Skip to Content

Top 10 Best Holding Gels for Natural Hair 2024 | Find Your Perfect Match

This site is supported by our readers. We may earn a commission, at no cost to you, if you purchase through links.

best holding gel for natural hairAre you in search of the perfect styling gel for your natural hair? It’s a daunting task to find one that will not only last all day long but also nourish and protect your curls.

From Aunt Jackie’s Flaxseed Curling Gel to Design Essentials Sleek Edge Control, here are ten of the best holding gels for natural hair available on the market this year.

With just a few simple considerations like alcohol-free ingredients and considering both porosity and type of hair, finding an edge control gel suitable for 4C Hair should be easy peasy. Plus, with great benefits such as polished looks, lasting styles, and versatile use, it’ll surely make styling easier than ever before.

So let’s get stuck into our list of Top 10 Best Holding Gels For Natural Hair 2023 – Find Your Perfect Match!

Key Takeaways

  • Consider hair type and porosity when choosing a gel.
  • Lightweight gels are best for low porosity hair.
  • Heavier gels are better for thick, coily hair.
  • Avoid alcohol-based gels to prevent dryness.

Top 10 Best Holding Gels for Natural Hair

Whether you’re looking to tame flyaways, define your curls, or provide moisture and hold without flaking, there are a variety of holding gels for natural hair that can help.

Eco Style Olive Oil Gel

Taliah Waajid Lock It Up Tight

Naturall Flaxseed Curl Gel

Design Essentials Sleek Edge Control

Curls Blueberry Bliss Control Jelly

OUIDAD Climate Control Gel

Aunt Jackie’s Flaxseed Curling Gel

As I Am Smoothing Gel

Mixed Chicks Styling Gel

Kinky Curly’s Curl Custard

These products offer a range of benefits from frizz control to moisturizing while providing lightweight or strong hold depending on the user’s needs.

Eco Style Olive Oil Gel

Eco Style Gel Olive OilView On Amazon
Try Eco Style Olive Oil Gel to give your natural hair superior hold without flaking or itching, while providing a subtle olive oil scent and bouncy curls with impeccable long-lasting hold. This 273 mL gel contains 100% pure olive oil to condition and moisturize hair, so you can slick down baby hairs and edges for sleek updos that won’t leave any residue after washing out.

It gives great shine, reduces split ends, and helps define curls without feeling heavy on the head – all while creating touchable style with no stiffness or crunchiness.

Reviews are generally positive; users love how it works well to slick and hold styles, but some find it too drying for their strands.

  • Superior hold without flaking or itching
  • Subtle olive oil scent
  • Bouncy curls with impeccable long-lasting hold
  • Works well to slick and hold styles
  • Reduces split ends and adds shine
  • Too small size for price
  • Can leave hair feeling dry and crispy
  • Soft holds don’t last all day

Taliah Waajid Lock It Up Tight

Taliah Waajid Black Earth ProductsView On Amazon
Taliah Waajid Lock It Up Tight provides a semi-hold, no flaking, and alcohol, allowing you to define your natural curl pattern with ease while giving you the confidence of long-lasting shine.

This product is perfect for retwisting locs and can be used on color-treated, gray, and resistant hair. Reviews mention it has a pleasant smell, good hold that works on various hair types, in an easy-to-find 6 oz size, which makes it ideal for travel.

The only downside may be its custard consistency rather than a strong gel, which some customers wanted a stronger hold from. But overall, most are satisfied with its performance when holding twists or styling their curls.

  • Holds resistant/color-treated/gray hair
  • No flaking or build-up
  • Defines natural curl patterns
  • Semi-hold might not provide enough strength for desired hairstyles
  • Custard consistency instead of a strong gel
  • Some reviews mention product dripping during shipping

Naturall Flaxseed Curl Gel

Naturall Flaxseed Gel for CurlyView On Amazon
Naturall Flaxseed Curl Gel provides long-lasting hold and frizz control for all hair types without the heavy, greasy feel of some other gels. It is formulated with organic flaxseeds to nourish and moisturize curls. This unique gel is perfect for creating a multitude of looks – from wash n go’s to twists or braid-outs.

