Homemade Flaxseed gel for curly hair (with step-by-step photos)

I remember I was on the lookout for some good gels to give my curls hold. And as expected, most of the good ones were either not available easily in India or were pricey. That’s when I came across this wonder gel recipe on a curly hair forum – flaxseed gel is cheap, easy to make, and provides good hold to curly hair.

Flaxseeds are rich in fatty acids (Omega 3 and 6) that make hair healthier. Flaxseed gel (FSG) enhances curls for bounce and definition.  Though it is generally said to not have good hold, I find that my hair stays good for at least 8 hours without being weighed down. Flaxseed gel is not sticky like store bought gels. Instead of being drying, it moisturizes hair. And it smells really nutty and earthy. A total winner!

Ingredients for flaxseed gel

flaxseed gel curly hair (2)

(The below quantity produces enough gel for my hair type/length for 2 applications)

1/4 cup of flaxseeds (I use brown flaxseeds) –  You can buy organic flax seeds here.

2 cups of water

(Yes that’s pretty much it!)

Directions to make flaxseed gel for curly hair

 (You can soak the seeds overnight for more hold but that is totally optional. I never do it – I am lazy :P)

flaxseed gel curly hair (3)

  1. Place the water and flaxseeds in a pan on a stove at medium-high. Keep stirring once in a while to prevent the seeds from sticking to the pan.
  1. Once it starts boiling, you will notice white froth coming up to the top soon. The consistency will change from watery to jelly like and thick (almost like egg whites).
  1. Test the consistency with your ladle – As soon as it stops dripping like water and starts flowing like a gel (a thin string or thread of gel should flow), you can turn off the heat.

It might look a bit runnier than store bought gels, but as soon as it cools down it will thicken further. The whole process takes about 10 minutes. DO NOT boil the seeds for too long as the gel will become very thick and make it hard to apply on hair.

flaxseed gel curly hair (4)

  1. Strain this with a sturdy strainer (preferably a steel one) and keep stirring the seeds in the strainer to push out more gel.
  1. Optional: You can also mix your favourite oils or aloe vera gel into the flaxseed gel while it is still hot.

Without any preservatives, this flaxseed gel will stay in the fridge for two weeks. Some people also reuse the seeds for a second batch of gel. I’ve tried it and it gives poor hold so I ditch the seeds after 1 batch.

How to apply flaxseed gel on curly hair

Flaxseed gel has got a slimy i-will-escape-from-your hands texture and so you can whip it with an immersion blender. But I’ve noticed that with use, you get accustomed to this texture. Even then, it is advisable to apply the gel over an old cloth to prevent a mess.

After washing your hair, apply the gel to wet hair by raking it in (using fingers to run through hair) on. Use more flaxseed gel then you think you should. Your hair should feel completely saturated and slimy. If you use too little gel, the product will be not effective.

Flaxseed gel will make your hair really really wet. So your drying time may be longer than normal. Plopping after this is a good idea to speed up drying. After the hair has completely dried, scrunch out the crunch(hardness) to reveal soft curls. Read how to scrunch out the crunch here – Curly hair gels : Everything you need to know

Here are my results –




  1. I have tried this, but I guess I was using too little. I also wanted to ask you something. Is there some sort of a whitish residue on the hair once it dries up? I noticed it once or twice.

    1. Ya you need to use a LOT of flaxseed gel.
      Ya some days I’ve also noticed the whitish residue(after scrunching out the crunch). Strange.

      1. Hi, I think I know what the problem is. If you take too much of the gel & apply, it just clumps and the whitish residue forms as it dries. But if you take a couple of pumps and coat you palm evenly by rubbing and then apply on to your hair, you should not have the problem. When I started with the FSG, I noticed the whitish residue at my office, I was so disgusted that I just wanted to run to the shower, phew. Anyway, try this and let me know.

  2. Okay, first of all, i am soooooooooo thankful to you Anjana 🙂 and sorry for posting something or the other on all your posts 😜 All my life, my hair had been looking dry and lifeless like a broom, but after following all your posts and tips, my hair is starting to look muchhh better . . Initially I had used a truckload of bobbypins to hold my frizzy hair down and now it has come to none 😱💃🏻 So, I really dont have the patience or time to try this with a 4 month baby at home 😭😭 So, can you pleaseeee let me know your thoughts on the Giovanni organic LA Natural styling gel ? 😊 Pleeeeese ☺️ *sorry for the longgg comment* 😥

    1. Najma, I looovvee hearing from readers and I looove long comments so keep commenting 🙂
      I am happy the blog has helped you!
      About the gel, I haven’t used it – But I have read good reviews about it. So if it helps keeping your hair good, you can use it 🙂

  3. Hi Anjana,
    Thank you for all your posts. I have fallen in love with my curls after reading your posts and your suggestions have really helped me maintain them better. 🙂 🙂

    Does this gel act like a leave-in conditioner? Or do i need to wash my hair after applying it?
    Lately, i am getting a lot of dandruff and my scalp starts itching the second day from hairwash. Could you please recommend a good shampoo or home made treatment for the same?
    If i don’t wash my hair the second day, my scalp starts itching a lot and if i do my hair look really dry and frizzy.

    Thanks, GK

    1. That’s great to hear! The purpose of a gel is to protect your hair from external factors while it is drying and also to provide hold while it is drying so that your hair looks defined and frizz free once it is dry. So you shouldn’t wash it off. For the dandruff, wash once a week with http://www.curlsandbeautydiary.com/the-body-shop-ginger-anti-dandruff-shampoo-review/ for 1 month. After that wash once in 2 weeks for the next month and later you can just use it once a month. Rub your scalp well using fingertips(not nails) to lift off the flakes. For regular washing, try cowashing(http://www.curlsandbeautydiary.com/co-washing-curly-hair/). Increasing omega 3 in your diet also helps dandruff.

      1. Thanks Anjana, i will give it a try 🙂

        Also, could you recommend a good shampoo/conditioner or hair care routine for thin curly hair ? I have been noticing my hair getting thinner day by day and is making me worry now.

        Also, do you applying a serum the second day after hairwash? That’s when my hair start getting extremely dry/frizzy.

        1. The routine is same for fine or thick hair. If your hair thinning looks very problematic, you should consult a doctor to check for any underlying issues. Applying serum on dry hair will not do anything – what you can do is spray water from a spray bottle onto 2nd day hair and then apply serum.

  4. Hi Anjana,

    When should you wash your hair after applying the flaxseed gel? Does the hair become stiff after some 8 hours on applying this?

    1. Remya, flaxseed gel is a styling product to give definition to curls after washing your hair. After applying the gel wait till your hair is completely dry, then scrunch your hair (scrunch out the crunch) so that the stiffness goes and you get soft defined curls.

      1. Thanks Anjana. Will try that way. My hair is way too curly. Doesn’t using these chemicals,everyday affect the hair

  5. First timer here. Made FSG with your recipe. I just loved it. And thanks a million for that. But i just did not know what to do with my second day hair. Reapplying didn’t help with the frizz at all. Could you share your thoughts. TIA.

    1. Hey! You should always apply water before applying any products even if it is on day 1, 2 or 3. Use a spray bottle to dampen hair and then apply the gel. A post on refreshing is long due I guess 😐

  6. Hi Anjana my question is can I use flex seed gel if my hair is STRAIGHT I have no curls what so ever even when I wash I don’t get curls So can I still use FSG?
    Thank You

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