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Best Holding Gels for Natural Hair 2024 | 10 Picks for Curls & Edges

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best holding gel for natural hairLooking for the best holding gel to tame your natural hair? From defining curls and slicking down edges to giving you a polished look without flaking or residue, finding the right gel can be a game-changer.

To help make it easier, we’ve rounded up 10 of the best gels for natural hair in 2023 – from Eco Style Olive Oil Gel to Kinky Curly Gel Custard – so you can find one that works with your specific texture and hairstyle needs.

Key Takeaways

  • Look for gels with long-lasting hold and no flaking or residue.
  • Consider alcohol-free gels for 4C hair types.
  • Choose gels with nourishing ingredients like aloe vera and flaxseed extract.
  • Use edge control gels for polished looks and edge protection.

Top 10 Best Holding Gels for Natural Hair

Are you looking for a quality edge control gel to keep your natural hair in check? Here are the top 10 best holding gels specifically designed for 4B and 4C hair types.

From Eco Style Olive Oil Gel to Kinky Curly Gel Custard, discover which product is right for your needs with Taliah Waajid Lock It Up Hold, Naturall Flaxseed Curl Gel, Design Essentials Sleek Edge, Curls Blueberry Bliss Control Jelly, OUIDAD Heat Humidity Gel, Aunt Jackie’s Curling Gel, As I Am Smoothing Gel, Mixed Chicks Styling Gel, and Kinky Curly Gel Custard.

Find out what makes each unique and how they can help define curls while maintaining moisture!

Eco Style Olive Oil Gel

Eco Style Gel Olive OilView On Amazon
Experience perfect hold and nourishment with Eco Style’s Olive Oil Gel! This alcohol-free product is made with 100% pure olive oil to provide long-lasting luster without wax or grease. It’s designed to condition and control frizz while keeping hair natural and flexible.

The gel offers impeccable, superior hold that won’t compromise hydration, adding texture and definition for various hairstyles from slicked back looks to defined curls. Its liquid volume of 273 Milliliters will last for several hours before needing reapplication – great news if you’re looking for a lasting style! Plus, it smells divine thanks to its light scent of olive oil.

For those seeking an all-natural solution in their styling routine, the Eco Style Olive Oil Gel provides just that without parabens or sulfates – plus, it’s made right here in the USA too! With this moisturizing gel, you can achieve smoothness, split ends-free results, as well as maintain your desired look throughout the day while protecting color-treated curls from damage due to heat exposure at home or when using other styling equipment such as a blow dryer, etc.

  • Made with 100% pure olive oil
  • Alcohol-free formula
  • Provides long-lasting luster without wax or grease
  • Conditions & controls frizz while keeping hair natural & flexible
  • Smells heavenly – light scent of olives
  • Non-greasy formula
  • Paraben & sulfate-free
  • May flake when combing through
  • May not be very moisturizing on some users
  • Provides soft rather than firm hold

Taliah Waajid Lock It Up Hold

Taliah Waajid Black Earth ProductsView On Amazon
Try Taliah Waajid Lock It Up Hold for a firm, no-flake hold that’ll keep your locks looking their best all day. This award-winning product is designed to maintain twists, naturals, and color-treated hair without giving you the flakes or alcohol buildup found in other products.

Its gelatinous consistency gives it the perfect grip to define natural curl patterns and hold together even complex twist styles with minimal product needed.

Not only does this formula provide ultimate control of resistant hair, but it also adds shine while leaving your tresses feeling soft and manageable after styling.

  • Provides long-lasting frizz-free curls
  • Defines natural curl patterns
  • Smells great
  • Adds shine & moisture
  • Non-sticky gelatinous consistency
  • SEMI-hold firmness not as strong as expected
  • May leave residue if too much applied
  • Limited availability of larger-sized containers

Naturall Flaxseed Curl Gel

Naturall Flaxseed Gel for CurlyView On Amazon
Nourish and define your curls with Naturall Flaxseed Curl Gel, a lightweight, non-sticky moisturizer that provides frizz-free locks without wax or grease. Formulated with organic flaxseeds, this sulfate-free gel is easy to apply and offers extra hold for wash n go’s, twists, and braid out styles while still retaining natural flexibility.

With its unique custard-like consistency, it adds shine while preventing dryness so you can maintain soft, manageable hair all day long. This versatile product also has a natural scent that won’t leave an unpleasant smell behind after application, making it perfect for those looking for something more subtle than the usual styling products on the market today.

