This natural hair gel recipe contains only natural ingredients to help tame your lively locks. With flexible hold that enhances your hair’s texture and manages frizz, you’ll love this healthier hair care option that omits ingredients you can’t pronounce or simply have never heard of.
Your scalp, like the rest of your body’s largest organ – your skin, can absorb much of what we put on it. So why not give your skin and hair something you can feel safe about it coming into daily contact with?
My natural hair gel recipe is made using natural unflavored gelatin for hold. Castor oil, which is renowned for its ability to encourage hair growth, is then added along with fractionated coconut oil for both strength and shine. I then scented my natural hair gel recipe with an energizing blend of lemon and peppermint essential oils for a fresh uplifting fragrance.
However, don’t feel tied to this scent blend. You can also try other amazing, yet amazingly simple, 2-ingredient essential oil blends like rosemary and peppermint or even lavender and peppermint at a one to one ratio.
Natural Hair Gel Recipe (with Lemon and Mint)
Using a digital scale, weigh out .1 oz. of Knox unflavored gelatin (or similar) into a 4-cup Pyrex measuring cup with a spout. Using a fresh graduated plastic transfer pipette for each ingredient, then add 1 mL of castor oil and 1mL of fractionated castor oil. Mix to combine, then set aside.
In a separate container, weigh out 8 oz. of distilled water. Heat just until before it starts to boil, then remove from heat and pour into the gelatin and oil mixture. Mix well by hand, then set the hair gel mixture aside to cool.
Test the temperature of your hair gel using a digital candy thermometer. Once the hair gel reaches 160°F, measure out the essential oils using fresh graduated plastic transfer pipettes for each and add to the hair gel. Mix well using either a hand blender or an immersion blender with a whisk extension to emulsify the hair gel.
Once well mixed, skim the foam air bubbles from the top of the hair gel. Then pour the hot liquid evenly into two 4 oz. natural Malibu tottle bottles with flip caps. Screw on the caps then place in the refrigerator for 1-3 hours as need until solidified into gel form.
Once your natural hair gel sets up, it’s ready for use. Simply apply a small amount to damp or dry hair as desired and style as usual.
Important Notes on the Shelf Life for Natural Hair Gel Recipe
My natural hair gel recipe should last up to a week in the refrigerator. However it’s incredibly important to know that, as this is a water based hair care recipe, it will grow bacteria without a preservative. Refrigeration does slow down this process, however, it does not prevent it.
While the packaging I chose for my natural hair gel recipe does help to prevent the reintroduction of bacteria and other contaminants into your hair gel, it is reasonable to assume that bacteria growth will occur within a matter of days, possibly sooner.
For a more stable product, I recommend following the same safe manufacturing guidelines that every small bath and beauty business follows. This includes sterilizing all of your equipment and packaging prior to use and wearing gloves.
If you’d like to get more life out of your natural hair gel, I also highly recommend using a broad spectrum preservative such as Optiphen ND. Optiphen ND is a mild preservative for water based products that is comprised of phenoxyethanol, benzoic acid, and dehydroacetic acid. This particular preservative is free of both parabens and formaldehyde and offers broad spectrum preservation against bacteria, yeast and mold.
To include Optiphen ND in this natural hair gel recipe, simply add .08 oz. Optiphen ND by weight (1%) when you add the essential oils at 160°F. (This will also eliminate the need for refrigeration.)
Want to Make Substitutions?
Both the castor oil and the fractionated coconut oil can be substituted with another carrier oil of your choice for this natural hair gel recipe. Or you can simply omit them from this recipe if desired.
If you’re allergic to coconut oil and would like to use another oil in its place, camellia (tea) seed oil makes a wonderful substitution. It’s properties are incredibly similar to fractionated coconut oil when used in both skin and hair care, and it won’t make your hair look greasy like other carrier oils can.