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Curly Nikki

What’s Your Favorite Gel?

By January 27th, 202163 Comments

Lorri writes:

I love Kinky Curly but loathe spending the money. EcoStyler is okay, but leaves me with a little too much crunch. I’ve tried the Herbal Essence Gels after reading on CurlyNikki that the ingredients are decent, and while my results have been good, I’m still not totally sold. What gels are CN readers using and what leave-in (if any) are you using up under it? I’m looking for:

(1) Medium hold with minimal crunch
(2) A gel that won’t flake or gum up when mixed with conditioner, and
(3) Somewhat healthy ingredients

any suggestions?!

63 Comments

  • classynaps says:

    Taliah Waajid's Curl Sealer. It's a wonderful great smelling gel. It leaves my hair soft, shiny, and adds plenty of moisture. I also use a leave in conditioner before applying the gel.

  • Anonymous says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Anonymous says:

    L.A. Looks Absolute Styling Cashmere Curls Styling Gel.

  • Anonymous says:

    Shake wrote about using curl activator with the Eco Gel, WOW! this is great. I followed her routine but I used Luster's S-Curl… my curls have no crunch and are the softest they've ever been. Shake thanks for your post.

  • Anonymous says:

    Shake wrote about using curl activator with the Eco Gel, WOW! this is great. I followed her routine but I used Luster's S-Curl… my curls have no crunch and are the softest they've ever been. Kimwana thanks for your post.

  • Anonymous says:

    Kimwana wrote about using curl activator with the Eco Gel, WOW! this is great. I followed her routine but I used Luster's S-Curl… my curls have no crunch and are the softest they've ever been. Kimwana thanks for your post.

  • ljkelly says:

    If not Kinky Curly, Fantasia IC.

  • Keesha says:

    Eco styler has been the most reliable product for me, but only the yellow and peach colored. Kinky Curly Curling Custard dries too sticky for me (over-application?) and doesn't provide enough hold for 2nd and 3rd day wear.

  • angelarose says:

    I really like my homemade flaxseed gel, it gives a great soft hold when paired with leave-in conditioner!

    I do like the KCCC but because of the price and the fact that I don't like the way it looks after a couple of days, its not a staple.

  • Anonymous says:

    I like to mix flax seed gel with aloe vera gel, around 50:50. The hold is up to, I'd say, a 5/10. My hair is soft, moisturized, and the curls are well-defined all day. No crunch, even if you use extra. I've used all my QB moisturizing creams underneath, TJ nourish spa, all with no flaking. It seems to mix with other products well.

  • Beverly says:

    I use EcoStyler and only the first day its a little crunchy and thats only if I put on a lot. I divide my hair into 4 sections and apply and brush (with a Goody brush that wants to be a Denman) through some of the gel. once my hair is dry I kinda scrunch my hair and the crunchy ness is gone. My hair maintains the defined curls for about a week and they are super soft.

  • Naturalchic says:

    hello, I use the Eco Style with Olive Oil, but I apply Cantu Butter then Vatika oil in sections then follow up with the Eco Styler. the first day after its crunchy but not dry. The next couple of days the crunchy feeling wears off and still has tons of hold. i do apply Vatika every other day which helps in the softening process but my twist last an entire week 🙂

  • Cherishdee says:

    Well in still transitioning, but this time I did my twist out I used a cream sitting gel.But be sure to condition well, and oil because it will dry out the hair. However then Herbal Essences TOUSLE ME SOFTLY TOUSLING SPRAY GEL, works very well.No crunch lots of hold no frizz,doesn't dry your hair out i love it

  • Anonymous says:

    try mixing 1 cup of eco styler olive oil gel with 2 tsp of olive oil, castor oil, and almond oil…got this from some video on YT..and I love it…even my family with relaxers use it because it doesn't leave the crunch!

