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Top 10 Best Locking Gels for Dreads: Strong Hold & Frizz Control (2024)

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best locking gel for dreadsWhen searching for the best locking gel for dreads, you’ll want a product that offers strong hold without causing buildup. Top contenders like Jamaican Mango Lime Locking Gel and Lion Locs Dreadlock Moisturizer provide excellent frizz control while nourishing your locs.

A quality locking gel can be a game-changer, keeping your dreads tight, shiny, and well-defined. Stick around to discover expert tips that’ll help you achieve dreadlock perfection.

Key Takeaways

  • Locking gels are the secret weapon for dreadlock perfection, taming frizz and keeping those twists tight as a drum. It’s all about finding the Goldilocks formula – not too heavy, not too light, but just right for your unique mane.
  • When it comes to nourishing your locs, you can’t go wrong with natural ingredients like shea butter, aloe vera, and coconut oil. They’ll quench your strands’ thirst, leaving them soft, shiny, and downright irresistible.
  • A little dab’ll do you, fam! Overloading your locs with product is a surefire way to end up with a crunchy, buildup-ridden mess. Lighten up on the gel, and let those luscious locks breathe.
  • Retwisting your dreads is like a dance – you’ve got to find the right rhythm and technique. Experts recommend focusing the gel on new growth, distributing it evenly, and avoiding that dreaded over-application. Nail the steps, and your locs will be dancing with joy!

Top 10 Best Locking Gels for Dreads

When searching for the best locking gel for your dreads, you’ll want a product that provides a Strong Hold while preventing frizz and moisturizing your locs. Our top 10 list includes trusted brands like Jamaican Mango Lime Locking Gel, Lion Locs Dreadlock Moisturizer, and Dark and Lovely Softsheen Gel, each offering unique benefits to keep your dreads looking their best.

1. Jamaican Mango Lime Locking Gel

Jamaican Mango and Lime LockingView On Amazon
Jamaican Mango Lime Locking Gel is a top choice for maintaining your Dreadlocks.

It’s made in the USA and comes in a generous 16 oz container.

You’ll love the clean, pleasant scent and the strong hold it provides without any flaking or buildup.

While it’s dairy-free, keep in mind it does contain some artificial colors.

Overall, this gel is great for reducing frizz and keeping your twists looking tight.

Give it a try and see the difference it makes!

Best For: Maintaining dreadlocks and reducing frizz.

  • Strong hold without flaking or buildup
  • Clean, pleasant scent
  • Larger container than other locking gels
  • Mixed reviews on moisturizing and long-lasting
  • Contains artificial colors (Acid red 33 and Acid yellow 23)
  • Not dairy-free

2. Lion Locs Dreadlock Moisturizer

Lion Locs Hair Locking DreadsView On Amazon
Lion Locs Dreadlock Moisturizer is a must-have for healthy, hydrated locs.

This lightweight, residue-free formula penetrates deep to nourish from the inside out, sealing in moisture. You’ll appreciate its ability to soften new growth, prevent dryness, and add a natural sheen.

Plus, the tropical mango scent will transport you to a beach paradise with every use. Trust Lion Locs to keep your locs looking lush and fabulous.

Best For: Those seeking to moisturize and soften new loc growth.

  • Penetrates deep to nourish and seal in moisture
  • Prevents dryness and adds a natural sheen
  • Tropical mango scent for a pleasant experience
  • May be too wet for starter locs
  • Chewing gum-like scent upon opening

3. Dark and Lovely Softsheen Gel

SoftSheen-Carson LetView On Amazon
Dark and Lovely’s Softsheen Gel is a budget-friendly option that delivers impressive hold and frizz control.

While it may lack some of the nourishing properties of other locking gels, its maximum strength formula will keep your locs defined and manageable.

Just be mindful when applying – a little goes a long way with this powerful gel.

Trust your crown to Dark and Lovely for an affordable, no-nonsense styling solution.

Best For: Those seeking a budget-friendly styling gel with maximum hold and frizz control.

  • Affordable
  • Provides maximum hold
  • Controls frizz and flyaways
  • May not provide a strong enough hold for some hair types
  • Can leave a residue in some cases
  • Lacks some nourishing properties of other locking gels

4. ORS Lock Twist Gel

ORS Lock and Twist GelView On Amazon
ORS Lock Twist Gel delivers a firm, all-day hold to keep your locs defined and frizz-free. This gel formula contains natural ingredients like aloe vera to nourish and moisturize your locs without flaking or buildup.

