Despite my fairly favourable review of regular setting lotion recently, I have decided that, actually I cannot stand the smell. I have a feeling that it might just be the brand. Others of you out there might not notice it, and I thought at first that perfume would cover it. But, to be honest, it's all I can smell. Even days later.
So, instead of going down the long and potentially expensive route of trying and testing lots of pre mades, I decided to have a go at making my own. There are various threads on The Fedora Lounge advising the use of flat beer and sugar water. The latter is something my Nan remembers her older sister using. And it is one I shall also be giving a go at some stage. Flat beer does not appeal to me on the basis of smell. And the attraction of various flying stinging things in the summer it may cause.
The home made lotion I am reviewing this time is from a quick google search, which lead me to here. And I have to say that, despite the extra faff involved, it has given me much better results than any pre-made. So - here's how...
You shall need:-
1 tbsp of Linseed seeds (flaxseed in the USA) - available from health food stores
1 cup of water
Add ingredients to pan. Bring to the boil and let it simmer for about 15 mins. I tend to watch mine (which invariably means it never boils) as if it bubbles up over, you are left with a syrupy glop all over the hob.
I use double the amount stated as 1) it makes it easier to strain 2) I have a lot of hair! and 3) it keeps in the fridge for an age
Take off the boil and strain immediately over a cup, through a sieve. I say immediately as this does start to become a gel pretty quick and this only makes it harder to push through. Wash off your sieve with hot water, as cold will help it to said gel phase.
Pop it on the side to cool down, or in the fridge.
Do not allow family member to mistake it for tea.
I do become a bit obsessed with pulling this out the cup to see how far I can get it before it breaks.
Once cooled, this is what you should be left with. A kind of gloopy gel. Sturdier than egg whites but it kind of feels the same.
Now, instructions I have read advise to "comb this through your hair". And like all setting lotions, it advises damp hair. But, I have found this neigh on impossible on a drying basis. So, after I have separated out my washed, dry locks, I tend to comb the piece through, get some on my fingers and then tease it through my hair. I then comb it all through. The good thing I have found in doing it this way is that the comb removes any excess, whilst coating each strand. I have a towel to hand to wipe off what is not needed.
Set hair in usual way and apply heat. I do about 10 mins all over. I then sleep on it.
The big reveal.
I was a bit worried. I thought it might turn out pap. It has in the past.
But not this time! And not since I have followed the method above. It gives me non-crispy-bits, soft, manageable curls that are scent free and that last.
Yes, ladies, LAST.
This is it styled. I took the saintly advice of Miss Fleur de Guerre regarding brushing out, when she commented on my previous review. I have not gone the whole hog here - and I need to get better at things before I do, but this is from fresh and just combed. It gave me fluffier curls than I am used to, but they do look a lot better!
This is the curls on day 2. I am staggered at how much they have not dropped. And this is after being drizzled on. Yes! I know!! They are still there!! Something I have discovered about using this natural brew is that it fails to be bothered by annoying things like fog, mizzle and wind.
This is day 3 - after a walk in a rather windy Whitstable. Yes - they have dropped - but there is still a definite curl there. I think that this is weight of my hair as opposed to the product.
And this is Day 4. Oddly - the curls have crept up again? I love this! I really thought that after being exposed to the windy sea air, they would have given up the ghost.
Now, this recipe is not without it's downsides. It does take longer to do. I find about a third longer than a normal spray bottle application. But, for me, it lasts a lot longer. I have no real straggly bits to contend with which needed re-rolling. So that perk alone far outweighs the downsides.
Right. Back to my little comment earlier about it going wrong in the past. Below is evidence of the first time I tried this. I slathered it on. Like an idiot. And this is the result.
I use the word "result" loosely!
Please excuse my doughy upper arm.
I did not comb this through. I just used my fingers. And despite me applying heat-a-plenty and leaving it overnight, it just did not dry.
It didn't even set evenly. To say I was gutted is an understatement.
But. I could see that it had curled. This is when I decided to re-test it, and the results you see at the beginning are it at it's best. If you have shorter hair than me (yes! I know! I need to get it cut before you tell me) then I think this will work beautifully.
I have read that you can add vodka to this to increase it's fridge life and that you can add a natural scent. I am toying with the idea of adding a couple of drops of Rose Geranium to my next batch and seeing how that comes out. I would also suggest that if you are making a batch and keeping some back for further applications, to store it in a air tight container so that it does not pick up any odors and to leave it out of the fridge for about half an hour before you use it.
And there you have it! A natural, odorless, chemical free setting lotion.
If you have any queries or qualms about making or usage, then please comment on this post, or pop me an email.
Until next time folks....