch it without having to open any files.

    Other than that, it's by far one of my favourite articles. I do agree with Wilgubeast, though, that you could probably use a camera tripod. You can pick up a tabletop tripod from anywhere that sells cameras for about $50ish, and you can make them for less (if you know how). But, yeah, great work. This is definitely something I have to try some time.

    3 replies

    Also, just noticed this one, which lots of native speakers / writers mess up, whether because of confusion (they sound alike) or simple typographical error:

    "Your" is possessive. It means "belongs to you," whether "you" are one person or many.

    "You're" is a contraction, or combination, of two words, "you" and "are." The apostrophe ( ' ) is used to show that one or more letters have been left out of the spelling and / or pronunciation. Here, the "a" in "are" is left out, or skipped. The meaning is the same as "you are."

    Starting the year off with a real OCD bang!

    As a college instructor (law, not English language) in the U.S. who's worked with many students, I feel compelled to comment. L4sh, your written English is on a par with most college freshmen whose first language is English. In fact, your spelling is superior to that of many U.S. natives. You have one style issue that's very common for English language writers, whether or not English is their first language: your sentences run looooonng! You're pretty sophisticated in your use of colons & other punctuation, but you're allowing yourself to run on afterwards. One exercise I frequently force on my students is writing essays using sentences with no more than 11 words each. It's artificial, but it makes the writer focus on where natural breaks should occur. It's also weirdly entertaining to try. You do have some minor problems with American phrasing, but that comes with time & experience. ("About a month ago or so I was feeling lazy to go cut my hair...." Better to write / use "... feeling too lazy to go cut my hair...." When you're just talking about how you feel, you can use "lazy" or any other similar word by itself. For some reason, though, when you're saying your feelings are stopping you from doing something, you need to include "too" before the sense/emotion/state. I wish I knew why. Regardless of native language, most folks who learn English later in life seem to use the "I feel angry to talk quietly" formula, instead of the native "I feel too angry to talk quietly." As they say in New York, go know. [That's a mix between "who knew this was true?" and "how could a person be expected to know this?" and a sort of acceptance of the new information.])

    Thanks, I fixed it. I'm thinking about re-shooting it later with less camera shake and embed it then.

    I would consider adding that it should be refrigerated. Since you don't use any preservatives, this will prevent it from spoiling as quickly. Besides, after coming out of a nice hot shower, some cool hair gel would feel nice on the head.

    1 reply

    This is great! i can't wait to try it! I'm wondering if adding a cap of Vitamin E would help preserving? I may add a drop of lavender for scent!

    1 reply

    I don't know, I'd have to make a batch and test it, though linseed is already rich in antioxidants so I doubt it would make a difference but I can't be sure until it's tested.

    Wonderful. I found a pound (~.45Kg) of flaxseed at the dollar store. Using your recipe this would make a great deal of hair gel.
    BTW, I took those dollar store seeds and threw them around an empty lot this spring during the rainy season and they developed quite well. Nice to find even more uses for a wonderful plant.

    1 reply

    You can use the fiber to make some rope or linen if you have enough plants.

    Thank you for sharing!!!

    BTW, you wrote nicer then I could & English s my 1st language, in fact I didn't understand what the heck timmycutts was saying.


    Nice. Linseed oil is used for sealing wood, so it would hold air easily! does it have any smell?

    1 reply

    At first it has a very soft herbal smell which intensifies over time until it's too strong indicating it has decomposed, BTW once it dries the smell becomes unnoticeable unless it's decomposed.

    Your instructable was nicely written and was easy to follow. I will be trying this recipe as I don't like alcohol in my hair pomades and styling gels. Keep posting. Thanks for taking the time to share!

    1 reply

    Thanks. There's also another one made with china rose (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) but since I haven't seen a plant over here in years it might take a while to find some to properly make an instructable.

    In case you're interested all you need to do is grind in a mortar 4 china rose leaves and leave them soaking in 1/2 cup of water for ~30 min, then strain it and you have hair gel.

    This is awesome! Excellent first Instructable.

    Use a tripod if you can get one. Or make one. It'll help with the photos for all your future projects. Check the forums for communities on Instructables who speak your language. They can often help with common translation issues. (Any weird English didn't prevent me from understanding. Awesome work.)

    1 reply

    Thanks for the feedback.

    Maybe I'll make one later since i need it to be able to hold both a phone and a camera.