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How to Make Homemade Hair Gel With Natural Ingredients

I have hip-length 3B curly hair, so if this homemade gel works on my hair, it has to be some awesome stuff.

If this homemade hair gel can tame my locks, it can tame anyone's!

If this homemade hair gel can tame my locks, it can tame anyone's!

Homemade Hair Gel for Curly-Haired Girls

Did you know that you can create your own hair gel at home? I was surprised at how easy and cheap it is to make. I was browsing through a magazine called The Herb Companion when I happened to come across this hair gel recipe.

I know it's not good to put products with chemicals on or in your body, so I try to buy as many all-natural beauty products as I can. But have you read some of the ingredients in these so-called natural products? I live by the principle of "if I can't pronounce it, it's more than likely not natural and I'm not using it." That's what's great about this recipe—it only contains four ingredients. And I can pronounce all of them!

Hair Gel Ingredients List

To make your hair gel, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup Warm Water
  • 1 Packet Unflavored Gelatin
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh Pink Grapefruit Juice
  • 1 Tsp. Vegetable Glycerine

That's it! Wondering where you'll find unflavored gelatin? Take a trip down the baking aisle, or it may be on the shelf near the Jello. Just make sure to buy unflavored gelatin.

Glycerine? At the store I bought mine from, they kept it behind the pharmacy counter. So if you can't find it on an aisle, just ask the pharmacist or purchase it online.

How to Make DIY Hair Gel in 6 Easy Steps

  1. First, we have to squeeze the grapefruit. You'll need 1/2 cup for this recipe. And don't forget to strain your juice, you don't want pulp or seeds in your hair!
  2. Next, mix 1/2 cup warm water and one envelope gelatin. Stir until the gelatin is dissolved. Make sure the gelatin is completely dissolved before moving on to the next step. If it doesn't dissolve completely, it will be clumpy. You don't want clumps in your hair either!
  3. Add 1 tsp glycerin and the 1/2 cup of grapefruit juice. Stir this until it is well combined.
  4. Refrigerate until your gel is solid. It will a couple of hours for it to become solid. If you get impatient, you can put it in the freezer, just make sure to keep an eye on it because you don't want it to freeze.
  5. When it's solid, remove your gel from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature. (I know, it sounds counterproductive, but trust me on this.)
  6. That's it, you're done! To use, just apply a small amount to your hair. Be careful, don't overdo it. You don't want crunchy hair!

Store your hair gel in a sealed glass jar. There's no need to keep it refrigerated because the citric acid in the grapefruit juice will keep the nasty bacteria away!

But Does It Work?

Yeah, that was my question, too, so I decided to put it through a rigorous test. I have hip-length 3B curly hair, so if it works on my hair, this has to be some awesome stuff. Also, I enlisted another curly-haired friend of mine to try it out and sort of give a second opinion on the effectiveness of this recipe.

We tried it out on Curly Friend's newly washed hair and applied it as you would normal hair gel. To dry, she then diffused her hair. I can honestly say we were notably impressed. It seemed to work just like any hair gel you'd buy from the store.

I decided to give it a try on my just-washed hair. I have to apply gel to my hair in sections, so it usually takes a good bit. This gel doesn't feel sticky or gummy like store-bought gels; it's more watery, so it was a bit more difficult to judge how much I'd actually applied to my hair. I let my hair air dry naturally.

The results were surprising. The gel made both of our hair really soft, yet it held the curl. No frizzies either! I would compare it to a typical get you would buy at a store. As with all gels, if you get too much, it will make your hair crunchy. But, really, I can't tell the difference from the store-bought gel I was using and the homemade version.

The Results

Curly Friend liked the way it made her hair feel. It gave her fine hair some volume and made it really soft. She also thought the smell was amazing. (It has a wonderful citrus smell.)

I have a particular problem with frizzy hair. This gel seems to address that problem well. I have well-defined curls with no frizz. My hair is also super soft. With other gels I've used, your hair just has that feeling that something is on it, you can feel the product. I have zero crunch. I'm a happy curly girl!

Try It, You'll Like It!

So why don't you go ahead and whip up a batch of your own hair gel? It's cheap—it cost me less than a dollar to make an eight-ounce jar—and all-natural, with no chemicals. That's great for you and great for Mother Earth. Best of all, it's easy. What are you waiting for? Go make yours already!

More Great Natural Hair Recipes

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Abbyfitz


Catherine on December 21, 2018:

How much gelatin is in an envelope? I buy bulk unflavored gelatin and need to know what fraction of teaspoon or tablespoon is in an envelope.

Also, as a professional hairdresser for 38 years, I need to add that hair must be washed prior to coloring, as residual glycerin in the hair will BLOCK hair color from taking. No big deal, just be sure to clean hair thoroughly.

