Generally the main ingredients in hair gel are (according to wikipedia) cationic polymers, that bind to the neagtive anions of hair keratin (bit of science for ya..), so that the hair can be moulded into shape. Hair gel often has non-curly friendly ingredients such as drying alcohols, mineral oil or petrolatum, polythene glycol etc.
So should you use hair gel? Well, it's up to you.
- It can make edges look neater/ more presentable.
- It can provide better hold for styles such as twist outs, braid out, two strand twists etc.
- It can give greater styling options and variety.
- Depending on what type you use, it can dry out your hair.
- Gels often don't mix well with other products, leaving a white goop, or flakes.
- Regular use of hair gel around your edges can lead to spots, and clogged pores.
Shop Bought Gels
I've used a couple of these.You can buy them in any normal black hair shop and don't have to go online or go to a health shop to get them...
1) Let's JAM Shining and Conditioning Gel
So this hasn't got airplay in years, mainly because it has mineral oil high up on the ingredient list, and secondly because as I recall, it didn't work too well on my hair, and my hair was a looser texture then than it is now (due to blowdrying etc).
- It is a lot less prone to flaking etc than other hair gels,but can be a little greasy.
- It doesn't seem to leave hair very hard.
- I quite like the smell..like sweets. Some people might find it a bit sickly sweet.
- Isn't water based. I know my cousin used this because water based gels would just make her hair frizz.
- Bad ingredients. Mineral oil, basically nothing natural.
- Will melt in fervent heat. Lol. Be prepared for a nice oily halo.
- Doesn't have great hold.
- Isn't water based. I personally like water based gels.
2)Elasta QP Feels Like Silk Design Gel
- Good ingredient list - no alcohols, no silicones, no petrolatum. Thumbs up.
- Good hold
- Non - greasy
- Made my hair a bit crunchy
- Not moisturising
- Has parabens (if you avoid parabens - I'm try to, but I'm not too stringent about it)
This is a gel to use when twisting, plaiting or locking the hair. I really love this stuff. It's cheap as well and you can get it from any black hair shop.
- Mostly natural ingredients.
- Reaaaaly moisturising
- I like the coconutty smell. (I have a thing for coconut)
- Black owned company (from what I last heard....yup, it's good to support black business, folks)
- Will leave shiny twists.
- Good with extensions as well.
- Holding power isn't as great as other gels.
- Could get a bit greasy if overused.
Peace, Love and Hair Grease folks! x