Hair Gel that doesn't dry out hair

I'm transitioning into the Curly Girl world. I've tried to read through the threads and have tried some of the products that are being used by other members as a kind of guide. I lean towards drug store brands, but am willing to try online/higher end products if they don't cost and absolute fortune! LOL!

Here's my problem. I use hair gel at night (or that morning if I do my hair) and when I take my hair out of the pineapple buy hair is generally pretty soft. Next day though my hair is absolute straw! I add water, try to gentle comb through using and extra wide toothed comb but it still feels awful. Last gel I used was totally twisted. I've also tried adding conditioner (Jessicurl-Curl Cream) but seems like I'm adding more product and still not getting softness.

Can anyone recommend a gel, combo, or technique that will stop this? Thanks!
if the dew points are mid to high, then i use curl junkie aloe fix gel!! sometimes with a leave in, sometimes not. it never dries out my hair. unfortunately because glycerin is towards top of ingredient list, this does not work for me in low dew points.
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3a, some 2c & 3b, medium texture, porosity normal, low elasticity
washing/cowashing, conditioning, protein tx: [I] curl junkie products
leave in:cj conditioners and treatments as leave in
styling: cj aloe fix gel, cj pattern pusha, cj honey butta leave in, cj cccc, cj ciab.
sealants - jane carter nourish & shine
I would advise that you check your product ingredients and eliminate any products containing protein for a few days to see if there is any difference. Often an overdose of protein can cause the problems you describe.

Also, I suggest using conditioner on your second day hair. You can mix up a half conditioner half water combo in a spray bottle and spray it on your hair. Adding more moisture more often may help. And, sealing with a dab of oil can help to hold more moisture in your hair.
Be Happy!


Experimenting with too many products to name here. All this great info keeps my head spinning.
I'm in love with the olive oil eco styler gel and if I want a softer hold I use shea moisture curling souffle or shea moisture curl enhancing smoothie under it.
Gel can be very drying, even if it's "CG". Are you using a leave-in conditioner before you apply gel? That can help protect your hair from getting too dried out

SSFHG, KCCC, UFDCM and homemade FSG are nice, non-drying gels.
I never use gel without a leave in. You said you used a curl cream. That may not be moisturizing enough.
Yes, it's real. No, you can't touch it.
Koils by Nature Herbal Peppermint Curl Defining Gel is great for not drying hair, and it really keeps curls in place. I like it when I want clumpy curls!
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
Oh my I got so many great replies! I too have thought I have protein overload. I have very thick hair, used to think I was a 3a, but seems like the last time I was here there are more hair types now??? and I'm thinking I'm 2c (due to the thickness). It's not really resistant to styling though (as described on the site). So confused! Maybe I should post a pic!

I think I do need more moisture. My hair seems to "drink" it up. I can add straight up olive oil and it just seems to soak in and not get oily (in moderation of course LOL!)

I'm going to try some of your recommendations. Sometimes I think I want the impossible...well defined curls that "hold" but are also touch-ably soft I'm testing the waters and just haven't quite found the right combos for me.
Koils by Nature Herbal Peppermint Curl Defining Gel is great for not drying hair, and it really keeps curls in place. I like it when I want clumpy curls!
Originally Posted by dresdendoll
I went to the website to check Koils out and it sounds perfect! A lot of the people commenting on it are 2c's and mention thick hair too so that's a double plus!
Curl goddess curl gel is cool. It doesn't dry my hair out.
Curl goddess curl gel is cool. It doesn't dry my hair out.
Originally Posted by Y3ssi88
I notice they sell this at Target and it's actually in stock at my store! I'm really open to trying new products until I hit on the ones that work
I like Aubrey Organics Mandarin Magic works like a gel without the crunch and it doesn't dry my hair out.

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3B Live Curly Live Free Analysis: Texture = Medium Porosity = Normal Elasticity = Normal
3b-ish... normal to low texture
Wash: Desert Essence Coconut shampoo, Acure argon shampoo
Deep Trestment: Nature's Nectars deep conditioner/styler
Condition: Nature's Nectars luv-n-a-bottle, Nature's Gate pomegranate sunflower
LEAVE-IN:Nature's Nectars luv-n-a-bottle, Natures Gate pomegranate sunflower
STYLE: Nature's Nectars Sweet Shea butter blend, Ecostyler gel
hemp oil, jojoba oil
I've been liking curl queen and batia and aleeza. I usually use curl cremes though because I find them more moisturizing.
high porosity (from coloring)

Shampoo: Mop Top Gentle Shampoo
Co-wash: Chistophe Robin Lemon Cleansing Cream
RO: CJ strengthening, Kenra moisturizing
LI: Jessicurl Aloeba
DT: CJ rehab, Christophe Robin Prickly Pear Mask
PT: SS protein treatment, Ouidad 12 minute
Stylers: Jessicurl RR, SS Firm Hold Gel
Oils: caudalie, sweet almond

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