As thankful as we are to have choices, more options warrant more responsibility to educate oneself in order to make good decisions. And how do we know if we have made a good decision? Well, when we finish the entire bottle of a new product without discontinued use. So, congrats to you for doing your due diligence in seeking knowledge and understanding of the differences between a cream styler and gel. Today our two subjects for comparison will be DevaCurl Light Defining Gel and DevaCurl Styling Cream.

The 80’s have permanently scared many away from using the cast forming, crunch of a crystallized gel. However, since those days are far from us, gels are regaining popularity and now women prefer a crunch-less hold. The DevaCurl Light Defining Gel is suitable for all curly and coily hair while the DevaCurl Styling Cream is best for wavy hair. The DevaCurl product line is known for reaching a diverse audience of curl types with award winning botanical products. Let’s hear from the DevaCurl Team:

DevaCurl Light and Ultra Defining Gels’ primary function is to deliver hold, secondarily moisture. Both gels and cream stylers have a vegetable-derived glycerin base and oat & soy content that offer moisture and strength of hold. Amino acids provide strength and shine. DevaCurl gels allow a curl cast to form from wet to dry, locking in the frizz-free finish. The curl cast is softened by scrunching once dry.” –Molly Owen, Director of Education

How to Apply Gel

  1. Tilt head forward
  2. Scrunch wet curls in an upward motion
  3. Apply gel between palms and glide through hair
  4. Scrunch upward toward the scalp to define curls
  5. Once dry, scrunch curls again to release cast to reveal beautiful curls
  6. Resist the urge to touch your curls once you’ve applied the DevaCurl Light Defining Gel. This rule is particularly important on frizz prone days. 


You will see the smoothing, moisture blocking, holding agents are first among the list of ingredients followed by the conditioning agents.

Water (Aqua, Eau”>, VP/VA Copolymer (moisture blocking, holding polymer“>, Polyquaternium-7 (moisture blocking, holding agent“>, Glycerin (humectant, moisture attracting“>, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil (solvent“>, Triticum Aestivum (Wheat”> Peptide (conditioning lubricant“>, Avena Sativa (Oat”> Peptide (hydrating protectant“>, Glycine Soja (Soybean”> Peptide (conditioning solvent“>, Melissa Officinalis Extract, Humulus Lupulus (Hops”> Extract, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria”> Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary”> Extract, Achillea Millefolium Extract, DMDM Hydantoin, Aminomethyl Propanol, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Fragrance (Parfum”>


DevaCurl Styling Cream’s primary function is to deliver moisture and conditioning properties, secondarily hold. Styling cream has a cream base and utilizes yucca starch as a natural source for fortifying and protecting the curls. While the hold factor is considerably softer than that of our gels, many curl types (Botticelli’s +”> do find enough hold by use of DevaCurl Styling Cream. Use Spray Gel around crown for added hold.” – Molly Owen, Director of Education

How to Apply Cream Styler

  1. Scrunch throughout damp hair, targeting denser curls for ultimate conditioning
  2. Use on dry hair for individual curl definition
  3. Spray the DevaCurl Spray Gel at the roots and crown for added definition and lift


The conditioning ingredients are first on the list followed by holding agents and stabilizers.

Water (Aqua, Eau”>, Cetearyl Alcohol (conditioning emulsifier“>, Glycerin (moisture attracting protectant“>, Behentrimonium Chloride (conditioning agent”>, Tapioca Starch (viscosity enhancer“>, Cetrimonium Chloride (cleansing emulsifier”>, PPG-3 Benzyl Ether Myristate (conditioning agent“>, Laureth-4 (surfactant emulsifying agent“>, Ethyl Macadamiate (conditioning agent“>, Hydrolyzed Jojoba Protein (conditioning agent“>, Panthenol (conditioning agent“>, Melissa Officinalis Extract (soothing herb“>, Humulus Lupulus (Hops”> Extract (antimicrobial, conditioning, smoothing“>, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria”> Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary”> Extract, Achillea Millefolium Extract, Lauryldimonium Hydroxypropyl Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Lauryldimonium Hydroxypropyl Hydrolyzed Wheat Starch, Propylene Glycol, Ceteareth-20, Disodium EDTA, Aminomethyl Propanol, Diazolidinyl Urea, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Fragrance (Parfum”>.

The Difference Between the Two

As you can see these two products are purposefully formulated to have two very distinctive effects.

  • Gel is meant to hold the hair with some conditioning.
  • Cream is meant to condition the hair with some hold.

Which will be better for you? The answer to that question is based not only on your hair type but also how you work the products. Hair that is always battling dryness will definitely need a cream based styler and hair that needs a minimal amount of additional moisture can use the gel.

Guess what? They can even be used together! For added conditioning and added hold, apply your cream styler first followed by your gel. Your hair will reap the conditioning benefits while warding the frizzies away.

So next time you get stuck on the aisle in contemplation, just remember the intention behind these two formulations, make your selection, and go home.

…And I hope you make it through your entire bottle of product before taking a “break”…

Which do you prefer?