Enjoy luscious curls without any of the hassle!

  • Provides frizz-free curls with organic flaxseeds
  • Lightweight hair moisturizer for soft, crunch-free curl definition
  • Extra hold designed specifically to shape curly styles
  • Non-sticky formula rinses easily from hair
  • Natural scent won’t leave an unpleasant smell behind after use
  • May have an undesirable smell for some users
  • Package may leak during shipping
  • Not suitable as a styling product if not used in conjunction with other products

Design Essentials Sleek Edge

Design Essentials Sleek Edge ControlView On Amazon
Design Essentials Sleek Edge Control offers a firm hold to tame unruly hair, providing you with the perfect polished finish and intense shine. It minimizes frizz and tames flyaways without build-up. This silicone-free formula adds texture to short styles and comes in two strengths of hold for all hair types.

Whether applied to wet or dry hair, it’s easy to create piecy spikes or disconnected looks for both men and women that won’t flake off throughout the day. This gel smells good while keeping your edges in place and is suitable even for 4B/C high porosity natural hair when used with other products like Hicks wax sticks.

  • Provides a firm hold and polishes the finished look
  • Smoothens and protects delicate edges
  • Adds texture and intense shine
  • Two strengths of hold available
  • Not suitable for coarse hair
  • Can be difficult to remove from the scalp

Curls Blueberry Bliss Control Jelly

Curls Blueberry Bliss Control JellyView On Amazon
Curls Blueberry Bliss Control Jelly is a lightweight, non-sticky formula that locks in moisture and defines curls for frizz-free styles. Packed with organic blueberry extract and raw castor oil, this vegan styling gel provides curl definition without leaving hair sticky.

It also helps to reduce bulk and elongate curls while providing temporary softness.

This sulfate-, silicone-, paraben-, artificial oil–color–and fragrance-free jelly works well on its own or as part of a cocktail for thin hair types 2c in low humidity climates who are looking to bring out their natural texture without having it look wet after breaking the cast.

Customers love Curls’ Blueberry Bliss Control Jelly for its amazing smell, lightweight feel, lack of residue build-up, or flaking which makes it a perfect choice when seeking an effective moisturizing hold with shine!

  • Lightweight & Non-Sticky Formula Locks In Moisture And Defines Curls For Frizz-Free Styles
  • Vegan Styling Gel Provides Curl Definition Without Leaving Hair Sticky
  • Reduces Bulk And Elongates Curls While Providing Temporary Softness
  • Amazing Smell With No Residue Build-Up Or Flaking
  • May Not Work For All Hair Types
  • May Not Mix Well With Other Products
  • Packaging May Lead To Minor Leaks

OUIDAD Heat Humidity Gel

For those looking to keep their curls hydrated and frizz-free in humid climates, OUIDAD Heat Humidity Gel provides a secure hold with its unique blend of wheat protein and flexible styling polymers. This award-winning gel locks in moisture while blocking out humidity for shiny, hydrated curls that last all day without the crunchiness or build-up associated with other products.

The sulfate-free formula is also free from parabens, mineral oil, phthalates, and petroleum, so you can trust it’s safe for color-treated hair too! It provides heat protection as well as firm control over flyaways while protecting your precious locks against UV damage.

  • Infused with ceramides for moisture & humidity protection
  • Anti-Frizz Nano Technology for shiny & hydrated curls
  • Free from silicones, parabens, etc., providing heat protection & firm hold
  • Lightweight feel & natural scent
  • Expensive compared to some other options
  • Not suitable for wavy hair

Aunt Jackie’s Curling Gel

Aunt Jackie’s Curling Gel is a nourishing product that helps keep curls soft, manageable, and full of bounce. It boasts moisturizing benefits from raw castor oil and is sulfate-free. The gel provides temporary softness to curly hair with a natural scent.

It offers flexible hold for all types of natural hair textures without weighing down locks or leaving them crunchy.

Customers love its ability to define their curls while still keeping them bouncy and hydrated throughout the day! This miraculous styling gel also adds shine while reducing frizz, making it perfect for those who want perfectly defined coils all day long!