A little goes a long way – use a small amount and work it through new growth for ultimate control.

Trusted by lockers for over 20 years, ORS gels help you achieve that fresh retwist look that lasts.

Best For: Those looking for a firm hold for their locs that lasts all day.

  • Contains natural ingredients like aloe vera to nourish and moisturize locs
  • Doesn’t flake or build up
  • Trusted by lockers for over 20 years
  • Not enough hold for twists
  • Not greasy or tacky
  • Helps tighten up new growth

5. Bronner Brothers Locking Gel

Bronner Brothers Tropical Roots FirmView On Amazon
Bronner Brothers Locking Gel is a holy grail for dreadheads looking for serious hold. This no-frills formula packs a punch, taming frizz and keeping your locs neat.

A little goes a long way with this gel, so use a light hand. While it’s not the most moisturizing option, it delivers on hold without flaking or buildup.

Embrace the freedom of controlled, defined dreadlocks with Bronner Brothers.

Best For: Dreadheads looking for a serious hold to tame frizz and keep their locs neat.

  • Extra firm hold
  • Lightweight and non-greasy
  • A little goes a long way
  • Pricey for a 6oz jar
  • Not the most moisturizing option
  • Can flake if too much is used

6. Cantu Shea Butter Twist Lock Gel

Cantu Moisturizing Twist & LockView On Amazon
Cantu’s Shea Butter Twist Lock Gel could be your new go-to!

This product is formulated with nourishing shea butter to moisturize and define your locs while providing a firm, frizz-fighting hold.

It’s sulfate-free and made without harsh ingredients, perfect for extending your twist-out styles.

A little goes a long way, so apply sparingly to avoid that dreaded crunchy feeling.

With regular use, you’ll notice enhanced manageability and a vibrant shine that’ll have heads turning.

Best For: Type 3 Curls, Type 4 coils, and Locs

  • Moisturizes and defines locs
  • Provides a firm, frizz-fighting hold
  • Sulfate-free and made without harsh ingredients
  • Can cause a crunchy feeling if applied excessively
  • May not be suitable for all hair types
  • Availability may be limited in some areas

7. African Pride Castor Miracle Gel

African Pride Black Castor MiracleView On Amazon
You’ll love African Pride’s Castor Miracle Gel – it’s a game-changer for locking your dreadlocks.

Infused with nourishing black castor and coconut oils, it smoothes and shines while promoting hair growth and hydration.

It’s free from sulfates and parabens, ensuring your locs get the tender loving care they deserve.

With its irresistible coconut scent, this gel is a treat for your senses too.

Best For: Those looking for a braid, loc, or twist gel that promotes hair growth and hydration.

  • Nourishes scalp and promotes hair growth with black castor oil
  • Deeply conditions, hydrates and helps repair with coconut oil
  • Sulfate and paraben free

8. Style Factor Pomade

Style Factor Lock Booster TwistView On Amazon
Style Factor Pomade is a top contender for keeping your locs tamed and frizz-free. This pomade packs a punch with its firm hold, leaving your dreads defined and sleek.

Don’t worry about that dreaded crunch either – Style Factor keeps your locs soft and supple. A little goes a long way, so you can maintain your mane’s moisture without weighing it down.

Embrace the freedom of frizz-free days with this locking gel staple.

Best For: Those seeking a firm hold and frizz-free locs

  • Firm hold keeps locs defined and sleek
  • Keeps locs soft and supple
  • Lightweight formula doesn’t weigh hair down
  • May not be suitable for all hair types
  • Can be difficult to apply
  • May leave a residue

9. Dreads Extra Hold Braiding Gel

For ultimate hold, try Dreads Extra Hold Braiding Gel. Its maximum strength formula contains natural ingredients that tame flyaways and unruly new growth without flaking or buildup.

You’ll appreciate its fresh botanical scent too. Apply sparingly for a firm yet pliable hold that lasts all day.

This gel is a go-to choice for locking professionals, ensuring your locs stay perfectly defined and frizz-free.

Best For: For those with new dreadlocks who want to tame fly-away hair and improve elasticity.

