Hold it


I have failed Selfie 101. For starters, I should have taken a picture yesterday when I was all fluffy and voluminous. But I think you can almost make out (through the blurriness) how shiny and almost-curly my hair is. This is dry, crunchy hair, before finger-combing through the initial gel stiffness.


What appears to be a rogue curl sticking out of my temple is in fact the camera strap dangling down from my raised arm. For those of you who are wondering: yes, I dye my hair. Religiously. I’m going gray at warp factor ten. The crew have abandoned the ship and the disembodied voice of Majel Barrett-Roddenberry is calmly counting down the self destruct sequence.

I have changed my hair gel! This is big news because I make my own. For the last three years or so I have used plain, unflavored gelatine as my “sculpting product” but I have recently made the switch to flax seed gel. It needs to be kept in the fridge between uses (truthfully, I should have kept my gelatine gel in there, too, but I didn’t). It’s not any more time-consuming or expensive to make the flax seed gel and it, like the gelatine, does not have any noticeable smell on its own. But best of all is that when I really gob it on it works just like the storebought stuff in the plastic tube, but without flaking. Plus, the omega-3 fatty acids in flax seeds really and truly is good for your hair and skin, whereas the long-held idea that gelatine is good for hair and nails turns out to have been a marketing ploy that dates back to the era before enforceable truth in advertising laws.

Here’s how I made a week’s worth of flax seed gel:

Combine 1 tablespoon whole flax seeds and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan over medium heat. stir constantly (to keep the seeds from permanently adhering themselves to your pan) for about five minutes or until the water begins to thicken and the spoon leaves a “comet trail” of froth (like the stuff that forms on top of your fruit when you make jam or jelly). Promptly pour the stuff through cheesecloth and squeeze to extract all the gel. Don’t wait too long or the stuff turns into Flubber and you can’t sieve the seeds out. Store in the fridge between applications.

Here’s the warning: the texture of the finished product is pretty gross. Very mucous-y. Exceptionally snot-like. It doesn’t bother me, but if, like someone with whom I cohabitate, you are very sensitive to heinous textures, you might not want to attempt this.

— Amanda


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