Monthly Archives: January 2013

Flax Seed Gel…. is it worth it?

Okay. So I recently came across this idea for “Flax Seed Gel.” In theory it makes perfect sense if you have ever used flax seed and experienced the sticky gummy mess when they get moist. Most of the posts I read about it said it WAS great… in theory…. but very messy and not necessarily worth it.

I gathered all my courage and decided to give it a shot. Here’s the recipe I used…

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1/2 C. Flax Seed

2 C. Water

1 tsp Coconut Oil

10 drops of Lavender Essential Oil

10 Drops of Sweet Orange Essential Oil

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Here’s the star of our show:

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Flax seed. Full of omega-3 fatty acids, these little seeds aren’t just not bad for your hair, they are good for it! The consumption and topical application of flax seeds and flax seed oil with revive and strengthen your hair.

I poured a half cup of these little guys into a pot with 2 C. water

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I turned the stove onto medium heat and stirred regularly as it came to a boil.

In between stirring I prepared for the next step of the experiment….

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I have read different methods for extracting the gel from the seeds, and while I would have preferred a fine strainer (especially after having tried the stocking technique), I didn’t have one on hand. I used the toe off an old pair of tights and as you can see I tucked it over the lid of a mason jar. After taking the picture I secured it with a rubber band.

After a few minutes of boiling, the seeds and water started to get a milky color and became the consistency of egg whites.

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Everything I read spoke of the horrors of letting the seeds boil too long, so as soon as they got to this point I took them off the heat. Honestly in hindsight I think I should have waited a few more minutes. But continuing on…..

At this point I took a ladle and poured the flax seeds and water into the “strainer”

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Everything was smooth sailing up until this point…… You see, I underestimated just how much tights can stretch. That little bit of stocking I left hanging in the chair quickly expanded….

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Oops.

It’s hard for the gel to drain when it’s sitting in itself, if you didn’t know.

I would have just lifted it up and squeezed the gel out, but it was still boiling hot so I stuck it in the fridge for about 5 minutes.

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I don’t know if you can see the stream of gel being squeezed out inside the jar. Slowly but surely the jar was filling with gel.

This is where I realized what exactly this gel was going to be like, and this is where I am torn.

Do I rave about the wonders of this magical gel contained in flax seeds? Or do I tell the truth about what I discovered?

I’ve always been taught honesty is the best policy…. so here we go.

It looks like snot.

It looks and feels exactly like snot, and honestly, that is kind of a hard thing for me to get past.

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I really wanted to throw in the towel, or the stocking, rather. It was slimy, it was gooey, it was gross.

But I put on my big girl pants and decided to persevere for the cause. What cause? I’m really not sure.

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It was kind of fun to play with… see my webbed fingers??

I squeezed until the stocking started to rip and I had to give up. I just know there is more gel in there. Oh well, I am told you can reuse to flax seeds so maybe I’ll give it another shot and get the rest of the gel out.

At this point I added my essential oils and coconut oil and whisked it up.

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You can see it still has a mucous like consistency. I think some of that could have been solved by letting it boil longer and gel more. I took this picture with the whisk held up so you can see how runny it is.

So that was the final product. Gross, but with the coconut oil and EOs it smelled yummy, at least!

Again I gathered my courage as it was time to try it out. I’ll preface this by saying, I don’t by any means have curly hair. My hair has a mild wave, and I’m pretty sure the ends are still especially wavy due to a lingering perm from 4 years ago.

Or maybe I’m just crazy. I don’t know.

Anyway, I got my hair damp and scrunched it in. It was really hard to scoop out of the container and get in my hand due to the texture. It all wanted to run back into the container.

Kind of like snot.

Just like snot, actually.

Moving on…..

Once I was able to get it in my hair, it actually had a really nice texture and made my hair feel especially soft. What surprised me was how it made my hair feel so soft, yet as I scrunched it actually held my hair and created soft waves. I would go as far to say some part of my hair looked downright curly!

Did it work? You can decide for yourself….

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 My hair is still slightly damp in these photos so it looks a little crunchy. It has dried soft though, while maintaining a pretty strong hold. Impressive!

So… was it worth it?

If you have curly or wavy hair and use gel or some sort of styling product on a daily basis, I would say go for it. I think with some tweaking and practice you could find a way to make this an easier process and it would really work for you. So yes.

For me with hair that I rarely scrunch or use gel on, I’m not sure it’s worth the effort for a product I don’t really use anyway.

(And it looks like snot.)

Are you going to give this recipe a try? Leave me a comment and let me know how it goes!!

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What’s in YOUR bathroom?

Who doesn’t love a clean bathroom? I know I do. But I made a scary discovery… maybe my bathroom isn’t as clean as I originally thought.

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In those bottles and tubes are chemicals and ingredients that are absorbed into our bodies with each application. So what are our bodies absorbing?

I made a list of a few ingredients that are biggies on the naughty list. There are plenty more, but for the sake of simplicity we’ll start with just 3. I then read each and every label on these containers and counted how many times I saw these ingredients used.

Here we go…..

“Fragrance”

What is “fragrance”, or “parfum”? Well, this is a scary one because the truth is we don’t know! The FDA doesn’t require the cosmetic companies to list exactly what is included in the fragrance. While there are very healthy and beneficial fragrances contained in nature, it is rare that cosmetic companies are willing to pay the money for these real scents. Instead we are given a concoction of chemicals intended to resemble the real fragrance. More often than not chemicals used in these scents are phthalates. Phthalates are hormone disrupters that can cause a plethora of health problems from sperm production to abnormal genitalia development in babies. Women and babies should be particularly wary of phthalates. Now do you wonder why perfume shops always leave you with a headache?

So, what was my fragrance/parfum count in my label reading?

44. Yes. In somewhere between 45-50 labels I read, 44 of them contained unspecified fragrances.

“Mineral Oil/Petrolatum”

Mineral oil/petrolatum is a byproduct of the distillation of gasoline from crude oil. Grossed out yet? I am. So why is it in all our products? Simple; because it’s cheap. In fact, it is cheaper to sell us mineral oil in to slather on our skin than it is to dispose of it. So, folks… it appears the cosmetic industry views us as human trash cans. What is really dangerous about mineral oil is the fact that it is foreign to the body and it is very difficult for the skin to absorb. Instead, it creates a barrier on the skin which prevents toxins from being able to escape.  Once it is finally absorbed it continues to cause chaos as it travels through the liver and intestinal track, absorbing all the fat-soluble vitamins thus causing deficiencies. It literally travels through your body and steals your health.

Now, what’s really scary? Mineral oil is most prevalent in skin products for babies.

My count on mineral oil: 7 of my products had mineral oil listed in the ingredients, and 17 listed petrolatum.

“Sulfates”

Sulfates are becoming increasingly less popular as more information is revealed about them. Sodium Laurel Sulfate and the cousins to this ingredient are surrounded by a large amount of controversy, but my opinion is better to be safe than sorry. A surfactant, SLS is what is responsible for the luxurious bubbles when you scrub your hair, skin, and teeth. It is also responsible for scrubbing off all the natural oils your body produces and over drying skin in hair, causing your body to overproduce oil trying to make up for the dryness,  resulting in greasy skin and hair, leading you to reach back for the bottle of SLS to scrub it off again. There are more gentle forms of cleansing that don’t dry the skin and hair so drastically and work with your body’s oil production, rather than against it. There is also speculation of the carcinogenic nature of SLS.

I only had a few soaps in my product collection, but among the small amount I had the count was up to 4.

So there is my starting point. I hope you stick with me as I embark on a journey to transition from man-made chemical products to God-made natural products.

 

 

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