A great hair gel is SO important to have in your curly hair care arsenal. By defining your hair curl by curl, hair gel can single-handedly turn a disastrous hair day into a perfect one. If you don’t want to spend an arm and a leg on hair gel and aren’t crafty enough to make your own, turn to one of these hair gels under $10. Whether you need a liquid gel, a thick edge gel, a jelly or some other variety of gel, there’s something in your price range. They may be cheap, but they’re surprisingly great quality.

1. Ecoco Eco Styler

11 Great Hair Gels That Provide Defintion for Curly Hair Under 10

Eco Styler is a favorite product of many curlies because it only costs a few dollars and yet is so reliable. It creates a smooth hold without flaking or itching. It does create a cast, so you have to break the cast to prevent a crunchy hair-do. This product is alcohol-free, so it’s not too drying, but it should be used on conditioned wet hair for best results. This hair gel is best for type 3 and 4 curls.

2. Moco de Gorila Gorilla Snot Gel

11 Great Hair Gels That Provide Defintion for Curly Hair Under 10

This hair gel was originally marketed towards punk rockers in Mexico to hold their gravity-defying hairdos into place, so it creates an incredibly strong hold. Now curlies have adopted it as another favorite hair gel. This gel is perfect for creating ultra-smooth edges; if you want to create a sleek updo, this will do the job. The hold is long-lasting and weather-resistant, and it doesn’t leave flakes or residue. It can be very drying, however, so make sure to moisturize before applying.

3. Sunny Isle Jamaican Black Castor Oil Edge Hair Gel

11 Great Hair Gels That Provide Defintion for Curly Hair Under 10

This hair gel features Jamaican Black Castor Oil, an ingredient that moisturizes and promotes hair growth. JBCO can be quite sticky and oily, but this hair gel isn’t. It’s clear and has a light consistency. This hair gel is ideal for gently laying your edges; it results in a shiny and smooth hold. It’s great for type 3 and 4 hair, especially for transitioning hair.

4. ORS Olive Oil Edge Control Hair Gel

11 Great Hair Gels That Provide Defintion for Curly Hair Under 10

ORS Olive Oil Edge Control Hair Gel is a go-to inexpensive drug store product. Featuring olive oil and sweet almond oil, it protects your hairline and adds shine and moisture while also creating a strong hold. It’s long-lasting and doesn’t leave a residue or flakes. Types 3 and 4 can use this alcohol-free gel to lay their edges or baby hairs into place. It’s alcohol-free and non-drying.

5. Creme of Nature Argan Oil Flexible Styling Snot

11 Great Hair Gels That Provide Defintion for Curly Hair Under 10

Many curlies love Gorilla Snot Gel but can’t deal with its drying qualities. Well, Creme of Nature stepped up with their own version: the Argan Oil Flexible Styling Snot. It’s just a few more bucks than Gorilla Snot, and it also creates an extremely strong hold, perfect for edge control, twist-outs, and updos. This version of the snot is less drying because it’s alcohol-free and infused with argan oil. The consistency is a bit more snot-like and takes some practice to figure out how to use.

6. Long Aid Naturals Manuka Honey & Coconut Curling Jelly

11 Great Hair Gels That Provide Defintion for Curly Hair Under 10

Curlies with looser curl patterns will appreciate this lightweight, moisturizing curling jelly from Long Aid Naturals. With coconut oil, aloe vera and manuka honey, it hydrates your curls while it defines them. This jelly is buildable, so you can achieve a light or strong hold depending on your hair type. It leaves no residue and doesn’t dry out the hair.

7. Dippidy Do Girls With Curls Curl Shaping Gelee

11 Great Hair Gels That Provide Defintion for Curly Hair Under 10

This gelee is both alcohol-free and glycerin-free. It works well for curlies of all hair types, creating soft, defined, frizz-free curls that will last throughout a humid day. The gelee results in a strong hold, but there’s no crunchiness or residue. Curlies say it gives similar results as much more expensive gels — as a much lower price.

8. As I Am Smoothing Gel

11 Great Hair Gels That Provide Defintion for Curly Hair Under 10

This affordable gel from As I Am features aloe vera, sugar beet root, glycerin and wheat protein to nourish and strengthen your hair. Best for type 3 and 4 hair, it results in shiny, soft yet super-defined curls, and the hold is strong enough to last all day long. It can also be used to refresh second-day hair.

9. Giovanni Cosmetics L.A. Hold Styling Gel

11 Great Hair Gels That Provide Defintion for Curly Hair Under 10

L.A. Hold Styling Gel is odorless and colorless, so if you’re sensitive to scents, this is the gel for you! It works well for all hair types, and it results in a strong, crunch-free, flake-free hold. A little goes a long way with this gel. It’s full of plant-based ingredients like rosemary, thyme, lavender and horsetail.

10. Jane Carter Solution Condition and Sculpt

11 Great Hair Gels That Provide Defintion for Curly Hair Under 10

As the name suggests, this gel both conditions and defines your hair. It’s quite liquidy, yet it results in a surprisingly strong hold for such a watery product. It works for all hair types, but is best for type 2 and 3 hair. It’s most effective when applied liberally to dripping wet hair. It leaves hair shiny, frizz-free and well-defined.

11. Mixed Chicks Styling Gel

11 Great Hair Gels That Provide Defintion for Curly Hair Under 10

This styling gel from Mixed Chicks is just under $10 and totally worth the price. It features a long list of nourishing herbal ingredients, including dandelion, lavender, and sage. All hair types will find this gel useful, as it defines the hair without weighing it down. It also adds texture, shine and volume. Plus, no flakes!

Which gel is your favorite? Share with us in the comments below!

Kim Wong-Shing

Kim Wong-Shing

Kim Wong-Shing is a writer, lipstick junkie, and plant mama in New Orleans. She grew up in Philadelphia and went to Brown University. To date, she has never left a store without checking the hair product aisle first (just in case). Connect with her on Instagram.

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