|

10 Best Curly Girl Approved Gels – Alcohol Free and Silicone Free

This post may contain affiliate links, and I will earn a commission if you purchase through these links. Please read the disclosure policy for more details.

If you're following the curly girl method, then finding a great curly girl approved gel is key to your success! In this post, I'm listing the BEST curly girl method approved gels out there.

I tried my best to include high quality gels for all curl types, and included budget options.

Also looking for a curly girl approved shampoo and conditioner? Be sure to check out the 10 Best Curly Girl Approved Shampoos and 10 Best Curly Girl Approved Conditioners.

Ready to transform your frizz into defined, bouncy curls and waves? Join my free Quick Start Guide To Mastering Your Curls email course below and be on your way to fabulous curls in just a few steps!

Curly Girl Method Product Matching Guide

If you need help finding the products that will work for your hair type, check out my product matching guide. There are so many things to consider when choosing products and this guide will help you narrow down what you need to look for.

This product guide will help you identify your hair type and characteristics, provide some styling tips, and list exact products that will work on your hair type. Click here for more info.

Now let's get to the 10 best curly girl method approved gels!

I chose the following curly hair gels based on a few points:

  • ability to create definition
  • ingredient quality
  • concentration – how much you need to use
  • how lightweight to heavy it is
  • buildup potential
  • ease of use
  • level of hold
  • also noted if it contains protein or glycerin

I have assigned a number from 1 to 5 for each category, 1 being the worst and 5 being the best. Of course, they are all silicone free and drying alcohol free, which is what makes them curly girl approved.

curly girl approved gel flaxseed gel

1. DIY Flaxseed Gel – best overall for all hair types

Yep, DIY flaxseed gel is by far the most universal gel for hair out there! It adds a ton of definition, creates a good cast (read: less frizz), adds softness and shine, and doesn't cause any buildup. It's super cheap and a great option for beginners too.

The best part is that it is very customizable and easy to make. So if you need more or less moisture/hold it's an easy tweak. Get the recipe here.

  • ability to create definition – 5
  • ingredient quality – 5
  • concentration – 5
  • lightweight
  • buildup potential – very low
  • ease of use – 5
  • level of hold – medium
  • can add protein and glycerin if you want

2. Giovanni LA Natural Styling Gel – best affordable hard hold gel

This is a fantastic budget option for a hard hold gel that works great in high humidity and dry climates. It can be drying to some so if your hair gets over moisturized easily this is a great option. If that's not the case for you, just layer a good leave-in or cream under to get that moisture.

It's pretty thick so can be tricky to figure out how much to use or how to get it to distribute. Start off with a small amount and apply to really wet hair and emulsify well. Shop the Giovanni LA Hold gel here.

  • ability to create definition – 5
  • ingredient quality – 4
  • concentration – 5
  • between lightweight and heavy
  • buildup potential – low
  • ease of use – 3
  • level of hold – strong
  • protein and glycerin free

curly girl method approved gel

3. Ecoslay Orange Marmalade – best for curl enhancement

Orange Marmalade is very popular for its curl enhancement and hard cast that it creates. It definitely lives up to its reputation so if you're looking for something that has great hold, definition, and enhances curl pattern then this is it.

While this gel creates amazing definition and softness, I found this a bit too moisturizing for me so I'd say it's great for anyone who doesn't get over moisturized easily. It also works well in all climates. Shop the Orange Marmalade here.

  • ability to create definition – 5
  • ingredient quality – 5
  • concentration – 5
  • between lightweight and heavy
  • buildup potential – low
  • ease of use – 4
  • level of hold – medium to strong
  • protein and glycerin free

4. Jessicurl Gelebration Spray Gel – best for fine curls

Gelebration was specifically formulated for fine curly hair enhance curls, create definition, add hold, all without weighing down fine curls. This is also a highly concentrated product and will last a long time.

Many people do complain about the way it sprays. I recommend you spray it into your hands, emulsify, and then apply as you would any other product. Shop the Gelebration gel here.

  • ability to create definition – 5
  • ingredient quality – 5
  • concentration – 5
  • lightweight
  • buildup potential – low
  • ease of use – 3
  • level of hold – medium
  • protein free, contains glycerin

curly girl method gel medium hold

5. TreLuxe Hi! Definition Gel – best medium hold

This is another really popular gel because it's easy to use, creates great definition, adds moisture, and works in most climates. You don't need a lot and it is also a curl enhancer.

My one complaint is how strong the scent is. It smells really good but it's strong. Shop the Hi! Definition gel here and use code holisticenchilada15 to save.

  • ability to create definition – 5
  • ingredient quality – 3
  • concentration – 4
  • between lightweight and heavy
  • buildup potential – moderate
  • ease of use – 5
  • level of hold – medium
  • glycerin free, contains protein

6. MopTop Curly Hair Custard – best medium hold for curl enhancement

This very popular custard is a lot like the TreLuxe gel but it has glycerin so it's a better curl enhancer. Unfortunately, that means it doesn't work as well in high humidity or dry conditions.

