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The 4 Most Effective Gels for 4C Natural Hair

Avatar • Jul 1, 2014

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!

Gorilla Snot

gorillasnot

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.

Black/ Ice Protein Gel

black protein 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 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

flax-seeds1

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.

Edge Control Gel 

organic-root-stimulator-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.

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/ckcurls

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sandy
sandy
6 years ago

I don’t understand how to use the ORS Edge Control gel. Perhaps the product that I got was defective, but the gel is so hard to spread. I wasted my money.

Stace
Stace
6 years ago
Reply to  sandy

My sister had some and it melted in the heat by accident. After that it reconstituted differently. It became a thick fluid like a cream/gel mix. It was very easy to spread after that and not as drying. So try melting it all or rubbing a clump of it btwn your fingers to warm it before applying.

Miss Mo
Miss Mo
6 years ago

Used ORS Edge Control Gel when I had a perm but on my natural hair it leaves it gray or white. :s

D
D
6 years ago

I don’t bother trying to get my 4c edges to be sleek. I just let them coil up. As long as they aren’t looking crazy, I just leave them be.

J2
J2
6 years ago

I tried the ors edge control and that ecostyler (green) gel and they both had my edges laid. So much so that they popped em right on out! I stopped using them and stuck to my shea butter, scarf or silver clips, and sometimes let my edges run free. Now they are back and flourishing 🙂

J2
J2
6 years ago

Flax seed gels work well and aren’t harmful though. I think kkcc is one.

Whitney
Whitney
6 years ago

Can we see some pics of their effectiveness?

Josie
6 years ago

Gorilla Snot does have a strong hold for ponytails/buns. For my doily edges, I prefer Dr. Miracles Edge Holding Gel. It doesn’t turn white and shiny like Hick’s Edges and not as harsh as ORS Edge Control. It lasts really long and holds great.

Andie
Andie
6 years ago

I swear by Creme of Nature’s Argan Oil Perfect Edges Edge Control. That stuff right there is THE truth! Baaaabbbbyyyy, my edges stay laid. No flaking, soft hold…it works wonders 🙂

Valerie
Valerie
6 years ago
Reply to  Andie

I was getting ready to write the same exact! I love that stuff!

Chanda
Chanda
6 years ago
Reply to  Andie

Sounds like a winner. I might try it out.

amor.
amor.
6 years ago

Design Essentials is A1

Redseouls
Redseouls
6 years ago

I don’t use anything but I Love My Fro’s Kinky, curly, coily gel! I love this stuff!!!!

Zhana
Zhana
6 years ago

I loveee the Gorilla Snot ! The only thing thats keeps my edges layed !

Tink
Tink
6 years ago

I would like to try the gorilla snot. I love the Palmer’s olive oil formula super control gel for edges.

Tink
Tink
6 years ago

I want to try gorilla snot. I love Palmer’s olive oil formula super edge control.

Nonia
6 years ago

Interesting hair gel. I haven’t heard of this stuff. I will definitely have to check it out. Thanks for the tip!

kb
kb
6 years ago

Used edge control for a sleek bun. Most amazing thing ever. I applied it to damp hair (3c/4a) and it kept everything in place. Took my bun down 3 days later and it stayed sleek without using additional product

easyBlake
easyBlake
6 years ago

That ORS edge control leaves my edges shiny and UN-laid. Lol. Doesn’t it smell like JAM! to anyone else? My edges lay for about 7 minutes and then tha’s it! My hairstyles don’t need smooth edges, anyway.

