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Best Hair Gel for Curly Hair: The Top 25

May 6, 2022

 by

Verna Meachum

We only partner and recommend products from brands that we trust and believe in, that help you achieve your goals, and that we personally use. This post may contain affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase through one of our links, we get paid a commission for the purchase. Please read our disclosure for more info.

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 We treat our blog with a curious, open-minded, and customer-focused attitude. We ask lots of questions about everything.

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Above all, we value your trust above anything else. We're so glad you’re here!

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Hi,I'm Verna

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The hot summer sun can be tough on your hair. The humidity can leave it frizzy and unmanageable, and the heat can sap it of its natural moisture.

If you’re looking for a product that will help keep your curls in place while also protecting your hair from the summer elements, look no further.

Hair gel is a versatile product that can be used to create different hairstyles, from sleek and polished to messy and undone.

It can also help to tame flyaways and control frizz. Whether you’re headed to the beach or a backyard barbecue, we’ve rounded up the best hair gels for curly hair that will help you keep your curls intact all summer long.

Plus, we’ll give you some tips on how to use them to get the best results!


Overview

Not all gels are created equal- some work well for certain types of curls, while others make your hair look greasy or crunchy.

When it comes to choosing the gels for curly hair, there are many different factors to consider.

Some people prefer a lightweight and flexible formula that won’t weigh down their curls or make them look overly stiff or greasy.

Other people may be looking for a stronger hold, in order to achieve certain styling effects or keep their locks in place all day long.

Whatever your particular needs as a curly, there are countless options available on the market today that can help you achieve the perfect style.

Just a few of the top contenders for best hair gel for curly hair include Giovanni L.A Hold Styling Gel, and Curls Blueberry Bliss Curl Control Jelly by Curls.

Each of these gels is crafted specifically with curly hair in mind, using nourishing ingredients and unique formulations that give your curls just what they need to look their best.

Whether you’re looking to define and moisturize your curls, add lustrous shine and volume, or simply hold them all in place throughout the day, there’s sure to be an option that meets your hair needs exactly.

Best Hair Gel for Curly Hair - Adwoa Beauty curl defining gl

Adwoa Baomint Moisturizing Curl Defining Gel

Features: This is a concentrated cream-gel hybrid for medium and thick hair. It creates definition without the flakes and will provide a medium hold.

Best for: all curl types

Color-safe: Yes

Protein-free: Yes

Price: $14


Best Hair Gel for Curly Hair - Aunt Jackie's don't shrink flaxseed elongating curling gel

Aunt Jackie’s Flaxseed Don’t Shrink Curling Gel

Features: If shrinkage is an issue with your curls, this styling gel gives the stretch to your curls that you need without the crunch. It is a lightweight gel that will give your hair a soft hold and can be used on wet or dry hair.

Best for: curly and coily

Color-safe: Yes

Protein-free: No

Price: $7.95 – $14.85


Best Hair Gel for Curly Hair - Aussie instant freeze gel

Aussie Instant Freeze 20-Hour Hold Hair Gel

Features: This maximum-hold hair gel is fragrant with citrus and aquatic notes and contains jojoba oil and sea kelp. If you struggle to get a gel cast, this strong-hold gel might be the answer.

Best for: all curl types

Color-safe: Yes

Protein-free: Yes

Price: $4.79


Best Hair Gel for Curly Hair - Briogeo Curl Charisma Rice amino + Quinoa frizz control gel

Briogeo Curl Charisma Rice Amino + Quinoa Frizz Control

Features: This gel is lightweight, non-sticky, and silicone-free, so it will not leave your hair feeling heavy. The rice amino acids and quinoa work together to smooth the hair cuticle and add shine.

Best for: all curl types

Color-safe: Yes

Protein-free: No

Price: $22


Best Hair Gel for Curly Hair - Bouncecurl gel

Bouncecurl

Features: This is a lightweight styling gel with light, soft hold. It will make your hair feel light and it will keep your curl’s shape and will also minimize frizz. It is infused with its flagship ingredient – Black seed oil.

Best for: all curl types

Color-safe: Yes

Protein-free: No

Price: $17.99 – $24.99

Discount code: muse (all lower caps)


Best Hair Gel for Curly Hair - Bumble and Bumble anti-humidity gel oil

Bumble and Bumble Anti-Humidity Gel Oil

Features: This gel-oil combination adds moisture, bounce, and sheen while also protecting against the humidity. UV protection also helps to protect curls from the sun’s drying effects.

Best for: curly and coily

Color-safe: Yes

Protein-free: Yes

Price: $30 – $32


Best Hair Gel for Curly Hair - Camille Rose curl maker

Camille Rose Naturals Curl Maker

Features: This gel will give your hair definition, shine, and hold without weighing it down. The aloe vera juice, agave extracts, and marshmallow work together to give your hair a soft, bouncy, and shiny finish. No gummy or crunchy curls with this product.

