Melani Wilson

Best Hair Gel for Curly Hair – Buyer’s Guide

Best Hair Gel for Curly HairDifferent types of hair need different hair care.

If you have curly hair and want to smooth and define your waves or frizz, then the review of Best Hair Gel for Curly Hair will definitely help you to find the right product.

What is the Best Hair Gel for Curly Hair in 2018?

To help you find the right gel for your waves, we’ve compiled a comprehensive buying guide. This guide will help you to find a reliable hair gel for your curly hair.

Product
Hair
Type
EffectsParaben-freeBottle TypeScent 
Kinky Curly
(Editor’s Choice)
Thick, Coarse
Curls
Soft, shiny,
flexible finish
YesTwist-offMarshmallow
DevaCurl
(People’s Choice)
Thin,
Loose Curls
Hydrated, smooth,
defined finish
YesPumpFruity
L'Oréal Paris
(Best Price)
Thick,
Coarse Curls
Soft,
frizz-free curls
NoPumpFloral
Thin, loose curls
or straight hair
Smooth,
soft curls
NoSqueeze topFloral
Thin,
loose curls
Smooth,
frizz-free curls
NoSqueeze topFruity

1. Kinky Curly – Best Hair Gel for Curly Hair (Editor’s Choice)

Kinky Curly Original Curling Custard Natural Styling Gel review

Kinky Curly Original Curling Custard is an easy to use salve that works best when applied to thick, coarse curls.

It boasts a long list of all-natural ingredients, including botanical-infused water, horsetail, chamomile, nettle, and marshmallow.

Together, these plant-based ingredients work to eliminate frizz and create well-defined, buoyant curls.

Meanwhile, an additional plant-based ingredient, organic Aloe Vera, helps seal in moisture to stimulate hair health and longevity.

Premium Packaging

Kinky Curly comes in a stout 16-ounce plastic container with a twist-off top. It is pale yellow in color but absorbs easily in hair and leaves behind no residue.

What’s more, it has a lovely marshmallow-like smell. This product works best when applied directly to freshly washed hair. From root to tip, this sweet-smelling custard leaves hair looking and feeling as though it were professionally styled.

Natural Radiance

After looking at several hair gels, we were skeptical about products with shine-inducing claims. As such, we were happily surprised when we discovered that Kinky Curls had indeed produced an incredible healthy sheen on our hair in addition to creating well-defined ringlets.

What’s more, this hair custard has an extremely low pH, ensuring your hair follicles don’t prematurely dry out. We found that Kinky Curly works well with a wide range of different hair types, including curls, waves, and coils.

It serves not only as a solid finishing product, but it also helps make curl management an easier task.

Kinky-Curly Hair Products Demo

Pros:
  • Great all-natural smell similar to marshmallow
  • Hydrating formula
  • Lowers hair pH naturally
  • Ideal for thick, coarse curly curls, but works with a wide range of hair types
  • A straightforward lineup of botanical ingredients, some of which are organic
  • The formula includes Vitamin E, which helps heal hair follicles
  • You apply it using your hands
Cons:
  • Contains an ingredient that is known to cause cancer and birth defects in California (Proposition 65)
  • Not ideal for thin hair, as it is rather heavy
  • Not ideal for those who are sensitive to fragrances
  • Needs to be applied to wet hair to work well

2. DevaCurl – Ultra Defining Gel (People’s Choice)

DevaCurl Ultra Defining Gel review

DevaCurl Ultra Defining Gel is an award-winning hair product designed to define and hydrate the most untamable curls.

If you are someone who has struggled with frizz and/or fly-away in the past, this nourishing blend of all-natural ingredients is worth a serious look.

This product helps shape ringlets while maintaining their natural flexibility. What’s more, DevaCurls leaves free of sticky residue and chemicals. Beyond that, it never leaves hair feeling crunchy or pinned down.

Ethically Sound

One of our favorite things about DevaCurl Ultra Defining Gel is that it is 100-percent vegan and cruelty-free. What’s more, it is refreshing to know that it is a hair product that is free from harmful parabens, sulfates, and silicone additives.

Instead, this gel is made from glycerin, oats, soybeans, hops, and chamomile. Together, these ingredients work to naturally calm and define free-spirited curls. They are also suitable for individuals with sensitive skin.

A Smell from the Heavens

We cannot get enough of this sweet smelling product. The scent of DevaCurl Ultra Defining Gel boasts a fruity flavor that features hints of mango and star fruit. The rich tropical scent of this curl defining product will having you reeling to let down your hair.

Meanwhile, if you are looking for a full-circle DevaCurl experience, the company also makes curl-friendly shampoos and conditioners. The best part is that you do not need to style your hair when using this product.

Instead, you can apply it from root to tip and simply scrunch your locks to retain their shape.

