This is a continuation from a previous article. You can read 20 Herbs, Oils & Powders to Include in Your DIY Hair Gel Recipe – Part 1 HERE.
INGREDIENTS FOR THICKENING THE RECIPE
Depending on the composition of your gel, you will most likely need a thickening agent for the recipe to clump together. Xantham is one of the ingredients commonly used to thicken recipes. It is a plant based food additive and a stabilizer. You can purchase HERE.
Guar gum is aka as guaran. It is derived from guar beans, which is grown in several countries around the world with India being the largest producer. Guar gum is also used as a thickening and binding agent in recipes, lotions and creams. You can purchase HERE.
To prevent unnecessary clumping in your products, mix the gum separately first in a little bit of water before adding it to the recipe.
INGREDIENTS FOR MOISTURE
The Agave nectar is produced from the agave plant, which grows in US and South America. It is a sweetner marketed as a healthy replacement for sugar and even honey although it has a high content of high fructose corn syrup. Using it in your gel acts as a humectant and helps to seal in moisture. Avoid this ingredient though if you live in a dry/humid environment. You can purchase it HERE.
Honey isn’t a new ingredient in hair care. Curlistas use it in a variety of ways in conditioning treatments. It works the same way as Agave nectar in sealing in moisture. There isn’t really much difference if you use either one in your gel so it depends really on what your hair likes. You can purchase it HERE.
INGREDIENTS FOR ADDED MOISTURE & SOFTNESS
Grapeseed oil is lighter than most oils and doesn’t weigh down the hair while helping to smooth the cuticles. You can purchase it HERE.
Sweet almond oils is light and non greasy and works the same way as grapeseed oil helping to smooth down the cuticles and seal in moisture. You can purchase it HERE.
Castor oil is more vicious than both of the oils mentioned above. It is great to use if you are experiencing breakage or hair fall. If you have thin hair, it’s also a good addition to the recipe. You can purchase it HERE.
You don’t have to use all the oils above. One is more than fine.
INGREDIENTS FOR PRESERVATION
Tea tree oil is an essential oil, which can be used as a mild antimicrobial. It is also effective if you have dandruff and itchy scalp. You can purchase it HERE.
Peppermint oil has medicinal benefits, contains menthol and is an antifungal and antiseptic agent, which can also be used as a mild antimicrobial. You can purchase it HERE.
Vitamin E oil contains antioxidants, which can extend the shelf life of your gel to a certain extent by removing free radicals and preventing the gel from going rancid. You can purchase it HERE.
Using a combination of several ingredients above and in the previous article HERE, you can create your own gel, which should last up to 2 – 3 weeks when stored in the fridge. If you would like to keep for longer, have a look at the preservatives below:
Citric acid is a weak organic acid derived from citrus fruits. It is an antioxidant and natural preservative that can also be used to balance the ph of your gel. It is sold as a grainy white powder and should be stored in an airtight container. You can purchase it HERE.
Potassium sorbate is a preservative, which prevents mold, fungi and yeast growth in food and cosmetics. It is sold as a white crystalline powder but should be dissolved before being added to products. You can purchase it HERE.
Optiphen is sold in clear liquid form and provides preservation against bacteria, yeast and mold in cosmetics. It might also act as a humectant. It shouldn’t be added to the gel while still hot, as this will hinder the preservative qualities in the product. You can purchase it HERE.
ONE MORE INGREDIENT
In order to work effectively, the final outcome needs to close your cuticles, which would have been raised from any of the earlier processes you applied to your hair. The pH level (an abbreviation for potential hydrogen) of the product should be in the 4 – 6 range ideally. Testing your gel with pH strips will let you know if you are in that range or not. You can purchase it HERE.