How To Style Curly Hair With Gel Ultimate Guide 2022

If you have curly hair, you are probably searching for the best products to either get rid of or define your curls. If your frizz is really bothering you and you’ve decided to try gel on your curls, but you aren’t sure about how to style curly hair with gel? Well, say no more because we are here to tell you everything about it.

When learning to style curly hair, gels get a bad rep most of the time, but if you are here is because you know there’s a right and wrong way to style curly hair with gel. There are mainly two things you need to be clear on; first, you absolutely need to follow a certain technique, steps, and the right process. Second, you need the right curly hair gel.

If by now, cheap products haven’t got you anywhere and you have been left with dry, frizzy hair, then you aren’t buying the products your hair needs and deserves. By right products, we mean the right ingredients designed especially for your hair type, the right chemically-free formula that will help you define your precious curl pattern instead of drying your hair.

Once you combine the right steps with the right tools, you’ll have everything you need to learn how to style curly hair with gel. If you still feel a little lost and have no idea what to look for or where then stick around as we’ll share with you bellow all the details in this step-by-step guide.

Why style curly hair with gel

  • The gel helps define curls
  • It provides hold to curls so that they don’t fall flat through the day
  • By using gel, you ensure that your curls retain moisture better
  • And therefore, you have less frizzy hair
  • It helps curls to clump together

Curly Hair Gel Vs. Cream

Creams are best for hydration and elongation. Gels are best for definition and hold. Want the benefits of both? Apply a cream formula first as a primer, then layer on a gel to lock in moisture and define your curls.

When styling curly hair with gel is not only about the gel, or competition between gel and cream, you actually need both if you want to get the perfectly defined curls you’re searching for.

The gel forms a casing around your hair that allows it to dry into fine ringlets, and yes, it feels crispy. But the idea is to break that cast around the hair and soften it to release the natural curls underneath.

How To Choose The Best Curly Hair Gel

When searching for the best curly hair gel, you really want to watch out for the right ingredients; you’ve probably heard about hair gel’s bap rep, but the right product can do a ton of good for your styling goals.

First, you need to consider your hair characteristics. Think of your curl type and the porosity and elasticity of your hair.

If you really want your curly hair gel to be alcohol-free, keep your eyes peeled for those that offer a high hold without the stickiness.

Another big thing when considering buying a specific gel to style curly hair is that you want one that doesn’t flake or leave any white residue or marks as it cracks out on your hair.

If your hair gel leaves white flakes on your hair, this can be caused because of your reaction between the gel and the conditioner or styling cream that you use underneath.

To test if this will happen, mix a little bit of the styling cream or conditioner that you would like to style your hair with and the gel together in the palm of your hand; if it starts to bead up or roll into a ball, you know it’s going to flake in your hairs so you don’t use them together.

How To Style Curly Hair With Gel Steps

Step 1: Define your curls

Use a curl cream first to shape and define your curls. Do this straight out of the shower, so your hair is soaking wet. A leave-in conditioner is also a good choice.

We recommend using OGX Argan Oil of Morocco Curling Perfection Curl-Defining Cream. It is paraben-free, sulfated-surfactants-free, and perfect for all hair types.

Now you can achieve smooth and defined curly hair with this argan oil of morocco curl-defining cream, ideal for all curl types; this anti-frizz cream tames flyaways and moisturizes to create soft and shiny spirals.

This precious blend with rich cold-pressed Moroccan argan oil helps moisturize and revive spirals. Plus, the citrus-fresh, floral-green, and woody scent of this smoothing cream leaves hair smelling irresistibly good.

How To Style Curly Hair With Gel: Woman in the shower applying cream for curls before styling curly hair with gel
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Step 2: Remove excess water

Grab a t-shirt, scrunch the curls, and squeeze them to remove any excess water.

How To Style Curly Hair With Gel: Woman in the shower removing excess water before curly hair gel
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Step 3: Apply the gel

Apply a dollop of gel around a 20-cent piece (that’s around a quarter size depending on how much hair you have). Rub the gel between your palms and then apply it to the ends of your hair, scrunching lightly up into your curls.

For this step, you can try All About Curls High & Soft Definition Gel. It is free of SLS/SLES sulfates, silicones, parabens, drying alcohols, artificial dyes, and mineral oils.

Regardless of texture, style, or curl pattern, this curly hair gel delivers nourished, defined, and de-frizzed curls for all curl patterns, 2a wavy to 4c coily.

Embrace extraordinary strands with professional hair care ideal for all curl types; for curls that crave strong hold without the crunch. Delivers essential moisture for ultra-defined, de-frizzed curls.

This styling gel delivers a strong hold while locking in moisture and boosting shine. Leaves curls firmly defined without all the frizz for all curl types that crave strong hold without the crunch.

How to use All About Curls High & Soft Definition Gel:

  • Apply generously to palms
  • Work through wet hair, scrunching upward
  • Squeeze water out, air dry, or diffuse
How To Style Curly Hair With Gel: Woman showing how to style curly hair with gel
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Step 4: Allow your hair to dry

You can speed this up using a diffuser or letting your hair air dry naturally then once your hair is completely dry.

