So I've been at it again, researching ingredients! I'm still on my quest to perfect the perfect gel, one that will hold your curl pattern, and provide shine and moisture without the crunch. A gel that is spoken highly of in the natural YouTube community is Smooth and Shine Curl Activator Gel, but people are no longer happy with it because of the change in it's ingredients, it now has amongst other things parabens (shock, horror). I myself have never tried the gel, but not one to miss an opportunity, I am setting myself the challenge of recreating this so called wonder gel. I'm going to use the original good stuff, but take out the artificial stuff e.g. carbomer which is a polymer, Triethanolamine which is a thickener that can cause dryness, DMDM Hydantoin a preservative and Oleth 20 which is a surfactant and emulsifying agent.
It may seem like I'm taking out a lot but I'm replacing them with more naturally derived ingredients. One heads up I'll give away for free is I'm going to experiment with Carregeenan, which is used to provide hold in gel. While researching today I found out that Carregeenan is the gelatinous extracts of the Chondrus crispus seaweed. What the hell is Chondrus crispus seaweed? I here you say, well it's Irish Moss which is very good for afro textured hair. When Irish Moss is boiled up with water it produces a gel this is the Carregeenan, therefore I propose that in much the same way many naturals have tried the homemade Flax seed gel, you can also try to produce Carregeenan from Irish Moss.
Carregeenan will not obviously be the only ingredient I use in my hair gel, but it used to replace some of the thickening and emulsifying properties of the other ingredients that I'm taking out of the original formula for the Smooth and Shine Gel. I'll keep you posted.