How To Make Your Own Hair Gel at Home

Don't Settle for Expensive Hair Gels, DIY and Get Exactly What You Want

Man applying gel to hair in bathroom
Tara Moore/Taxi/Getty Images

Making your own hair gel is as easy as 1-2-3. Women and men can use this quick and easy recipe and it can be customized to give you just the right amount of hold. The best part? Each batch costs just a few pennies!

Give it a try and enjoy great hair for less coinage.

How to Make Your Own Hair Gel

Making your hair gel should take just a few minutes though you will want to chill it for a few hours. It's an easy project that can be done in one night.

Make enough to last a couple weeks and you're good to go!

  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup warm, distilled water
  • Essential oils (optional)

Directions

  1. Dissolve the desired amount of gelatin in warm water.
  2. Add more gelatin as needed to reach the desired consistency and stir.
  3. Cool in the refrigerator for about 3 hours until set.
  4. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil if you like and mix well.
  5. Your hair gel is ready for use on wet or dry hair, simply style as usual.

This hair gel has a shelf life of 1-2 weeks.

Customize the Hold

Everyone desires different results from their gel and this recipe can be customized to fit you needs. Begin with a strength close to what you buy at the store and make adjustments from there. Even if it takes 2-3 batches to find your perfect mix, it's still going to save money.

  • Light Hold: 1/2 teaspoon gelatin per cup of water
  • Medium Hold: 3/4 teaspoon gelatin per cup of water
  • Strong Hold: 1 teaspoon gelatin per cup of water

Tip: Use the 'light hold' gel to control frizzy hair.

Customize the Fragrance

Essential oils can be added to homemade hair gel and you get the pleasure of smelling it all day. Many of the most common oils are also beneficial to your hair's health, so it's a win-win!

  • Chamomile -  Great for fine and normal hair, chamomile has a light floral fragrance and conditions hair.
  • Lavender - Used in many hair car products, lavender promotes hair growth and balances oils. Perfect for all hair types.
  • Lemon - Essential oil is not necessary, simply use two tablespoons of lemon juice. Great for oily hair because it helps balance oils.
  •  - Promotes hair growth and is perfect for oily hair. It pairs perfectly with lavender.
  • Peppermint - Go easy on this scent and combine it with others or you may smell like a candy cane. Great for dry hair and promotes hair growth.

Fragrances for Men: Most men don't want to smell like a bouquet of flowers, but there are a number of essential oils that have a more 'manly' scent. Try these alone or in a custom combination.

  • Bay - Sweet and uplifting with a touch of spice. Pairs well with black pepper and juniper.
  • Black Pepper - Spicy and sporty. Pairs well with marjoram and sandalwood.
  • Copaiba Balsam - Woody and rustic. Pairs well with cypress and sandalwood.
  • Sandalwood - Sweet, woody and long-lasting. Pairs well with bergamot and black pepper.
  • Velvetier - Deep, earthy and uplifting. Pairs well with cinnamon and sandalwood.

More Tips for DIY Hair Gel

  • For convenience, use small squeeze bottles. Use a funnel to get the gel into squeeze bottles and store in the refrigerator between uses to prolong its life.
    • If you make a large batch, store it in a few bottles and pull one out as needed.
  • Label the bottles. Be sure to label the bottles with the fragrance and date. It will also help avoid confusing it with food (not that you couldn't eat it, it's just not good).
  • Need more or less hair gel? Simply maintain the ratio in the recipe and you can make as much or as little as you need.