Flaxseed Gel ONLY Wash N’ Go

Flaxseed Gel ONLY Wash N’ Go

Today I’m trying out a styling technique from another sustainable curly girl – Miriam from Zero Waste Curls! In one of her YouTube videos, Miriam mentions that she uses only flaxseed gel to style her curls. Miriam looks to have 2B or 2C curls, so I wanted to try it out to see if it’s on my 3C curls also!

I’ve posted about flaxseed gel before, since it is one of my favorite low waste swaps for curly hair! In that post I talk more about the process of making and using the gel, but the TL;DR is this: boil 1/4c flaxseeds + 2 c water for 20 minutes. Cool. Strain. Store in the fridge for ~1 week.

Now let’s see if a flaxseed gel only wash n’ go can work for 3C curls!

Pinterest graphic for this post.


Obviously the process here is super duper simple. I washed my hair as usual and then partially tried it with a cotton t-shirt. Then, I applied the flaxseed gel to my damp hair in sections. In a usual wash n’ go, I would apply a cream moisturizer (like my favorite Shea Moisture Yucca and Plaintain Hair Masque or Melanin Haircare’s Twist-Elongating Style Cream) onto damp hair before applying gel. Today, I’m skipping that step. It’s a flaxseed gel only wash n’ go.

The first thing I noticed here is that the drier, frizzier parts of my hair were (predictably) not really smoothed out and moisturized as they would be when in a usual wash n’ go. For whatever reason, the hair on the middle back of my head tends to be drier than the hair towards the bottom and on the sides. My hair stylist says this is true for a lot of curlies since it’s harder to get to, but I SWEAR I try to apply deep conditioner and moisturizers evenly and it still hasn’t helped. 

Photo of homemade flaxseed gel in applicator bottle next to a bag of Bob's Red Mill whole flaxseeds

Anyway… 😅 I ended up using more flaxseed gel than usual to try to force some definition in those drier sections of my hair, but in the end I’m not sure it worked.

Day 1 hair while still wet. Curls are flat and somewhat frizzy. Lower curls are well defined. My face is smiling.
Hair on day 1, just after applying flaxseed gel, still wet.
Day 1 curls after air drying. Curls are fuller and have shrunken.
Hair on day 1, after air drying


Let’s start with what worked: my curls were popping with this flaxseed gel only method and even had good hold on day 2. After my hair dried on the first day, the curls were well-defined and even looked shiny, which is a word I almost never use to describe my hair. The curls were also super crunchy on the first day, which I don’t particularly mind and I did not bother breaking the cast. On the second day, after putting my hair in a pineapple overnight, my curls had lost the shine but were still well defined.

Back of head on day 1 after air drying. Lower curls are shiny and defined. Curls on top are less well defined.
Air dried curls on day 1
Back of head on day 2. Curls are fuller, lower curls are still well defined.
Air dried curls on day 2

Moving onto what didn’t work: as I probably should’ve expected, the lack of moisturizer definitely impacted the results. As mentioned before, I would normally work a moisturizer into the drier sections of my hair to help the curls clump, but I wasn’t able to do that here. As a result, the dry spot in the back was definitely not as well defined as the rest of my hair. This doesn’t bother me that much though because I tend to care more about the curls that frame my face anyway. Out of sight, out of mind, as the saying goes. 

Even on the first day though, I could tell that my hair was not well moisturized. It had a very dry, stiff sound – the classic dry hay sound that you’re told to watch out for. (I tried to capture this on video, but failed. ☹️ ) For this reason, I don’t think I’d use this one product method again. My hair needs some added moisture to it to get the soft definition I’m used to in a wash n’ go. In a pinch, it’s good to know that I can use just flaxseed gel to define my curls, but long term I think my hair needs more moisture. I also learned that I should be using more flaxseed gel than I had been before.


Does the flaxseed gel only wash n’ go work? YES. 

Will I be doing this again? NO. 

While one product method does work in general for 3C curls, but if your hair needs more moisture like mine, it’s not a great option.

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