If you have natural hair like mine it’s greatly affected by the weather. In winter, I have to spend more time focusing on moisture in the harsh cold, and in summer I have to work to keep my fro from poofing out midday. And it’s not that I’m bothered by the lack of definition, but my hair poofing out a) causes tangles and b) doesn’t allow me to get as many days out of my wash and go, and I hate waiting for my hair to dry on styling days. The less I need to refresh my wash and go, the better.
I know that Ecostyler is still the king of hold when it comes to gel, but there are additional options that work awesome for natural hair. And bonus, none of these gels have glycerin so they won’t draw moisture to your hair and ruin your style.
Uncle Funky’s Daughter Curly Magic: I’m so excited that I can pick this gel up in Target now, because it has been a fave for years. Now admittedly, it is a bit sticky and it annoys me when my hair is wet on my shoulders, but its performance is top notch. It’s a great hybrid of moisture, hold, and definition, and I can get at least four days of loose hair with it. (Black-owned brand)
Camille Rose Naturals Curl Maker: This gel is kind of similar to Uncle Funky’s Daughter, but it has a little less hold, which makes it awesome if you’re the type of person who does not like first day crunchy hair or gel that weighs your hair down. It also works fabulously on twists and braids. It is also available at Target. (Black-owned brand)
Aussie Instant Freeze Scultping Hair Gel: Aussie Freeze is one of my cheapy-but-goodie gels that I don’t get too much because each tube is only 7oz (I will eat that product up pretty fast, lol) but is a great option, especially if you find yourself on vacation without a gel. It’s available pretty much everywhere. It reminds me a bit of Kinky Curly Curling Custard but not as sticky. However, this one is not as moisturizing as the previous two, so make sure you use a good leave-in and moisturize every other day or so. But the hold is nice and it doesn’t give you helmet head.
Hairizon You Go, Curl! Enhancing Gel: I might be a bit biased because Hairizon is in the town of my alma mater, but this gel is a sleeper hit! It’s a wee bit watery, so I didn’t think it would be able to hold up, but it definitely does the job. The looser texture of the gel also makes it ideal for twists because it’s not going to gunk them up or or make them hard. But make sure you don’t apply too much — you’re going to want to because it’s thinner, but don’t overdo it or you might get flakes. (Black-owned brand)
Cantu Moisturizing Twist & Lock Gel: This is a newcomer that I am currently testing out, and so far, I’m pleased! I usually don’t rock with Cantu like that because of some questionable ingredients, but I thought the list for this gel was pretty darn good, especially for a $5 gel. I used it alone (no leave-in) w/ pomade on my ends because it’s supposed to be moisturizing, and it’s giving me a nice, medium hold and my hair isn’t dry at all and is not flaking (which has been a previous issue for me with Cantu products). I plan on testing it a couple more times with a leave-in and I also will monitor how my hair holds up as the days pass.
Having these gels in my arsenal certainly makes it easier for me to wear my hair out during summer rather than staying in buns or pigtails. Wash and gos are my main style and it gets frustrating when your natural hair isn’t cooperating with the weather. And even if you don’t do many wash and gos, gels help hold other styles so you can maintain them for longer as well.
Do you switch up your products during summer? What are your summer staples?