I finally created a working batch 2 days ago.
I simmered 1/2 cup frozen okra in 3/4 cup filtered water for 20 minutes. I then strained the liquid and returned it back to the saucepan.
To thicken it, I added 1/4 tsp of cornstarch in 1/2 tsp cold water to the okra liquid. I didn't thicken, so I added the same amount once more. Again, it stayed pretty liquidy and again I added more cornstarch. So the total was about 1 teaspoon level cornstarch in 2 teaspoons cold water.
Because of the process with the cornstarch, I ended up simmering for another 15 minutes which brought the mixture down to a bit less than 1/2 cup total.
Since this was my first time adding cornstarch, I was hesitant to add more and took it off the heat to complete the last few steps. I added a pinch of sea salt, 1/4 tsp raw honey, squeezed in vitamin E from a 500mg softgel, and accidentally poured in about 1/4 teaspoon eucalyptus oil. Why eucalyptus? It just happened to be there and I knew it would hinder bacterial growth a bit.
I poured the completed mixture into a flip-top squeeze bottle and refrigerated while I washed my hair. I used about 2-3 tablespoons of okra gel in my hair. Because I scrunch things in my dense head of thick hair, I'm pretty sure I didn't coat all of it.
The results? It finally worked! My hair frizzed a bit during application, but it dried with hold and clumped my hair better than KCCC! (a section of hair didn't clump well, because I suck at distribution.) Considering the last two batches failed, I was pleasantly surprised! And even though the cornstarch didn't thicken it much, I'm pretty sure I owe the positive results to it. All hail cornstarch! Now to find a way to preserve the mixture.
-2b waist-length hair (ringlets in the front and canopy, straighter under-layer)
-Dense head of med-coarse strands