The other day I found out how much my husband’s organic hair gel costs.
My first reaction was, “Yeah….I’m not buying that.”
So I decided to make my own. Let me show you how unbelievably easy and cheap it is!
First, you need to gather the following:
2 ingredients – filtered water (1/2 c.) and unflavored gelatin (1/4 tsp.)
5 utensils – small pot, measuring spoon, measuring cup, spoon to stir with, container to hold your hair gel
Oh, and essential oils if you want it to smell good.
(adapted from about.com)
Total time involved? Five minutes tops? Plus some time for it to set up in the fridge.
Just heat your water in a small pot on the stove (until it boils or just before) and remove from heat. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water and stir until it dissolves. Add a couple of drops of essential oils if you like. Then pour it into your container and transfer it to the fridge for a few hours or overnight to let the gel set up before you use it.
See, I knew you could do it! Super easy! And you’ve just saved quite a bit of money! My box of gelatin cost $1.25 and will make at least four cups of hair gel, so best I can tell, it takes about 25 to 30 cents to make one cup of styling gel. This is a far cry from the $15 that my husband’s organic hair gel cost – and for only 5.5 ounces! (Like I said – no way I’m spending that much on a hair care product.) Plus, you won’t have to worry about all those nasty chemicals you could be putting onto your scalp and into your body.
Now, if you’re like me, you may be wondering, “What nasty chemicals?” Well, take PG, or Propylene Glycol, for instance. This chemical, which is commonly used in antifreeze and break fluid, is found in many personal care products, including hair gel. Manufacturers of this chemical warn that “Breathing of mist can cause irritation of nasal and respiratory passages” and that “Swallowing can cause gastrointestinal irritation, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.” If you get any of this stuff on your skin, they say to wash yourself and your clothes with soap and water. If you swallow it or get it in your eyes, you should seek medical attention immediately. Even supposedly “organic” cosmetic products are not necessarily safe; Head Organics hair gel, for instance, contains Triethanolamine, which can irritate the eyes and skin, is dangerous “if swallowed, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin,” and “may cause liver and kidney damage.” (More on the safety of cosmetics in an upcoming post.)
Okay. So now you’re probably wondering, “How do we know this gelatin is safe?” (I used the Knox brand.) My opinion is that….we don’t. Just like any other product we buy – if we don’t talk to the farmer or producer, we have no way of really knowing what has been added to it. If you’re concerned about using good quality gelatin, here’s a place you can order some gelatin that is made from grass fed cows: Great Lakes Gelatin.
By the way, you’ll need to leave this gel in the fridge except for when you are using it. Unless you want it to grow black mold, like our first batch did. If you keep it in the fridge, it should last at least a month. That’s about how long it took to use a half a cup of gel.
Oh! One last thing. It really looks runny when you first mix it up. But it will set up, I promise! Just give it some time. But what am I saying? I’m sure you won’t be impatient like me and decide to add more gelatin before letting it gel in the fridge….then give it to your husband and expect him to work with something that looks more like Jello than hair gel. This stuff won’t look exactly like store bought hair gel – it will be a little runnier and a little lumpier – but you don’t want to be putting thick, Jello-like clumps in your hair. It doesn’t seem to work well.
So what are you waiting for? Get styling!
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