Around this time last year, I did an article on 6 Alternatives to Eco Styler Gel for Slicking and Defining Natural Hair. One thing that makes natural hair so much fun (for me as a product junkie at least), is that things can change — new products can be discovered, old products can be re-evaluated, and DIY mixes can be redone. In the year since the first edition of this article ran, I have had the absolute pleasure of testing out, reviewing, and experimenting with dozens of gels, curl creams, and definers.If you’re looking to replace Eco Styler in your regimen, check out these 11 picks!

1. Obia Curl Enhancing Custard

obia

Price: $15/12oz

The first time I used Obia Curl Enhancing Custard, I fell in love. Thick and jelly-like, it glides on easily and encourages the clumping of coils, kinks and curls. Obia Curl Enhancing Custard is free from mineral oil, petroleum, silicone, paraben, and alcohol. It’s based in olive, grapeseed, and argan oil. Although it is similar in consistency to Eco Styler, the Curl Enhancing Custard leaves hair shiny, defined, and soft — no crunch or dryness here! It works wonders on slicking edges too!

2. Wonder Curl Get Set Hair Jellywondercurl

Price: $15/8oz

Whenever I think of Wonder Curl Get Set Hair Jelly, “hold for days,” comes to mind. This aloe based defining jelly will hold your hair in place, whether it be for a wash and go, twist-out, or slicking back a bun. Get Set Hair Jelly is potent, so a little goes a long way! With this stuff, you’re guaranteed to reach *at least* day 4 hair! Get Set Hair Jelly is mineral oil, petroleum, silicone and paraben free.

3. Camille Rose Naturals Curl Makercamillerose

Price: $22/12oz

For ladies with finer hair, Camille Rose Naturals Curl Maker will provide hold and definition without making your tresses do a disappearing act. Based in glycerin and enriched with coconut oil and other extracts, Curl Maker provides a medium hold without drying the hair. It isn’t super thick, so it spreads easily through the hair to provide shine and definition. Silicone, mineral oil, petroleum, paraben, and drying alcohol free.

4. TIGI Catwalk Curls Rock Amplifiertigi

Price: $18/5.07oz

Curls Rock Amplifier is expensive. It has some pretty wack ingredients. I can’t quite see how the ingredients justify the price point. But I’ll say it until I’m blue in the face — it works. Well. So much so that it’s my #1 go-to wash and go product. I can’t afford to use it for every single wash and go, but when I do use it, my curls last for more than 5 days every time. So I guess in that way, it might justify itself price-wise. If you’re interested in ditching the gels and trying a cream with a strong hold, Curls Rock Amplifier is the one you want to check for. It adds shine, definition, and hold while gliding through and coating the hair easily. Free of drying alcohols, mineral oil, and petroleum.

5. tgin Twist and Define Creamtgin

Price: $15/12oz

Tgin Twist and Define Cream is a close second to the Curls Rock Amplifier. It provides shine, hold, definition, and smoothness. Based in coconut oil, this cream-based styler goes on smooth, has nice slip, and is versatile enough for twistouts, braidouts, and wash and go’s. Free of silicones, mineral oil, petroleum, parabens, and drying alcohols.

6. As I Am Smoothing Gelasiam

Price: $8/8oz

Another one of those thick in consistency gels, As I Am Smoothing Gel works great for slicking back styles. In addition to sleekness, it will provide a nice amount of hold and definition on wash and go styles. The aloe-based gel helps coils, kinks, and curls clump, and promotes shine while being free of drying alcohol, silicones, parabens, petroleum, and mineral oil.

7. Ouidad Climate Control Heat & Humidity Gelouidad

Price: $23/8.5oz

Although a little pricey, Ouidad’s most popular gel is just that for a reason. For ladies that will be battling humidity this spring and summer, a gel that keeps the moisture at bay without drying the hair out is a necessity. It has a serum-esque consistency, and goes on the hair really easily with tons of slip. It helps prevent frizz, add shine, and enhance definition. Free of mineral oil, petroleum, and drying alcohols.

8. Soultanicals Afro Gel-latosoultanicals

Price: $13/8oz

If you love Curl Blaze Hair Glaze by Soultanicals, get ready to kick that love up a notch. For ladies who aren’t particularly a fan of glycerin in styling products, this one is for you. The brand new Afro Gelato provides a touchable hold, shine, and smoothness while encouraging curl, kink, and coil clumping. Based in aloe and tons of other botanicals, Afro Gelato is formulated specifically for wash and go hair. Free of silicones, petroleum, parabens, drying alcohols, and mineral oil.