Best for: curly and coily

Color-safe: Yes

Protein-free: Yes

Price: $17 – $22


Best Hair Gel for Curly Hair - Curls Bludeberry Bliss curl control jelly

Curls Blueberry Bliss Curl Control Jelly

Features: This jelly is formulated to define, defrizz, and hold your curl’s shape. Formulated with organic blueberry extract, and raw castor oil, this jelly will leave your hair feeling soft and looking shiny. Use a tiny dab. Treat it like a gel rather than a cream, which means you need only a little bit.

Best for: all curl types

Color-safe: Yes

Protein-free: No

Price: $17 – $18


Best Hair Gel for Curly Hair - Curlkeeper original gel

Curlkeeper Original

Features: The Original formula is water-based, so it will not leave your hair feeling crunchy or cause any build-up. This is a liquidity type gel, but it provides a strong hold and is ideal for humid weather.

Best for:

Color-safe: Yes

Protein-free: Yes

Price: $19 – $49


Best Hair Gel for Curly Hair - Curl smooth curl butter gel

Curls Smooth Curl Butter Gel

Features: If you’ve ever used a gel that only has one benefit, such as a strong hold in your protective style, then you know how frustrating it is when your hair starts to feel dry. This curl butter gel gives your hair definition, a soft hold, and moisture all in one product.

Best for: all curl types

Color-safe: Yes

Protein-free: Yes

Price: $5.99 – $8


Best Hair Gel for Curly Hair - Ecoslay orange marmalade

EcoSlay Orange Marmalade Gel

Features: What I love about this gel is the amount of curl definition this will give your hair. It is a lightweight gel, but will provide a firm hold. The gel is also hydrating and will make your curls shine.

Best for: all curl types

Color-safe: Yes

Protein-free: Yes

Price: $29


Best Hair Gel for Curly Hair - Eco style gold olive oil gel


Eco Style Gold – Olive Oil

Features: This is a strong-hold gel that will give your hair a lot of shine and definition. It is alcohol-free, so it will not dry out your hair. You can also use it on wet or dry hair every day!

Best for: all curl types

Color-safe: Yes

Protein-free: No

Price: $12.99


Best Hair Gel for Curly Hair - Giovanni LA styling gel

Giovanni L.A Hold Styling Gel

Features: This is a strong-hold gel that will give your hair definition and shine, due to aloe and mallow extract. It is alcohol-free and will not weigh the hair down.

Best for: all curl types

Color-safe: Yes

Protein-free: No

Price: $6.44


Best Hair Gel for Curly Hair - Innersense I create hold gel

Innersense Organic Beauty I Create Hold

Features: This gel will give your hair a soft, crunch-free hold. The certified organic ingredients will also leave your hair feeling moisturized and looking shiny. This gel is essentially aloe, water, and honey, making it a hydrating, lightweight formula.

Best for: medium to thick curls

Color-safe: Yes

Protein-free: No

Gluten-free: Yes

Price: $26


Best Hair Gel for Curly Hair - Jessicurl Spiralicious styling gel )Citrus - lavendar)

Jessicurl Spiralicious Styling Gel (Citrus Lavendar

Features: This gel gives your hair a soft, crunch-free hold with a refreshing citrus scent. It is aloe-based and will leave your hair feeling moisturized.

Best for: all curl types

Color-safe: Yes

Protein-free: Yes

Price: $16.95


Best Hair Gel for Curly Hair - Kenra styling gel 17

Kenra Styling Gel 17

Features: This is an alcohol-free, lightweight gel that will give your hair a strong hold. The gel is also humidity-resistant, so it’s great for frizzy hair.

Best for: all curl types

Color-safe: Yes

Protein-free: No

Price: $16.99


Best Hair Gel for Curly Hair - Kinky Curly curling custard

Kinky-Curly Original Curling Custard

Features: There’s a reason why this hair gel is one of the most frequently recommended for curlies; it clumps softly, moisturizes, and defines without weighing hair down. If you have low-porosity hair, this is a great gel to try because it’s super moisturizing.

Best for: all curl types

Color-safe: Yes

Protein-free: Yes

Gluten-free: Yes

Price: $18.49


Best Hair Gel for Curly Hair - LA Looks extreme sport styling gel

LA Looks Extreme Sport Alcohol-Free Hair Gel 

Features: You’ll get a lot of hold and definition from this gel, but it’s not too crunchy. It’s also alcohol-free so it won’t dry out your hair. It’s suitable for all climates, so it will keep your hair under control even in high humidity.

