I know what you’re thinking. You’ve started the curly girl method and you’ve come to the part where I’ve suggested you use gel. Yep. Gel. That stuff your teenage boyfriend used to lather on his hair every morning, noon and night. I understand your reservations, believe me. However, hair technology has thankfully moved on a lot since then! In this post, I’m going to be looking at five new UK curly girl method gels that, in my opinion, you should try out first.
This post contains some affiliate links to some UK curly girl method gels to get started with.
When I first started with the curly girl method I think the idea of using hair gel was the one that freaked me out most. To me, hair gel was this gluey, crunchy stuff that should’ve stayed in the ’90s. Still, I’d committed to the curly girl method so thought I’d better give it a try.
I was expecting a sticky horror story. What I actually got really surprised me. The thing about using a gel as part of the curly girl method is that it’s kind of a temporary measure. More is more, but it doesn’t stay on your hair for good!
If you have mental images of slick, crisp curls that don’t move under the onslaught of gel then you’d be mistaken. Well, half mistaken. Read on to find out how gel can make a huge difference to your curly girl method styling routine.
How to use gels in the curly girl method
The gel is effectively a means to an end. You apply it to your hair when it’s soaking wet. Think just stepped out of the shower, not even touched it kind of wet. If you’ve followed some of the earlier advice about how to co-wash your hair properly, you’ll know that the gel acts as a barrier. It traps in the moisture from your co-wash and enables your hair to form its curl pattern smoothly.
Applying gel is basically like applying a protective barrier for your curls as it dries. That part is important because once your hair is dry enough, you’re actually going to scrunch out all the gel.
This part of the curly girl method is called ‘scrunch out the crunch’, whereby you actively break the cast that the gel has formed around your ringlets. By doing this, you’ll end up with soft, defined curls that will hold their shape because they’ve been allowed to form properly during the drying process.
A gel is a secret weapon for many of us curly girls and boys! Without it, my hair really struggles to hold it’s curl pattern after a wash. You can also use gel to do a curl ‘refresh’, which, somewhat unsurprisingly, involves refreshing your curls after sleeping on them, or in between wash days.
So with all this in mind, let’s take a look at my top five UK curly girl method gels to try out. I’m a big fan of using gel, but it’s not for everyone. Some people really see results with mousse rather than gel. This is all down to your own hair, as I’ve said previously. Remember that this is a method, and you’ll need to test out different products to find what works best for your particular hair type.
UK curly girl method gels to try out
This stuff is 50p, and it really works. 50p! A new addition to my list of curly girl approved products, this cheap and cheerful gel from Morrisons is a great starter product. I’m currently trialling this one at home and have seen some great results, although the hold isn’t as strong as it could be. That’s possibly down to the fact that my hair is quite fine though. If there was an extra-strong version, I’d be all over it. This cruelty-free certified gel smells good, isn’t sticky and leaves a really nice shine post-scrunch. A big hit for me so far!
Shockwaves Ultra Strong Tuff Stuff Hair Gel – £3.00 (approx)
This WELLA Shockwaves gel is designed to be heat and sweatproof, which is great if you’re into fitness or if you want to work out without losing your hair’s definition. It’s around the £3.00 mark, depending on where you get it from, which is great value for money!
I haven’t tried this one myself but it is curly girl-approved so if you’re an active type then this gel might work better for you than some of the others on this list. It’s probably called Ultra Strong for a good reason! You should be able to pick this up in most stores and supermarkets. If not, there’s always Amazon.
ECO Styler Krystal Styling Gel – £8.00 (approx)
This one’s a bit more expensive but you get almost a litre of the stuff. The ECO Styler Krystal Styling Gel is a water-based gel which is incredibly strong without being sticky and leaves your curls feeling smooth and light. You also really do get your money’s worth out of this tub, they last for absolutely ages!
There are a few options to choose from in the ECO Styler range of gels, but I’d recommend starting with this one before looking into the different oil-infused versions. It’s a simpler, water-based basic gel that a lot of hair types should respond well to when starting out! You can pick this up on Amazon – I use the pink one at the moment. It works quite well for me but the hold isn’t as great as the original clear one, so I’ll probably buy this myself next time!
Noughty Howdy Curls Spring Back Gel Creme – £9.99 (approx)
This brand-new creme-to-gel formula from the team at Noughty looks fantastic! It’s a medium-hold gel which is great for those with a lighter curl pattern or for those with fine hair. Howdy Curls Spring Back Gel Creme will set you back around £10, but you can get £5 off your order if you use my referral link!
I’m going to give this one a try and see how my curls hold up as I’m a big fan of Noughty’s curly girl range. I’m going to have a look at some of their conditioners now for my next product round up! Let me know how you get on with this one if you do try it out.
Another product that’s a little on the higher end of things price-wise, this is one of a few made-in-the-UK curly girl method gels to try. Dream Curl Gel is enriched with coconut, avocado and almond oils.
Remember to consider this if you think your hair might be sensitive to any of those ingredients. Depending on your hair type, this gel could be the perfect match or it could be a little on the heavy side – try it out and see!
Five new UK curly girl method gels to try – what are yours?
These are just five of the gels that you could try out if you’re getting started with the curly girl method. Remember, half the battle with the gel is application. You often need more than you think, and there are varying ways to actually apply the gel to your hair. Make sure you coat every strand with your gel!
You can rake it through, smooth it with ‘praying hands’, or scrunch it through. Whatever method of application you go for, make sure you work with gel when your hair is wet. If you apply it to drying hair, you may end up with flakes and/or a loss of definition and hold.
If you’ve tried any of these gels out yourself I’d love to hear your thoughts. Let me know in the comments, and feel free to drop in any questions you might have about using gel in the curly girl method too!