  • Anonymous says:

    Darcy's Botanicals!!! All natural, none of the stickiness of KCCC, none of the weird heavy crunch of IC Fantasia or even Ecostyler.. Super light, moisturizing, and it smells good 😀

  • Anonymous says:

    With IC Fantasia Gel, I can scrub your pots after putting that on my hair. Kinky Curly does not give me the shine. My fave is Smooth n Shine Activator Gel. It gives me curl, shine and keeps my ends smooth. My leave in is a mixture of Infusium 23, oils and Thermanatural protein balance conditioner.

  • Nappy Miss Sew 'N Sew says:

    I wear a W&G 99% of the time and if I put anything on it for definition, I use pure Aloe Vera gel or if my hair is feeling dry I will use ORS twist and lock gel. I use either one straight, no oils, butters or leave in conditioner.

  • Anonymous says:

    I use Hairveda Whipped Gelly. It's great for twists/braids and twistouts/braidouts. Not crunchy at all. ~KF519

  • Anonymous says:

    September 13, 2010 12:12 PM
    Anonymous said…
    I have tried Kinky Curly Curling custard. It often leaves my hair dry and crunchy. To me it's a sometimey gel. It works for me when it wants to. So what works for me is Eco-Styler Gel with the olive oil. I normally leave a little Yes to Cucumbers or Bed Head Moisture Maniac, I then apply a little World of Curls moisturizing gel activator and then the Eco-gel. I have no crunch and no dryness. When my hair drys it's shiny and moisturized.
    ——————————–

    I have a combination similar to this one. I bought the EcoStyler w/ Olive Oil by default, the beauty supply was out of my other gel. I've become addicted to the Eco gel and I only use my prior first choice of gel in an emergency, like I did this morning. I partied to hard for my birthday and didn't follow my hair routine this past Sunday… I'm paying for it right now, but I'm going to try a braid out and blow dry this Thursday night. I haven't had my ends trimmed since May and I want to length check, because this hair is growing like weeds…. I love this site and the information that we all share with each other… May we all grow gray and curly together…

  • Anonymous says:

    The only gel that doesn't flake and crunch on my hair is Qhemet Biologics Honey Bush Soft Gel. It cots about $16.00 bucks at a local health food store in Atlanta. You can also order from their website. You will get a nice hold, but your hair doesn't feel like it has gel in it.

  • Shake says:

    Long-aid curl activator gel (green label) under Eco styler yeilds great results!!!

  • Renee says:

    I use Giovanni LA Natural Gel. Keeps my twistouts looking great for the week. Still need to find a leave-in though.

  • TELA PARKER says:

    TRESEME BOUNCY CURLS LIGHT HOLD NOT CRUNCHY AT ALL LEAVES HAIR SOFT ITS ABOUT $4.00 OR $5.00 AT THE MOST

  • Anonymous says:

    I have tried most of the gels mentioned here, and I have to say I have found my holy grail routine (gel included).

    Co wash with Sauve Strawberry-something
    add leave in (suave strawberry conditioner, a little water, coconut oil, olive oil, and castor oil)
    scrunch/rub in shea butter mixture
    then….drum roll please….add Kiss My Face Upper Management Gel. It can be purchased at Whole Foods, Vitamin Shoppe, and probably other natural shops.

    I LOVE my wash n go today, and I think I may even get second day hair. It's full, soft (w/hold), moist, and very defined.

    Tam

  • Anonymous says:

    I like Curly Magic by Uncle Funky's Daughter

  • Ms. Pillowz says:

    I use Qhemet Biologics Honeybush Tea Soft Gel. It is light, has great hold, defines my curls, great shine, and smells delish. I love how it makes my hair feel and look.

    Ms. Pillowz
    BigDivaHq.com

  • Sabrina says:

    I like Leisure Curl Activator Gel for extra dry hair that right here is some good stuff. My hair really loves it, and I like Long Aid Activator Gel just have to wait some minutes before I go outside for the smell to die down some.

