The best gels for 4c hair

My mission on this website is to show you that 4c hair is absolutely amazing. Especially because you can style it in so many different hairstyles.

However, depending on how thick your hair is, it takes a lot of different products to achieve a certain look. And one of these products we are putting into the spotlight today – gels. 

Every 4c hair girl knows that a good gel can change the game. No matter if you are trying to slick down your natural hair, tame your edges, or attempt the perfect wash-and-go curls.

Knowing which gel to use will save you a lot of headaches and arm aches (because those hairstyles will have your arms up for a while).

To save you from testing out a bunch of gels before finding the perfect one, I put together a list of the best gels for 4c hair

But before we get into the gels themselves, I want to answer a very common question that I used to ask myself too.

Is gel bad for 4c hair? 

When you start your 4c hair journey it is important to assess what products are good for your hair. Because the truth is 4c hair can be high maintenance. And you don’t want to add to it by using a gel that might damage your hair. 

The good news is, hair gel by itself does not cause hair loss.

However, some of the chemicals that are found in the different 4c hair gels can cause scalp irritation and clog your hair follicles. The buildup, itching, and flaking that results from the use of hair gel can create an unhealthy scalp environment and lead to excessive irritation.

Therefore, it’s important to first thoroughly clean your hair after you tried a cute 4c hairstyle and choose the best gels for 4c hair without harming chemicals. Secondly, you want to protect your hair before applying hair gel by using the loc method.

best hair gel for 4c hair

What is the best gel for 4c hair?

Now the question remains what is the best gel for 4c hair? And as much as I would like to give you one simple answer, I have to be honest. I use different gels for different reasons and different 4c hairstyles.

That’s why I figured rather than suggesting only one best gel for natural 4c hair, I will list the different gels I use for each type of hairstyle.  

Best Styling Gel for 4c Hair

Let’s start with the styling category. Whenever I attempt the different natural hairstyles on my short 4c hair, I can’t get around using a styling gel, and definitely have some favorites. 

Eco Styler Gel

  • alcohol-free
  • Maximum hold
  • Moisturizes hair and scalp and tames frizz
  • No flake
  • Ant-itch
  • UV protection 
The Eco Styler Gel

I know I am not supposed to be biased in this product recommendation, but I just had to mention my favorite gel as number one. The Eco Styler Gel is without a doubt a very common gel used by women with natural 4c hair.

It has great hold, is super light, and will keep your edges laid for the Gods for up to 2/3 days. And thanks to its lightweight consistency your hair stays soft and does not look stiff.

You can use Eco Styler Gel to slick down your natural hair bun, style your hair in a protective style such as twists, or define your natural curls. However, if you have very thick 4c hair, then you might not achieve the same look and should choose one of the thicker gels. 

Edge Booster Gel

  • Strong hold 
  • High Shine 
  • Alcohol-free
  • Variety of Scents

The Style Factor Edge Booster Gel gel has a very strong hold compared to the eco styler gel. Its texture will leave your hair a lot stiffer and hard once it dries up. Because of the consistency, it is the perfect gel for thick natural 4c hair and can be used as a great curl-defining product in your wash-and-go routine.

While the gel itself is quite expensive compared to its competitors you don’t have to use a lot of product to achieve the desired look due to the density. In addition, the Style Factor Edge Booster Gel comes in different scents which will make your hair smell amazing. 

Shine N’ Jam Gel

  • Extra firm hold 
  • Alcohol-free
  • Non-flaking 
  • Natural honey extract

The Shine N’ Jam Gel is a great gel to use for protective hairstyles such as box braids, locs, or twists. It lays down your frizz and helps seal in your hair when braided. 

Even though it is not marketed as edge control, the consistency of this product makes it the best gel for natural hair edges. The gel offers extra hold and because of its thick texture it also guarantees hold in humid temperatures.

Thanks to the natural honey extract it helps strengthen your hair while simultaneously providing moisture to your hair. 

best gel for natural hair 4c

Best gel to slick down 4c hair

The second category is my favorite one because I love myself a sleek bun on natural hair. And in order to achieve that look, you need a strong hold gel for 4c hair. Especially if you have very coarse 4c hair. 

Gorilla Snot Gel

  • Protein-free
  • Superior hold
  • Non-flaking
  • Peach and Pineapple scent

First things first. The Gorilla Snot Gel includes alcohol, which for a lot of Naturalistas is a red flag for good reason. While a perfectly laid bun is the holy grail of 4c hairstyles, you don’t want to compromise the health of your hair for it. 