DevaCurl Defining Gel DEMO + First Impressions

Pros:
  • A tropical fragrance that is reminiscent of papaya and star fruit
  • Paraben-free, sulfate-free, and silicone-free
  • Works with all sorts of curls, including both thin waves and thick coils
  • Cruelty-free and vegan
  • Defines the natural shape of curls and waves
  • Adds a natural-looking sheen to the surface of curly hair
Cons:
  • Expensive
  • May not be enough hold for extremely thick curls

3. L’Oréal Paris – Advanced Hairstyle CURVE IT Curl Taming Gel Cream (Best Price)

L'Oréal Paris review

Our next pick is the extremely affordable L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle CURVE IT Curl Taming Gel-Cream. This product enhances natural curls, reduces frizz, and softens hair follicles to create long-lasting everyday looks.

If you’re someone who relies heavily on a hairdryer or curling iron, you’ll be happy to discover that this L’Oréal product also provides a considerable amount of heat protection.

While the product is somewhat sticky, it creates flexible ringlets that can withstand the elements.

Alcohol-free

All too often, we find hair products that are saturated with chemical fillers. Fortunately, L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle CURVE IT Curl Taming Gel-Cream is alcohol-free.

As such, it fails to dry out hair strands. Instead, it softens strands while maintaining their natural angles. Like most products for curly hair, this gel works best when applied directly to recently clean moist hair.

Bargain-rate Product with Salon-worthy Results

We’re happy to attest that this product is comparable to expensive alternatives. All you need to do is dispense a small amount and work it from your roots down to your tips.

Hair retains its natural bounce and does not feel weighed down or burdened by heavy product. In fact, it produces a result that is worthy of running your fingers through.

While the smell is difficult to decipher, it is a subtle scent with botanical notes. This product left our ringlets feeling soft and subtle the whole day through.

Pros:
  • Inexpensive
  • Reduces frizz
  • Alcohol-free
  • Soft well-defined waves
  • Botanical scent
  • Does not weigh down or dry hair follicles
Cons:
  • somewhat crunchy curls
  • Contains sulfates
  • Contains chemical fillers

4. Pantene – Best Frizz Reducer

Pantene review

Pantene Curl Perfection Sculpting Hair Gel is a ferocious frizz-reducing hair product.

There’s a lot to love about this decadent squeeze bottle of hair gel, including the fact that it tames fly-away and sculpts curls.

What’s more, it ensures that hair follicles stay soft, bouncy, and full of volume.

Alternatively, you can use it for straight hair looks.

Super Moisture

Pantene creates some excellent moisture renewing products, and Pantene Curl Perfection Sculpting Hair Gel is at the top of the list. This product seals in moisture to ensure that hair stays healthy and vibrant. Just work the product into damp hair to keep spirals smooth and styled. This product can be used daily without damaging or drying out your hair.

Flexible Sculpting

One of the most common setbacks when it comes to hair gel is that it can leave your hair feeling weighed down. Fortunately, that is not the case with Pantene Curl Perfection Sculpting Hair Gel.

This product creates bouncy spirals that can be played with and tossed about. On top of that, this product boasts a powerful floral fragrance. While you may want to skip the perfume when wearing this gel, it leaves smelling super fresh and clean.

Pros:
  • Strong floral fragrance
  • Maintains hairs natural flexibility
  • Molds for long periods
  • Locks in moisture
  • Comes in a squeeze bottle
  • Not sticky
  • Affordable
Cons:
  • The fragrance may be overpowering to some
  • Some chemical fillers
  • You need a generous amount of product to hold hair

5. CurlFriends – Shiniest Curls

CurlFriends review

CurlFriends Control Gel is one of our favorite products for individuals looking for a little extra sheen.

This product does not only a fabulous job of molding natural ringlets and calming unwanted frizz and fly-away, but it also adds a vibrant luster to a hairdo.

To get the best possible results, it is ideal to work this product into clean, damp hair.

A Little Goes a Long Way

For medium to long hair, all you need is a quarter-sized amount of CurlFriends Control Gel to acquire long-lasting ringlets.

The CurlFriend formula utilizes gentle yet powerful natural ingredients, such as rosemary extract, yarrow, and Aloe Vera.

We recommend using a wide-toothed comb to work this product through your slightly moist locks. What’s great is this product works well with all sorts of curly hair. Whether you have thick or thin hair, you should definitely check out this botanically infused product.

Humidity-resistant

One of the best parts of CurlFriends Control Gel is it helps hair defy humidity.

If you are someone who often develops frizz and fly-away when the temperature rises, you may want to check out this affordably priced squeeze bottle hair gel.

It softens, evens, and moisturizes hair strands without leaving them to feel as though they are loaded with products. What’s more, it locks in looks for hours on end.

Pros:
  • Affordably priced
  • Adds a healthy sheen to hair strands
  • Calms unruly curls by naturally clumping hair strands together
  • Naturally gets rid of fly-aways and frizz
  • Humidity resistant and lasts all day
  • Does not make hair crunchy
  • Works in a matter of minutes
Cons:
  • Produces a minimal amount of residue when it dries
  • It is a watery texture that can be somewhat difficult to work through hair strands.

Best Hair Gel for Curly Hair Review – Buyer’s Guide

Naturally, curly hair is a blessing, but it can be extremely difficult to find the right products and tools to tame and style it. To help you find the right gel for your waves, we’ve compiled a comprehensive buying guide.