Best for: wavy hair

Color-safe: Yes

Protein-free: No

Price: $2.12 – $10


Best Hair Gel for Curly Hair - Mop Top curly hair custard

Mop Top Curly Hair Custard Gel

Features: This custard gel will give your hair definition, shine, and hold without being crunchy. It is also alcohol-free and won’t weigh your hair down.

Best for: all curl types

Color-safe: Yes

Protein-free: No

Price: $16.49 – $18


Best Hair Gel for Curly Hair - Mop Top anti-frizz gel

MopTop Salon Anti-Frizz Medium Hold Gel

Features: This is a medium-hold gel that will give your hair definition and shine. It is also humidity-resistant, so it’s great for frizzy hair. It’s infused with sea botanicals and honey, which will leave your hair feeling moisturized.

Best for: all curl types

Color-safe: Yes

Protein-free: No

Price: $23 – $49


Best Hair Gel for Curly Hair - Ouidad advanced climate control heat and humidity gel

Ouidad Advanced Climate Control Heat and Humidity Gel

Features: This is a lightweight styling gel that helps to lock out humidity and protect curls from heat and UV damage. It has Anti-Frizz Nano Technology for advanced frizz protection.

Best for: most curl types

Color-safe: Yes

Protein-free: No

Price: $26


Best Hair Gel for Curly Hair - Shea Moisture Daily Hydration gel

Shea Moisture Daily Hydration Styling Gel 

Features: This is an alcohol-free gel that adds hydration. No hard crunchiness and a medium-strong hold keep your style in place with soft, smooth strands. It wraps your hair in nourishing Coconut Milk, Acacia Senegal, and a creamy blend of 100% Virgin Coconut and Shea Oils.

Best for: all hair types

Color-safe: Yes

Protein-free: Yes

Price: $10.49


Best Hair Gel for Curly Hair - Shea Moisture Frizz Control Gel

SheaMoisture Frizz Control Styling Gel for Curly Hair Papaya and Neroli Alcohol Free Hair Gel

Features: This is a moisturizing and curl gel with frizz control that provides a touch of moisture and shine while keeping the curls smooth. It is also fights against the humidity to keep your curls frizz-free. Made with Papaya, juicy Neroli, Elder flower and Fair Trade Shea Butter.

Best for: Curly and wavy hair

Color-safe: Yes

Protein-free: Yes

Price: $9.99


Best Hair Gel for Curly Hair - Uncle Funky's Daughter Curl Stimulator

Uncle Funky’s Daughter Curly Magic Curl Stimulator

Features: This is an aloe-based firm hold curl enhancing gel. It is great for definition, shine, and hold. It also works well for taming frizz, elongating curls, and increasing moisture.

Best for: all curl types

Color-safe: Yes

Protein-free: No

Gluten-free: No

Price: $24.99


Best Hair Gel for Curly Hair - Wetline Xtreme gel

Wetline Xtreme Professional Extra Hold Wet Line Styling Gel

Features: This is an affordable alcohol free (Free of ethyl alcohol)styling gel that provides extra hold without any residue.

Best for: all hair types

Color-safe: Yes

Protein-free: Yes

Gluten-free: Yes

Price: $4.14


How To Choose Gel For Curly Hair?

When it comes to choosing a hair gel, there are many factors to consider.

The type of curl, the level of hold, and the ingredients are just a few of the things that can make a big difference in the final result.

For those with curly hair, finding the best hair gel can be a bit of a challenge. However, by keeping a few key factors in mind, it is possible to find a gel that will work well for your specific hair type.

Curly hair type

First, consider the type of curl you have. If you have loose curls, you will need a gel with a lighter hold.

Those with tighter curls will need something with a bit more holding power.

Ingredients

Second, pay attention to the ingredients. Some gels can be very drying, so it is important to choose one that contains hydrating ingredients like aloe vera or glycerin.

Compatibility

Finally, make sure to select a gel that is compatible with your other hair products. If you use products with silicones, for example, you will need to use a silicone-free gel to avoid buildup.

By taking these factors into account, you can be sure to find the best hair gel for your curly locks.

Gel cast

When it comes to curly hair, the question of whether to use a crunchy gel or a non-crunchy gel is a common one.

Both have their pros and cons, and ultimately it comes down to personal preference.

However, there are some general guidelines that can help you decide which type of gel is best for your hair.

If you have very frizzy hair or if the dew point level is high outside, then a hard holding gel can help to tame the flyaways and give your curls definition.

On the other hand, if you have naturally defined curls and don’t want a lot of hold, then a non-crunchy gel can help to enhance your curl pattern without making your hair feel stiff or crunchy.

