The Edit | Curly Girl Method Gels

Now that I’ve gotten back into following The Curly Girl Method with renewed vigour, I’m really noticing that I’m going through a good amount of the products I’ve been hoarding. My bag of empty products has rapidly been filling with hair products and as a true product junkie, I have lots of thoughts to share on them. Today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the gels that I have finished up. This is going to seem like a lot of product but in all honesty, my hair eats up gel and I need lots of it to have consistently defined hair. Otherwise, my hair willjust wilt, tangle and frizz. It’s worth noting that I have a ton of fine long hair, a mix of waves and some curls in terms of texture and hair that is quite porous.

DevaCurl Arc AnGel ($60 CDN/ 946 mLs)

This gel is my absolute favourite in the humid summer because my hair frizzes out and wilts overnight and throughout the day the least with this gel. It provides great almost firm hold and isn’t particularly drying, crunchy or heavy for that level of hold but doesn’t give my curls the enhancing boost that Ultra Defining Gel does, especially in the cooler months when my curls need more encouragement. It’s a gel heavy in glycerin but it has nowhere near the amount of protein that the other gels in the line have, so it could be very good for hair that doesn’t love protein as much as mine does. I also frustratingly find that by the time I get towards the end of these large bottles, the texture of the gel starts to change and doesn’t seem to work quite so well. As it gets closer to the summer, I want to experiment with this one again.

DevaCurl Ultra Defining Gel ($30 CDN/ 355 mLs)

Probably because my hair absorbs everything and seems to resist forming a protective cast like nothing else, I find that I need a good amount of this gel but I also find that my waves and curls are a bit bouncier and more spirally with this gel, especially in the cooler months when my curls tend to lie flat and wilt. It’s a touch more than medium hold and can enhance and tighten up my curls, without being drying or weighing my hair down. I wish I didn’t have to use quite so much and that it gave slightly more hold on my temperamental hair that resists looking decent by the next day. It has loads of protein which my fine porous hair loves and also is glycerin heavy. It’s my favourite of the gels in the cooler months, I reckon.

Ouidad Climate Control Heat & Humidity Gel ($34.76 CDN/ 250 mLs)

I think this was actually the product that started my love of traditional gels, back when I tried it years ago. I found it for a great price at Winners and tried it again and remember why I liked it. My gripe with this product is that it’s expensive at full retail price, especially because the hold is on the lower-end of medium and in order to get good results, I have to use so much of this gel. It’s really hydrating and helps my curls to clump nicely but doesn’t quite have the structure and enhancement of the Deva gels. I will note that I don’t experience much frizz with this one and that I’ve had good hair days with it. This gel might be better for those who prefer a lighter hold or with a tighter curl pattern. I do love the fresh and clean scent. Glycerin is towards the bottom of the ingredient list with this one and protein appears near there as well.

Shea Moisture Mongogo & Hemp Seed Oils High Porosity Moisture-Seal Styling Gel ($14.99 CDN/ 236 mLs)

I didn’t love this gel but that was because of first time buyer error mainly. I bought the gel along with the other products in the high porosity line that I adore because I felt some sort of need to complete the collection. It didn’t work for me as a harder hold gel because it has a soft hold, as it’s marketed to. It’s smoothing and moisturizing but lacks the hard hold that I need. I do think those with tighter curls would like this if they want moisture and softer hair. I didn’t mind it as a refresher on damp hair. It has glycerin, shea butter, aloe and a variety of oils.

Shea Moisture Raw Shea & Cupacu Frizz Defense Styling Gel-Cream ($13.99 CDN/ 236 mLs)

I bought this cream gel because it was designed for a wavier texture and remembered liking cream gel products in the past, but it wasn’t right for me either as a main styler. I think it might work for those with coarser hair textures but not for my finer hair as a holding product. It didn’t weigh my hair down and it did add moisture but I didn’t find that it had much for hold or curl clumping ability. I did find it worked quite well on damp hair to refresh because it added that moisture and enough hold to bring curls back to life.