Thankfully, the alcohol in this product is a fatty alcohol which is derived from natural sources and therefore oilier. While we can’t guarantee that everybody will react to it favorably, the Gorilla Snot Gel is definitely worth a try.

It is a high-hold gel, which means that it is perfect for dense natural 4c hair. However, in contrast to other gels, I would not suggest using it for any type of long-term styling, such as wash-and-go’s or twist outs. When applying keep in mind that the gel is very thick and sticky and therefore difficult to remove.

strong hold gel for 4c hair

Got2be Styling Gel

  • No Joke Hold
  • Water-resistant
  • Non-flaking

As the name says this gel is a styling gel, that has a very strong hold. From my experience, this gel is the best gel to slick down 4c hair and rock a beautiful bun or high puff. It also is a great gel to use to mold your baby hairs and edges. 

But because of its strong hold and stiffness, you do not want to apply it to achieve protective styles or long-term 4c hairstyles. A lot of black women also use the Got2be Styling Gel to apply wigs and lace frontals because it works perfectly as glue.  

best gels for 4c hair

Best gel for 4c hair wash and go

Now, that we talked about several strong hold gels that will help you slick down short hair and lay your edges perfectly, it’s time to look into gels that can be considered curl-defining products for 4c hair. And for that, you do not want to miss out on the Mielle Organics Honey & Ginger Styling Gel

Mielle Organics Honey & Ginger Styling Gel

  • Long-lasting hold
  • 70 percent certified organic ingredients
  • Enhanced curl definition
  • Moisture Retaining Formula

This gel gives you an enhanced curl definition and will retain moisture in your hair. Even though this gel is very light and almost feels like a conditioner, it gives you the hold and firmness of Eco Styler gel.

A wash-and-go with this product will easily last you 3-4 days and have your curls looking shiny, moisturized, and defined. 

Mane Choice Ancient Egyptian Twisting Gel

  • Great definition
  • Stimulates hair growth
  • Includes fatty acids omega 3, 6 and 9

If you are worried that using gel will damage your natural hair, then the Mane Choice Ancient Egyptian Twisting Gel is a great option. This product is not just a regular gel but also helps to promote natural growth and retention. Because of the biotin and Vitamin A, B, C, and D it is good for hair that is prone to breakage and split ends. 

It is a great gel for 4c hair wash and go’s because it keeps your hair soft while delivering a fantastic definition. You can use the Mane Choice Ancient Egyptian Twisting Gel for braid outs, twist outs, and other protective styles as well. 

Best curl-defining gel for 4c hair

If you made it this far into the blog post, then it’s clear you are looking for a gel that will make your curls pop. While you can use the following two gels for wash and go’s as well, I thought it makes more sense to mention them here as you can use both gels for twist-outs or braid-outs.

Curls Blueberry Bliss on 4c hair

  • A lot of definition 
  • Organic blueberry extract
  • Raw Castor Oil
  • Accelerates growth 
  • Rich in Vitamin C and B complex

The first thing I find interesting about this gel is that it doesn’t feel or smell like the other gels. Instead, it feels like jelly smells like blueberry, and is blue. 

The Curls Blueberry Bliss Gel forms beautiful soft curls that come out structured and shiny. It will leave your hair frizz-free, but soft and perfectly parted for defined curls. On top of that, it keeps my curls hydrated and helps to detangle them. 

Because of its consistency, it’s also a great gel to use for prepping braids and twist-outs.

curls blueberry bliss 4c hair

Xtreme Wetline gel on 4c hair

  • Includes Aloe Vera
  • Alcohol-free
  • Water-based
  • Strong definition

The last gel I have used for everything. From wash and go’s to slick ponytails. But it is also a great curl-defining gel. 

The Xtreme welting gel is a great gel for girls that love to wear their curls out. It doesn’t get too hard and doesn’t dry out your hair like some of the previously mentioned gels. 

In addition, it’s water-based which always helps, and doesn’t flake at all. And thanks to the aloe vera included in the gel, it keeps your curls hydrated. The only con that I have with this gel is that it shrinks my hair a lot. Which is annoying if you have short 4c hair. 

best gel to slick down 4c hair

Did you find what you were looking for? As mentioned above my favorite is still the eco-styler gel. It’s the perfect gel that can be used for so many different 4c hairstyles. 

Either way, I hope this blog post helped you find the best gel for your 4c hair. Regardless if you are looking for the best styling gel for 4c hair, the best gel to slick down 4c hair, or even the best gel for 4c hair wash and go’s. 

Just make sure that you moisturize your hair well before applying any of the gels mentioned to avoid breakage and shedding. 

the best gels for 4c hair

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