As I Am Smoothing Gel

As I Am Smoothing Gel,View On Amazon
Smooth out your curls with As I Am Smoothing Gel for a secure hold that lasts all day. This gel is packed full of natural ingredients like aloe vera, sugar beet root, vegetable glycerin, and wheat protein to make sure your hair stays healthy while keeping it in place.

Its silicone-free formula won’t dry out or harden up, so you can rest assured knowing the product isn’t damaging your curls.

Best of all, when it comes time to wash it off, you’ll find rinsing away this product a breeze! Customers have nothing but good things to say about its performance and lack of unpleasant odors. Plus, many mention using the gel after curling gels and finger coils for the best results.

Not recommended, however, for 4C hair as some customers found their smoothing effect lacking on these types of locks – something worth considering before purchasing this particular item from As I Am!

  • Provides a secure hold without drying out or hardening
  • Contains natural ingredients such as Aloe Vera Gel, Sugar Beet Root & Wheat Protein
  • Easily rinses away from the hair
  • May not be suitable for 4C Hair type
  • Packaging concerns were raised with products arriving open/leaking

Mixed Chicks Styling Gel

Mixed Chicks Styling Gel -View On Amazon
Mixed Chicks Styling Gel is an award-winning product specifically designed for mixed-race individuals with various curl types. It provides a light hold and soft natural finish that locks in moisture without leaving hair greasy.

The gel contains amino acids and extracts of coltsfoot leaf, dandelion, fennel seed, hops, horse chestnut, ivy, lavender, chamomile, rosemary, thyme, and witch hazel.

This gel has a subtle but wonderful scent that works well with thin hair. It spreads evenly on hands to avoid clumps and provides the necessary hold for 3a curls.

It won’t give your hair the greased look or smell funny like some products often do. Instead, you’ll be left with bouncy coils that are defined yet remain soft all day long.

However, this styling gel does come at a comparatively high price point. If you’re looking for something more affordable, there may be better options out there. Additionally, it can also leave behind a ‘gel cast’ which needs scrunching out once dry if not applied properly.

  • Locks in moisture without making the hair look greasy
  • Subtle & wonderful scent
  • Works great on thin/3a type curls
  • Leaves hair soft & holds style all day
  • Comparatively expensive
  • Can leave behind a ‘gel cast’ needing to be scrunched out
  • May require reapplication due to strong smells

Kinky Curly Gel Custard

Kinky Curly Curl Custard Gel,View On Amazon
Kinky Curly Gel Custard provides ultimate curl definition and shine, while locking in moisture to keep your style all day without flaking. Formulated with natural ingredients like aloe vera gel, sugar beet root, vegetable glycerin, and wheat protein – this non-greasy hair moisturizer eliminates frizz and tames flyaways for beautiful coils.

Its lightweight texture won’t weigh down thin hair or leave it feeling sticky after styling.

Suitable for kinky curls 2c and tighter, as well as low-humidity climates, Kinky Curly Gel Custard is perfect for creating dreadlocks with its custardy consistency that defines the look of naturally curly locks perfectly!

  • Lightweight formula does not weigh down thin hair
  • Non-greasy formula eliminates frizz
  • Defines curls with a touchable hold that lasts all day
  • May leave a sticky residue if too much product is used
  • Not suitable for high humidity climates
  • Can be difficult to rinse out completely

What to Look for in a Gel for Natural Hair

What to Look for in a Gel for Natural Hair
Finding the right holding gel for your natural hair can be a challenge, so it’s important to consider both your hair type and porosity. Look for alcohol-free gels that are specifically formulated with nourishing ingredients to hydrate and protect against breakage, while providing long-lasting hold without damaging or drying chemicals.

With careful consideration of these factors, you will surely find the perfect product to suit your styling needs.


When looking for a gel to hold your natural hair, opt for an alcohol-free product that will provide long-lasting luster and definition without weighing down your curls like a wet blanket. Alcohol-free gels are beneficial as they keep the strands moisturized while styling them into various shapes.

Different products work better on different types of hair based on their porosity level, so consider this when choosing a suitable option. For added moisture and shine, look for lightweight formulas enriched with wheat protein or aloe extract.

Edge control is essential in creating slick back styles or holding baby hairs together.

Consider Your Hair Type and Porosity

Consider your hair’s texture and porosity carefully when looking for a gel. Different gels may work better for different types of hair, such as high-porosity or low-porosity locks. A good styling gel should provide frizz control, edge control, curl definition, and lasting hold without product buildup.

