Flax seeds, slippery elm and marshmallow root all contain polysaccharides, which are essentially sugars. When these plants come in contact with water the polysaccharides are released, creating a slippery mucilage semi-liquid. Polysaccharides are highly emollient, which means when they are applied to the skin or hair they are super hydrating and moisturizing. At PH 4 and with the highest amount of polysaccharides in plants, it’s easy to see why aloe vera comes highly recommended for skin and hair care. Aloe vera is the ultimate moisturizer. For variation, the combination of flax seeds and slippery elm is an option. The left overs can be frozen and used over again, which makes this diy flaxseed gel/serum more economical than plain aloe vera.
DIY Flaxseed Gel Recipe:
- Add the flaxseeds, slippery elm and two cups of water in a pot
- On medium heat, bring to a boil. Once the mixture has boiled lower the heat to slow the boil and allow for mucilage release for about 6 minutes
- Remove from heat and filter the gel while it’s still hot. Cooling will thicken the gel and make it much harder to filter from the herbs so filter as soon as the mix is removed from the stove
- Allow the gel to thicken and cool to about room temperature
- In a separate bowl, add one tablespoon of Shea Water Soluble and then your essential oils. Mix throughly.
- Add your Shea and essential oils to the cooled gel and mix throughly. The Shea WS should completely dissolve into the gel/serum
- Add 1/2 teaspoon of preservative and bottle. If you skip preservative keep the flaxseed gel refrigerated and watch out for rancidity. Discard within two weeks of use maximum
See Also: My 4C Hair TWA Features
For my light density 4C hair, this flaxseed gel (I prefer serum because of it’s thin consistency) is intended to be a water-based moisturizer, which is why I add slippery elm or marsh mallow root. Even though my 4C texture is prone to drying out, I don’t blindly moisturize daily. Instead, I watch and feel my hair then make haircare decision based on the condition of my hair. If you use this flaxseed gel/serum consistently you should notice your hair softening and more texture definition. I’m a true 4C with no visible texture definition from a far (cotton-like appearance, see details here). Usually I have to squint (or wet my hair) to see the million of tiny curls but with this serum, I can instantly see the definition, even with a light spritz.
How to use the DIY flaxseed gel/serum:
- Water-based moisturizer
- Light-hold styling serum to refresh twist out/ braid out
- Mixing medium for weekly muds (I add aloe vera juice as well)
- Thin out thicker conditioners
- Thin out with aloe vera and voilah, you have a moisturizing spritz with a heavenly scent
Remember water-based moisturizers have to be sealed with oil/butters in order to lock them into the hair strand. I usually follow with an aloe vera cream (see diy video here) or the hydration hair cream (available here) then seal with a butter or oil.
PS: Flaxseeds are a super food and an awesome source of iron. Eat them at every chance you get. I roast them with Cauliflower or grind a teaspoon into my smoothies. Remember what you put in internally is more important than what’s on the external. Healthy body = Healthy hair!