9. Kurlee Belle Jelle Coconut Styling Gelkurleebelle

Price: $14/8oz

This coconut oil based gel provides light, touchable hold and amazing shine and definition. It has a thick Eco Styler-like consistency, but with none of the crunch or dryness. It is perfect for clumping curls, kinks, and coils, and achieving bigger day-1 hair. It also works great to create sleek updos and tame edges. Free of silicones, parabens, mineral oil, petroleum, and drying alcohols.

10. Wet Line Xtreme Gelwetline

Price: $3/17.64oz

If some of the previously mentioned prices are a little too high, this might be right up your alley. Wet Line Xtreme Gel clearly gives you the most bang for your buck. You won’t get any fancy botanical extracts or promises of being all-natural, but you will get hold, sleekness, and definition. Free of silicones, parabens, petroleum, mineral oil, and drying alcohols.

11. Elasta QP Feels Like Silk Liquid GelPicture 115

Price: $5/12oz

Another cost-effective option is Elasta QP Feels Like Silk Liquid Gel. When used in moderation (i.e. don’t be heavy-handed), the smoothness, shine, and definition is right on target for ladies who hate the crunch feeling of some gels. Be warned though — this one contains a lot of glycerin. So if your hair can’t handle that, I suggest staying away. But for normal/low humidity areas, this is a perfect, inexpensive (albeit awkwardly blue colored) option for any number of styles that require hold or definiton. Fun fact: this was my definer of choice back in the day (before I really screwed up my hair, and before all these natural hair products were available). Free of drying alcohols, mineral oil, silicones, and petroleum.

Ladies, have you tried any of these gels? Which works best for you?

Christina Patrice

Born, raised, and living in Los Angeles, Christina is BGLH's resident transitioning expert and product junkie. In addition to loving all things hair, she is a fitness novice and advocate of wearing sandals year-round. For more information on transitioning, natural hair, and her own hair journey, visit maneobjective.com. Or, if you like pictures follow Christina on Instagram @maneobjective.

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39 Comments on "11 More Alternatives to Eco Styler Gel"

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Dara.

I have thick 3c/3a/4A hair and i recently did the big chop after transitioning for 9 months…anyways i was wondering if ORS will be good for my hair bc my hair dries easily and i’m 15 i dont really have patience to do twist outs lol thanks ^^

Tameka

Ladies, please help!
I’m in Italy at the moment and the only hair gel I could find is Luster’s Pink Design Control Gel. Has anyone used it before?

erika jackson

Hairveda whipped Gelly is the best.

Jella Belle

Wet Line Xtreme Gel is even better than my old fave Eco Styler Olive Oil gel. Wet Line is thinner and works SO well with a little water. Adding coconut oil eliminates the crunch that I often get with gels. Gives my two strand twistouts hold that lasts for at least 3 days (if I pineapple at night).

maidel

I’ve been using Obispo for a year now and won’t use any other gels. It’s cost effective, works in all seasons and never flakes or dries my hair out. It plays well with leave ins and butters. I just don’t see the point of trying anything else at this point.

maidel

Sorry auto correct said Obispo. I meant obia.

Angel Fears

Where do you buy the wetline extreme gel from????

Soraya

You can find it at Walmart or at Walmart.com

Elle @ EatStylePlay

Thanks for posting, while Eco is cheap, my hair isn’t feeling it all the time. I tried Dark and Lovely Curl definer gel or something like that, and I didn’t like it on bit, that sticky feeling in the summer is a no go.

Bri

The wet line xtreme gel has just become my holy grail gel! I absolutely love that it doesn’t leave me with flakes once it dries and it has allowed me to have my first successful wash and go.

blue

Obia’s curl enhancing smoothie, was everything for my 4c hair, smooth defined twistouts and an excellent gel for my edges. Hope I can get some when I go back home to Nigeria!

A.

Has anyone tried Organic Root Stimulator (ORS) lock and twist gel? It doesn’t give a ton of hold, but it’s heavenly for twists/twist-outs, not to mention that it isn’t nearly as drying as several of the other gels I’ve tried. It’s a lot creamier and pudding-like, and I know it contains coconut oil. That’s my pick!

