I deep condition my hair once a week, and knowing heat helps product penetrate deeper into my hair cuticles, I wanted a microwaveable heat cap. Many of the curly hair YouTubers and bloggers use the Hot Head Deep Conditioning Heat Cap. But living in Ireland, the postage was as much as the product, so I made my own! Here’s how to make your own DIY microwaveable, reversible, deep conditioning heat cap. You probably have most of the items needed around your home, including flax seeds – if you make your own DIY flax seed gel.
Heat opens up the hair’s cuticle so the product can penetrate deeper into the hair shaft. It’s especially important for low porosity hair because the cuticles lie flat and closed, making it harder for product to penetrate and condition the hair. This heat cap is microwaveable, reversible and you can move around, rather that being sat under a hood or dryer.
What you need
- a pair of fabric scissors
- sewing machine (alternatively, you can hand sew)
- measuring tape
- needle and thread
- erasable pen/pencil
- 2 safety pins
- approx. 500g flax seeds
- 3 fabrics, 1 to be terry cloth, all 20 inches wide
- 20 inches of 1cm wide elastic
The only thing I actually needed to buy was more flax seeds, and the 1cm elastic. I have a box full of fabrics that I’ve collected over the years. Remnants from my textile degree, and various quilting projects. For the terry cloth, I actually used a baby towel I still had from when my daughter was born. The blue fabric was brushed cotton, and the patterned fabric was 100% cotton. Does anyone else buy cute fabric that you’ve no idea what you’re going to use it for but you know one day, you’ll use it for something? As you’ll see from the pics, so far I’ve used the orange retro-patterned fabric to make a pin cushion, and now my microwaveable deep conditioning heat cap!
Top Tip: The Pilot Frixion Erasable pens disappear from fabric when you apply heat! I much prefer these to quilting pencils or tailor’s chalk. You can pick them up at your local stationers or office suppliers.
Lay your fabrics out flat, one on top of the other, and pin together. You can either find something that is 20 inches in diameter and draw around that. Or using a piece of string anchored at the centre of the fabric, draw a circle 10 inches from the centre. Once you’ve drawn your circle, cut the fabrics out. You can adjust the diameter if you have a bigger or smaller head. I have long, thick hair and the 20 inch diameter is fine for me.
Take your terry cloth and middle layer, and pin together. (You won’t need your patterned/outside fabric until later.) Using your ruler, draw a horizontal and vertical line through the centre of the fabric, to create four segments at 90 degrees. Turn your circle of pinned fabric 90 degrees and repeat to create eight segments. Using your sewing machine (or hand sew a back stitch), sew along the lines, back-tacking at each end.
Find something that is relatively small to draw your first circle around the centre – I used a breakfast bowl, 5.5 inches in diameter. Taking your measuring tape, draw a new circle, 2 inches larger than the previous one to create a total of 4 circles, radiating from the middle.
Pour your flax seeds into a small bowl, and get your needle and thread ready. Into each of the eight segments and using your teaspoon, pour one to one and a half teaspoons of flax seeds and hand sew a basic running stitch as you go along. Once you have filled and hand-stitched each circle, then sew along the circle on the sewing machine. Repeat for the first two circles.
Take your ruler and draw a line starting at the second circle you’ve just filled with flax seeds, down the middle of each segment to create a total of sixteen segments for the last two, largest circles. This is to make sure the sections that contain flax seeds aren’t too large and cause them to gather at one end when you’re wearing the heat cap. Using your sewing machine, sew along these lines and fill each section as per step 4.
Lay your patterned/outside layer of fabric right side up, and layer your flax seed-filled fabrics on top, with the terry cloth side facing down. Pin the fabrics together and using your sewing machine, sew around the edge with a one quarter inch seam allowance. Make sure to leave a five inch gap to turn your cap inside out.
Turn your cap inside out – which will actually be the right way around. Lay your fabric on the machine with the terry cloth facing upwards. Re-sew around the largest circle, this time sewing all the way around the circle – there’s no need for the five inch gap. This is to create a channel for the elastic to run through.
Attach a safety pin to each end of the elastic, and thread through the channel using the five inch gap. Tie in a double knot and cut to size, or just remove the safety pins. Using an iron, iron the quarter inch seam allowance down on the five inch gap. Using your sewing machine, and being careful not to sew the elastic, sew the five inch gap closed. Et voila! You’ve just made your own microwaveable deep conditioning heat cap!
How to use
After applying a deep conditioning treatment to your wet/damp hair. Place a plastic cap over your head. This will keep your microwaveable heat cap clean and dry. Place your heat cap in the microwave and heat for 1 minute on full power. Turn your cap inside out and heat again for another minute. (Don’t heat it up more than a total of 3 minutes.) Place your heat cap on your head, over your plastic cap, and leave on for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, I usually take it off, and put it in the microwave for two minutes, turning it inside out after the first minute.
I hope you found this post helpful and the steps easy to follow. If there’s a topic you’d like me to cover, let me know in the comments below. Please subscribe if you haven’t already, and follow me on Instagram and Facebook.
You can read this post to see my favourite curly girl products and the deep conditioning treatments and masks I like to use.