2c help! Styling gels vs creams?

I'm brand new here, please help!

I've got long 2c hair, med porosity, high density, med width. I'm wondering if I would get better results (in terms of hold, anti-frizz, curl definition) styling with a curl cream or a gel. My hair is quite thick & long... I want to avoid crunchy curls as much as possible!

Also, any recommendations for leave-in conditioners to pair with the gel or cream are appreciated!

Right now I shampoo and condition with Marc Anthony's sulfate free oil of Morocco poo & co. I'm using a moisturizer, Moroccan argan oil on my ends, sometimes anti-frizz cream for curly hair (by Pantene) & curl defining spray gel also by Pantene. I still get tons of frizz, not enough hold, not enough definition. I wanna use less products and get the results I want
So you're not silicone free but you are sulfate free? Are you following the CG method or interested? I'm just trying to figure out your angle.

Since you have thick hair, I think gels will work well. I don't know how silicones figure into the mix, but most of the gels that are popular here are "srunchable." That means that they dry hard, but then as the final step to your routine, you would SOTC (scrunch out the crunch) which breaks the gel cast and leaves your hair defined but soft. Check out this recent thread. You'll see the difference between how heads of hair look before and after scrunching the gel cast.

Be brave post your before SOTC and after pics
If you're looking for a hard hold gel, I know one that is very popular is BRHG (Biosilk Rock Hard Gelee). There are tons of product reviews on many gels on the "Products" tab on this site.

Product Search Results

Remember that styling technique and product will only work so well. Your hair has to be healthy underneath in order to get the best result.
Welcome!

You tend to get more hold from gel, crunchiness is a good sign, you just wait until your hair is fully dry then 'scrunch out the crunch'. For frizz control and definition your conditioner step is arguably the most important, ideally use a leave in conditioner. Many wash out conditioners can successfully be used as a leave in, you don't necessarily need an extra product. The more leave in conditioner you use the more gel you can apply over the top without crunchiness.

Your Moroccan oil is basically just silicones, that is more likely to give greasy or stringy hair than definition or frizz control plus you are already using silicones in your conditioner and your curl cream.

What moisturiser are you using? Nothing else in your routine seems to contain much in the way of penetrating, hydrating or nourishing ingredients.
2a-2c, medium texture, porous/ colour treated. Three years CG. Past bra strap length heading for waist.

CO-wash: Inecto coconut/ Elvive Volume Collagen
Treatments: Komaza Care Matani, coconut/ sweet almond/ fractionated coconut oils, Hairveda Sitrinillah
Leave in: Fructis Sleek & Shine (old), Gliss Ultimate Volume, various Elvive
Styler: Umberto Giannini jelly, Au Naturale styling gelee
Flour sack towel, pixie diffuse or air dry.
Experimenting with: benign neglect
I have coarse, dense hair and I use a hard-hold gel (BRHG). It dries crunchy, then after I scrunch out the crunch it's soft and feels wonderful. I'm not sure it's the best product for me since my hair typically curls more as it dries - it may be keeping my hair from doing that. I'm still experimenting. But don't be afraid of a gel like this due to the crunchiness.
Salt & pepper wavy mix 2B/2C
Low to normal porosity, coarse, kinky, normal elasticity
Current favorites:
Low poo: Yes To Cukes Color Protection (the no sulfate one)
Conditioners: Renpure MPHIP, CJ Smoothing Lotion, AB LI, CJ Curl Rehab, CJ Argan/Olive, Darcy's Pumpkin
Style: FSG, BRHG
Pre-poo/DT: Conditioner with honey & coconut oil

iHerb discount code: PNQ285
Pomegranate - so you don't use any stylers, just KCKT as a leave-in? I may want to try something along those lines if my BRHG experiment doesn't work the way I want. I may stick with BRHG through the summer (it'll last me that long). I'm trying to not just keep buying things to try
Salt & pepper wavy mix 2B/2C
Low to normal porosity, coarse, kinky, normal elasticity
Current favorites:
Low poo: Yes To Cukes Color Protection (the no sulfate one)
Conditioners: Renpure MPHIP, CJ Smoothing Lotion, AB LI, CJ Curl Rehab, CJ Argan/Olive, Darcy's Pumpkin
Style: FSG, BRHG
Pre-poo/DT: Conditioner with honey & coconut oil

iHerb discount code: PNQ285
My Hair Loves Conditioner-Only Styling

There's a whole thread on conditioner-only styling! It works for some people, myself included.

