I hate gel. Is there hope for me?

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I hate how it makes my hair take even longer to dry. I hate how I can't touch or move my hair at all until it is completely dry. I hate how it makes it look wet, even after it is dry. I hate having to scrunch out the crunch.

I hate it. I hate gel. All that work, all that time, for just a few hours of okay hair until I go to bed and the curl loosens and frizzes out and/or I have to put it up for work (I'm a waitress, putting my hair in a ponytail or bun is required), which pulls the curl out.

Sure, I could spray water in it, re-scrunch, re-diffuse, re-scrunch-out-the-crunch, but, again, after I've done all that work, spent all that time, I really don't want to have to spend any more effort touching it up at all. It just makes me angry to see my curls either very curly yet looking shellacked with gel, or dry yet less curly.

I also hate mousse. Same story as above, only possibly more shellacked, with the added bonus of dry and knotted.

This is why I spent so much energy prior to gel exploring creams. I wasn't yet on the Curly Girl method, so maybe I was getting the wrong creams, but they tended to weigh my hair down and make it look greasy, without any curl enhancment whatsoever.

So, not happy with gels, mousses OR creams.

I just want optimally curly, frizz-free, dry-looking (not gel-shallacked) hair without the ridiculous amounts of time I am spending bent over scrunching, diffusing, and scrunching some more to break up the gel-crispy.

What's a girl to do?

I have hair that ranges from 2a to 3a, depending on where you look on my head. Hair falling from the back of my head, the crown area, or just below that, is nearly straight, just a slight wave. The hair just below my ears and all around the front of my head is very curly. I'm a completely different-looking person, depending on whether you see me coming or going. Ha ha. This may also be a product placement issue. I have trouble getting the product everywhere, especially since the "rake the product through your hair" or "comb the product through your hair to evenly dispurse" techniques tend to pull any curl out of my hair.

I've even tried watering down my LaBella gel. Better, but still a struggle.

My hair likes KY (the liquid form, with aloe vera and vitamin E) - I've considered using it as my sole styling product.

Anybody have any advice?
Banned
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 46
Theres always pomades, mousse, waxes :P
In order to obtain useful information, it would be good to know your hair properties. Here's a thread to help. Once you determine your hair properties look for people with hair like yours and see what they use (in signature.) It's the best place to start.

Unfortunately, great hair takes some work. It's all your choice what you decide you want to achieve. For me, I want my hair to be the best it can be--so I put forth the effort and do what I need to do. For others, it's not as important-so they do as much as they choose to do.
3a (Corkicelli), highlighted, fine, low porosity
modified CG, since April '07
CG since 3/11/08

SE PA

HGs: Anything Sevi; Curly Kinks Satin Roots, Curlycue ReNew and Coil Jam; homemade FSG and okra gel; soap bars; UFD Curly Magic (now Hello Curly Curl Stimulater); Botanical Spirits Jellies, CJ Repair Me, Marie Dean Leave Ins and Curl Creams
kathymack,

Sorry I didn't include: My hair is fine, low porosity, low elasticity.

Was there meant to be a link to the thread you mentioned? I couldn't find it.

I do put a fair amount of effort into my appearance in general, and my hair particularly. I'm just not happy with the wet/crunchy/time-consuming aspects of gel and mousse.
Maybe all natural hair gels? Or cream-gels? Very different and more effective from traditional gels!

My favorite styling products are...
-Koils by Nature Herbal Peppermint Curl Defining Gel
(a little thick, non-sticky, consistency of......Greek yogurt? Haha, sounds weird, but works well! It's not drying at all if you use a good leave-in under it.)

-Beautiful Curls Defining Gel for Wavy to Curly Hair
(thinner, consistency of pudding [real dessert pudding, not a hair pudding,] non-sticky, creamy but light enough not to weigh your hair down)

-Darcy's Botanicals Gel-Cream
(very thin/runny, not too sticky, milky consistency, moisturizing but won't weigh hair down)

Hope that helps! I find all natural products without PVP and polyquats work a lot better for me(: You'll find something!
poemaXX likes this.
2c/2b with some 2a, coarse, dense, thick, low porosity
Growing out a CL bob. Currently at APL.
CG again as of 7/20/12


Cleanser: BRÖÖ Smoothing I.P.A. Shampoo
RO: Trader Joe's Nourish Spa Conditioner
LI: Kinky-Curly Knot Today
Styler: Beautiful Curls Gel for Wavy to Curly Hair

all-natural products, light moisture, humectants, argan oil
silk protein, synthetic ingredients, heavy oils/products, cowashing
I don't have any great suggestions, but I have the same issue as the OP. I'm willing to do a certain amount of work, but I want it to look effortless (I.e. not product-y). My hair is 2c - 3a, low porosity, normal elasticity, medium to fine texture.
2c, 3a, something like that... Curl-curious?
Nope. Screw that. LOL I'm with you. I don't do the gels or mousses (I occasionally use curl creams). I usually just use butters. But I have high porosity, coarse hair, so you might not wanna go with butters.

Big Chop: 11/25/09
Cottony/fluffy, medium/coarse, high density & porosity
SL - APL - BSB - BSL - MBL - WL - HL
kathymack,

Sorry I didn't include: My hair is fine, low porosity, low elasticity.

Was there meant to be a link to the thread you mentioned? I couldn't find it.