DiJah
DiJah
6 years ago

Eco styler is my go to gel. I’ve tried curls edge tamer and it’s okay. Day 1 use is good enough, after that my hair feels sticky and I have to wash it out. Creme of nature edge control does nothing but makes my hair greasy, so that’s a no. Hicks is cool too but $14 for 2 oz? Nahhh! So I stick to my good ol eco styler with a hold of 10 (olive oil, Argan oil, or the krystal)

Cherri Moon
Cherri Moon
6 years ago

Curls control paste is my go to gel, next to the Olive oil Ecostyler. Gorilla snot was way too much like a 90s stiff slick gel.

lablooplah
lablooplah
6 years ago

eco styler and my hair be like nope

AveryKinkyCurl
AveryKinkyCurl
6 years ago

My favorite use to be Eco styler (Olive oil)…Although I still purchase it.…My new favorite is the Ampro ProStyle Olive oil Gel…it’s Amazing..it actually feels like it’s moisturizing my hair when I apply.…it lays my edges and baby hair down so beautifully and lasts all day without getting or looking hard and dry.…I have yet to find a huge tub of it though:(

AveryKinkyCurl
AveryKinkyCurl
6 years ago

Another of my favorite edge tamers is the Sally’s Beauty Supply brand (Silk Elements) called Straight Edges…the consistency is like that of the ORS edge control…except its Crystal clear and leaves an awesome shine and doesn’t turn white…and the hold is ALL DAY.…when applied with a toothbrush, it can give ‘fresh relaxer’ looking results on flat ironed hair.

Ladycigar
Ladycigar
6 years ago

I use a combination of Gorilla Snot and Edge Control mixed together on my edges. Keeps them laid for a couple of days. Much better together than using either alone.

0101
0101
6 years ago

http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/product/280746/Ampro_pro_styl_protein_styling_gel_%282010_formulation%29/

http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/product/527305/Squizz_Moco_De_Gorila_Snott_Hair_Gel/

http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/product/527300/Organic_Root_Stimulator_Olive_Oil_Edge_Control_Hair_Gel/

Yeah..
Flax Seed gel works on my 4c hair, and its flake is relatively minimal, I suppose. (You can’t see it, per se, but you can feel it on your hands)

The rest of the products listed have fairly dire ingredients, so I’ll stick to what works, I guess.

NaturallyMe
NaturallyMe
6 years ago

Murray’s 100% Austrailian Edge Wax!!! *hands down* I have 4b/c hair.

Jessica S
Jessica S
6 years ago

Hicks Edges by far is my favorite edge control. I tried all the ones labeled and Hicks has never disappointed(Gorilla Snot also among my favorites!). It is a little pricey, but for me it definitely is worth it

Kiara P
Kiara P
6 years ago

I’m gonna have to try that “Gorilla Snot” .… Looks promising. As for the others.…..I used the black ice pro gel just after my big chop. Literally put on my wet hair and it worked wonders. But it is high in chemicals and leaves your hair dry and hard. I struggle to wash bc of buildup. Plus I’ve told black gel isn’t good for our hair. For edge control. I totally agree. Doesn’t last long as you’d think. But the secret is to lightly sprit your hair with water and then rub the pomade in your hands and then smooth… Read more »

Sommie S
Sommie S
5 years ago

Gorilla snot + protein styling gel mixed together is thee best hands down!!!! You’d think I had a relaxer, best combination ever. Try it ladies

Keneesha Hodge
5 years ago
Reply to  Sommie S

I will. Thanks

KaStarya Beard
KaStarya Beard
5 years ago

Hicks product

Keneesha Hodge
5 years ago

Currently trying creme of nature perfect edges. Not working well for me. Gonna find gorilla snot and see if it works. My hair seems to reject certain products at first. For years I couldn’t use eco style but now my hair is cool with it *shrugs*

Octavia Thomas
Octavia Thomas
5 years ago

Eden body works coconut shea edge control works really well

4cboobiequeen
4cboobiequeen
4 years ago

IDK why ORS is on this list. It is trash. Idk one person thay tried it and liked it.

