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  • Contributor: To All the Curly Girls, Love Erica

    This is Erica (a very curly girl).  

    To all curly (or wavy) girls out there, this post is for you. Are you tired of frizz, the “poodle” look, the cost of your hair product (or the variety of failed products that you have sitting under your sink), the unpredictable hair days, and the overall exasperation that your hair has brought on? If you spend hours blowing and flattening your beautiful locks, stop! I have embarked on a journey to understand our wild type and I’m going to share the highlights of how to make your hair bouncy, soft, defined, and nearly frizz-free. I will start with HOMEMADE HAIR GEL! I also have some great links and tips to share. 

    Homemade Hair Gel:
    This quick, easy to make gel is my preference over anything store bought. My hair has become so soft and feels so healthy under the influence of this concoction.

    What you will need:
    ¼ c. Flax seed (also called linseed)
    2 c. Water
    Small/Medium pot
    Wire mesh strainer (flax seeds are pretty small)
    8-12 minutes
    Squeezy bottle/container
    Grapefruit seed extract
    Essential oil (for fragrance)

    Step 1: Add water and flax seeds to the pot and stir in.

    Step 2: Turn stove top to medium heat.

    Step 3: Bring to a boil and then boil, stirring occasionally, for about 8-10 minutes.

    Step 4: You know it’s ready when the substance is somewhat like egg-whites (the only gross feature of this product, you’ll get used to it).

    Step 5: Remove from heat and strain into a heat-resistant bowl or container (This is where I drip 5 drops of Grapefruit Seed Extract and stir – I don’t use essential oils but you’d put it in at this point as well).

    Step 6: Cool in freezer for 5-10 minutes, but don't forget about it!

    Step 7: Transfer to squeezy bottle/container.

    This stuff will last about two weeks refrigerated. Remember it’s food and it goes rancid!

    Now for the tips and how-tos:
    Tip #1
    My main hair tip starts in the shower and it is an echo of what is popular in the curly girl world.

    Don’t use any sulfates or silicones in your hair!

    See this link for a more in depth explanation. In fact, don’t be grossed out, I don’t use hardly any shampoo at all. If a shampoo doesn’t specifically indicate that it is sulfate free – it’s loaded with harsh detergents that dry out curly hair and make it crave moisture – which is what your hair is trying to do when it’s frizzy. Lather is a myth, after a while you’ll get used to the idea that your hair can feel just clean without it. Instead give your hair plenty of moisture through conditioner (silicone free so as not to coat your hair with wax). You can almost never use too much conditioner.

    Tip #2
    Don’t use Terry cloth, pull your hair downward, or comb your hair outside of the shower.
    You can use micro-fiber or an old t-shirt instead. My hair is very long so I absorb the water through "plopping" (long sleeve t-shirt is way easier). 

    Tip #3
    Patience. To properly use the gel you just made, remember that if your hair is used to the store bought stuff, it may take some time for your hair to breath easy with the natural stuff – don’t give up because you don’t like it the first time. The tip is to really have full coverage – the best word I can use is “drench” your hair in the gel.

    Tip #4
    I like to "clip" my hair as it dries for lift at the root. This is more important if you have long and heavy hair. I bought cheap ones on amazon.

    Tip #5
    Have fun and try different things – every curly head is different.