No-fail flax seed gel - I finally did it...TWICE!

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The recipe I used is a little different than the 2Tbsp seeds to 1 cup water that I saw everywhere, but since I managed to make it work PERFECTLY twice in a row, I decided I should post it here for you guys. I got the recipe and directions from a youtube video (sorry - I don't have the link right now, but I think I can find it if you need it) that gave great visuals to go by, even if it was all still shots with text. It really helped me to see someone else do it so I knew at what point I should stop, and just how to do everything.

What I found I needed:

~ large saucepan - you need room for the seeds to move around in the water

~ wire or nylon mesh strainer - as fine as you can find, but mine is pretty loose, so I passed the strained gel through a smaller one I have - the small wire mesh type you'd use for OJ pulp

~ large bowl - deep enough so that the gel can get through without the strainer touching the surface

~ small wire whisk - not the springy kind you jam up and down like a plunger, but the classic teardrop shaped kind

~ 4-5 oz bottle - for storing your finished gel

I poured 1 cup of water (not warm or hot - just cool from the tap) into my saucepan, then 1/4 cup of flax seeds (linseeds in the UK), and then turned the heat on high. Stir every so often to keep the seeds moving and keep them from sticking to the bottom of the pan (I think this also helps the gelatinous stuff slough off of the seeds as you stir, as it seemed to help my consistency in the finished product). Once your water comes to a boil, stir gently, but almost constantly. When you start getting a thin, foamy jelly, turn the heat down a little, but keep stirring, watching for the point when you let the seeds settle for a second and they suspend in the clear jelly instead of sinking to the bottom.

Once you hit that point, shut off the heat, give one last stir, and immediately pour the liquid and seeds into the strainer over your bowl. I let the gel strain out of the seeds while I rinse my pan (don't let the gel dry in there or you'll have a mess to clean up later!), and then I lift the strainer and check for stray seeds in my gel. If there are any, I pour the gel back into the pan for a second while I swap strainers for my finer mesh, then pour the gel through again. If you want to add any AVG, EO, or FO, this is the time to do it (never add EOs or FOs to your water before boiling, because boiling breaks them down and destroys their scent and other properties). Then, I take my whisk and give the gel a good, quick beating (10 seconds or so), just to break up any really gelatinous strands there might be, or to mix in whatever I might have added in, and pour it into the bottle.

Sounds complicated, but the whole process takes me only about 6-8 minutes, and I have FSG the consistency of egg whites, which is perfect for me. If you want it thicker, you could always return it to the pan for a few minutes after it's been strained, but I think you would lose the FSG's ability to really get into your wet hair and give you great slip and clumping, because it would get too gloppy. Plus, the color of the finished product isn't green or yellow - it doesn't look like boogers at all. *lol* It's almost clear, but with just a touch of milkiness to it, and a little bit of a golden hue. Nothing obtrusive or offensive at all. In fact, if you didn't know what it was, you could easily mistake it for egg whites - color and consistency are almost identical.

Also, you can save the seeds and make at least one more batch of FSG from it - sometimes more, depending on the quality of your seeds. By watching your gel and knowing what point to strain, timing doesn't matter - I tried ten minutes once, and my gel was so gross, it was completely unusable. It was like jell-o that had been all broken up, but couldn't be liquified, you know? Or, now that I think about it, it was almost EXACTLY like the drippings from a chicken or a turkey that had been left to cool, and got all jelly like. Color and all. *shivers* I was scared to try again, but I'm really glad I did.

Anyway, you can keep using the same seeds to make batch after batch of gel just by watching your consistency as it boils, until it finally just won't give you that jelly-ish consistency anymore. I put my used seeds in a ziplock bag in the fridge, and I'll use them again next week or the week after. Hmmm...I wonder if I can freeze the used seeds - do you think they would still work after that?
BB


http://www.BotticelliBotanicals.etsy.com
BSL/Mid Back, thick 3a/b

Botticelli Botanicals Meringue
Botticelli Botanicals Smoothie
Botticelli Botanicals Styling Mudd w/ double avocado oil and double agave
Botticelli Botanicals Lime in the Coconut Butter

Last edited by BotticelliBabe; 11-09-2008 at 02:38 PM.
I'll have to try this (right after the quasi-KCCC), FSG has been a hit-or-miss for me so far. Thanks for posting!
http://public.fotki.com/opera-curls/ (I cut my own hair)
Pacific Northwest girl, color-treated fine 3B, med-low porosity

Products: Suave Coconut condish, Giovanni Direct Leave-In, FSG or KCCC, AfroVeda Shea-Amla Cream
I LOVE HENNA!
Edited due to a cyberstalker. Sorry, guys.

Last edited by Koukla72; 02-12-2009 at 07:00 PM.
Here's the link for the video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIPVOBVG_tE
smitherrama likes this.
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I actually just did this today but I went by the video's measurement's:

-2 cups filtered water
-1/2 cup flaxseeds

Brought to a boil till a froth appeared. Poured contents into a strainer over a bowl. I stirred the seeds while in the strainer to really get everything out. Honestly, I gagged a LOT while making this. I don't even want to explain what it reminded me of...