Ultimately, the best way to find out what works for you is to experiment with both types of gels and see what gives you the best results.

Other?

Ways to Apply Hair Gel for Curly Hair

There is not a one-size-fits-all when it comes to applying hair gel to curly hair. The best method for you will depend on the type of curl you have, the level of hold you need, and your personal preference.

Here are a few of the most popular methods:

The Scrunch

This method is best for those with loose, undefined curls. To scrunch the gel into your hair, simply apply a generous amount of gel to wet or damp hair and then cup your hair into your hand and scrunch it repeatedly.

The Finger Coils

This method is best for those who want a lot of definition. To finger coils, start with a small amount of gel on wet or damp hair. Then, use your fingers to twist small sections of hair around each other until they form coils.

The Diffuser

This method is best for those with frizzy hair who want to enhance their curl pattern while keeping the definition. To diffuse, apply a generous amount of gel to wet or damp hair and then diffuse it on low heat until your hair is mostly dry.

Wet Hair

This method is great for any curl pattern, who want a lot of definition. Make sure the hair is not sopping wet. To do this, apply a generous amount of gel to wet hair and then use your fingers or styling tool to help distribute the product throughout the hair.

For a slippery texture, the amount of water to product should be greater.Once the gel is evenly distributed, you can proceed to style your hair as usual.

Soaking Wet Hair

To get curl definition, apply a generous amount of gel to soaking wet hair. It’s best to rake and smooth the product into the hair in sections from roots to ends, as this will guarantee that the product is uniformly distributed throughout the hair. To finish, you can diffuse, air dry, or whatever your preference is, then once fully dried – fluff and you’re ready to go.

Apply in Sections

Apply in small sections using your preferred styling tool. This could be a wide-tooth comb, Denman brush, or your fingers. Work the product through each section from roots to ends. Once all sections are complete, you can proceed to dry and style your hair as usual.

Start with Less and Add More

This method is best for those who are new to using hair gel or have never used it before. Start with a small amount (nickel-size) of gel and work it through your hair from roots to ends. If you need more, simply add more until you get the desired result.

Damp Hair

Apply gel to damp hair in small sections, using your fingers or your favorite styling tool to work it through the hair from roots to ends. Once all sections are complete, you can proceed to style your hair as usual. If you need more hold, you can always add more gel as you go.

Rake

Using your fingers, rake the gel through your sopping wet hair in sections, re-wetting each section as you work (trust the technique). Once all sections are complete, proceed to dry and style as usual.

Trial and Error

When it comes to finding the best hair gel for curly hair, there is no magic formula. What works for one person may not work for another, so it is important to experiment with different gels until you find the one that gives you the best results.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different application methods, ingredients, and hold levels until you find the perfect combination for your hair.

With a little trial and error, you will be sure to find the best hair gel for your curly locks.

FAQs

What does styling gel do to curly hair?

Styling gel can help to enhance your curl pattern, add definition, and tame frizz. It can also help to keep your hair in place and maintain the shape.

What’s a gel cast and why is it good?

A gel cast is the stiff, shiny, “wet look” you see after applying gel to your hair and allowing it to air dry.

The gel forms a crunchy shell around each curl as it dries, defining, and protecting it from humidity and frizz.

It is good because it is a great way to get defined, frizz-free curls.

Is hair gel good for curly hair?

Hair gel can be good for curly hair if it is used correctly. When selecting a gel, look for one that is alcohol-free and provides medium to strong hold.

A gel is usually advised for curly, frizzy hair. If you don’t use it, your hair will be more prone to environmental aggressors that can make it frizzy. It is great for taming frizz and defining your curl pattern.

Is gel or cream better for curly hair?

While not all gels and creams are created equal, gels generally offer a stronger hold as compared to creams.

Creams are more popular for their moisturizing properties. If you go through the ingredients list and make an informed decision, both gels and creams can work wonders.

Conclusion

Now that you know the basics of choosing and applying hair gel, you are one step closer to achieving perfect curls.

By following these simple tips, you can be sure to find the best hair gel for your curly hair and get the perfect results every time.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start gel’ing those curls!

Available Now!

If you’re interested in a list of glycerin-free hair products, you get get it here.


troubleshooting
Curl care

 We treat our blog with a curious, open-minded, and customer-focused attitude. We ask lots of questions about everything.

We think that people should take what information they need and leave what they don't. We suggest things we enjoy and believe are worth your attention.

Above all, we value your trust above anything else. We're so glad you’re here!

more categories to come!

Hi,I'm Verna

product reviews
Textures

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Understanding The Dew Point, Humectants, And Humidity For Curly Hair

As the summer months approach, many of us curlies are concerned with one thing: frizz. Weather plays a big role in how our hair behaves...

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