A super easy and frugal recipe for homemade hair gel that really works! It only uses two ingredients, with an optional third one. It’s also non-toxic and natural!
I have written a lot about my hair on the blog. Going no-poo in 2010 was the catalyst to leading a natural lifestyle for me and why I started this blog! I’ve perfected how I wash my hair without shampoo since that first post and wrote No-Poo Alternatives to Baking Soda, My Natural Curly Hair Regimen – How to Love Your Gorgeous Curls, and Oils and Other Natural Conditioner Alternatives. But until now, I have YET to find a hair gel that works with my thick, coarse, dry curls. I’ve been using Tigi Catwalk’s Curlz Rock hair cream and have always loved it, but lately I started noticing how whenever I used it on my hair, my hands would break out in eczema and start to itch. It gets a toxicity rating of 5 out of 10 on the EWG’s Skin Deep database, with the worst ingredient being the fragrance. Not a terrible rating, but it’s the pièce de resistance in my beauty regime as I’ve switched over to all-natural things in everything else!
Yet I’ve tried so many different natural concoctions like flax seed hair gel (it gunked up on my hair after a week or so and was as hard to get out as glue!), shea butter, coconut oil, a combo of those two, aloe vera, glycerine… you name it, I’ve probably tried it! I’ve pretty much given up on finding one that would work. Until I saw on DIY Natural that they use hair gel made with just gelatin and water. Awesome. Just two simple little ingredients. I’ve been drinking grassfed gelatin in my detox tea on a daily basis and have watched my nails grow and get strong, so I love gelatin.
What I Love About It
- It’s super duper cheap. Literally, pennies per batch. There are 96 teaspoons in this bottle of gelatin, and we’re only using 1/2 tsp. per batch. That’s 10 cents per batch!
- The essential oils I use are lavender and peppermint or orange, lavender and rosemary. So I get whiffs of the scent all day long and it’s so nice! (where to buy high quality essential oils)
- It’s easy to make.
- It’s totally safe and natural.
Fun fact – my mom says synchronized swimmers back in the fifties used gelatin in their hair to keep the style!
The Different Holds
Normally my hair needs a lot of styling cream as it is so dry and crazy (it’s super thick, coarse and very curly). I was surprised as the light hold actually worked for me! I found the medium hold is best, though, for my hair, as it lasted for several days. The strong hold is really strong and a bit crunchy for my taste. I found that it is crunchy when drying, but soft once it’s totally dry.
DIY Natural Hair Gel with Gelatin
(My affiliate links to Amazon are included in this section for your convenience).
- Light hold: 1/2 tsp. grassfed gelatin
- Medium hold: 3/4 tsp. grassfed gelatin
- Strong hold: 1 tsp. grassfed gelatin
- 1 cup hot water
- Optional for fragrance – 10 drops of your favorite essential oils. For hair, mine are lavender, rosemary, sweet orange, and peppermint. (where to buy high quality essential oils)
- Glass jar (like an 8 ounce mason jar) or squirt bottle
- Optional: for additional moisture, add some vegetable glycerine or pure aloe vera gel
Pour the hot water into an 8 ounce container (but not plastic just yet since it’s so hot!) and pour in the gelatin. Stir to combine then refrigerate for 3-4 hours or until set. Drop the essential oils in once cooled and stir.
Store in the fridge and it lasts for 1-2 weeks. I find it’s easiest to use with a squirt bottle or else it gets messy. It’s jello for your hair, who would’ve thought?!