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Natural Gel Alternatives

Running out of gel and need a quick remedy?

The answer might just be around your kitchen or garden!  

Nothing is wrong if you choose commercial gels, of course, but going natural has its own perks: you already know what you’re putting in your hair. 

Here we list two main natural alternatives from your usual gel: Aloe Vera and Flaxseed. 

Aloe Vera Gel

It’s no secret that Aloe Vera is a wonder plant. It has long been used to promote shine and moisture in hair, so if you’re someone who’s very careful in choosing the products you use, you can’t go wrong with Aloe Vera. 

Did you know that people actually use Aloe Vera Gel as a styler not only to moisturize but also to define their curls? Because Aloe Vera already has natural It helps that Aloe Vera already has natural gelling agent which contains beneficial compounds including vitamins. 

(Note: For Type 4 coilies, this may not work so well so you can test on a small section of hair first). 

The gel is good for curly and wavy hair since it’s lightweight and a bit watery too so it doesn’t weigh down your curls. It’s also easy to rinse off and is less likely to cause build up. 


  1. Use a small amount of aloe vera gel to your hands after washing and conditioning. Some also prefer to mix the gel in their other products such as conditioner. 
  2. If you’ll use any styler, scrunch the gel first into wet hair. 
  3. For some, this can be enough to provide hold, and you won’t need to use other defining products. Some of you however may find that the hold is too light than other conventional, and you may need to use other curl defining mousse or creams. 

Flaxseed Gel

equine flaxseed, horse flaxseed, Dr. Nerida Richards, equine linseed, flaxseed equine feed ingredient

If you need more plant-based products to your routine, flaxseed may be a good option for you. 

Flaxseeds are packed with amazing properties: protein, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and antioxidants. These fatty acids make it possible for flaxseeds to provide moisture for the hair. The plant also has other benefits: increasing shine and bounce, basically adding more life to curls!

And you know what’s even better? It can be in gel form!  This is a reason why DIY Flaxseed gels are hyped in the curl communities. The gel provides not just nutrition, but also natural hold. 

Unlike Aloe Vera Gel, some say that Flaxseed gel provides stronger hold and is good for all types of hair: wavy, curly, and even coily. 

 How to Use:

  1. Bring the flaxseeds and water to a boil for six minutes or until you see a slimy texture. 
  2. Filter or strain the contents so the flaxseeds are separated from the gel. 
  3. Use after washing curls and rake it through strands. Scrunch if needed. 

Note: Flaxseed gel can be refrigerated for it to last up to 10 days. Rancid smell is a sign that it may not be good for use anymore.  There is also no guarantee that it can match the level of hold from conventional gels. You can also use it with other products such as leave-in conditioners or curl creams. 

It also has proteins so if your hair type is sensitive to such, you could test it in small amounts first before applying a lot. 

Bonus: Okra Gels are also pretty known in the local curl community. If you've never heard of it, it's literally using Okra as a styling gel for curls. There are claims that it also provide hold but like Aloe Vera and Flaxseed, the hold may not be as strong as commercial ones.

But hey, if you need light products that still define your curls, you can always try these alternatives. 

 Remember, doing DIYs has its pros and cons so it's very important that you've done your homework before you try it *wink wink*!

For more articles on curl care, check out our blog page here. Let us know what you think in the comments or if you have other natural gel alternatives in mind!

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