  • AusetAbena says:

    My sister has used Jamaican Mango and Lime Twist and Loc Gel with great results. It's not just for starting locs. Also IC Fantasia Gel in Olive Oil.

  • Nique1076 says:

    I have two favs.Ecostyler layered with castor oil which leaves my hair soft (no crunch) and shiny, and AfroVeda Pur Whipped Jelly

  • Anonymous says:

    I never thought i'd say this but my fav gel is Kinky Curly.
    I hated it so much the first time i used it that i gave it away. But i then decided to buy another jar and try it again not as a Curl Creator (because that does not exist and i have 4c hair…and nothing in this world can give me curls that i simply don't have).

    I mix it with shea butter and twist my hair with it. My hair stays so moisturized and has a medium hold to it.

    The ingredients, compared to ecostyler and the other cheap stuff are really good…and i think it smells yummy.

    Idk, just my opinion….
    I loved it.

  • Anonymous says:

    I am a TWA-wearer/daily Wng'er, and I use either Aloe Vera Gel or Eco Gel (Pink instead of Green). I use either a leave-in or a little of my detangler conditioner underneath, seal this jojoba or sweet almond oil, then apply gel by raking in with fingers. The Pink Eco gives me definiton without the crunch. Even if I was using oil underneath the green Eco, my curls were still drying crunchy…

  • Anonymous says:

    Homemade flax seed gel made with mineral water, citric acid and a ph of 4 to 4.5. Seal with grapeseed oil or put it on top of your favourite leave in. I use it on damp or dry hair and I love it.

  • Unknown says:

    I love Long Aid Curl Activator Gel with Aloe Vera. B/c it's an activator it doesn't make your hair hard at all. I shampoo and condition my hair, use a leave in, then use the gel activator. I take little pieces of my hair and make a bunch of curls; once it dries my hair is set for about 5-6 days. As the days go by, the curls get messier, I LOVE the look. BTW my hair is 4b and about 5 inches.

  • Anonymous says:

    I like Ecostyler Olive Oil gel mixed in a bowl with a conditioner and jojoba oil/evoo and/or coconut oil. No crunch. No dryness. No white flakes. Good definition and hold.

  • Unknown says:

    I love Tigi Catwalk Curls Rock, then seal the ends with Crown Pride Naturals Painya Butter for my braid outs. I just bought Ecostyler and tried it on one section…so far so good! I think this might be a cheaper alternative, but it doesn't feel as conditioning as the Curls Rock.

  • Anonymous says:

    I love Silk Elements Liquid Styling Gel or Elasta QP Feels Like Silk Liquid Styling Gel. Both these gels leave hair feeling moisturized and soft with medium hold. No crunch or flaking. Provides superb definition and shine all day. I get the best results when I use these products alone with no leave-ins. Both these products can be found at Sally's for about 4 dollars. I like the Silk Elements best. The Elast QP is great also, but it provides a little too much moisture at times. I use it when my hair is feeling more dry. Most of the time, I use the Silk Elements.

  • Unknown says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Unknown says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • utopia says:

    Ok, I have been using this gel for a while and after using it once I was sold! it's amazing! No crunch, and really really defines and shines! Elasta QP Feels Like Silk

  • GoPackAndTravel says:

    EcoStyler is my favorie. KCCC is too hit or miss for me. As mentioned before Ecostyler works best with an oil underneath. I use coconut and my hair is soft and defined.

  • JeweLz says:

    I use Komaza Care's Coconut Hair pudding and I'm very pleased with this product. The smell is wonderful too!

  • Melissa says:

    Try mixing and gel that you like that has great hold but may give you crunchy results with aloe vera gel. I love using this for two strand flat twists.

  • Hippie Bar says:

    I like Eco Styler Olive Oil Gel. The Kinky Curly Gel leaves my hair feeling sticky and its does work well with other products.

  • Anonymous says:

    you even have to ask? KCCC!