Sabrina on March 12, 2017:

I'm a curly haired woman and I love this gel. I make it all the time now. No more wasteland of tried, but ineffective hairstyling products for me. This gives my curls lovely definition, even if I blow dry. And, if it does become a little to crunchy (because I used too much), I can easily scrunch out the crunch for beautifully defined curls. I find it adds body, bounce and control. I love it! I keep mine in the fridge too. I highly recommend this recipe to anyone struggling with wavy/curly hair that tends to frizz. I use it after I put a light leave in conditioner in my hair.

Abbyfitz (author) from Florida on December 08, 2014:

Thank you. I'm sure you could look beautiful with your own hair though!

Hideo on December 08, 2014:

31 Dec 23, 2010 14:46 I love your new look. You look absolutely grgeoous! I wish I could look good like you with short hair! I love your blog and the world you create in your blog space. So beautiful. Thanks for the inspiration!!

Abbyfitz (author) from Florida on February 27, 2014:

I think it has a pretty good hold. I'm not sure how it would do with the spikes because everyone I've had try it has had longer hair. Give it a try and let me know!

Adrienne on February 27, 2014:

I'm definitely going to try this but I was wondering, how strong is the hold? I have short hair and spike it sometimes. Do you think it would hold for that?

Kawika Chann from Northwest, Hawaii, Anykine place on June 02, 2013:

This is awesome! Well done - I can hardly wait to get this started. Thanks! Upvoted/awesome/follow. Peace. Kawi.

Abbyfitz (author) from Florida on May 30, 2013:

I hope you like it!

Kelly Ilebode on May 30, 2013:

cannot wait to try this - !!!!

Abbyfitz (author) from Florida on May 03, 2013:

I'm glad you liked it

shobha khokhar from Chandigarh, India on May 02, 2013:

hey abbyfitz this gel works on straight hairs also....It works really great on my hairs ..thank you so much.

shobha khokhar from Chandigarh, India on April 30, 2013:

Sure I will try today and let you know by tomorrow...:)

Abbyfitz (author) from Florida on April 30, 2013:

I wish I could tell you, but I only have curly hair. Give it a try and let me know!

shobha khokhar from Chandigarh, India on April 29, 2013:

Really great hub....I find it very easy to make this gel at home...but my hairs are straight not curly...can you please tell me will it works on my hairs also....???

Abbyfitz (author) from Florida on April 19, 2013:

I think it would. Parts of my hair is tightly curled and it seems to do well

ciarajm on April 19, 2013:

Will it work for tightly coiled/curly hair?

Abbyfitz (author) from Florida on March 06, 2013:

Thanks! Hope it works for you.

Sheri Dusseault from Chemainus. BC, Canada on March 05, 2013:

Cool! My hair goes frizzy to so I am sure going to try this. Who knew? Thanks for sharing this.

Abbyfitz (author) from Florida on February 13, 2013:

I was surprised too when I found out! Glad you liked it. I hope you give it a try.

daisyjae from Canada on February 13, 2013:

This is amazing, i had no idea you could make your own gel! I will try this recipe.

Abbyfitz (author) from Florida on February 07, 2013:

I'm sure any citrus juice could work. You would have to give it a try. I haven't noticed any problems with oil. This gel is really quite gentle

Bryana on February 07, 2013:

Is there an alternative to the grapefruit juice? Also, has anyone with naturally oily hair had any experience with this homemade gel making the oil worse?

Abbyfitz (author) from Florida on January 10, 2013:

Thank you. I hope she likes it

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on January 10, 2013:

Very inspiring hub. I had never heard about this before reading this hub. I'll share with my sister. Thanks for writing. Voted up. Cheers....Prasetio

Abbyfitz (author) from Florida on January 08, 2013:

Thanks. Natural is always best, especially for products that we use on our bodies

Maria Alicia Cardenas from Spain on January 08, 2013:

great info...I share the fact that we hac¡ve to look for natural products rather than chemicals..... thanks for sharing!!

Abbyfitz (author) from Florida on January 08, 2013:

Thank you. Well you never know if something works if you don't try it!

amord from nigeria on January 08, 2013:

This hub is very interesting to fellow......Thanks for sharing

Lara Conry from Western Massachusetts, USA on January 08, 2013:

Great Hub! I am new to this hubbing, so I love to see examples of wild, crazy, cool hubs! In the past, I experimented with making hair gel with glycerin and aloe vera, but mine came out a stick mess. Your recipe sounds lovely. Thanks for sharing. :)

Keely Deuschle from Florida on January 07, 2013:

Great hub and suggestion! I've pinned and voted it up! Congrats on HOTD!