If you are struggling to find a reliable hair gel for your curly locks, use the guide below to focus your search and make an educated decision.

What to Look for When Purchasing a Hair Gel for Curly Hair

Best Hair Gel for Curly Hair Review – What to Look for When Purchasing a Hair Gel for Curly HairWhile user’s hair gel preferences vary depending on their hair type and desired style, we found that most people aspired to smooth and define their waves. What’s more, we found that many people expected their hair gels to tame fly-away and frizz.

Common frustrations with hair gels that are designed for curls are that they are too heavy, leave behind a sticky residue, dry out follicles, and/or leaves hair feeling unnaturally crunchy.

What’s more, we found that many people desired to find plant-based products that contained little to no chemical fillers but still got the job done.

Considering this steep list of demands, we knew we had our work cut out for us as we began the search for the best hair gel for curly hair. Nevertheless, after uncovering several amazing products, we’re confident that our buying guide can serve as a valuable resource for those who are serious about their hair product arsenal.

It’s all in the Ingredients

Best Hair Gel for Curly Hair Review – It’s all in the IngredientsThere are a wide variety of ingredients that provide solid coverage for curly hair, these range from all natural plant-based extracts and oils to synthetic polymers.

These ingredients are designed to clump individual hair strands together to create well-defined ringlets and waves from your roots to your tips.

Natural binding agents often consist of oils, waxes, and starches. Meanwhile, synthetic polymers include polyvinyl pyrrolidone, polyvinyl acetate, and polyurethane.

Since most people don’t know what these ingredients are, let alone how to pronounce their names, we’ll spare you the scientific speak.

Nevertheless, it is important to be able to recognize their important ingredients when scrutinizing an ingredient list.

Additional ingredients often consist of hydrating, smoothing, and frizz-reducing ingredients. For example, you may see glycerin, castor oil, or coconut oil amongst the ingredients, as all these additives help naturally seal in moisture.

While we won’t delve into every possible hair gel ingredient (the list is rather long,) we will identify some of the common hair gel ingredients you should try to avoid.

Best Hair Gel for Curly Hair Review – These includeThese include:

Sulfates

Sulfates are basically detergents, or surfactant, that are used to remove oil from hair.

They are harmful to hair and skin because they quickly and harshly remove residue in addition to natural oils.

According to several scientific studies, some even have toxic effects on the human body.

The most common ones you’ll see listed in your hair gel’s ingredients are ammonium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, and sodium lauryl sulfate.

Synthetic Dyes and Fragrances

Artificial dyes and fragrances can do more than just irritate the nose and/or skin. In fact, these chemically laden ingredients have the potential to cause a litany of adverse health conditions, including cancer.

Alcohol

Alcohol is an extremely common filler in hair products and cosmetics. While some can be used to seal moisture in the hair, the vast majority of alcohols used in hair products dry out hair follicles.

If alcohol is at the top of the ingredient list, it may be a sign that your hair gel is of an inferior quality.

Formaldehyde

Believe it or not, this embalming chemical is actually added to many hair products as a preservative. Considering it is carcinogenic, we think it’s best to avoid hair gels that include it.

Diethanolamine

This ingredient, in addition to Triethanolamine, is added to many hair products to stabilize the pH of hair.

While the pH of hair is important, we recommend you stick to products that consist of nonacidic ingredients rather than one known as an eye irritant.

Petroleum

Petroleum products are often used in hair products. They make hair gels and salves easier to distribute, but they also alter the natural pH of your scalp and cause a number of adverse skin conditions.

Hair Type Compatibility

We are well aware that not all curls are the same. As a matter of fact, there are several different types of curly hair, including loose waves, curls, and coils. Even within these subcategories, there are several different specifications of hair.

As a general tip, we recommend that individuals with thin hair and/or light waves opt for a lightweight product. Meanwhile, those with thicker, coarser curls may need a heavier gel to tame dense ringlets and coils.

Application

A gel can be difficult to apply to hair. As such, we recommend you pay close attention to the texture and bottle of the product you choose. Squeeze bottles, for example, are easier to handle than twist-off top tubs. What’s more, a product with a runny consistency or sticky texture can be a major hassle.

It is also important to consider how often you will be using a product. Products that are used on a regular basis should not dry out or damage hair. Always look at a product’s ingredients to ensure it does not contain any potentially damaging chemicals.

Best Hair Gel for Curly Hair – Buyer’s GuideFinal Thoughts

If you’re someone with naturally curly hair, you already know that it is difficult to find a lightweight hair product that enhances the natural volume and texture of your kinky locks.

Nevertheless, we set out to produce a list of ringlet-enhancing, frizz-taming, sweet-smelling products that were worthy of our hard-earned seal of approval, and we think we managed just fine.

After all, we’ve covered everything from drugstore staples to botanical specialties, all of which have the potential to keep your twisted tresses looking vibrant and fresh.

Of course, now that we finally have a solid lineup of curl-worthy hair gels, we can finally make time to settle the age-old argument about the best hair oil for curls.