Why self made hair gel? Well, first of all because I find it interesting to figure out what a hair gel is made of and to reproduce it. Another funny thing is that I decide myself what I put in – I chose what colour, fragrance, preservative and even the thickness I need. I can avoid unwanted components or put some herbal infusions or essential oils turning it into a hair masker.
The basic components of each gel are very simple – water and gel forming substance. Colouring, fragrance and preservative could be added. Glycerine is used for the wet look gels. For my gel I have chosen a recipe from www.hekserij.nl where I have also bought all the ingredients mentioned.
As a gel forming agent I used a sodium carbomer (aka sodium acrylate or PNC 400). It’s a white hygroscopic powder, that can tie and hold water forming a gel. Sodium carbomer is recognized as a safe chemical. The recipe advice to use 6 drops of fragrant oil to give this gel a nice smell. My personal idea was to enrich this gel with essential oils and give my hair a nice treatment each time I use the gel. As for fragrance – don’t need it in gel – it supposed to be a hair modelling agent and not a perfume. I have chosen the combination of the most popular essential oils for the hair care – camomile, sage and rosemary. Those herbs can be also used in form of water infusion that replaces the water. Traditionally camomile is used for the blond hair – in combination with sunlight it can lighten the hair. Sage is traditionally used for dark hair and rosemary is a natural antidandruff agent. I used a mixture of all three. To make a mixture of essential oils and water I needed an emulgator – an agent that helps mix water and oils, because it has affinity to the both liquids. LV 41 (aka PEG-40 or Hydrogenated Castor Oil) is a perfect one suitable for making a gel. To prevent the mould growth and decay I used parabens mixture – a preservative with a controversial reputation.
The procedure is very simple – I put 30 drops of LV41, 15 drops of parabens, 6 drops of sage, rosemary and camomile essential oils mixture into a gel pot and added 100 ml of hot (70 C) water. Than I poured 1 g of sodium carbomer while stirring. Lid on the pot and shaking well till it doesn’t splashes anymore. It looks granular at first, but left till the next day it become a nice gel.
You can see what I´ve got on the image. Well – it’s a kind of LIGHT gel – you can’t make a Mohawk haircut with it. But it’s perfect modelling agent for the soft thin hair that fall apart each time after washing and don’t hold any form.