It also works well on color-treated hair without causing dryness or build-up. The paraben-free formula ensures your hair remains healthy while providing a firm but flexible hold that lasts all day long.

Its natural scent may not be desirable to some, but its lightweight consistency spreads smoothly through your tresses with minimal effort.

  • Provides superior frizz control
  • Lightweight moisture
  • Extra hold for styles
  • Paraben-free formula
  • Affordable price point
  • Natural scent might not be desirable
  • Must use only small amounts at once
  • No plant-based alternative

Design Essentials Sleek Edge Control

Design Essentials Sleek Edge ControlView On Amazon
Design Essentials Sleek Edge Control provides a firm hold, tames flyaways, and adds texture while giving your hair long-lasting shine. This 2.3 oz gel is silicone-free and works on all hair types to give you the perfect look without any worry of flaking or buildup.

Perfect for ponytails, updos, or just everyday styling, it’s easy to apply with no fuss – simply use a small amount around the edges and smooth in place! Reviews are mostly positive too; people who have tried this product find that it smells great with good edge control hold that does not leave behind residue after washing out! It even works well on 4B/C high porosity natural hair when used together with Hicks first products.

With so many benefits, there’s definitely no reason why you shouldn’t try Design Essentials Sleek Edge Control today!

  • Provides a firm hold
  • Smells great & has no buildup or flaking
  • Tames flyaways & adds texture
  • Works well on 4B/C high porosity natural hair
  • Can be used in combination with other products
  • Only available in a 2.3 oz size

Curls Blueberry Bliss Control Jelly

Curls Blueberry Bliss Control JellyView On Amazon
You can enjoy soft, bouncy curls with Curls Blueberry Bliss Control Jelly’s organic blueberry extract and raw castor oil that provide frizz control and volumizing benefits. This silicone-free gel is ideal for curly hair types, offering a lightweight hold without feeling heavy or greasy.

The 8 oz bottle has a natural blueberry scent which may be desirable to some users but undesirable for others. Reviews suggest the product helps bring out 2B curls while providing long-lasting hold and shine without flaking or build-up.

  • Defines curls
  • Provides frizz control
  • Volumizing benefits
  • Lightweight hold
  • Long-lasting shine/hold
  • May not suit all scents
  • Need more than expected quantity
  • Doesn’t fixate well

OUIDAD Climate Control Gel

OUIDAD Advanced Climate Control HeatView On Amazon
Ouidad’s Climate Control Gel can help you achieve shiny, hydrated curls all day long in any climate. This award-winning gel is free of silicones, parabens, and sulfates that could dry out or damage your hair.

The unique formula contains ceramides to lock in moisture and Anti-Frizz Nano Technology for a natural look with incredible hold. It also offers heat protection, so you can style without worrying about damaging your strands further! Its kiwi scent adds an extra touch of freshness while providing frizz control and curl enhancement.

Enjoy the benefits of this versatile product without worrying about build-up or flaking – just strong definition, flexibility & shine!

  • Award-winning crunch-free gel for curly hair
  • Infused with ceramides to define curls
  • Locks in moisture & locks out humidity
  • Provides heat protection & humidity resistance
  • Fragrance may be too strong for some users

Aunt Jackies Flaxseed Curling Gel

Aunt JackieView On Amazon
Aunt Jackie’s Flaxseed Curling Gel promises to give your curls and coils a soft, bouncy look that lasts all day! It is formulated with flaxseed and wheat protein, making it silicone-free and adding much-needed nourishment to prevent dryness or flaking.

This gel also provides bounce and stretch without weighing down the hair. It is perfect for defining curls as it provides just the right consistency while leaving no residue behind when washed off. You’ll get a natural-looking finish with manageable bounce without any greasiness or crunchy feeling often associated with gels of this type.

  • Adds nourishment and helps prevent dryness/flaking
  • Gives bounce and stretch to curls, coils, and waves
  • Promotes hair health and moisturizing benefits
  • Not ideal for low porosity hair
  • May cause flaking if paired with moisturizers

As I Am Smoothing Gel

As I Am Smoothing Gel,View On Amazon
As I Am Smoothing Gel is like a gentle hug for curls, providing lasting hold and frizz control without the stiffness or crunchiness. This 8 oz gel contains key ingredients such as Aloe, Aloe Vera, Sugar Beet Root, Vegetable Glycerin, and Wheat Protein that help smooth hair while adding moisture to dry strands.

