The Best Curly Hair Gels for a Flake-Free Hold

The 15 Best Curly Hair Gels Experts RecommendWhen creating the right cocktail of products for your next look, including one of the best curly hair gels is key. The thing is, using gel on curly hair can be tricky, and not all formulas are created equally, depending on the amount of hold you’re looking for. These gels deliver plenty of hold without stickiness or crunch, and when applied properly, won’t flake.

According to hairstylist Candace Witherspoon, owner of the Candace Witherspoon Salon in New York City, all curl patterns can benefit from using hair gels. “If you have wavy hair, gel should be on the lighter side,” she says. “If you have dense, thick hair, gel should have a stronger hold.”

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While Witherspoon uses curl type as her marker, hair expert and Black Girl Curls CEO Aishia Strickland says gels should be chosen based on the user’s desired finish, climate, and the longevity of desired curl definition. In other words, you can shop gels for curly hair by looking for formulas that target frizz control or by hold level. “Styling products like gel are always added to the hair after the hair has been cleansed and conditioned,” Strickland says.

Both Witherspoon and Strickland agree that how a gel is applied is just as important as its formulation. Generally, gel should be applied to wet hair from root to end. But applying one beforehand, particularly if it has a water base, can help hydrate curls and make them look more juicy. Witherspoon also recommends avoiding heavy oils in your hair when using gels, as the combination tends to leave hair looking limp and stringy.

Now that you have the know-how on styling down, read on to find out which staples experts recommend as some of the best gels for curly hair.


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