  • Just Sloan :) says:

    I have to say overall I like Long Aid Activator Gel too! However, it's kinda hard to find where I live. My second gel is the Eco W/Olive oil and mixed with My shea butter, It gives me hold for my twists and braids but never crunchy.

  • bobbie gardner says:

    kinky curly is queen but trialling Crown pride Curl Control Styling Gel, good for 4bs, but comes with a lil crunch.

  • Sabrina R Perkins says:

    I leave in a little Knot today (KC product) and THEN apply Curly Custard. Not a lot at all. I then apply coconut oil and a little shea butter to seal then ends and I find I don't have the crunch you are talking about.

  • He's Faithful says:

    I mix Aloe Vera gel w/Eco Styler to get the hold w/less crunch. Cheap fix!

  • Anonymous says:

    Aloe Vera Gel or the gel by Curlz.

  • ccomo79 says:

    I llllloooovvee Eco Styler Gel, it makes my hair verrryy soft. I don't have any flakes nor crunch when styling. I start with a conditioner to detangle and then squeeze the excess conditioner out and apply the eco styler right after. I get really good results, even when it is humid outside which is everyday in Houston.

  • Anonymous says:

    I like aloe vera gel.

    FYI– I read that ppl usually mix some sort of oil to the Eco Styler Gel to minimize the crunch effect.

  • Jamila Reddy says:

    Aloe Vera Gel is perfect. It's super cheap and it doesn't leave my hair feeling greasy or hard.

  • NaturallyNay says:

    For those who wear WnGs with gel-what is your technique? I'm a daily WnGer but I haven't tried gel yet to define. I usually leave a butt load of HEHH in and shake to define. I've always felt that if I touched my hair after this it would just frizz up so I don't know when in the process to add the gel or how to apply the gel. Help?

  • Anonymous says:

    Curl Junkie Gel is the best ;)!

  • Anonymous says:

    Smooth and Shine Activator Gel w/ aloe is wonderful, there's no crunch and uber shine. Also, My Gel is great for edges, let me warn you, its very expensive (about $30 for a 16 oz jar), but a little goes a long way, I've had the same jar for like 5 months and its still 1/2 full; the ingredients are wonderful as well.

  • Misschris says:

    Fantasia IC Gel is the best!!! No flakes, hair is smooth as silk, no crunchy feeling afterwards. Plus, if you're a student like me and I can't yet afford the KK's and MJ's of this world, this is the best bang for your buck!!

  • Anonymous says:

    I use Sallflower oil, donna mac's hair milk and cream(http://www.etsy.com/listing/56105342/moisturizing-hair-milk-8-oz) then top it off with the eco styler gel, THen do a twistout and curl-LOVE LOVE LOVE IT- I get soft upto day 5 curls!!! (I just refresh in the a.m with a little hair milk)

  • CurlyNaturallyBeautiful says:

    Silk Elements Gel from Sally's. It's a liquid Gel. It has a clean smell and it doesn't dry hard at all. It's also very cheap. It's only like $5.

  • Anonymous says:

    i like the long aid activation gel. you can get that from walmart in the black/ethnic section…its main ingredient is glycerin

  • Anonymous says:

    I have tried Kinky Curly Curling custard. It often leaves my hair dry and crunchy. To me it's a sometimey gel. It works for me when it wants to. So what works for me is Eco-Styler Gel with the olive oil. I normally leave a little Yes to Cucumbers or Bed Head Moisture Maniac, I then apply a little World of Curls moisturizing gel activator and then the Eco-gel. I have no crunch and no dryness. When my hair drys it's shiny and moisturized.

  • LolaKinkz says:

    when you use ecostyler try layering it with an oil like cococut/jojoba doesn't leave alot of crunch

  • Anonymous says:

    i love afroveda pur whipped gelly! its been my staple for a over a year 🙂

  • LA Beauty BEAT says:

    I like KC Spiral Spritz, IC Aloe Vera Gel and Barry Fletcher Twist Like This, not a get but can give you the results you are looking for.

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