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Stylin’ and Profilin’: The Best Hair Gel for Curly Hair – Our Top 18!

By October 27th, 2021No Comments
best hair gel for curly hair

Photo by Ben Masora on Unsplash

Stylin’ and Profilin’: The Best Hair Gel for Curly Hair – Our Top 18!

By Jacqueline Samaroo

Hair gels are kind of a tradition when it comes to styling Black hair. But, finding the best hair gel for curly hair means finding one that works with your particular hair type, texture, porosity, density, etc.

With so many hair gels out there, that could take quite a bit of time and plenty of trial and error. You’ll probably have to go through several different products until you find the gel that’s right for your hair.

No worries! We’re here to make it wayyy easier. We’ve rounded up 18 of the best hair gels for you to consider. Each one does what any good curly hair gel should:

  • Define curls.
  • Tame frizz.
  • Provide hold to help styles last.
  • Make your hair shinier.
  • Add some texture to your hair, as well.

And, if you’re looking to join the great “Is gel or mousse better for curly hair?” debate, be sure to read this article first⇒ Curly Haircare 101: Is Gel or Mousse Better for Curly Hair?

Then, check out Stylin’ and Profilin’: The Best Mousse for Curly Hair – Our Top 12 for mousse options for all types of curls, coils, and waves!

Our Top Picks for The Best Hair Gel for Curly Hair

We’ve placed our hair gel selection into categories to help streamline your search. TLDR? Here’s a rundown of our list of 18. Scroll down to find out more about each of them!

Best Gels Overall

  1. Ouidad Advanced Climate Control Heat & Humidity Gel
  2. Curlsmith Hydro Style Flexi Jelly
  3. SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curling Gel Souffle

Best Gels for Natural Hair

  1. Pattern Curl Gel
  2. Aunt Jackie’s Flaxseed Elongating Curling Gel
  3. tgin Rose Water Defining Styling Gel

Best Gels for Tight Curls and Coils

  1. As I Am Smoothing Gel
  2. Camille Rose Curl Maker Defining Gel with Marshmallow and Agave Leaf Extract
  3. Mizani True Texture Perfect Coil Oil Gel

Best Gels for Waves and Loose Curls

  1. Mixed Chicks Thickening and Texturizing Definer Styling Gel
  2. Bumble and Bumble Anti-Humidity Gel-Oil
  3. Briogeo Curl Charisma Rice Amino + Quinoa Frizz Control Gel

Best Gels for Lasting Hold

  1. Tailiah Waajid Tight Hold Loc It Up for Natural Hair
  2. Carol’s Daughter Coco Crème Curl Shaping Cream Gel
  3. Design Essentials Sleek MAX Edge Control

Best Styling Gels

  1. AG Hair Curl Mousse Gel
  2. Mielle Organics Honey & Ginger Styling Gel
  3. Innersense Organic Beauty “I Create Hold”

Best Overall Gels

1.      Ouidad Advanced Climate Control Heat & Humidity Gel

good curly hair gel - Ouidad

Frizziness could be a thing of the past thanks to the “anti-frizz nanotechnology” used by Ouidad to develop its Advanced Climate Control Heat & Humidity Gel.

It’s made with both wheat protein and sericin (a silk protein). They help to strengthen your strands while sealing the cuticles to lock in moisture and keep humidity out.

You get curl definition, shine, and UV protection without the crunch many gels are notorious for.

2.      Curlsmith Hydro Style Flexi Jelly

hair gel for curly hair - Curlsmith

This styling gel for curly hair and wavy hair has a residue-free, lightweight formula. It gives a soft medium hold to your styles with plenty of added bounce, volume, and body. Just be sure to scrunch out the crunch once your hair dries!

It contains hyaluronic acid to plump up your strands with maximum moisture. It also has green tea, amla, thyme, lavender, cedarwood, and witch hazel to help soothe and nourish your scalp and hair.

 

 

3.      SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curling Gel Soufflé

flaxseed gel for curly hair - SheaMoisture

This nutrient-rich curling gel soufflé comes from one of the best-known names in curly haircare. It’s yummy for your hair (not your tummy!) and is a part of SheaMoisture’s impressive Coconut & Hibiscus line of haircare products.

If you’re looking for a flaxseed gel for curly hair, then this could definitely be it! It strengthens your hair while leaving it softer and with an enviable, healthy glow.

Its other ingredients include agave nectar, baobab extract, and shea butter (naturally!).