I have to say though that the reason I'm only using KCKT right now, or leaving it completely naked is because I lost a good amount of density recently (you may have seen my saga around lol). Because of this I'm letting my hair be more fluffy and undefined as the volume makes it look thicker. Now when it's clumped it just makes me really sad.

Before I used to use the Alba Botanica leave-in as conditioner only styling, which made my waves pretty well defined. They weren't super springy, more lazy but it was really low maintenance and my hair was soft which was a good trade-off.
Yeah, I read your thread I hope you're getting some improvement.

I'll read the thread you linked. I'll have to experiment with some lighter hold gels as well, or maybe with using more water in application. This is all still so new to me!

Thanks:!
Salt & pepper wavy mix 2B/2C
Low to normal porosity, coarse, kinky, normal elasticity
Current favorites:
Low poo: Yes To Cukes Color Protection (the no sulfate one)
Conditioners: Renpure MPHIP, CJ Smoothing Lotion, AB LI, CJ Curl Rehab, CJ Argan/Olive, Darcy's Pumpkin
Style: FSG, BRHG
Pre-poo/DT: Conditioner with honey & coconut oil

iHerb discount code: PNQ285
Welcome!

You tend to get more hold from gel, crunchiness is a good sign, you just wait until your hair is fully dry then 'scrunch out the crunch'. For frizz control and definition your conditioner step is arguably the most important, ideally use a leave in conditioner. Many wash out conditioners can successfully be used as a leave in, you don't necessarily need an extra product. The more leave in conditioner you use the more gel you can apply over the top without crunchiness.

Your Moroccan oil is basically just silicones, that is more likely to give greasy or stringy hair than definition or frizz control plus you are already using silicones in your conditioner and your curl cream.

What moisturiser are you using? Nothing else in your routine seems to contain much in the way of penetrating, hydrating or nourishing ingredients.
Originally Posted by Firefox7275
The mousturizer is Pantene's Daily Oil Cream for Relaxed & Natural Hair (I'm half Jamaican, half Filipino)
So you're not silicone free but you are sulfate free? Are you following the CG method or interested? I'm just trying to figure out your angle.

Since you have thick hair, I think gels will work well. I don't know how silicones figure into the mix, but most of the gels that are popular here are "srunchable." That means that they dry hard, but then as the final step to your routine, you would SOTC (scrunch out the crunch) which breaks the gel cast and leaves your hair defined but soft. Check out this recent thread. You'll see the difference between how heads of hair look before and after scrunching the gel cast.

Be brave post your before SOTC and after pics
Originally Posted by PomegranateCurl
I went sulfate free when I heard that it contributes to frizziness. I have some interest in following the CG method, or maybe just partly... I'm still trying to learn more about its pros and cons. Are the silicones in the conditioner good or bad? Would it be best to use simply a leave-in conditioner and the gel after the shampoo and condition?

Last edited by melmurr; 06-07-2013 at 02:28 PM. Reason: omitted something
Have you tried it? How do you like it?
The mousturizer is Pantene's Daily Oil Cream for Relaxed & Natural Hair (I'm half Jamaican, half Filipino)
Originally Posted by melmurr
Another product containing silicones, plus mineral oil and petrolatum that can also build up. Again there really is little to nothing in your routine that penetrates or 'nourishes' hair. The Sleek & Shine leave in also contains silicones.

Maybe try a different approach, perhaps choosing products based on natural oils and humectants? Clearly layering silicones on top of silicones on top of even more silicones is not giving you the hair your desire. Silicones don't damage hair but they don't do anything to make it healthier or more hydrated either.

When was the last time you clarified? Or chelated if you have hard water or go swimming?
2a-2c, medium texture, porous/ colour treated. Three years CG. Past bra strap length heading for waist.