This is one of my favorite gels because of how lightweight it is while still providing hold, definition, and curl enhancement. This product must be applied to wet hair and not too much to avoid flaking. Shop the Curly Hair Custard here and use code HE10 to save.

  • ability to create definition – 5
  • ingredient quality – 4
  • concentration – 4
  • lightweight
  • buildup potential – low
  • ease of use – 4
  • level of hold – medium
  • contains protein and glycerin

organic curly girl approved gel
nontoxic curly girl approved gel

7. Raw Curls Gel & Innersense I Create Hold – best organic options

These tied because they are so similar and both amazing. These are the cleanest gels you'll find on the market that actually work. They create a great cast, and leave your curls shiny, soft, and bouncy.

The Raw Curls gel comes in both medium and hard hold and I can use either but prefer the medium hold. Innersense is hard hold.

Both are very concentrated, the most on this list. I recommend you apply to wet hair, starting with a small amount, and emulsify well. If your hair feels dry layer a cream underneath. Shop the Raw Curls gels here. Shop the Innersense gel here.

  • ability to create definition – 5
  • ingredient quality – 5
  • concentration – 5
  • lightweight
  • buildup potential – very low
  • ease of use – 4
  • level of hold – medium or hard
  • both contain glycerin, Raw Curls has protein

8. Jessicurl Spiralicious – best hard hold for humidity

This is another popular gel because it works well on all curl types in all climates. It's also not expensive and pretty concentrated so it will last a while.

Spiralicious provides a hard hold and for most people creates a good cast that scrunches out easily to give you soft, shiny curls. Shop the Spiralicious gel here.

  • ability to create definition – 5
  • ingredient quality – 5
  • concentration – 5
  • lightweight
  • buildup potential – very low
  • ease of use – 5
  • level of hold – hard
  • protein and glycerin free

protein curly girl gel

9. Bounce Curl Light Creme Gel – best protein heavy gel

This gel is very popular and is actually a cream gel hybrid. It is really high in protein which a lot of curls like, but some don't. It also only offers a light hold so you may need to layer a harder hold product over if you want more hold.

This gel will give you soft, bouncy curls if your hair needs protein and isn't sensitive to aloe. It also contains a lot of glycerin so it's no ideal in high humidity or very dry climates. Shop the Light Creme Gel here.

  • ability to create definition – 4
  • ingredient quality – 4
  • concentration – 3
  • between lightweight and heavy
  • buildup potential – low
  • ease of use – 5
  • level of hold – light
  • contains protein and glycerin

curly girl approved gel UK

10. Boucleme Curl Defining Gel – best UK option

This gel creates a good cast and scrunches out to leave you with soft, shiny curls. It works well on all curl types but it does contain glycerin so it might not be great when it's humid.

Like all the other gels apply to wet hair and start off with a small amount. Shop the Curl Defining Gel here.

  • ability to create definition – 5
  • ingredient quality – 4
  • concentration – 4
  • lightweight
  • buildup potential – low
  • ease of use – 5
  • level of hold – light to medium
  • contains glycerin

If you're new to the curly girl method, I recommend you check out my post on affordable curly girl approved products to start off. That post contains over 60 affordable and drugstore options.

Please do me a favor and share this post to social media, as it helps me grow my audience and spread the word about our curly hair movement! And remember to subscribe to my YouTube Channel and newsletter for more curly hair tips and product recommendations. Thanks!

If you want help with embracing your naturally wavy or curly hair, you can join my FREE email course and download my FREE pdf guide, THE QUICK START GUIDE TO MASTERING YOUR CURLS, full of everything you need to know to get started and bring out your beautiful waves and curls.

curly girl method pdf guide download

Check out these other curly hair posts:

Once you get the products figured out, make sure you master styling!

For help with styling, check out Fabulous Curls Academy. Phase 2 of this membership will help you transform your frizzy hair into defined bouncy curls in just one day, by learning how to use the products you already have (even if they're not CG approved)!

Delilah Orpi shows budget nontoxic products to try when using curly girl method

Join the Facebook group!

Facebook group simple curlies and wavies

Curl Coaching

I now also offer Curl & Clean Beauty Coaching sessions virtually! You can book a 15-minute, 30-minute, or 45-minute session with me to help you solve your curly hair or clean beauty struggles. Click here to learn more.

the 10 best curly girl approved gels pin
The best curly girl method approved gels for all curly types pin

Similar Posts

2 Comments

  1. Hi Holistic Enchilada!

    I love your blog and the fact that your also covering the area of clean beauty. I was wondering if you could make a blog about the curly girl method stylers (gels, creams, mousses) without microplastics. I use the https://www.beatthemicrobead.org website but this is obviously no curlygirlmethod website. I find it really difficult to find a gel or mousse without microplastics. Do you have idea’s?

    1. Hi Lisanne! I have not looked into this before so I don’t have any ideas. I would assume many of the cleaner brands like EVOLVh, Innersense, and Raw Curls don’t have microplastics but I could be wrong.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *