I suggested gel because most here find that it gives them some control and a bit more consistency in their results, although once it's scrunched out, hair doesn't look "styled" or anything - it just helps keep the look you achieve.
Originally Posted by WurlyLox
I'm not sure about "most", but yes, quite a few. Because quite a few instead use the conditioner-only method, so that the conditioner becomes a means of "shampooing" as well as a an actual conditioner PLUS a styler, which, if you can pull it off, is actually cheaper and less complicated than buying gels or otherwise layering products. It's another reason to try using conditioner only first ... Also, there are many who use some sort of oil instead of gel. "Need" for gels or other stylers often depends on how strong your curl pattern is to begin with, how high your porosity is and the relative humidity/dew point in your area.

Yes, there are non-alcohol based commercial gels but it seems to me many popularly used ones do have alcohol, often as one of the first ingredients. So I'd say just be mindful.
Originally Posted by Korkscrew
I found my hair only needs gel in the summer when it's humid to combat frizz. Otherwise I like to style with conditioner and oil.
A black woman's fro is worth a million words- adthomas