Dananana

I just experimented with ORS lock and twist gel to do box braids without extensions. So far, I really like it! Normally, my hair has trouble with “non-natural” products, but my braids are still soft and moisturized with sealed ends 3 days later 🙂
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Ncebazakhe

Pity none of these are available in South Africa 🙁

Thetruthisoutthere
I was surprised that Miss Jessie’s Jelly Soft Curls didn’t make the list. That is my ‘go-to’ vacation gel. It leaves my hair dry like all gels do, but it never fails. I can style and leave the house, it looks like a jheri curl for a while, but dries quickly. I purchase a couple of tubes when Target has it on sale. Another fave is the Design Essentials Natural Honey CurlfForming Custard with Honey & Chamomile. It’s really slimy, but clumps my 4c coils well and I get 3-5 day hair on my tapered TWA. It’s cheaper at Sally… Read more »
Caray

I have never used gel on my hair, I dont like the flakes and hardness.
S/N I cant believe the prices of these gels!

Tabatha

I have Echo Gel and As I Am. I love As I Am. Good product. I also have Jessie’s Curls too, but it was only a sample.Its not too bad.

LBell
Now that I’m about to rejoin the ranks of the gainfully employed (YAY!!) I’m looking forward to trying some of these products I’ve been reading about for so long. For hold, definition and softness combined I’m still a great fan of KCCC but if there’s something cheaper that works as well I’d love to try it. I was in a beauty supply recently looking for Eco pink but ended up picking up a 99-cent jar of African Essence gel. I got the one with the least hold (pink) and mixed it with a little castor oil before applying to wet,… Read more »
Tangi

I’ve never seen some of these products. I wonder where some of these can be purchased.

Tabatha

If all else fails Amazon

Annnsow

Eco Styler Gel completely broke my edges, it was terrible.
I so want to try some new gel but I’m afraid to break my hair again.

Zelphia

It’s easier and cheaper to DIY gel with flaxseed.

AlllSmiless
I LOVE wetline gel! It saved my hair life. I use to use eco and I loved that one too but then the front of my hair started to feel strange. I came to the conclusion that I was getting too much protein from when I would slick my hair up into a puff. I’m not protein sensitive so I can still use eco styler but only if I’m using it all over and not just in one spot so it’s like I’m slick getting a protein treatment. I’ve switched to just using wet line though cause it works just… Read more »
Kayla

I can speak to the As I Am. It is very similar to eco and smells good. I just can’t get with the price! The wet line looks drugstore but I have never heard of or seen it.

rlw

I totally agree with u. As I Am is wonderful and the price sucks… but hey it keeps my edges down without the crisyness of some gels out there.

Melissa

that camille rose curl maker is my favourite stuff, the curl clumping is crazy. I might have to bring out my pj itching to come out and try out a few of these though.

Maria V.

My hair is EXTREMELY sensitive to protein but I want to define my cute little coils.

It seems like gels always have a TON of protein, can anybody suggest a protein-free defining product?

Thetruthisoutthere

The Wet Line Xtreme gel (line item #10) is protein free. I searched long and hard for a protein free gel, and when I found it – I was underwhelmed. I purchased the green one. I have found that when my hair feels too dry with gels, spritzing on a moisturizing spray containing vegetable glycerin helps to soften the crunch. I’ve been using Oyin’s Juices and Berries that I was gifted. HTH.

Bridget J

SuperWet Aloe Vera Gel is protein-free. As mentioned above by Reese, there are some youtubers who have done product reviews on it.

silkynaps

I like Kinky-Curly Spiral Spritz. It’s a lighter version of the Curling Custard. If I want a sleeker look, I apply generously, smooth my edges, and tie on a scarf. It has aloe vera…which can be drying for my hair…however if I really moisturize my hair before applying, I can use it for my wash and go and have soft hair all day with limited frizz.

KP

For all the DIYers, don’t forget about Flaxseed gel. It works really well in my hair, but like any gel, don’t use too much. No need to have stiff boards. hehe.

reese

Another great article and so needed some new gels to try. Thanks! I’ve had good luck with SuperWet Aloe Vera Gel also. I see you live in the L.A. area and I heard its pretty easy to get there. Elle and Kimmycurl have done video reviews on it. Enjoy.

tjbeans

Some of those prices hurt my heart… *silent product junkie tears*

Tabatha

There, there, (taps on back)It’ll be ok. I’m in the same boat.

Miss Mo

I think I’ll try Wonder Curl Get Set Hair Jelly. Heard good things about it.

iluvnappyedges

is there an article out there about nice, professional styles and still keep my edges nappy? Well not slick and sleek…btw wonderful post

shameia

I actually mixed my eco styler gel with olive oil and melted shea butter. It turned it into more of a custard than gel. Now I can define my coils while keeping my hair moisturized at the same time. Its a much cheaper alternative, not to mention it gives my hair a healthy shine.
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chandra

what is the recipe because I love your curls!!

saffron33

Cool I’m gonna try some of the products I don’t have. Thanks for the article

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