QM
QM
4 years ago

im sorry but does anyone else with a working brain understand that gorilla snot is extremely racist here? Why am I the only black woman that understands this? Gorilla.….Snot.….Black 4C hair= not a kind gesture at a black womans hair. Smh for all the black women who support and buy that slick racist crap called Gorilla Snot. Educate yourself Queens. SMH

Pat
Pat
4 years ago
Reply to  QM

I don’t think gorilla snot was originally made or meant for black hair. I know a lot of Hispanic boys who use it on their hair to achieve Mohawks and things like that. Friends are surprised when I say I use the same product. So I do not think that it was ever made for black hair it… It just so happens to work for black 4c hair

Interested in the USVI
Interested in the USVI
3 years ago
Reply to  Pat

I agree with Pat. I know this product to be for young boys who were going after the Justin Bieber type hair styles and Mohawks. I was shocked to see it at #1 since I am familiar with it because of my friend’s 7 year old mixed son uses it for his “new school” hair styles on his straight hair.

diamond
diamond
3 years ago
Reply to  QM

it’s called not calling black people gorillas or anything . it’s meaning that it has a strong hold .. don’t blow simple things out of proportion

Bernadette
Bernadette
3 years ago
Reply to  QM

I thought I was the only one who picked up on that, it has a great hold , however I dont want ANY product that is associated with anythomg unattractive

shadaya
shadaya
3 years ago
Reply to  QM

its originally more for white hair actually… spiking it up and stuff. don’t say educate yourself when YOURE the one that doesn’t know what theyre talking about.

Chantel Brown
Chantel Brown
3 years ago
Reply to  QM

No worse than makeup brand Black Up.

MGGH
MGGH
2 years ago
Reply to  QM

We for sure need to make sure qe stay educated, but did you actually look this prrodect up? The original name is Moco de Gorila and it’s a Mexican product. No one’s shading is here 🙂

Amber Arkel
Amber Arkel
3 years ago

for edges sometimes i use an old but clean toothbrush to smooth them down.

Lucky502
Lucky502
5 years ago

I still rock with the eco styler.

Keijenks
Keijenks
5 years ago

Everybody just wants to try stuff without reading the ingredients that these contain gorilla snot has alcohol in it and it’s in the first line which means there a great amount so why would u want to put that on ur hair. We all know what alcohol does DRY OUT YOUR HAIR so please research what your using not just cause someone told you most Gels contain alcohol so READ OR you won’t have any edges or hair WONT GROW

grace heart
grace heart
4 years ago

I’ve used the Ampro Prostyl gel since my relaxer days as well. And actually this is the only thing that keeps my curls/coils laid down if i want to wear my natural hair in a ponytail. Sometimes i use an edge control gel like the Creme Of Nature or the ORS brand before applying the Ampro Prostyl and it really holds my hair down like i like it. And im not really sure what my hair type is because it’s wavier and looser in the front of my head and really tight coils in the middle of my head. Buuuut… Read more »

Tamara
Tamara
4 years ago

I am in transition with my hair, just about 4 months now growing my natural hair out from a perm. I am also in menopause and haven’t found a gel to hold. I have used Ampro for years. I am skin sensitive to many products, and I have had Alopecia for a little over 30 years, in certain areas of my head. I Love wearing my hair in a drawstring ponytail bun, but with menopause I can’t find products to work on keeping my hair laid anymore. I am trying today Gorilla Snot, so wish me luck.

Brooke
Brooke
3 years ago
Reply to  Tamara

Hey there! Did you find any solutions, or product that works for menopausal hair issues? I too have perimenopausal hair thinning, and problematic, unruly wiry edges. Thinning hair in many areas too. What products have you found? I would prefer more natural ingredients if possible. Thanks for any input.

zeze
zeze
3 years ago

Im 13 years old with some sis 4c hair and the cream of nature perfect edges keep my edges slayedddd

Jazzyk
3 years ago

I’ve been searching everywhere for the right gel to make the front and back of my hair look flat but keep my Afro puff normal but every gel I used was a fail ?.I need some American gel bc they always work especially the black gel so I look ?

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