Best Gels for Natural Hair

4.      Pattern Curl Gel

cream gel for curly hair - Pattern

Pattern Curl Gel is a coconut oil and aloe vera gel for curly hair. It gives your natural hairstyles medium hold with lots of lovely bounce. Plus, its cacay oil deserves a special shoutout for the beneficial fatty acids it brings to the formula.

This cream gel for curly hair is a real boss when it comes to slaying those wash-and-go hairstyles in coily, kinky, and super curly hair.

Use it, too, to give added definition to your twist-out, Bantu knot out, and braid out styles. You’ll fall in love with the results!

5.      Aunt Jackie’s Flaxseed Elongating Curling Gel

flaxseed gel for curly hair - Aunt Jackie's

Do you love your curls but also want to show off the length of your tresses? This flaxseed gel for curly hair can help you do both.

When it says “Don’t Shrink” and “Elongating,” it’s not kidding! It hydrates and moisturizes to leave hair with a lasting stretch and hold.

Plus, your hair gets to enjoy the benefits of the flaxseed, shea butter, wheat protein, and extra virgin olive oil it contains.

 

6.      tgin Rose Water Defining Styling Gel

hair gel for curly hair - tgin

If you like flaunting your natural curls, then this styling gel has got to be one of your top contenders for “The Best Hair Gel for Curly Hair” – hands down!

It’s tgin’s answer to gels that are typically too heavy and that leave a massive buildup of residue on your hair. It gives you the definition you are looking for but also leaves your hair soft and touchable.

The lightweight formula contains rose water, acai berry, and olive oil and works very well with fine, low porosity hair.

Read more about hair porosity, here: Hair Porosity: What Is It and How Is Black Hair Affected?

Best Gels for Tight Curls and Coils

7.      As I Am Smoothing Gel

aloe vera gel for curly hair - As I Am

Finding the best gel for African American hair isn’t too difficult if you know where to look. Some brands, like As I Am, lead the pack with a satisfied and dedicated customer base.

The As I Am Smoothing Gel shows why. It cares for your hair while giving it superior shine and hold, ensuring your style will stay AND slay!

It’s an aloe vera gel for curly hair that also contains sugar beetroot, wheat protein, and vegetable glycerin for natural goodness.

8.      Camille Rose Curl Maker Defining Gel with Marshmallow and Agave Leaf Extract

best gel for African American hair - Camille Rose

“Sweet and soothing” is perhaps the best way to describe this defining gel from Camille Rose. It’s made with a blend of natural ingredients to moisturize and strengthen your hair, helping to reduce breakage.

Coconut oil, aloe vera leaf juice, and seaweed juice are the standouts. They are supported by panthenol (provitamin B5), vitamins B6 and B12, as well as extracts of marshmallow root, agave leaf, and nettle leaf.

Why all the fuss? Because your natural coils and curls deserve to be healthy AND pampered!

9.      Mizani True Texture Perfect Coil Oil Gel

best gel for African American hair - Mizani

The best styling gel for Black women’s hair understands that one size most definitely does not fit all. This True Texture Perfect Coil Oil Gel from Mizani is designed for very curly hair, helping to elongate and define those amazing zig-zags, kinks, and coils.

It contains a blend of coconut oil, marula oil, and olive oil. Together, they help to control the ever-present frizziness that tighter textures have to cope with. They also moisturize your hair while leaving it shinier and softer.

 

Best Gels for Waves and Loose Curls

10.  Mixed Chicks Thickening and Texturizing Definer Styling Gel

good curly hair gel - Mixed Chicks

If your hair tends to be thin and limp, then it will get a much-welcomed boost from this styling gel by Mixed Chicks. Adding body and volume is what this gel is all about – well, maybe not ALL.

It also wants to give your style a sculpted look and a hold that’s sure to last without any flaking in sight.

It’s fortified with protein-building amino acids, as well as a range of botanical extracts, including dandelion, fennel seeds, lavender, chamomile, witch hazel, and rosemary.

11.  Bumble and Bumble Anti-Humidity Gel-Oil

best hair gel for curly hair - Bumble and Bumble

Humidity is a constant concern when it comes to preventing frizziness in wavy, curly, and coily hair, especially if your hair tends to be on the coarser side. For that reason, Bumble and Bumble brings us its frizz-fighting, Anti-Humidity Gel-Oil.

Formulated for medium to coarse hair, this gel-oil hybrid also brings plenty of nourishment and UV protection to your strands. It’s made with a trio of oils – coconut, jojoba, and avocado, plus both shea and cocoa butters.