  • Residue-free and water-soluble, leaving no buildup.
  • Contains coconut water and aloe vera to hydrate and nourish dreadlocks.
  • Improves hair elasticity and promotes repair from elemental or chemical damage.
  • May leave white residue if used excessively.
  • No pump is included with the tightening gel.
  • May not be suitable for all hair types.

10. Taliah Waajid Lock It Up

Taliah Waajid Black Earth ProductsView On Amazon
You’ll want to check out Taliah Waajid’s Lock It Up gel.

It’s a fan favorite for retwisting, with an alcohol-free formula that defines locs without drying them out.

No product buildup or flakes – just clean twists that hold their shape.

While it may not work for every texture, many swear by its ability to provide lasting hold without compromising hair health.

As one of the top locking gels, it’s worth giving a try on your dreadlock journey.

Best For: Those looking for an alcohol-free gel that defines locs without drying them out.

  • No product buildup or flakes
  • Twists hold tight and neat for a long time
  • Defines natural curl patterns
  • Some users report that it does not work well for all hair textures
  • It may not be the best choice for those looking for a wax-like consistency for hold

Techniques for Using Locking Gel to Maintain Dreadlocks

Techniques for Using Locking Gel to Maintain Dreadlocks
When retwisting your dreadlocks, apply a small amount of locking gel to the new growth and work it through the length of your locs. Avoid over-applying the gel, as this can lead to buildup, dryness, and an undesirable texture.

Applying Locking Gel During Retwisting Stage

When applying loc gel during the retwisting stage, focus on using it effectively for good loc maintenance:

  • Use a lightweight, residue-free gel for easy washing out (Source).
  • Apply the product directly to each section of hair.
  • Guarantee even distribution for uniform loc formation.
  • Avoid over-application to prevent buildup.
  • Prioritize scalp care to maintain cleanliness and health (Source).

Using a Small Amount of Locking Gel

Apply locking gel in small amounts – a little goes a long way. Too much product can weigh down locs and cause buildup. For thin or fine hair, use just a dime-sized amount. For thick, coarser textures, use nickel to quarter-sized portions. Experiment to find the right gel consistency and application method for your unique hair type.

Avoiding Over-Applying Locking Gel

While using a small amount of gel is essential, it’s equally important not to exceed it. Your hair’s length and thickness determine the ideal gel quantity and application frequency.

Consider lightweight formulas with natural ingredients to maintain a strong hold without burdening your hair.

Benefits of Using Locking Gel for Dreadlocks

Benefits of Using Locking Gel for Dreadlocks
Using locking gel for dreads offers key benefits like strong hold, frizz control, and moisture retention, which help maintain the shape and health of your locs. You’ll also notice enhanced shine and better-defined locs, contributing to a polished, well-groomed appearance that showcases the beauty of your dreadlocks.

Strong Hold

When you’re on your loc journey, strong hold is essential. The right locking gel keeps your dreads intact, preventing unraveling and frizz. It’s not just about hold strength, though—quality gels enhance shine and define your locs, giving them that polished look. By choosing products that balance moisture and hold, you’ll maintain healthy hair while keeping your style secure.

Preventing Buildup

While strong hold is critical, preventing buildup is equally important for healthy dreadlocks. Choosing the right ingredients and methods can keep your locs free from residue. Here are three key strategies:

  1. Opt for natural ingredients: Shea butter and peppermint gel provide hold without clogging pores.
  2. Consider hair porosity: Match products to your hair’s absorption level.
  3. Use clarifying treatments: Regular cleansing removes accumulated buildup.

Moisturizing Hair

Using locking gels with natural ingredients can nourish your locs, keeping them moisturized without harsh chemicals. Different hair types have unique needs—from fine strands to thick coils. When retwisting locs, opt for gels that provide hydration and nourishment. Here’s a quick guide:

Hair Type Gel Feature Benefits Avoid
Fine Lightweight Prevents weighing down Heavy butters
Thick Strong hold Tames frizz Drying alcohols
4C Nourishing oils Deep moisture Mineral oil
Starter Residue-free Clean, defined locs Waxes, petrolatum

Enhancing Shine

You’ll love how locking gels can transform your dreads from dull to dazzling. With the right gel ingredients, you’ll enhance shine, giving your locs a healthy, vibrant look.

Whether you prefer unscented options or invigorating fragrances, there’s a gel to suit your scent preferences.

Plus, these products offer styling flexibility, allowing you to experiment with different application methods while keeping your dreads glossy and manageable.