CO-wash: Inecto coconut/ Elvive Volume Collagen
Treatments: Komaza Care Matani, coconut/ sweet almond/ fractionated coconut oils, Hairveda Sitrinillah
Leave in: Fructis Sleek & Shine (old), Gliss Ultimate Volume, various Elvive
Styler: Umberto Giannini jelly, Au Naturale styling gelee
Flour sack towel, pixie diffuse or air dry.
Experimenting with: benign neglect
The mousturizer is Pantene's Daily Oil Cream for Relaxed & Natural Hair (I'm half Jamaican, half Filipino)
Originally Posted by melmurr
Another product containing silicones, plus mineral oil and petrolatum that can also build up. Again there really is little to nothing in your routine that penetrates or 'nourishes' hair. The Sleek & Shine leave in also contains silicones.

Maybe try a different approach, perhaps choosing products based on natural oils and humectants? Clearly layering silicones on top of silicones on top of even more silicones is not giving you the hair your desire. Silicones don't damage hair but they don't do anything to make it healthier or more hydrated either.

When was the last time you clarified? Or chelated if you have hard water or go swimming?
Originally Posted by Firefox7275
I don't think I've ever clarified/chelated... I'm fairly new, I'm trying to figure out the right combination of products for my hair. What is chelating?
Based on some of the feedback it sounds like I should go for a cone-free, fate-free leave-in conditioner, and then style with a good gel. Any thoughts/suggestions?
I think I might go for this:
Kinky-Curly Knot Today Leave-in/Detangler - NaturallyCurly.com

It's Kinky-Curly's Knot Today Leave-in. Sounds like just what I need.

Any recommendations for a gel or cream to go with it?
So you're not silicone free but you are sulfate free? Are you following the CG method or interested? I'm just trying to figure out your angle.

Since you have thick hair, I think gels will work well. I don't know how silicones figure into the mix, but most of the gels that are popular here are "srunchable." That means that they dry hard, but then as the final step to your routine, you would SOTC (scrunch out the crunch) which breaks the gel cast and leaves your hair defined but soft. Check out this recent thread. You'll see the difference between how heads of hair look before and after scrunching the gel cast.

Be brave post your before SOTC and after pics
Originally Posted by PomegranateCurl
I went sulfate free when I heard that it contributes to frizziness. I have some interest in following the CG method, or maybe just partly... I'm still trying to learn more about its pros and cons. Are the silicones in the conditioner good or bad? Would it be best to use simply a leave-in conditioner and the gel after the shampoo and condition?
Originally Posted by melmurr
It's not necessarily that silicones are bad for the hair, but they are not water soluble and hence need a sulfate shampoo or a coco-betaine low-poo to wash out or else they'll build up. The poos needed to break down silicones are usually very drying... so the logic goes that if you want to be gentler to your hair and use a gentle low-poo (like SheaMoisture) or go no-poo you'll need to cut out silicones as well.

Silicones don't nourish the hair, they just coat it. If there's tons of silicones in your rinse-out conditioner, they may be sticking to your hair and preventing moisture from getting in. Proper moisture and protein balance will be what makes your hair realize its full potential. There's tons of good products out there without silicones... it's worth a try. If you don't like CG you can always go back to cones (but you'll need to experiment for a little while before giving up).
I don't think I've ever clarified/chelated... I'm fairly new, I'm trying to figure out the right combination of products for my hair. What is chelating?
Based on some of the feedback it sounds like I should go for a cone-free, fate-free leave-in conditioner, and then style with a good gel. Any thoughts/suggestions?
Originally Posted by melmurr
Clarifying is using a harsh surfactant shampoo to remove all build up on your hair from products - silicones, polyquats, minerals oils, natural butters. Chelating is removing build up of mineral salts from hard water, pool chlorine etc, the products contains ingredients like EDTA, citric acid, acetic acid, vitamin C. Some shampoos will clarify and chelate all in one, but chelators can also come in sachet form and be non foaming.


I think I might go for this:
Kinky-Curly Knot Today Leave-in/Detangler - NaturallyCurly.com

It's Kinky-Curly's Knot Today Leave-in. Sounds like just what I need.