For wash-and-go styles, try something lightweight to prevent weighing the curls down.

What is 4C Hair?

What is 4C Hair
Discover how 4C hair is unique and learn the best ways to manage it! 4C hair is a type of tightly coiled kinky-curly texture that requires special care.

To protect, define, and style this curl pattern without build-up or frizz, try these tips:

  1. Select products with moisturizing ingredients specifically designed for 4C curls.
  2. Invest in quality edge control gel for long-lasting hold.
  3. Use heat protection before using styling tools such as flat irons or curling wands to prevent damage from high temperatures.

Utilize light oil-based sprays such as argan oil spray before applying gels, which can strip moisture from the strand if used alone – focus on your ends! When selecting a holding gel, look out for ones made with nourishing ingredients like aloe vera and flaxseed extract that will hydrate while defining curls without stiffness or crunchiness – perfecting your desired style every time!

Why Use an Edge Control Gel for 4C Hair?

Why Use an Edge Control Gel for 4C Hair
For 4C hair, an edge control gel can offer a polished look and provide protection for the edges of your hair. Not only that, but it also helps styles last longer while providing versatility in styling options.

With this product, you can create sleek looks or more voluminous ones without worrying about flyaways or frizziness.

Polished Look

For a polished look, edge control gels for 4C hair provide long-lasting hold and shine while reducing frizz up to 85%. These maximum-hold stylers define shape and maintain curl pattern with hydration for curls.

Smoothing gels deliver an extra strong hold without flaking or crunchiness, so you can wear your style all day. Edge control gel helps moisturize edges while keeping styles in place. It also helps reduce frizz by keeping the hair away from your face and neckline, allowing you to show off a neat hairstyle throughout the day.

Furthermore, these products are designed specifically for curly textures, giving them an advantage over generic styling products when it comes to creating beautiful looks on natural tresses!

Protects Edges

Edge control gels provide a strong hold to protect 4C hair edges while also locking in moisture and adding shine. Products like Tailiah Waajid Tight Hold Loc It Up Gel, Design Essentials Sleek Edge Control, Ecoco Eco Styler Gel, and Hicks Edge Control gel are all good options that contain protective benefits from healthy ingredients like babassu oil.

Many of these products have a natural scent that won’t overpower your senses or irritate your scalp.

Styles Last Longer

Using an edge control gel like Taliah Waajid Lock It Up Hold can help your 4C hair styles last longer, while providing long-lasting hold and shine. Its flexible hold won’t dry out the hair or leave it feeling greasy. The natural finish will give you a sleek look without compromising on volume or texture.

This formula is packed with nourishing ingredients that promote healthy hair growth and provide smoothing benefits to tame frizz and flyaways.

With medium hold but no stiffness, this product gives you the perfect balance of styling power so your locks stay all day in whatever style you choose!


You can use an edge control gel for 4C hair to create versatile looks that last long. Infused with shea butter, coconut oil, and avocado oil, these gels provide curl definition while also protecting against heat damage.

The moisturizing ingredients will help promote healthy hair growth and reduce frizziness.

This product is excellent for creating sleek updos as well as providing a shine boost to your natural curls.

With its strong hold capabilities, this product will give you lasting styles without compromising on moisture retention – allowing you to look amazing from morning till night!

Factors to Consider in Buying the Best Gels for 4C Hair

Factors to Consider in Buying the Best Gels for 4C Hair
When looking for the best gels for 4C hair, it’s important to consider factors such as hold strength and longevity, moisture and nourishment, texture, no flaking or residue, and ingredients. Make sure to select a gel that not only provides a strong hold but also keeps your hair hydrated with its moisturizing properties.

Additionally, look out for products free of alcohol or other damaging chemicals that can dry out natural curls over time.

Hold Strength and Longevity

When choosing a gel for 4C hair, consider the hold strength and longevity to ensure your style stays put all day. Different product types work better for different hair porosity levels — low-porosity hair may need a light product with minimal build-up, while high-porosity hair needs strong moisture control to combat frizz.

Look for gels that offer long-lasting curl definition and moisturizing hold without drying or damaging chemicals like alcohol. Hair gels should also have natural scents to provide extra hold without being too heavy on the scalp.

Taming flyaways is easy with quality edge control products that can create slicked-back styles or define curls.

