Best Curly Girl Method Approved Gels 2022

Curly Girl Method Gels are a staple if you want long lasting, frizz free curl definition.

This is a list of curly girl approved gels to include in your curly girl routine, that are perfect for ensuring that your defined curls last longer that wash day!

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What Does Gel do For curly hair

If you’re still learning the curly girl method or learning what works best with your curls, you may be wondering, “Should I use a gel or mousse?”

The main difference between a gel and a mousse is that gels contain ingredients that are incredible for creating a gel cast and so it provides strong hold to keep your curls well defined and frizz free for more days.

What’s a gel cast and why is it good

A gel cast maintains your curls while protecting them from external elements (humidity, wind, etc).

You know a gel cast is formed when your hair feels hard and crunchy after applying your preferred gel.

So, if you want long lasting, defined curls, it’s important to use a gel with strong enough hold to form a hard mold over your defined curls.

How do you scrunch out the crunch

Of course, you don’t want hard, crunchy curls right? So let’s talk about scrunching out the crunch.

When you scrunch out the crunch, you’re removing the gel cast to reveal, softer, bouncier curls.

The best way I’ve found to scrunch out the crunch is using your favorite finishing oil.

Lubricate your hands with the oil. Then, gently scrunch your dried curls until your curls feel softer. The oil will act as a sealant and and will add shine to your frizz free curls.

The Best Ways To Apply Hair Gel

Your preferred method of applying your curly girl gel will take some experimenting. It will also depend on your circumstances and your desired results.

The best ways to apply gels:

  • In sections
  • The Prayer Hands method
  • Rake & Shake


For maximum definition, you can divide your curly hair into small sections and apply your gel to each section. You can scrunch each section as you go, or you can scrunch when all sections have been completed.

Applying this much product will increase your drying time, but your curls will be very defined and frizz free.

Prayer Hands

Coat your hands with your preferred gel, press your hands together over your hair and slide downwards until the end of your hair. Repeat until all of your hair is coated with gel. Finish by scrunching


With this method, with gel coated hands, rake the gel through the length of your curly hair. Then shake your fingers back and forth. Again, finish by scrunching

Best Curly Approved Gels

All of these curly girl gels are easily available on amazon, just click on the picture of the gel you’re interested in to purchase.

Please remember that brands may change ingredients, so it’s always a good idea to double check before your purchase.

Dippity Do Girls With Curls Gelee

Girls With Curls‘ gelee is a pink, light weight gel that makes a nice gel cast so that defined waves and curls last longer.

It provides nice slip for easier application and encourages curls to clump.

This curl girl approved gel is sulfate, paraben, alcohol and silicone free. It contains protein (hydrolyzed wheat protein) and humectants (sorbitold, propylene glycol and aloe).

Aussie Instant Freeze Gel 20 HR Max Hold

One of the best curly hair gels to form a gel cast. This is a maximum hold gel keeps your defined curls frizz free for more days.

Kinky Curly Original Curling Custard

This is a thick, moisturizing gel that leaves curly hair hydrated and super defined.

Kinky Curly’s custard works really well for finger coiling and leaves a good cast to preserve your wash day results.

This curly girl method approved gel reactivates with water so that refresh days are easy and quick.

It’s also protein free, making a great choice for protein sensitive curly girls.

Camille Rose Curl Maker

This natural curly girl gel is a must try for long lasting, defined curls. It’s lightweight and the slip is amazing.

The ingredients include coconut oil and aloe leaf juice and the formula works well to define and hold curls.

It’s also great to add on refresh days.

Ouidad Advanced Climate Control Heat And Humidity Gel

This curly girl approved, strong hold gel clumps curls and provides hold for days. It has a thin consistency, is very lightweight and provides a lot of slip.

It reactivates with water which makes refresh days very easy.

If your hair is protein sensitive, please note that this get does contain proteins: hydrolyzed wheat protein, wheat amino acids.

Curl Smith Curl Defining Styling Souffle

Curl Smith’s protein free gel is a nice medium to strong hold gel that is easily reactivated with water.

It’s a thick gel so a little goes a long way. To apply, rub the product between your hands so that it’s easy to apply. It forms a nice gel cast for long lasting curls.

Bounce Curl Light Creme Hair Gel Lotion

Bounce Curl’s gel has a really nice creamy consistency so it’s easy to apply to your curls.

It provides a light hold but you can use more product to get a stronger hold.

Garnier Fructis Curl Treat Jelly

This affordable curly girl gel is thick and forms a good gel cast. It defines and tames frizz leaving you with gorgeous curls.

It’s curly girl method approved as it doesn’t contain any sulfates, silicones, parabens, artificial colorants or mineral oil.

Cantu For natural Hair Moisturizing Twist & Lock Gel

This thick gel from Cantu creates a good gel cast.

When you use this gel, expect to have frizz free, defined curls and easier refresh days.

Briogeo Curl Charisma Rice Amino + Quinoa Frizz Control Gel

Briogeo’s gel is nice for wavy hair or loose curly hair. It’s a lightweight gel that will define your waves and curls without too much crunch or hold.

Dove Beauty Shine & Moisture Finishing Gel

Dove’s protein free gel reactivates with water, making refresh days easy and quick.

It has a thin consistency, making it easy to apply to your hair.

It’s also a strong hold gel so your defined curls last for days.

Curly Girl Approved Gels

Remember that find the right gel for your hair may take some experimenting. These curly girl method approved gels are a great place to start and I’m sure that a few on this list will make it to your go to curly girl gel list.

I’d love to hear about your experiences with any of these gels or if you have a favorite curly girl approved gel that I should try and add to this list! Let me know in the comments 🙂

Before You Go, You Will Love These Other Posts For Curly Hair:

Product recommendations
Product Reviews
Important Information To Care For Curls & Waves
Dyeing Textured Hair At Home Without Damaging It
Wavy & Curly Hair Routines & hairstyles

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