Equate Hard Hold Styling Gel ($2.27 CDN/ 350 mLs)

I purchased this affordable gel after seeing that its ingredients were similar to the cheapie gels available in the United States that those who follow the Curly Girl Method seem to adore such as the LA Looks offerings. The hold was moderate and it was somewhat curl clumping but I wasn’t blown away by this one. I did get fairly good results using this gel in combination with another cream or enhancing product but I think that the Sport Gel variation was my favourite out of the three varieties I tried. It’s glycerin free and contains a small amount of protein.

Any thoughts?
Maggie, x.


Update & Hair Thoughts

There’s no way around it – I have slacked on the blog, going without a single post. In my defence, the senior slump is real – the last couple of months of my undergrad have been taking a toll on me. I’ve been exhausted (as always), but on a more psychological level and have been stress-paralyzed out of my mind. Anyways, enough of my excuses and ramblings. Actually, that was a lie. A little birdie might also be telling you to stay tuned for another post in the next few days on my February and March Favourites.


A few weeks ago, I got my hair cut – and three inches off, not that anybody in my life seems to be able to tell – for the first time in what was likely a year in a half and now that my hair is not quite as heavy and unmanageable, I’ve been getting back into the game with experimenting with products for my waves. For you curly hair aficionados, I’ve been following the modified curly girl method, and have been using some of the associated techniques with some success. I will warn you that I do tend to use some products with silicones, as they don’t seem to cause me issues and that I do cleanse with a sulphate-free shampoo. Here are three products that I’m enjoying at the moment:

ApHogee Keratin 2 Minute Reconstructor: I will warn you that I’ve only used this inexpensive protein treatment once, but after using it once, as the directions instruct, I found my waves to have much more elasticity and bounce and significantly less lame and limp. Now, my hair is a fan of protein, as I have fine strands but loads and loads of them, which is something to keep in mind. It did boost the curls in some  sections that have been looking weirdly straight as of late, which I do appreciate. The only complaints one could have is the god-awful smell, the presence of mineral oil – some find that it builds up in the hair – and the one silicone towards the end of the ingredient list.

Joico K-Pak Conditioner: I remember having consistantly good hair days in high school when I was using the K-Pak line, so when I was perusing the beauty section of Winners – as I do so enjoy to do – I couldn’t resist picking the bottle up for $10. I knew that it contained silicones but I tend to not mind them because of their slip and the fact that I have hair that doesn’t seem to be particularly impacted by them; However, I was pretty excited to learn that there is only one silicone  in it and it’s water soluble. I’ve been really enjoying this conditioner for its banana-scented nostalgia and its slip and intense lightweight hydration. I enjoy that it has protein in it – and there’s enough to actually make a difference, – especially because it also has a nice balance of hydration for dry strands. It’s a nice daily conditioner that’s light enough to even be used as a leave in.

DevaCare Arc AnGel Firm Hold Defining Gel: There is no gel (or curl defining product) that I’ve tried that beats Deva’s s0-called hard hold gel offering in my book. There’s something about it that works best for me in the warmer months (but that might just be that in the summer, I have more bounce and defined curls on account of the humidity) but it works for me throughout the year. I’m onto my second of the huge 32 ounce offerings, having repurchased it on account of the value I get from it. I have so much fine hair that takes quite a bit of gel to be at it’s best and seems to eat up gel, so I can go through gel really fast – the fact that no gel seems to be hard-hold on me including this one might be a contributor though – so the fact that this one is concentrated and comes in a large size at a better value is appreciated. I would describe it as a medium-approaching-firm hold gel on me but what I love best about it is that it provides this hold while adding loads of definition without weighing down or drying out any of the sections of hair on my head. Ingredient-wise, it’s silicone-free and contains a high amount of wheat protein and glycerin.

Second day hair with these products (among others) – appearing weirdly flat and undefined, likely because it’s still damp from being refreshed
Any general related thoughts?
Maggie, x.