We recommend the INFINITIPRO BY CONAIR, which includes an innovative diffuser to enhance curls and waves minus the frizz.

Featuring ceramic technology for fast drying and less damage and Ionic technology for up to 75 percent less frizz, plus three heat and 2-speed settings and a true cold shot button to lock in curls, waves, and style.

This dryer features an innovative diffuser with a multi-chamber design to bring out your best frizz-free curls and waves, plus a concentrator for smooth styles.

How To Style Curly Hair With Gel: Woman using a diffuser to style curly hair
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Step 5: Now you can scrunch out the crunch

Use your hand to scrunch out your curls, and you’ll feel the gel soften and release, allowing the gel cast to break and the softer hair to come through.

How To Style Curly Hair With Gel: Woman using her hands to scrunch out her curls to style curly hair gel
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How To Style Curly Hair With Gel Additional Tips

  • Smooth the gel down your hair with open palms. You won’t rake your fingers down your hair when applying the gel, using more of an open palm hand to smooth the gel over the surface of your curls.
  • To release the gel cast, you can also use your diffuser on medium heat and low speed to warm up your hair. This has the effect of softening the gel to really release your curls from that crispy coating. Another tip is to use a soft t-shirt to scrunch your hair and release the gel.
  • It is also helpful to flip your hair over, put your fingers right through to the scalp, and give the hair a little shake. This lifts and releases the hair at the root giving your hair a little bit more volume and releasing that gel cast right through.

Common Questions About Styling Curly Hair With Gel

Can I put gel on dry curly hair?

Since the purpose of gel is to lock in moisture and your curl pattern, the best way to apply it is on soaking-wet hair.

Is how to style curly hair with gel easy?

The process is fairly simple; you need to be patient, follow the steps and use the best products for curly hair you can find. In addition, gel ensures that your curls retain moisture better and are, therefore, better hydrated.

Is gel damaging to curly hair?

Hair gel is a must for many looking to control their naturally curly hair but to have the control. One reason it is often advised to stay away from gels is because of the alcohol content in them, which can be drying, and dry hair is more prone to breakage.

What is a gel cast?

Once your hair is completely dry, your curls probably feel hard or crunchy. That is called a gel cast: a hard layer around your hair. This layer helps to hold the curls in their natural formation until the hair dries and prevents frizz.

How do you break the gel cast?

The gel cast is an important step that can provide soft but defined curls. But to get those curls, you have to break the cast first.

Break the cast by lightly scrunching upward. Shake your hair loose a bit at the roots, and voila. There are your soft, bouncy, fully moisturized, frizz-free curls.

Do you put gel on wet or dry hair?

When gelling your hair, it’s always good to start with it wet or damp. Right out of the shower is always a good time to style your hair. It is always the most malleable and cooperative at that time. Gel also holds better and longer when applied to damp hair.

Can I put gel on dry hair?

Applying gel to dry hair creates a lacquered effect. You can also add a shine serum over the top and sides to calm flyaways and create a mirror-like shine.

Why does gel make my hair frizzy?

This is usually caused by applying products that are heavy in proteins or denatured alcohols to dry hair. Gels and mousse can also cause wet frizz.

The best way to prevent flash drying when using protein-rich products, gels, or mousse is to start with a protein-free leave-in conditioner and curl cream.

What curly hair gel should I use for type 4 hair?

Gels made for protective styles, wash and go, and twist/braid-outs are usually high in moisture and soft or medium in the hold, making them excellent choices for drier, type 4 hair.

What curly hair gel should I use for 2c-3c hair type?

Gels made for waves and curls are usually super-high in the hold and lower in moisture, giving curls a stiffer, stronger, more defined look.

How To Style Curly Hair With Gel Tutorial Video

Following the exact steps shown in the video below, you’ll learn all the tips and tricks to how to style curly hair with gel, like the pros, so you can finally make your defined, soft, and bouncy curly hair dreams come true.

Products Mentioned In This Article

  1. OGX Argan Oil of Morocco Curling Perfection Curl-Defining Cream
  2. All About Curls High & Soft Definition Gel
  3. INFINITIPRO BY CONAIR

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Author
After graduating from an apprenticeship program in 2010, color specialist Doris began working behind the chair. She started with color corrections and then moved on to creative color. Currently, she works with blonding and grey-blending clients. Sarah views hair color as both an art form and a science and is passionate about salon education, which is the main reason why she started this blog. She has the Invisible Bead Extension Certification and the Bellami Master Certification for extensions.
Photo of author
Author
After graduating from an apprenticeship program in 2010, color specialist Doris began working behind the chair. She started with color corrections and then moved on to creative color. Currently, she works with blonding and grey-blending clients. Sarah views hair color as both an art form and a science and is passionate about salon education, which is the main reason why she started this blog. She has the Invisible Bead Extension Certification and the Bellami Master Certification for extensions.