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20 Herbs, Oils & Powders to Include in Your DIY Hair Gel – Part 2

If you’re keen on DIYing your hair products, the ingredients in 20 herbs, oils, and powders for DIY hair gel can help achieve softness, shine, moisture, definition, and much more. 

This is the continuation of 20 Herbs, Oils & Powders to Include in Your DIY Hair Gel Recipe. Hair gels are great for curl definition but commercial hair gels may also dry out hair.

This is where this article comes in handy. You can mix and match the ingredients to find the best recipe for your hair type and needs when it comes to DIY hair gel.

Keen on DIY? These 20 Herbs, Oils and Powders Matter for your DIY hair gel

DIY Hair Gel – 20 Herbs, Oils & Powders to Include

DIY Hair Gel – Ingredients for Thickening the Recipe

Xanthan Gum

Bob's Red Mill Gum Xanthan for hair gel

Depending on the composition of your gel, you will most likely need a thickening agent for the recipe to clump together.

Xanthan gum is one of the ingredients commonly used to thicken recipes. It is a plant-based food additive and a stabilizer. Try Bob’s Red Mill Xanthan Gum

Guar Gum

Bob's Red Mill guar Xanthan for hair gel

Guar gum is aka as guaran. It is derived from guar beans, which are 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 and is a suitable alternative if you can’t find xanthan gum. Try Bob’s Red Mill Guar Gum

To prevent unnecessary clumping in your products, mix the gum guar separately in a little bit of water before adding it to the recipe.

DIY Hair Gel – Ingredients for Moisture

Agave Nectar

Wholesome Sweeteners Organic Blue Agave Nectar

The Agave nectar is produced from the agave plant, which grows in the US and South America.

It is a sweetener 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. Try Wholesome Sweeteners Organic Blue Agave.


YS Bee Farms Premium Honey

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. Try YS Bee Farms Premium Honey.

DIY Hair Gel – Ingredients for Added Moisture & Softness

Grapeseed Oil

La Tourangelle Grapeseed oil

Grapeseed oil is lighter than most oils and doesn’t weigh down the hair while helping to smooth the cuticles.

When added to your hair gel, it helps seal in moisture and keeps hair soft. Try La Tourangelle Grapeseed Oil

Sweet Almond Oil

now foods pure almond oil

Sweet almond oil is light, non-greasy, and works the same way as grapeseed oil helping to smooth down the cuticles and seal in moisture.

You can use either of the two or combine equal parts of both oils in a recipe. Try Now Foods Sweet Almond Oil

Castor Oil


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. Try Now Foods Castor Oil.  

You don’t have to use all the oils above. One is more than fine.

DIY Hair Gel – Ingredients for Preservation

Tea Tree Oil


Tea tree oil is an essential oil, which can be used as a mild antimicrobial. It is also effective if you have dandruff and an itchy scalp. Try Sun Organic Tea Tree Essential Oil.

Peppermint Oil


Peppermint oil has medicinal benefits, contains menthol, and is an antifungal and antiseptic agent, which can also be used as a mild antimicrobial. Try Now Peppermint Essential Oil

Vitamin E Oil


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. Try Sundown Naturals Vitamin E Oil

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 it for longer, have a look at the stronger preservatives below:

DIY Hair Gel – Stronger Preservatives

Citric Acid


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.

Citric acid is sold as a grainy white powder and should be stored in an airtight container. Try Millard Food Grade Citric Acid

Potassium Sorbate


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. Try LD Carson Potassium Sorbate.



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. Try The Chemistry Store Optiphen

DIY Hair Gel – One More Ingredient

pH Test Strips


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. Try Micro Essential Laboratories ph Test Strips

Here is a picture of a gel I created for myself although I’m still working on perfecting the recipe. It’s red because I used hibiscus flowers in my recipe. 


Grab all the ingredients with free shipping and much more when you sign up for Amazon Prime. Learn more HERE.

If you have any questions about any of the ingredients, you can ask in the comments section.

Image credit

Abi is a curly hair expert who delved into the world of natural oils after severe hair loss issues. Through her research, study, and testing, she was able to regrow her bald spots & a healthy head of hair. She is the founder of Healthy Natural Hair Products & Ade Ori Hair Care, and the author of the highly-rated Healthy Hair Care Series. She continues to study hair science, Ayurveda, and natural and healthy solutions for hair and skin. Learn more about our Editorial Guidelines

This post contains affiliate links which means I will make a small commission if you purchase through those links. Read full disclosure HERE.

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