Ever since one of our favourite curly YouTubers, Naptural85, started singing the praises of flaxseed gel it has quickly become popular in the natural haired community. Many curlies have reported amazing results with this all natural gel and have jumped off the aloe vera ship swam ashore and hopped on the flaxseed bandwagon. But the all-important question still remains- which one is better? Is good old faithful aloe vera gel still number one or has its popularity been stolen by the new kid on the block flaxseed gel? To answer this question we will have to assess this issue from all sides so let the battle of the gels begin.
A gel that does not provide good hold is hard to incorporate into a hair regimen after all what do you use it for? Whilst aloe vera gel does provide slight hold flaxseed gel definitely wins this round. Pure aloe gel that has not had other ingredients, like thickeners, added to it simply does not have the ability to really set the hair for that amazing twist or braid out. Flaxseed on the other hand provides great hold which is surprising because of its watery consistency. I've seen curlies use this gel for everything from twist outs to roller sets with results that left me with serious cases of hair envy.
Also for our wash and go curlies flax seed gel will not disappoint. Many naturalistas have claimed to get defined curls that were still soft and touchable. Aloe on the other hand, although thicker, doesn't seem to have the same hold and doesn’t do a good job of clumping and defining the curls.
If you crave big fluffy hair over curl definition then try aloe vera but if you want hold that will withstand the most vigorous of fluffing and serious case of hand in hair syndrome then flaxseed gel is the better option for you.
Ease of use
I shall not tell a lie- flaxseed is a real pain to use! Its slimy consistency and ability to slide right through your fingers will have you wanting to throw it away and reach for your nearest, thicker, styler. Aloe on the other hand is a lot easier to apply. However, one tip for flaxseed users that really helps is to put the gel into a pump or squeeze bottle. The gel will be easier to dispense than sticking your hand into a jar and trying to get a hold of Flubber.
If your favourite phrase is "ain't nobody got time for that" then I suggest you steer clear of flaxseed and try aloe.
Can it be layered?
It seems that this is usually the deal breaker for a lot of curlies when trying new products because so many of us rely on using multiple products to get out curls, kinks and waves just right. Nothing is more annoying than your hair creating a blizzard around you whenever you touch it and white hair boogers can ruin even the best hairstyle. Aloe vera gel is infamous for being picky and choosy about the products it will mix well with. It seems to think that it’s the crème de la crème of gels and simply will not associate with just any hair product. On the other hand some women have complained that their flaxseed gel has flaked on them but after doing a little research it seems that the issue can usually be boiled down to 3 reasons; using too much gel, not incorporating oil into the mixture, or using the gel on unclean hair- all of which are fixable.
If you’re going to use either of these gels as your styler, before applying them on your hair, be sure to mix them in the palm of your hand with your other hair products to ensure that they do not create white balls. When trying both gels for the first time make sure you have nowhere to go so if you do get flakes you can wash and restyle. Also if they do flake on you the first time before writing them off make sure you try the gels with several different products in different ratios.
- Flaxseed gel is extremely cost efficient. One bag of flaxseeds can be bought for less than $5 and several batches of gel can be made from one bag.
- Unlike aloe vera gel which can be bought you're going to have to make your own flaxseed gel which can be a pain for curlies who run away from pots and pans like they were diseased (myself included) or find it hard to even boil water.
- Aloe tends to be slightly acidic which helps to close the cuticle of the hair which makes it shinier. This is why many curlies love to add aloe vera gel or juice into their regimens. Some even use the gel as a leave in.
Both these gels are great and have excellent qualities but in the Battle of the Gels there can only be one winner and it is (drumroll please)...
Flaxseed gel!!! Flaxseed gel just does what a gel is supposed to do. It provides hold without the crunch factor. But that's not to say that aloe vera gel has no purpose in the regimens of curlies. I have found that incorporating a little aloe vera gel or juice to my leave ins has worked wonders in making my hair shinier and smoother. It even helped to fix my raggedy ends.For the curlies who have tried both which gel do you prefer?