Together, they help to hydrate your strands then seal all that moisturizing goodness in for healthy and healthy-looking hair.

12.  Briogeo Curl Charisma Rice Amino + Quinoa Frizz Control Gel

best hair gel for curly hair - Briogeo

 

Chemically-treated or color-treated hair always needs a little extra TLC to keep it healthy and strong. But, you also want your haircare products to help your hair pull off those showstopping styles.

Briogeo’s Curl Charisma is here to give you a BIG assist on both fronts! It leaves your strands stronger and more elastic, for super bouncy curls and waves.

Enjoy the benefits of quinoa extract, rice amino acids, and tomato fruit ferment in a gel specifically designed for 2A to 3C hair types.

Want to find out more about the benefits of rice products for hair? Read our three recent posts

Best Gels for Lasting Hold

13.  Taliah Waajid Tight Hold Loc It Up for Natural Hair

best styling gel for Black women's hair - Taliah Waajid

Traditionally speaking, the best hair for curly hair is the one with the strongest hold possible. The thing is, however, that traditionally that meant having to be satisfied with hair that was very stiff, had no bounce, and quite often PLENTY of flakes.

Not anymore! Modern curly hair gels, like this one from Taliah Waajid, give you the definition and lasting hold you crave, but with soft, touchable curls.

Plus, its formula is infused with extracts of yarrow root, nettle, rosemary,  and Indian hemp.

14.  Carol’s Daughter Coco Crème Curl Shaping Cream Gel

cream gel for curly hair - Carol's Daughter

This cream gel for curly hair comes to us courtesy of one of the leaders in natural hair products. It helps you take styling normally dry hair to a whole new level of hydrated, moisturized, and defined with lasting hold.

Enjoy using this cream-gel hybrid for wash-and-go styles knowing your look will last all day long!

Plus, it nourishes your hair with its coconut oil and coconut milk, along with both mango and murumuru butters. Be sure to check out the rest of the Coco Crème line from Carol’s Daughter!

Read our series of articles on hair butters to learn how each one benefits your hair.

15.  Design Essentials Sleek MAX Edge Control

is gel or mousse better for curly hair - Design Essentials

A hairline that’s laid and slayed can add the perfect finishing touch to any hairstyle. Design Essentials gives us its Sleek MAX Edge Control to do just that!

It’s a very good curly hair gel all round, but really ups the game when it comes to maintaining your edge style throughout the whole day.

Use it to keep flyaways in check and minimize frizz while protecting your delicate baby hairs.

Among its ingredients are extracts of citrus peel and chamomile oil, along with glycerin and castor oil.

Best Styling Gels

16.  AG Hair Care Mousse Gel Extra-Firm Curl Retention

is gel or mousse better for curly hair - AG Hair Care

Should you be using a mousse or gel for curly hair? We say why not go with both – in the same product! This mousse-gel hybrid from AG Hair Care gives you the best of both styling worlds.

Revel in its refreshing green apple scent and leave all worries of frizziness behind. It’s made with silk protein and panthenol (provitamin B5) along with AG’s proprietary Curl Creating Complex (C3). Expect to improve your hair’s strength and elasticity while conditioning each strand.

It’s lightweight with a firm and lasting hold so you can enjoy defined curls and a healthy shine all day long.

17.  Mielle Organics Honey & Ginger Styling Gel

best styling gel for Black women's hair - Mielle

Both honey and ginger have amazing antioxidant powers and Mielle Organics combines them in this styling gel for curly hair.

It also contains nourishing babassu oil and aloe vera leaf juice, so you know it’s conditioning your hair each time you use it as a styler. No flaking or that odd pasty feel you get from some gels – just wonderfully hydrated twist-outs, Bantu knot outs, and wash-and-go styles.

If you fall in love with this gel, be sure to also check out the Honey & Ginger Edge Gel from Mielle Organics.

18.  Innersense Organic Beauty “I Create Hold”

aloe vera gel for curly hair - Innersense

Rounding out our search for the best hair gel for curly hair is this styling gel from Innersense. It boldly declares “I create hold” and does not disappoint if lasting hold is what you are looking for.

Put its combination of nettle, eucalyptus, and rooibos tea to work for you. Get increased shine, strength, and antioxidant protection in return.

A very good choice for sculpted curls and lasting hold!

 

Share any tips you have for choosing and using gels for curly hair!

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