Moisture and Nourishment

Choosing a gel with moisturizing and nourishing ingredients is key for managing 4C hair. Statistics show that over 85% of customers who used gels in their styling routine reported improved moisture levels.

Look for products with hydrating formulas, organic ingredients, heat protection, frizz control, and natural scents to enjoy temporary softness without damaging your curls. Check labels carefully to make sure the product you choose has conditioning benefits as well as long-lasting hold strength and longevity.


Feel the difference of a gel that perfectly complements your hair’s texture to keep it looking healthy and vibrant. When considering gels for 4C hair, look for those with nourishing ingredients such as wax and moisture-adding oils.

This will help reduce porosity while still providing shine without weighing down curls or causing build-up.

A quality product should also provide hold without stiffness or crunchiness, which is perfect for silk press styling or defining tight coils and kinks.

The right gel will give you long-lasting results so you can rock any natural hairdo with ease!

No Flaking or Residue

Look for gels that won’t flake or leave any residue when styling your 4C hair. Consider products with humidity control and a natural scent to keep frizz at bay. Formulas containing organic flaxseeds are great for curl defining while providing the benefits of heat protection, dryness prevention, and adding volume to coily hair.

Invest in lightweight gel formulas designed specifically for slick down natural hairstyles without stickiness or greasiness.

For extra shine and softness without a heavy feel, opt for a jelly-like consistency that is free from sulfates, silicones, artificial oils, colorants, and fragrances. Curly girls can also benefit from a custard-like texture, which provides temporary softness while nourishing thin strands with its hydrating properties.


When selecting a gel for 4C hair, scan the ingredients list to ensure it contains moisturizing components like ceramides and raw castor oil. Look for gels made with organic extracts and natural scents, as well as an alcohol-free formula that won’t strip away moisture from your low-porosity hair.

Additionally, select one with a non-greasy formula that provides nourishing ingredients without weighing down your strands or leaving behind residue.

Finally, invest in quality edge control gels specifically designed for 4C texture needs; they’ll help you lock in moisture while creating gorgeous styles every time!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How often should I use a hair gel on my natural hair?

How often you use hair gel on your natural hair depends on the type of look or style you want to achieve. For example, if you’re looking for an extra hold and definition with wash n go’s or twist-outs, using a gel every other day is generally sufficient.

However, if more defined styles are desired, such as slick ponytails and updos that require long-lasting hold, then gels should be used daily for best results.

What is the difference between a hair gel and an edge control gel?

Edge control gels are designed to tame and hold natural hair, while hair gels provide styling options such as texture and definition. Unlike edge control, they often contain alcohol, which can dry out your hair. However, with the right ingredients, such as nourishing oils or hydrating creams, they can be beneficial.

What are the benefits of using a hair gel on natural hair?

Hair gel can help define and shape natural curls, reduce frizz, and add shine. For example, Naturall Flaxseed Curl Gel is a lightweight moisturizer that provides frizz-free curls with organic flaxseeds, while Design Essentials Sleek Edge Control adds intense shine and texture to short styles.

How do I know if a gel is suitable for my natural hair type?

Consider your hair’s texture and porosity when choosing a gel. Low porosity may need a lighter hold, whereas high porosity needs stronger moisture control. Look for gels with nourishing ingredients and avoid drying or damaging chemicals like alcohol.

How can I make sure that my hair gel does not flake or build up?

Look for gels that are free of drying and damaging chemicals, such as alcohol, and opt for ones with nourishing ingredients. When selecting a gel, be sure to consider factors like hold, texture, and ingredients to avoid flaking or build-up.


Finding the best holding gel for your natural hair shouldn’t be a difficult task. By taking into account your hair’s texture, porosity, and needs, you can find a gel that will suit your individual style.

For example, products such as Eco Style Olive Oil Gel, Taliah Waajid Lock It Up Hold, and Naturall Flaxseed Curl Gel are great for 4C hair as they provide a strong hold, moisture, and nourishment.

Furthermore, when buying a gel for 4C hair, it’s important to consider factors such as hold strength, ingredients, and texture. With the best holding gel for natural hair, you can create beautiful, long-lasting styles that protect your edges and bring out the best in your curls.

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and beard care expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of men make their beards look better and get fatter. His work has been mentioned in countless notable publications on men's care and style and has been cited in Seeker, Wikihow, GQ, TED, and Buzzfeed.