by Tyra of Indigenous Curls
Let’s face it, there are so many gels and styling products on the market that it can be hard to know just what will work best for your hair. Not all products that claim to be good for your hair, will give you the hold and performance you need. Kinky, tightly coiled hair can be a tad bit harder to lay down. Below, I’ve gathered a few brands of gel that not only keep my kinky hair looking sleek, they also keep my curls defined. My preferred gels are extra sticky and goopy. Applying the sticky gels to wet hair is easiest. However, I apply gel on damp hair if I am looking to minimize shrinkage and have the overall most defined look. I use gel on wet hair to get the sleekest bun. Using gel on wet hair, usually gives me a shrunken puff, as the curls are not that defined. I notice my hair shrinks more when the gel is applied to dripping wet hair. No matter what look Im going for, these gels leave my hair happy!
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, ranging from $3 to $5 dollars for a jar. 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, I give this gel a 10 out of 10! Looking to tame your edges, this should be in your arsenal.
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 I gave this product a 8 out of 10. 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 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: I give this product a 10 out of 10. It is all natural, mixes well with many other products and can be made custom to suit your hair’s needs.
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.
I give this product a 6 out of 10 for my 4c curls.
Have you tried any of the above brands? What are some of your favorite gel products for type 4 hair?
Tyra is a trained cosmetologist, curly hair enthusiast, recruiter, and writer. She big chopped over 3 years ago, & documents her hair journey, while giving 4c hair care tips on her blog Indigenous Curls. You can follow her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/