Quick & Easy Hair Gel Recipe for Natural Hair

Clear hair gel in small jar

Ever go through your whole wash day routine (shampoo, conditioning, and detangling) only to realize that you’re out of styler? Who hasn’t been there.

If you’ve ever been in that boat, here’s a super-fast hair gel recipe you can make and use in a pinch. This recipe provides tons of moisture, incredible hold, and no flakes. And because it’s super light, it’s especially awesome for all the low porosity, fine hair naturals out there.

And the best part? You only need three ingredients:

  1. A water-based liquid (e.g. water, Aloe Vera juice, a botanical infusion, or whatever strikes your fancy).
  2. Glycerin
  3. Xantham gum (you can get this at your local health foods store, like Whole Foods or Sprouts).

Simple, yeah?

The key to this recipe is proportions, and if they are off, you’ll end up with a hot mess. Start out with 1 part Xanthum gum and 2 parts glycerin (for example, 1 teaspoon of Xantham gum and 2 teaspoons of glycerin). You want a mixture that looks like a thick soup or a roux. It should be thick but smooth. No lumps or clumps whatsoever. Once you get an idea of the correct consistency, you can start adding more of the ingredients to create the right amount of product for your hair density and length.

Note: It’s easy to tell if your proportions are off: you’ll have clumps and you’ll have to start over. There’s no adding more liquid, more glycerin or gum to fix the mixture. Just throw it out and start over.

Once you’ve got a smooth mixture, start adding in your liquid slowly and whisk everything together. It should start to thicken immediately. Add more liquid if you want a thinner gel, and add less liquid if you like a thick gel. You can use it as is, but if you want a smoother consistency (there will be some opaque clumps, but these won’t affect the gel at all), you can put your gel in ¬†blender or food processor. You can also add any of your favorite oils at this point.

Note: It’s best to avoid using this recipe in environments with high humidity. The glycerin will react with (that is, attract) the moisture in the air, which can then sit on top of your strands and make your hair sticky to the touch.

Also, refrigerate your gel in between uses. Because this gel has no preservatives in it and is water-based, it can go bad really fast. Keeping it refrigerated will help it last longer so that you can get several uses out of each batch.

If you give this recipe a try, let me know how it goes. What changes did you make to make it better or work better for you? I bet others would love to know. Let me know in the comments.

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