I do put a fair amount of effort into my appearance in general, and my hair particularly. I'm just not happy with the wet/crunchy/time-consuming aspects of gel and mousse.
Originally Posted by amberashockl
Sorry about that, I copied it but forgot to paste it in. Live Curly Live Free - Curly Hair Basics Lots of useful information on that website, too.

Your hair sounds similar to mine. Especially when I started on nc.com. I didn't use products until I started lurking here. My hair doesn't like what I call gel products, but does like jelly products. Both are gelatinous products--gels have chemicals like polyquats, jelly does not. I always got frizz when I used gel and never could understand why.

My hair prefers the more natural products from the online, boutique type companies. I think I get a more natural (not producty) look. However, it takes my hair a LONG time to dry (even after using curl towels and diffuser), so I have to be patient. Outcome is generally worth it.
3a (Corkicelli), highlighted, fine, low porosity
modified CG, since April '07
CG since 3/11/08

SE PA

HGs: Anything Sevi; Curly Kinks Satin Roots, Curlycue ReNew and Coil Jam; homemade FSG and okra gel; soap bars; UFD Curly Magic (now Hello Curly Curl Stimulater); Botanical Spirits Jellies, CJ Repair Me, Marie Dean Leave Ins and Curl Creams
have you tried ag re:coil? it's a curl cream that has magnesium sulfate, a really good curl enhancer. some people find it drying, but it could be worth a shot. re:coil is expensive, so you may want to try to find some on the swap boards or something just to test it out.
2b/c wavy modified CG since July 2012
medium texture, normal porosity, normal elasticity
hair likes protein, doesn't like oils, easily OC'd

low poo: JCHCC, CJGCS
RO/co-wash/LI: YTCarrots, DB Pumpkin Seed
stylers: a bunch of stylers that are all pretty much the same (KCCC, UFDCM, CRCM, CKCJ) or ArcAngel if I need more hold
DT/PT: CJRM, CNPF
Sometimes a little jojoba oil goes a long way. also you could try ISO Bouncy Creme. It never weighs my hair down & leaves it looking dry -not wet.
Mulatto, Long 3B Hair
I use AG recoil and I love it, it's cream that you put on your palm rub and run through hair and add hair spray love it
I would love to leave gel behind as my hair is longer now and my neck is WET until shrinkage sets in!! No one likes a wet neck.

But so far, gel does the best job.

I am no help at all.

Good luck finding something that works!!
FroZen
Thanks so much for all your suggestions and commiserating ladies!

I think the biggest part of the issue is the fact that my hair is low porosity. Thanks for nudging me in that direction of taking a second look at that, kathymack.

The most frustrating thing about gel, aside from the scrunch, is how incredibly long it takes my hair to dry. I think if I weren't spending 3+ hours waiting for my hair to dry, even with use of the diffuser, all the other stuff (scrunching, scrunching out the crunch) wouldn't feel like such a burden.

I'm heading over to the low porosity section of this thing, ya'll!!!

Thanks so much for all your suggestions and commiserating ladies!

I think the biggest part of the issue is the fact that my hair is low porosity. Thanks for nudging me in that direction of taking a second look at that, kathymack.

The most frustrating thing about gel, aside from the scrunch, is how incredibly long it takes my hair to dry. I think if I weren't spending 3+ hours waiting for my hair to dry, even with use of the diffuser, all the other stuff (scrunching, scrunching out the crunch) wouldn't feel like such a burden.

I'm heading over to the low porosity section of this thing, ya'll!!!

Originally Posted by amberashockl
Hi again(: Just dropping in to say the products I recommended work really well on my hair, and my hair is very low porosity, if that helps(: Haha, I understand how dealing with low porosity can definitely be hard!
2c/2b with some 2a, coarse, dense, thick, low porosity
Growing out a CL bob. Currently at APL.
CG again as of 7/20/12


Cleanser: BRÖÖ Smoothing I.P.A. Shampoo
RO: Trader Joe's Nourish Spa Conditioner
LI: Kinky-Curly Knot Today
Styler: Beautiful Curls Gel for Wavy to Curly Hair

all-natural products, light moisture, humectants, argan oil
silk protein, synthetic ingredients, heavy oils/products, cowashing
Try adding a little bit of a carrier oil to the gel. It will decrease crunch help with distribution and add shine.
Have you tried the aloe Vera gel from Curl Junkie? It's called a gel, but doesn't act in the same way as others, it doesn't give any crunch or anything, it just makes your curls nice and soft. I've also found my hair dries a lot quicker when I use it too.
Thanks for the continued suggestions, ya'll! I'm really appreciating your feedback!

I'm glad to know I'm not alone in this issue, or, I assume I'm not alone since others took the time to look at this thread and comment. I felt like a curly outcast because I couldn't get down with gel, ha ha!

I am not a fan of gel, or any styling products. I started using nothing but conditioner to style with. I may add things ( aloe vera, oil, glycerin ) to the conditioner and/or mix different conditioners together depending on what my hair craves. I have never liked a heavy product look or feel, plus my fine hair easily gets buildup. I rely on styling technique to define my curls, and styles that set well to give hold, not product. The conditioner just makes my hair soft, moist, and easy to manage.
violently happy
double post
violently happy

Last edited by lalapixie; 09-15-2012 at 10:31 PM. Reason: double post

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