Defining Locs

Beyond enhancing shine, locking gels play an essential role in defining locs, which is critical for their overall appearance and health. When you use the right gel, you’ll notice:

  1. Reduced frizz, keeping your locs neat and tidy
  2. Better shape retention, especially important for different hair types and loc stages
  3. Easier maintenance, as well-defined locs are less prone to tangling and buildup

With defined locs, you’ll enjoy a polished look while minimizing the need for frequent touch-ups.

Expert Tips for Maximizing the Effectiveness of Locking Gels

Expert Tips for Maximizing the Effectiveness of Locking Gels
To make the most of your locking gel, you’ll need to tailor your product selection to your hair’s unique needs and texture. Experts recommend experimenting with different gels and application techniques to find what works best for your locs, while always being mindful of ingredients and potential buildup.

Customizing Your Product Selection

Now that you understand the advantages of locking gels, it’s essential to tailor your product selection. Your dreadlocks are unique, and so should be your hair care routine.

Consider factors like hair type, natural oils, and scalp health when selecting a gel. By tailoring products to your individual needs, you’ll maximize the effectiveness of locking gels and keep your dreads looking their best.

Understanding Individual Hair Needs

Your hair’s unique characteristics play a pivotal role in product selection. When choosing locking gels, consider your hair type, texture, and natural oil production.

Fine hair may require lightweight gels, while thick hair benefits from stronger hold formulas. Pay attention to how your scalp responds to different ingredients, and don’t be afraid to experiment.

Tips From Industry Experts

To optimize locking gel efficacy, industry experts offer key insights. They underscore the importance of:

  • Reviewing product reviews and ingredients to identify gels that support hair health
  • Consulting with stylists for personalized recommendations suited to your loc journey
  • Experimenting with various product combinations to achieve the ideal balance of hold and moisture

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the best Dreadlock gel?

You’ll want a gel that provides strong hold without buildup. Consider aloe-based options like Fruit of the Earth’s 100% Aloe Vera Gel. It’s lightweight, residue-free, and won’t dry out your locs, making retwisting easier.

What is the best product to lock dreads?

Imagine your dreadlocks as a garden; the right product nurtures growth. You’ll want a loc gel that provides strong hold without buildup. Consider aloe-based gels or natural butters, tailoring your choice to your hair’s unique needs.

How do you use locking gel to maintain dreadlocks?

For maintained dreadlocks, apply locking gel evenly from roots to ends after washing, then gently twist sections while the gel dries. Reapply gel periodically to manage new growth.

What is the best Dreadlock spray?

Powerfully potent, preserving paradise: Locsanity’s Rosewater Peppermint Daily Moisturizing Spray seals strands serenely, securing supple sustenance while warding off wiry woes.

How often should I reapply locking gel?

You should reapply locking gel every 2-4 weeks, or as needed based on your hair’s texture and dryness level. Regular reapplication helps maintain definition and prevent unraveling.

Can locking gel cause hair breakage?

Yes, locking gel can potentially cause hair breakage if used excessively or incorrectly. You’ll want to avoid overusing gel and focus on moisturizing regularly to prevent dryness and brittleness.

Is locking gel suitable for all dreadlock stages?

You’ll need different locking gels for various dreadlock stages. Starter locs require lightweight, residue-free gels, while mature locs benefit from stronger hold and moisturizing ingredients. Listen to your hair’s needs and adjust accordingly.

Are there alternatives to commercial locking gels?

In the world of natural hair care, homemade locking gels provide an earthy alternative to commercial products. Like medieval alchemists concocting potions, you can blend beneficial ingredients, tailoring nourishing elixirs to your locs’ unique needs.

How do I remove buildup from locking gel?

To remove buildup from locking gels, try using clarifying shampoos or apple cider vinegar rinses. Gently massage the scalp and let the solution sit for a few minutes before rinsing thoroughly. Repeat as needed until the buildup is gone.


Mastering the quest for the best locking gel for dreadlocks can be a game-changer, transforming your locs into shiny, frizz-free masterpieces.

By understanding your hair’s needs and experimenting with the top products, you’ll discover the secret to strong, defined dreadlocks without sacrificing nourishment.

Armed with expert techniques and a keen eye for quality ingredients, the road to dreadlock perfection awaits – one twist at a time.

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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.