Instead of Aloe, I added 1 Tsp of Apricot Kernel Oil, plus a few dashes of Tangerine and Grapefruit EO's. I also added a glug of regular old vanilla extract for scent purposes. Getting it in my little bottle was a bit annoying/nauseating, but once it's in there - the gross factor goes away. I tried it today and all I can say is that I'm really excited to continue playing with it this week!!! Very good results so far!
3B-a / NYC / Playing since August 08 / DevaCut 09.06.08 / Growing out

My Routine Involves: Soaps/DW, ACV, Dr. Bronner's Shikakai Rinse, V05 Vanilla Mint Co, AOHR, AOWC, AOGPB, KBB Nectars, KBB SS, JWhip MOUSSE, HETT mousse, KCCC, BRHG, KBB LL, AK Oil, Plopping w/ T-shirts, Pixie curl diffusing

*denotes HG status*

"You see the saints? They all had curly hair!" - Great Grandma Filomena, who never wore hats - even in the dead of winter.
Here's the link for the video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIPVOBVG_tE
Originally Posted by ewenique
Thanks, that with BB's instructions make it clear as can be.
3a (Corkicelli), highlighted, fine, low porosity
modified CG, since April '07
CG since 3/11/08

SE PA

HGs: Anything Sevi; Curly Kinks Satin Roots, Curlycue ReNew and Coil Jam; homemade FSG and okra gel; soap bars; UFD Curly Magic (now Hello Curly Curl Stimulater); Botanical Spirits Jellies, CJ Repair Me, Marie Dean Leave Ins and Curl Creams
Thanks BB!

Now what kind of hold does it have? Can you compare it to any of the more commonly used gels on here?

Apologies if you've already posted that somewhere else.
Current Products: CJ Products: CF, DF, CT, SG, AFG, CIAB AND CK is back!
Current Experiment: S&C by D

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Seek not to change the world. Rather seek to change your mind about the world.
That's more or less what I do, except I strain through a pop sock instead of a strainer (and then throw the whole lot in the bin).

I tend to make the 'booger' variety as the hold is great (I do comb it through - it also satisfies the hairdressers' suggestion that I comb at least once every other day) but I'd love to hear what hold BB gets from her thinner mix.

I never thought about freezing and using again - knowing my luck someone will defrost and try to eat the seeds.
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Thanks ewenique, for posting the video link for me!

Instead of Aloe, I added 1 Tsp of Apricot Kernel Oil, plus a few dashes of Tangerine and Grapefruit EO's. I also added a glug of regular old vanilla extract for scent purposes. Getting it in my little bottle was a bit annoying/nauseating, but once it's in there - the gross factor goes away. I tried it today and all I can say is that I'm really excited to continue playing with it this week!!! Very good results so far!
Originally Posted by MickeyB603
I didn't gag, but it does look a lot like runny boogers or egg whites. And we put this stuff in our HAIR? *lol* I had thought about the vanilla extract, too, but there's alcohol in that, so I held back. Instead, I used some sweet orange EO, because it's naturally a little humectant, and my hair loves humectants.

Thanks BB!

Now what kind of hold does it have? Can you compare it to any of the more commonly used gels on here?

Apologies if you've already posted that somewhere else.
Originally Posted by whatsercurl
I hadn't yet, actually - I've only used it on multiple day hair that's been slathered in oils, so it's hard to say for sure. My hair is odd though - it doesn't need much real hold (straight FOTE usually has too much crunch in my hair!). My hair needs more direction than hold, and the FSG seems to be good at making the clumps stay together and not allowing any strays to jump out, causing frizz when they dry.

My whipped-outta-my-butt theory is that the weird boogery/egg white-y consistency has this strange tendency to pull back together no matter how many times you separate it (even with a whisk or beaters!), so that when you put it in your hair, is sort of pulls everything together and keeps it there until it's dry. It's sort of attracted to itself - almost like a magnet. Whatever the science behind it, it seems to work well. Maybe the next batch I make, I'll try returning the gel to a boil for just a minute at a time and see if I can still use it. Who knows - maybe stronger really is better!

Oh! And so far, I'd compare the hold to either Melting Gel or LOOB (but without the texturizing effect LOOB has), but like I said, that's on oiled hair, and all of my gels tend to lose hold when they come in contact with oils. I'll try it tonight by itself and let you know tomorrow if that changes when applied to "virgin" hair.
BB


http://www.BotticelliBotanicals.etsy.com
BSL/Mid Back, thick 3a/b

Botticelli Botanicals Meringue
Botticelli Botanicals Smoothie
Botticelli Botanicals Styling Mudd w/ double avocado oil and double agave
Botticelli Botanicals Lime in the Coconut Butter

Last edited by BotticelliBabe; 11-11-2008 at 02:38 PM.
Let me know. I'd be tempted to give it a go (if I go back to gel). However, if it's like magnets for clumps I would definitely pass. Finally figured out a way to minimize my clumps.
Current Products: CJ Products: CF, DF, CT, SG, AFG, CIAB AND CK is back!
Current Experiment: S&C by D

