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5 Defining Gels for Natural Hair to Get You Through This Summer Humidity

• Jul 7, 2017

If you have natural hair like mine it’s greatly affected by the weather. In winter, I have to spend more time focusing on moisture in the harsh cold, and in summer I have to work to keep my fro from poofing out midday. And it’s not that I’m bothered by the lack of definition, but my hair poofing out a) causes tangles and b) doesn’t allow me to get as many days out of my wash and go, and I hate waiting for my hair to dry on styling days. The less I need to refresh my wash and go, the better.

I know that Ecostyler is still the king of hold when it comes to gel, but there are additional options that work awesome for natural hair. And bonus, none of these gels have glycerin so they won’t draw moisture to your hair and ruin your style.

Uncle Funky’s Daughter Curly MagicI’m so excited that I can pick this gel up in Target now, because it has been a fave for years. Now admittedly, it is a bit sticky and it annoys me when my hair is wet on my shoulders, but its performance is top notch. It’s a great hybrid of moisture, hold, and definition, and I can get at least four days of loose hair with it. (Black-owned brand)

Camille Rose Naturals Curl Maker: This gel is kind of similar to Uncle Funky’s Daughter, but it has a little less hold, which makes it awesome if you’re the type of person who does not like first day crunchy hair or gel that weighs your hair down. It also works fabulously on twists and braids. It is also available at Target. (Black-owned brand)

Aussie Instant Freeze Scultping Hair GelAussie Freeze is one of my cheapy-but-goodie gels that I don’t get too much because each tube is only 7oz (I will eat that product up pretty fast, lol) but is a great option, especially if you find yourself on vacation without a gel. It’s available pretty much everywhere. It reminds me a bit of Kinky Curly Curling Custard but not as sticky. However, this one is not as moisturizing as the previous two, so make sure you use a good leave-in and moisturize every other day or so. But the hold is nice and it doesn’t give you helmet head.

Hairizon You Go, Curl! Enhancing GelI might be a bit biased because Hairizon is in the town of my alma mater, but this gel is a sleeper hit! It’s a wee bit watery, so I didn’t think it would be able to hold up, but it definitely does the job. The looser texture of the gel also makes it ideal for twists because it’s not going to gunk them up or or make them hard. But make sure you don’t apply too much — you’re going to want to because it’s thinner, but don’t overdo it or you might get flakes. (Black-owned brand)

Cantu Moisturizing Twist & Lock GelThis is a newcomer that I am currently testing out, and so far, I’m pleased! I usually don’t rock with Cantu like that because of some questionable ingredients, but I thought the list for this gel was pretty darn good, especially for a $5 gel. I used it alone (no leave-in) w/ pomade on my ends because it’s supposed to be moisturizing, and it’s giving me a nice, medium hold and my hair isn’t dry at all and is not flaking (which has been a previous issue for me with Cantu products). I plan on testing it a couple more times with a leave-in and I also will monitor how my hair holds up as the days pass.

Having these gels in my arsenal certainly makes it easier for me to wear my hair out during summer rather than staying in buns or pigtails. Wash and gos are my main style and it gets frustrating when your natural hair isn’t cooperating with the weather. And even if you don’t do many wash and gos, gels help hold other styles so you can maintain them for longer as well.

Do you switch up your products during summer? What are your summer staples?

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12 Comments on "5 Defining Gels for Natural Hair to Get You Through This Summer Humidity"

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I use the same thing maybe a little less and stick to the L.OC method because my hair is so dry.


What ingredients are scary in cantu? I always wanted to love cantu, but have really mixed experiences.


Yea I love cantu products. That’s what I used in the beginning of my natural hair journey. (I’ve since become a product junkie so I use a lot of stuff) I wonder what bad about it?


I’m about a quarter through my first bottle of Uncle Funky’s and I find it has less hold than Camille Rose, not more. I’m thankful to have discovered both since ounce for ounce they’re more affordable than KCCC but so far I’m liking Camille Rose more. Out of curiosity, what leave-in(s) do you use under your gel? I alternate between KCKT and SM low-po.


Cantu Moisturizing Twist & Lock Gel is my favorite!! It smooth so well, and keep my hair soft. I love it!


Can anyone recommend a good product for keeping twist-outs defined in humidity? These products seem like they’re more for the wash and go.


Great article thank you!
The first two products are interesting specially because of the clean ingredients which explain the price.
I’m using the cantu one in my LOC routine as cream moisturizer. Maybe I’m wrong ?
I just did my big chop so I’m a newbie.


I have been using Giovanni LA Natural. Works great for holding but dont use to much cause the hold is super strong and it will make your hair crunchy. I use a leave in with it.


I’ve tried so many gels on my 4c natural hair journey, but UNCLE FUNKY ‘S reigns supreme. I get good flexible hold, shine, no flakes, and it works without a leave-in. Seeking the perfect WNG for short to awkward length 4c coils? Look no further. Ps, try their butter with the curly magic for bomb twist outs, coils and T&Cs!!!

Under His Glory

I agree it is GOAT. I use Curly Magic with grapeseed oil underneath. My hair will literally stay soft ‚defined, and moisturized all week. All I have to do is add a bit of oil each night.


Thanks for the great post, Elle. I love reading blog posts like this with great haircare products and recommendations. -Nicky


Uncle funkys daughter flaked so bad I didn’t even make it out my room lol I didn’t use a leave in with it just grapeseed oil smh. CR curl maker was amazing!! I only stopped using it because one ingredient in it breaks my arm out. I now use mane choice orchids gel or their 24k gel.

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