Any recommendations for a gel or cream to go with it?
Originally Posted by melmurr
KCKT is a detangler it's not a true conditioner because it doesn't contain any cationic surfactants, fatty alcohols nor oils. If you are accustomed to a lot of silicones (artificial oils) you would be best replacing these with a conditioner that contains natural penetrating oils like coconut or avocado. Choose your products based on your hair properties, local climate and the ingredients not the advertising claims.
2a-2c, medium texture, porous/ colour treated. Three years CG. Past bra strap length heading for waist.

CO-wash: Inecto coconut/ Elvive Volume Collagen
Treatments: Komaza Care Matani, coconut/ sweet almond/ fractionated coconut oils, Hairveda Sitrinillah
Leave in: Fructis Sleek & Shine (old), Gliss Ultimate Volume, various Elvive
Styler: Umberto Giannini jelly, Au Naturale styling gelee
Flour sack towel, pixie diffuse or air dry.
Experimenting with: benign neglect
You can try a curling pudding. For me, it works like a gel without the drying affects of alcohol. I use curling pudding in place of gel. If you want to use gel, try organic root stimulator twist & lock gel.
You can try a curling pudding. For me, it works like a gel without the drying affects of alcohol. I use curling pudding in place of gel. If you want to use gel, try organic root stimulator twist & lock gel.
Originally Posted by curlicious13
Hmm... I'll look into it. what's your hair type?
I don't think I've ever clarified/chelated... I'm fairly new, I'm trying to figure out the right combination of products for my hair. What is chelating?
Based on some of the feedback it sounds like I should go for a cone-free, fate-free leave-in conditioner, and then style with a good gel. Any thoughts/suggestions?
Originally Posted by melmurr
Clarifying is using a harsh surfactant shampoo to remove all build up on your hair from products - silicones, polyquats, minerals oils, natural butters. Chelating is removing build up of mineral salts from hard water, pool chlorine etc, the products contains ingredients like EDTA, citric acid, acetic acid, vitamin C. Some shampoos will clarify and chelate all in one, but chelators can also come in sachet form and be non foaming.


I think I might go for this:
Kinky-Curly Knot Today Leave-in/Detangler - NaturallyCurly.com

It's Kinky-Curly's Knot Today Leave-in. Sounds like just what I need.

Any recommendations for a gel or cream to go with it?
Originally Posted by melmurr
KCKT is a detangler it's not a true conditioner because it doesn't contain any cationic surfactants, fatty alcohols nor oils. If you are accustomed to a lot of silicones (artificial oils) you would be best replacing these with a conditioner that contains natural penetrating oils like coconut or avocado. Choose your products based on your hair properties, local climate and the ingredients not the advertising claims.
Originally Posted by Firefox7275
Thanks for all your feedback! My shampoo is (Marc Anthony Oil of Morocco) are silicone and sulfate free, however the conditioner (also the MA Oil of Morocco) is sulfate-free, but not silicone-free. Do you think it would be better to use my conditioner as a leave-in as well, or to get a leave-in that contains those natural penetrating oils?

I'm considering one of these:
SheaMoisture Organic Raw Shea Butter Restorative Conditioning Milk - NaturallyCurly.com
SheaMoisture Organic Coconut Hibiscus Curl and Style Milk - NaturallyCurly.com *especially this one

What are your thoughts? Do you think it will be necessary to seal with an oil afterwards, or are the oils in these products enough?

And for my styler, I'm considering going for...

Kinky-Curly Curling Custard - NaturallyCurly.com Any thoughts?

I'm really unsure about the leave-in! But I feel like the curling custard is what I need for hold and anti-frizz.


I'm in the Toronto, Canada area. My hair tends to be very frizzy all year-round, but I suppose that's because of the products I use.

Last edited by melmurr; 06-07-2013 at 10:58 PM.
A lot of people have said that KCCC doesn't play well with other leave-ins, so it might be worthwhile to get the KCKT if you're going for the KCCC.

Since you've figured out your properties, look around the boards for curlies with similar properties and see what they're using! Since you're med porosity, med width, I suspect that your hair will need some protein but you'll have to play around and find out just how much.

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