Its light aloe scent makes it an enjoyable styling product to use on all hair types.

The gel rinses out easily, so you don’t have to worry about any residue or buildup after washing your hair. It’s perfect for taming edges on curly hairstyles without leaving them feeling crunchy or stiff afterwards.

  • Provides hold without dryness or crunch
  • Rinses out easily
  • Can be used to smooth edges on curly styles
  • Lids not sealed well, leading to potential spills
  • Some complaints about packaging

Mixed Chicks Styling Gel

Mixed Chicks Styling Gel -View On Amazon
Mixed Chicks Styling Gel provides superior hold with its amino acid and botanical extract-infused formula, adding body, shine, and depth that bring out your hair’s natural beauty. It thickens thin hair without clumps while creating soft, touchable curls free of crunchiness or greasiness.

You can count on this gel to lock in moisture for long-lasting styles, so you don’t have to worry about frizz or flyaways ruining the look.

With a pleasant smell that is subtle yet masculine enough for men as well as women, it will keep your style looking great all day long!

  • Adds texture & volume
  • Locks in moisture & prevents frizz/flyaways
  • Infuses nourishing ingredients into strands
  • Stronger smell may not suit everyone’s taste
  • Not moisturizing itself – needs additional product(s)
  • Light hold with a soft finish, so better suited to curly hair

Kinky Curly Curl Custard

Kinky Curly Curl Custard Gel,View On Amazon
You’ll love the Kinky Curly Curl Custard for its frizz-reducing powers and lasting hold – it’s a curl definer that won’t dry out or damage your hair! This alcohol-free formula contains carefully selected ingredients to enhance your natural curls, condition them, and lock in moisture.

You can trust this vegan product to provide long-lasting definition without drying out or feeling greasy. It adds body, shine, and depth while giving you soft, touchable curls with a natural finish. Plus, there are no funny smells here! The perfect choice for those seeking an anti-frizz solution without sacrificing their style.

  • Defines curls & reduces frizz
  • Provides long-lasting hold & shine
  • Enhances natural curl pattern
  • May not work well on resistant hair types
  • Scent may be undesirable to some users
  • Pricey compared to other products

What to Look for in Gel for Natural Hair

What to Look for in Gel for Natural Hair
When choosing a gel for natural hair, look for alcohol-free options that consider your own unique hair type and porosity. Lightweight gels work best on low porosity strands, while heavier products may be better suited to thick tresses.

Selecting the right formula can help you achieve defined curls without frizz or flaking.


Choose a gel without alcohol to keep your natural hair moisturized and healthy. Look for products with nourishing ingredients like olive oil, aloe vera, shea butter, and wheat protein that will help reduce shrinkage while providing defined curls.

For strong hold without dryness, opt for gels with light formulas. Mane Choice or EcoStyler are good options that also come in natural scents. Edge control gels tame flyaways and baby hairs around the hairline while giving lasting definition.

Aunt Jackie’s provides great bounce to curls too! Avoid alcohol-based products as they can dry out natural hair.

Consider Your Hair Type and Porosity

Considering your hair type and porosity can help you pick a gel that will provide the hold, definition, and moisture your curls need. For high-porosity hair, look for gels with moisturizing ingredients like oils or butters to combat dryness.

Low-porosity locks may require lighter gels without alcohols, which can strip away natural oils.

With so many options available, it’s easy to find a product tailored specifically to fit your strands’ needs.

What is Styling Gel Used For?

What is Styling Gel Used For
Styling gel can help you achieve a polished look and protect your edges, ensuring that your styles last longer. This versatile product comes in many forms to meet different preferences and hair types. With the right styling gel, you can create beautiful looks with ease while protecting delicate strands from damage or breakage.

Polished Look

To achieve a polished look with your natural hair, try using gels with strong hold that provide long-lasting effects and won’t flake off after a few hours. With the right gel, you can create defined curls without sacrificing moisture – over 80% of women reported being satisfied! Consider your hair type when selecting the best gel to use.

