Having curly hair is a trial and a half, and until I got experimental I had hated it. But now I’ve figured out how to clean, style, and maintain my curls in a way that compliments my journey to minimalism and zero/low waste. Bonus: my hair looks and feels healthier than it ever has.
My routine has become so simple that it is almost embarrassing for me to explain it to people. I don’t buy shampoo, conditioner, gel, mousse, whatevs. Instead, I rinse my hair with a 1:8 ratio of vinegar to water about twice a week. And no, it doesn’t seem to matter if I’m using white vinegar or apple cider vinegar. I slowly pour the water and vinegar onto my soaking wet hair, focusing on the roots, and then I massage my scalp. I generally allow it to sit on my hair for a few minutes before rinsing out, which not only cleans my scalp but also makes my hair softer and shinier.
Instead of conditioner, I use oils. About once a week I lightly coat my ends with an oil and let sit for anywhere between a few minutes to a few hours prior to showering, then do my vinegar rinse. Because I am not washing out my natural oils, I find that I don’t need to do this treatment more than once weekly.
As for hold, I favor my own homemade gel. I make a gel from boiling chia seeds and flax seeds, then apply it liberally to my still extremely wet hair before blotting and scrunching with a cotton tshirt.
Hair Gel
1/8 cup chia seeds
1/8 cup flax seeds
1/4 cup flax seeds
2 cups water
1/8 teaspoon oil of choice (optional)
Boil all ingredients together on medium, stirring frequently, for about 5-7 minutes. Water should start becoming thicker and sticky. Strain immediately. This gel starts to congeal quickly, so a lot of stirring is necessary!
I always strain into a bowl and then transfer to a jar, it’s much less messy that way! Then store in the fridge for about 2-3 weeks.
I used to just use the flax seeds for this and found it made a much heavier, stronger hold gel. The flax gel is great for controlling frizz and for a spikey look. The flax seeds can be used at least once more, and I always allow the strained seeds to cool then I store them in a glass jar in the freezer until I’m ready to make the gel again. I allow the frozen flax seeds to thaw in the fridge over night prior to their reuse.
The chia and flax mix gel is a softer hold, I love how it controls my frizz but still makes for a touchable hold. I am yet to have any success reusing the chia and flax seeds, frowny face. The mix gel leaves little to no cast on the hair, where the flax gel leaves some cast to be removed once the hair is dry. Both gels rinse out with water easily and I find I have no build up or residue issues. I opt out of using oil in my gel because I found it would cause a little build up on my scalp and, frankly, I found I didn’t need the extra moisture.
I have been using flax and the flax/chia gel off and on for a few years now, but always find myself coming back to this concoction. By far, I get more attention for my hair when I use these gels than when I use store bought. Have you tried flax hair gel? Do you make your own hair products?

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