Best holding gel for natural hair

Best holding gel for natural hair

If I had a dollar for every hair gel I’ve tried on my natural hair, I’d be rich! Ladies, I hate to admit it, but the struggle was real.

During my quest to find what is the best holding gel for natural hair, I’ve learned that every gel has a purpose, and that not every gel was for my natural hair type.

Hair gel is a sticky subject (pun intended). Growing up, my only exposure to them was through my white friends who used formulas that left their locks hard, flaky and just plain old unflattering.

I couldn’t understand why anyone would want to subject their hair to that. My understanding certainly broadened after reaching a point in my own journey where Ampro gel became a godsend.

And although it still is, I’ve since had to incorporate other options that provide hold and definition beyond my edges.

For textured hair, a gel that actually works should include nourishing ingredients that will leave your curls soft, but still have enough grip to prevent frizz.

Thanks to the ever-growing sector of Black hair care, there are countless options…and I’m pretty sure I’ve tried them all.

Keep reading for an honest review of what I consider the Best holding gel for natural hair. 

What is the best holding gel for natural hair

With so many different products on the market, how do you know what is the best holding gel for natural hair? The answer to that question will depend on the results you’re looking for and your hair’s needs.

From curl definition to perfect edges, the right hair gel can make a good hairstyle into a great one. By understanding the differences between the different kinds of gels on the market, you can be confident that whichever hairstyle you choose, it will look its best.

After all, you’ve worked hard on getting your natural hair as healthy as possible and finding the right styling products is just as important as shampoos, conditioners, and oils.

Best Holding gel for buns

When your hair is finally long enough to put in a bun, you want it to look just right. The wrong styling gel can turn your morning sleek and chic bun into a frizzy mess, not to mention all the flyaways throughout the rest of your hair.

If you’ve ever had to touch up your hair and add more gel to it during the day, it’s because the wrong gel was used. Adding styling products on top of each other can cause unnecessary build up and flakes on your hair.

When that happens, your hair can appear, dull and lifeless. It can even become damaged.

Using the right gel for your hair prevents the need to keep touching up your hairstyle, and your hair will look great longer.

For example, if your hair is particularly kinky, it may be necessary to use an edge taming gel with a firm hold to keep your bun smooth and frizz free all day.

On the other hand, if your hair has a looser curl and you choose to wear a loose bun, a simple oil-based gel might give you the curl-defining softness you’re looking for. A soft-hold gel would help keep your bun in its place while giving your curls definition.

The result will be a softer and more natural look.

Best Holding gel for twists outs

Perfect twist outs are shiny, frizz-free, and soft. For these kinds of styles, a defining gel or curling gel are ideal.

Gels for twist outs leave your hair with springy and defined curls that move. Kinky Curly custard is one product that’s infused with botanicals like horsetail, chamomile, nettle, aloe vera, agave, and marshmallow to leave your curls soft and shiny.

Best holding gel for natural hair – My top 5 picks

Since I went through this, I’m pretty sure that there’s a handful of naturalistas currently seeking the best hair gels to use on their hair.

Whether you’re looking for a gel for your wash-and-gos, for your sleek hairstyles or even just to tame your edges, we’re sharing some of our favorites below.

Read on to learn how to use each of the best holding gel for natural hair:

TRESemmé Flawless Curls Defining Gel

When you’re styling your hair, you’re hoping your curls come out defined, smooth, soft and frizz-free. The wrong gel can leave your hair feeling stiff, dry and left with gel residue.

Enter TRESemmé Flawless Curls Defining Gel into your styling routine and it’ll change your life forever. This gel is formulated to give you bouncy and defined curls without the frizz.

Apply it to damp hair from root-to-tip using your hands, then finger-comb, or use a comb, to work it through your hair.

Ampro Style Protein Styling Gel

This gel has been my go-to since my relaxer days. Black protein gel is thick and has a hold that can last for days. Another great thing about this gel is: it contains no drying alcohols.

There are many products that can give your hair a lasting hold and often they contain drying alcohols that can damage hair. 

Black protein gel provides great hold. My only complaint: this gel can flake when mixed with certain products.

For my 4c kinks the hold is not the best for my resistant edges but works wonders for the rest of my hair. I do not use this get for twist-outs and braid-outs.

This gel tends to flake and can leave a mess for my 4c kinks. I reach for this gel when doing low manipulation styles like flat twists and buns.

Flax Seed Aloe Strong Hold Sculpting Gel

With a soft, non-crunchy hold, this product will give your curls an extra boost while also leaving your hair defined and flake free. Flax seed gel can be made at home for pennies on the dollar.  You can mix it with your favored oils, butters and conditioners for an amazing styling cream.

When made at home, this gel keeps fly-aways at bay and frizz in check without making your curls crunchy. Great for defined styles like twist-outs, braid-outs and rod sets.

For my 4c kinks: It is all natural, mixes well with many other products and can be made custom to suit your hair’s needs.

ORS Olive Oil Edge Control Hair Gel

I am still searching for an edge control gel that can stand up to my kinky ‘baby’ hairs. Many curly girls swear by the little Edge control jars found in the beauty supply store. Unfortunately, this brand will only hold my edges down for  an hour or so on a humid day.

If I am looking for a soft hold along my edges, I reach for this product. This product works well to keep your edges in check, but they won’t be super sleek.

Moco de Gorila Estilo Punk Extreme Hold Gel

Yes, Gorilla Snot is a brand and I cannot live without this stuff! This thick, glue-like gel lays even my most curly/kinky baby hairs to perfection. This product comes in various levels of holds. I use the PUNK line, with the hardest hold, to leave my kinks laid all day long.

Even in the most humid weather, this product does not disappoint. This brand is affordable, The hold is amazing, it left my hair super shiny, and laid. My only complaint: Gorilla Snot flaked when I applied it again the next day. I smoothed oil over my hair and the flakes were gone.

For my 4c kinks, Looking to tame your edges, this should be in your arsenal.

Is holding gel bad for your hair?

Many curly ladies have asked, “Is gel bad for your hair?” The answer is that gels can damage the hair if they contain damaging ingredients.

Sure, the wrong ingredients might make your hair look good, but ingredients like bad alcohol, will dry out your hair. Type 4 hair tends to be drier than other hair textures; this can be a concern.

Some Queens have protein sensitive hair. If this is the case for you, be sure to select a protein-free gel.

When you take the time to read the ingredient label and choose the best gel specifically for your hair, you can have gorgeous hairstyles that will last all day without it sustaining any damage. Some hair gels are even formulated to moisturize your hair.

This is an added benefit if you have dry hair or are going to be out in dry weather. When choosing your hair gel, be sure to select a glycerin free, non-drying and alcohol-free gel.


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