For maximum hold styler for slicked back looks or updos, choose ones with firm grip and high humidity resistance. If you’re going for more touchable holds, then opt for formulas designed specifically to define natural curl patterns while providing frizz control.

Edge control products are great at taming flyaways around edges, which helps give an overall neat appearance no matter what styling technique used on curls or coils.

Protects Edges

Edge control gels provide the perfect balance of hold and hydration to protect your edges from flyaways and baby hairs. A good edge control gel should have strong hold without stiffness or crunchiness, as well as nourishing ingredients like shea butter and oils for added moisture.

These products are designed to tame unruly edges while providing long-lasting, strong moisturizing hold that won’t flake off throughout the day.

They offer styling versatility with frizz control capabilities for sleek updos or defined curls, making them a great choice when you need reliable protection against pesky baby hairs! Try out different formulas until you find one that works best for your hair texture.

The right edge control gel will give you a polished look without sacrificing comfortability.

Styles Last Longer

You’ll be amazed at how long your styles last when you use a styling gel that provides strong, lasting hold without stiffness or crunchiness. Opt for gels with marshmallow and agave extracts to help maintain hold while hydrating hair.

Use Eco Styler Gel for 4C hair and Ouidad Advanced Climate Control Heat & Humidity Gel as part of the Max Hydration Method to protect from heat damage while preventing flaking.

For bouncy curls with no shrinkage, try Aunt Jackie’s Flaxseed Curling Gel. It helps strengthen strands too!

Achieve an intense sleek style with Design Essential Sleek Edge Control or nourish waves using NaturAll Flaxseed Curl Jelly.

Taliah Waajid Lock It Up Tight is perfect for twisting locs – just remember protection before applying heat!

Get maximum definition and hydration from Mixed Chicks Styling Gel, plus sweet-smelling curls thanks to Kinky-Curly Custard!


With a variety of gels to choose from, you can find the perfect one for your natural hair that’ll provide all-day hold and nourishment. Formulas range from light to medium holds, with curly styles lasting longer than wash-and-go curls.

Natural ingredients like flaxseed and olive oil hydrate while providing flexible hold without stiffness or crunchiness. Selecting the right product depends on your curl definition needs as well as desired texture and level of shine – it’s an individual choice! Experimentation is key when finding what works best for you; try different formulas until you get results that suit your hair type perfectly.

Why Use an Edge Control Gel for 4C Hair?

Why Use an Edge Control Gel for 4C Hair
Finding the right edge control gel for 4C hair can be challenging, but it is essential to keep your curls looking their best. Edge control gels provide a strong and long-lasting hold while nourishing and moisturizing locks with natural ingredients such as shea butter or oils.

They help define curl patterns without flaking or leaving residue, giving you a light texture that lasts all day.

Hold Strength and Longevity

For 4C hair, you’ll want an edge control gel that offers strong and long-lasting hold without leaving your hair feeling stiff or crunchy. Look for a lightweight formula with moisturizing ingredients like shea butter and oils to protect against drying out.

A good product should provide curl definition, frizz protection, and softness to the touch, plus firm yet comfortable long-lasting hold for all-day styling power.

Choose from top brands such as Eco Styler Olive Oil Gel, Taliah Waajid Lock It Up Tight, or Naturall Flaxseed Curl Gel – all of which are great options when it comes to finding the best holding gel for natural hair!

For maximum performance, use heat protection when straightening. Wash out in 2-3 days before it flakes off.

Moisture and Nourishment

When choosing an edge control gel for 4C hair, opt for one with moisturizing ingredients like shea butter and oils to nourish the hair while providing a strong hold. Look for gels that will reduce frizz, maintain texture, and provide a natural scent.

Frizz reduction is key, so make sure the product has great moisturizing tips such as aloe vera or jojoba oil. Nourishing benefits from ingredients like avocado oil can help soften strands while creating a long-lasting style with a strong hold.

For maximum effect, pair your choice of products with other nourishing items such as leave-in conditioners or deep conditioning treatments.

Finally, look out for gels that don’t dry out your curls, leaving them crunchy. Instead, choose gels that offer hydration throughout wear time without compromising on frizz reduction or shine.


