Strange. I always read labels before trying anything new, and I've seen very few gels with alcohols other than cetyl, cetearyl, stearyl alcohols, etc., which are beneficial, desirable fatty alcohols used as emolients in many products.
You definitely do want to avoid SD alcohol, denatured, isopropyl alchols and such - Maybe this would help differentiate good alcohols from bad as you try to figure out what you want to try.
Co-washing is great if you're one who it works for, but it doesn't for a lot of us - some need to at least occasionally low-poo. Certainly try just co-washing first - if less works for you, you're blessed. But even if it does, many still need the help of gels and/or other styling products to retain/maintain the nice curls they achieve - at least in some weather/dew points. Figuring all that out is what generally requires some experimentation.