Curl Fix and Daily Fix are my HGs


Sulphate and cone free since July 2007

wavy/curly fine texture/medium porosity/medium-low density

http://public.fotki.com/whatsercurl/

PW: wavycurly

Seek not to change the world. Rather seek to change your mind about the world.
And we put this stuff in our HAIR? *lol*
Originally Posted by BotticelliBabe
Ha ha! We're funny folk - us curlies...
3B-a / NYC / Playing since August 08 / DevaCut 09.06.08 / Growing out

My Routine Involves: Soaps/DW, ACV, Dr. Bronner's Shikakai Rinse, V05 Vanilla Mint Co, AOHR, AOWC, AOGPB, KBB Nectars, KBB SS, JWhip MOUSSE, HETT mousse, KCCC, BRHG, KBB LL, AK Oil, Plopping w/ T-shirts, Pixie curl diffusing

*denotes HG status*

"You see the saints? They all had curly hair!" - Great Grandma Filomena, who never wore hats - even in the dead of winter.
And we put this stuff in our HAIR? *lol*
Originally Posted by BotticelliBabe
Ha ha! We're funny folk - us curlies...
Originally Posted by MickeyB603
Oh I know it. First my DH makes fun of me for putting personal lubricant in my hair, now he sees me smoothing in something that looks like I took it out of a Kleenex...will the madness ever stop? *rofl*

For the record though, the lube works miracles. *lol*
BB


http://www.BotticelliBotanicals.etsy.com
BSL/Mid Back, thick 3a/b

Botticelli Botanicals Meringue
Botticelli Botanicals Smoothie
Botticelli Botanicals Styling Mudd w/ double avocado oil and double agave
Botticelli Botanicals Lime in the Coconut Butter

Last edited by BotticelliBabe; 11-11-2008 at 10:15 PM.
What is the shelf life on a recipe like this? And does it need to be refrigerated?
Also, is there anything that we shouldn't put in it, something that will mess up the consistency? I'm assuming AVG, oils, and EO's are okay.
Thanks!
Wavy, curly on the ends, 2C.
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If you don't add preservative, you should refrigerate it. The one time I didn't add preservative, I think it may have lasted two weeks in the refrigerator--not sure, but that's my guess.
3a (Corkicelli), highlighted, fine, low porosity
modified CG, since April '07
CG since 3/11/08

SE PA

HGs: Anything Sevi; Curly Kinks Satin Roots, Curlycue ReNew and Coil Jam; homemade FSG and okra gel; soap bars; UFD Curly Magic (now Hello Curly Curl Stimulater); Botanical Spirits Jellies, CJ Repair Me, Marie Dean Leave Ins and Curl Creams
I have some grapefruit seed extract. How much do I need to add to my homemade concoctions to make sure they will be preserved without refrigeration?
3b spirals, fine texture, normal porosity, dense
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Nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect.
-wabi-sabi

6 drops per oz, 1/3t per cup.
3a (Corkicelli), highlighted, fine, low porosity
modified CG, since April '07
CG since 3/11/08

SE PA

HGs: Anything Sevi; Curly Kinks Satin Roots, Curlycue ReNew and Coil Jam; homemade FSG and okra gel; soap bars; UFD Curly Magic (now Hello Curly Curl Stimulater); Botanical Spirits Jellies, CJ Repair Me, Marie Dean Leave Ins and Curl Creams
Thanks!
3b spirals, fine texture, normal porosity, dense
Picasa:
Link
Deva Low Poo
Suave Naturals Coconut for detangling
Renpure Organics conditioner/leave-in
Homemade FSG
KCCC
Curl Junkie Stuff
BRHG


Nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect.
-wabi-sabi

If you're doing this for the fun of it or the cost then by all means go for it. But Jessiecurls' Rockin Ringlets potion is exactly this stuff preserved with grapefruit oil I believe. I buy it a gallon at the time and it's awesome on my 3A thinning hair.
If you're doing this for the fun of it or the cost then by all means go for it. But Jessiecurls' Rockin Ringlets potion is exactly this stuff preserved with grapefruit oil I believe. I buy it a gallon at the time and it's awesome on my 3A thinning hair.
Originally Posted by ausongbird
I have Rockin' Ringlets, but it doesn't give me enough hold on it's own. FSG is fun and I can get away with it as my only styler.

BTW, I used your method the other night, BB, and it worked great! I'm really liking this batch, I didn't even need to add any oil or AVG.
http://public.fotki.com/opera-curls/ (I cut my own hair)
Pacific Northwest girl, color-treated fine 3B, med-low porosity

Products: Suave Coconut condish, Giovanni Direct Leave-In, FSG or KCCC, AfroVeda Shea-Amla Cream
I LOVE HENNA!
If you're doing this for the fun of it or the cost then by all means go for it. But Jessiecurls' Rockin Ringlets potion is exactly this stuff preserved with grapefruit oil I believe. I buy it a gallon at the time and it's awesome on my 3A thinning hair.
Originally Posted by ausongbird

Also, Rockin' Ringlets has mag sulfate which some peoples hair does not tolerate well.
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