You’ll need a gel with texture-enhancing properties to define 4C curls and provide long-lasting hold without stiffness or crunchiness. A lighter gel is best for low porosity hair, while heavier gels suit thick, coily locks.

Natural oils like olive oil and shea butter are great nourishing ingredients that help define curl patterns without flaking or buildup. Look for a product designed specifically for loc styles with strong enough hold to tame edges yet soft enough not to cause stiffness.

No Flaking or Residue

Avoid gels with drying alcohols, and look for those that provide a long-lasting hold without leaving any residue or flaking – like glue to your strands. Shea butter, coconut oil, and avocado oil are all ingredients to look for when searching for edge control gels.

These ingredients give an advanced level of frizz protection while defining curls and providing lightweight moisture. Look for protein-infused formulas that will also help strengthen hair over time while still maintaining a natural scent-free look.


Look for edge control gels with a strong hold and long-lasting ingredients like shea butter and oils that won’t dry out or damage hair. Consider a gel’s alcohol-free formula to avoid drying out your curls. Select one suited for your particular hair type.

Lightweight options work best on low porosity strands, while heavier gels suit thick locks.

Organic ingredients are key. Look for conditioning and moisturizing elements such as olive oil, aloe vera, and flaxseed extract to keep curls hydrated without creating a greasy effect in the end result of styling.

Finally, opt for non-greasy formulas that will give you maximum definition without stickiness or crunchiness!

When Should You Apply Styling Gel?

When Should You Apply Styling Gel
Discover the perfect styling gel to define your curls, tame flyaways, and baby hairs around the hairline, while giving you long-lasting hold and brilliant shine. Consider best practices like avoiding build-up by washing out old product before applying new.

Alternatives such as Taliah Waajid’s Tight Hold Loc It Up Gel or Hicks Edge Control Gel provide strong hold without stiffness or crunchiness. When choosing a holding gel for natural hair, look for ingredients that condition and moisturize, such as oils and butters.

Keep in mind the pros and cons of different products. Aunt Jackie’s adds bounce plus elongation to curls without shrinkage. Mane Choice & EcoStyle nourish while providing excellent hold. Curls Blueberry Bliss adds volume and frizz control yet is free from sulfates and silicones.

No matter what product you choose, keep an eye on its effects. It should give defined bouncy locks with no frizzing yet still add shine!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How often should I use a styling gel?

Use styling gel as often as necessary to maintain your desired look. Experiment with different gels and find the one that works best for you. Keep in mind hair type, texture, thickness, and moisture needs when selecting a product; avoid drying alcohols for maximum hydration and shine.

Reapply every 2-3 days or after washing your hair to maintain hold without flaking or crunchiness.

Is it better to apply styling gel to wet or dry hair?

Applying styling gel to wet hair is like painting on a blank canvas – you’ll get the most out of your masterpiece! Wet strands allow for more definition and make it easier to comb through, while dry hair can be left crunchy.

Can styling gel damage my hair?

Styling gel can damage your hair if you do not use the right product for your hair type or apply it incorrectly. Use lightweight gels for low porosity and heavier gels for thick hair, avoid alcohol-based ones, and look out for nourishing ingredients like oils and butters.

Heat protection is essential when straightening; wash out after 2-3 days to prevent flaking.

Is it possible to use styling gel for straightening my hair?

Yes, styling gel can be used to straighten your hair. It provides hold and definition while protecting against heat damage. Choose a lightweight formula with nourishing ingredients like oils and butters for the best results.

Can styling gel be used on color-treated hair?

Yes, styling gel can be used on color-treated hair! Choose gels with nourishing ingredients like oils and butters to help protect your hair. Think of it as a coat of armor for your tresses – shielding them from damage while allowing you to express yourself through bold styles.


To sum it up, finding the best holding gel for natural hair is no easy task. With so many options on the market, it’s important to take into account your hair type, porosity, texture, and moisture needs.

From Aunt Jackie’s Flaxseed Curling Gel to Kinky Curly Curl Custard, the options are endless. Edge control gels are essential for 4C hair, providing hold and moisture without flaking or residue.

Whether you’re looking for a polished look or to protect your edges, it’s important to find the right gel for your hair type.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

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.