Abbyfitz (author) from Florida on January 07, 2013:

Thank you so much!

Abbyfitz (author) from Florida on January 07, 2013:

It's very easy to make, I hope you can try it soon!

Abbyfitz (author) from Florida on January 07, 2013:

Thank you for your kind words!

Abbyfitz (author) from Florida on January 07, 2013:


Abbyfitz (author) from Florida on January 07, 2013:

Thanks. Cheap is good!

Crystal Tellis from New York on January 07, 2013:

Congrats on your HOTD!! I love how you used images to show step by step, instead of a hole lot of words that are hard to follow. I also loved how you showed the examples of results. You are the queen of How to's congrats....

Kim Anne from Texas on January 07, 2013:

Pinned it! Looks very interesting, can't wait to try it!

Tammy on January 07, 2013:

Congrats on your HOD! I love all natural products so was happy to stumble across your hub today. I will be sure to give this a try. I have naturally thick/ curly/dry hair. Finding products that work with my hair, without leaving a lot of gunk, is a trick. Thanks for posting this!

rosika on January 07, 2013:

A very useful hub......I do try to avoid products with chemicals but there are many times I had to use such products, such as hair gel itself....You have shared a great idea for making natural gel. I will try it!

Koralee Phillips from Vancouver British Columbia Canada on January 07, 2013:

Thanks for writing this hub. I am working on a new hair style, that I can wear curly, or straight with bangs. Your gel recipe sounds perfect to go with it, and cheap too :). Cheaper is always better.

moonlake from America on January 07, 2013:

Congrats on hub of the day. I need to make some of this for my hubby. Voted up.

Abbyfitz (author) from Florida on January 07, 2013:

Thank you

makarenko on squidoo on January 07, 2013:

you have beautiful hair!

Abbyfitz (author) from Florida on January 07, 2013:

Thank you. Yes it is worth giving a try

Abbyfitz (author) from Florida on January 07, 2013:

Thank you.

Abbyfitz (author) from Florida on January 07, 2013:

Really? I haven't tried it with flax seeds. I'll have to find a recipe and try it

Abbyfitz (author) from Florida on January 07, 2013:

Thank you. Happy Monday to you too!

sarahshuihan on January 07, 2013:

I was looking for natural styling products and I'm glad I stumbled upon this! I will definitely give this a try!

RTalloni on January 07, 2013:

Congrats on your Hub of the Day award for this hair gel recipe! Nicely done! Showing people that some products can be made at home is important for many reasons and it looks like you have a great replacement recipe here.

ologsinquito from USA on January 07, 2013:

Great hub. I'll try this. I currently make my homemade hair gel by boiling flax seeds, but this looks like it will hold better. Thanks.

Comfort Babatola from Bonaire, GA, USA on January 07, 2013:

Got to try this myselt.

Excellent hub. Great details, easy step-by-step instructions, and beautiful image. Very well done! HOTD award, well deserved. Congrats!

Abbyfitz (author) from Florida on January 07, 2013:

Thank you! Yes, it is very cheap to make

Your Cousins from Atlanta, GA on January 07, 2013:

This is a very interesting article. Not long ago, I bought a big jar of gel and now I realize that not only could I have made it myself, but I could have a more natural product. Congrats on HOTD.

Abbyfitz (author) from Florida on January 07, 2013:

Thank you so much, I'm glad you all liked my article. Thanks also for the congratulations. One of my hubber goals for 2013 was to get HOTD.

Cynthia B Turner from Georgia on January 07, 2013:

Congrats on Hub of the Day! I can see why this article was chosen. This is a great DIY for hair gel. You have presented the instructions clearly and have given your opinion after actually trying your end product. For the masses who are looking for natural products for their hair, this is a great find. Voted up and useful.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on January 07, 2013:

Fantastic hub! Easy to follow instructions, making it seems to be a breeze.

congrats on getting HOTD. A well deserved one.

Voted up/useful/awesome and shared on G+1.

Abbyfitz (author) from Florida on January 07, 2013:

Thank you!

Ernawati from Indonesia on January 07, 2013:

nice info^^

Abbyfitz (author) from Florida on November 25, 2012:

Glad it worked for you! Natural is good!

Stacy The Great on November 25, 2012:

Awesome article!! Very useful. I tried it yesterday and hair feels soft and it smells wonderful. Great ma'am!!

Abbyfitz (author) from Florida on November 25, 2012:

Thanks! I'm glad you liked it

Melissa Propp from Minnesota on November 25, 2012:

Very good how-to hub. Your instructions were clear and your photos were great! I don't use hair gel, but I will pass this recipe along to my friends that do.Voting up and sharing!

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