The Curly Girl Edit: Hair Gel

I've written about my love of Intelligent Nutrients' Organic Styling Gel numerous times before, but after cringing over the price one repurchase too many, I decided it was time to hunt out a more budget friendly option. 

For a little background, my hair is curly, but not coarse or super thick.  Those people who talk about curly hair needing moisture and rich styling products?  So not me.  My hair does best with hydrating shampoos and conditioners, yes, but lighter leave-ins and styling products.  Anything too rich or creamy just leave my hair feeling heavy and weighed down.

Let's get to today's contenders:

Kinky Curly Spiral Spritz
I emptied my first bottle of this a couple months ago and the speed with which I rushed to replenish my supply is pretty telling.  The Spiral Spritz, which is a hybrid between a gel and a serum, feels very much like straight aloe vera gel, though it also contains lavender water, extracts of horsetail, nettle, and sage, glycerin, and Vitamin B-5.  In terms of hold, it's pretty light.  It feels soft on the hair and is not crunchy, but it still gives some control and definition.   It's by no means a strong hold and it can struggle in intense humidity, but overall I'm pretty happy with it.  It's not a scented product, but it does have a slight scent from the natural ingredients. 

Andalou Naturals Sunflower & Citrus Medium Hold Styling Gel
Like the Kinky Curly, Andalou's gel is aloe based, but that's where the similarities end.  Andalou has gotten a good amount of hype in the green blogging/vlogging world recently and I had pretty high expectations for this product.  Sadly, it did not deliver.  At all.  First off, the gel feels incredibly sticky as you apply it, which makes it a challenge to work through the hair.  Then, it dries super crunchy.  And, if that's not bad enough, after a few hours, it progresses from crunchy to just dirty.  As in, I don't want to touch my hair because it feels so disgustingly dirty and grotty.  It isn't greasy - if anything the opposite - like my hair has some kind of dusty/sooty coating.   About the only nice thing I can think of to say about this product is that it smells good - fresh and citrusy.

Innersense Quiet Calm Curl Control
I'm a lot more used to gels than curling creams, so the consistency of this one took a little getting used to.  It's a cream, but not overly heavy - basically the consistency of a light conditioner.  The scent is a mild citrus with a hint of something medicinal - it reminds me of chewable Vitamin C tablets.  The cream does a good job defining my curls and helps control frizz, but unfortunately, it was still a little heavy for my hair.

It does, however, work great as a rinse out product.  If you saw my June empties, it won't come as a surprise that I completed depleted my supply of conditioner and was left scrambling for something to use.  After remembering my first impressions of this guy (read: conditioner-like), I gave it a whirl in the shower.  Because of how light it is, I need to use more product than I would with a richer conditioner, but nonetheless, it works well.  The ingredients are actually pretty similar to a regular conditioner, so I guess it makes sense.

Silk Naturals Make Waves Curling Hair Gel
I wasn't really sure what to expect from this one, but clearly I'm a sucker for products that are specifically targeted to us curly girls.  Xantham gum gives a soft hold, while argan and avocado oils offer a touch of moisture.  On application, the gel feels a little tacky, which, after the disaster that was the Andalou, had me worrieded, but happily it dries fine, without any sticky feeling.  If you use a lot of product, it can leave your hair feeling a little crunchy, but nothing too bad.  It has no scent and really shines in humidity.  Great definition and frizz control, no matter how humid it is. 

It's happening: hair gel swatches
The Bottom Line
A bit of a mixed bag and if I'm completely honest, I'm not sure any of these quite live up to the awesomeness that is the Intelligent Nutrients gel.  I'm on my second bottle of Kinky Curly and I'm sticking with it for now, as while I probably like the Silk Naturals Curling Hair Gel slightly more, it's more expensive and less accessible.  It just isn't a big enough difference to justify the extra cost and effort of keeping it on hand.  I will, however, make a point to pick up a bottle next spring, since it works so well in humidity.  The Innersense will get used up - because who needs more so-so products just hanging around - but not repurchased.   And, I fear the Andalou is destined to gather dust until my next big declutter.

Have you used any of these?  What are your favorite styling products?

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  1. Great post! I barely use any styling gels because they tend to be too heavy for my hair, but I hadn't heard of any of these, so thank you! I quite like the sound of Kinky Curly, I might have to add it in my iherb shopping basket ;-) xx

    1. Thanks! My hair would be a frizzy mess if I didn't use some kind of styling product! The Kinky Curly is the lightest of the bunch, so you might really get on with it :)

  2. I'm so glad that I read this post! I was thinking about getting the Andalou Hair Gel but definitely don't want dirty/crunchy hair haha. I'm currently using the Kinky Curly Curling Custard which I really like. I also have the Spiral Spritz but since my hair is really thick it isn't quite enough hold. I like using it though on second day hair. I love reading your curly hair posts :)

    1. I'm glad it was helpful! I always look at the Curling Custard, but the packaging puts me off buying it every single time. Something about having to scoop it out of a jar just doesn't seem appealing, haha :) All the same, I think I'll have to try it one of these days!

  3. Like you, Ive had a lot of trouble finding natural and effective products to help define my curls. Right now, I am using a really easy DIY curl defining gel and it seems to work well! Plus, so cheap to make. Find the video tutorial on my website,

    I am glad I found your blog because I love reading reviews like this! :)

    1. Thanks! I'm definitely going to check out your DIY gel :)