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.

 

Curly Girl Method Thoughts & Current Favourites

Long time no post, eh? Truth be told, I’ve been busy planning and writing out my 2018 favourites post – so stay tuned for that – and I’ve been stressed and limited by the few daylight hours we have for taking pictures. Something I have been doing the last month or so is giving myself back into the curly girl method. Regardless, I never use sulphates and rarely heat style my hair (like a few times a year) but I can be guilty and use silicones on occasion and have been wearing my hair up in a bun often in recent months, giving up on my hair entirely. However, in the last month I’ve been strictly following my semi-modified routine.

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Frustratingly, my hair photographs straighter and flatter than it looks in real life but I will include a picture here or two. Note: I know that its length disguises the texture somewhat. The first picture is first day hair and the second is second or third day. I have the kind of hair where the individual strands are quite fine (but not baby fine) and despite being very healthy, it tangles like nothing else in this world and refuses to hold any sort of style other than the messy bun. Did I mention that I have an obscene amount of hair? I have hair that sits between the wavy side of things with some looser spirals and ringlets thrown in. I’m one of those people that have a drier underlayer of hair that is quite curly and voluminous and a flatter and straighter upper layer of hair. Also, I never know how my hair is going to look – it has a mind of its own. My hair responds well to protein and needs moisture underneath but has a tendency to get weighed down and look straight on the crown and top layer of my hair. I’m a sulfate-free shampoo kind of girl and really struggle with my curls falling flat and losing all definition in weather and after being slept on. My hair requires a lot of product to look good and takes some effort and prayers to look its best. Curl pattern wise, I seem to have the most 2c hair, with some 3a underneath and some 2b in the lazier upper sections in my hair. Before this turns into an essay, I’ll get to the product favourites:

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Deva Curl B’Leave-In ($27 CDN)

This is one of those extra products that when added to my routine make the greatest difference. It adds volume and bounce to  my curls that tend to lack life. It’s not moisturizing so the name is kind of confusing but it’s a lightweight gel textured product that adds a dose of protein to my hair, helping it create juicier spirals and curls when paired with a heavy hold gel. It’s a great product for those with finer hair that loves protein and that want to boost their curls. It’s one that helps me unify my different curl patterns.

DevaCurl One Condition Delight Weightless Waves ($30/$60 CDN)

Deva Curl’s products are hit or miss with me on an individual basis, but my hair loves protein so as a whole, my hair enjoys a variety of their products. This is a protein heavy conditioner that offers enough slip to help with the detangling process and enough hydration to help my looser curls clump their heart out. It’s also light enough that I can use it as a leave-in as well throughout my hair, without fear of weighing down even my more lazy waves and loose spirals towards the top of my hair. As with the previous product, it’s glycerin and protein heavy so your mileage may vary in terms of your hair’s response to those polarizing ingredients. I liked the conditioner so much that I bought the larger size which thankfully is only twice the price for 3x the amount of product. This is my ‘squish to condish’ conditioner that i squish into my hair with water to create that kind of wet seaweed texture that minimizes frizz and really gets the hair to clump together in curls nicely.

Curls Creme Brûlée Whipped Curl Cream ($10-15 CDN)

Cream products are a bit of a gamble for my hair but are necessary if I want to get my hair to the third or fourth day mark without having to restyle from scratch. This is an option that I have to use a light hand with when using it as a leave in because the shea butter can sometimes weigh down my hair if I use it before my stylers on soaking wet gel. However, I really like it mixed with water as a refresher or used along with a hold product to refresh damp curls. It helps my hair form those curl clumps that it needs to look polished and doesn’t weigh down my hair in the slightest used this way. However, it has no hold so I have to cocktail it. The best part is that I’ve been able to buy it at Sally’s Beauty Supply on the east coast in Canada, where it’s really difficult to find curly-girl approved products in physical stores.

Deva Curl Ultra Defining Gel ($30 CDN)

I fell in love with this gel after I had my first DevaCut because it actually gave my hair hold that didn’t weigh it down and it enhanced and unified my varying curl patterns. It’s definitely protein heavy and doesn’t always play well with every other product I’ve used but it gives me more consistently good hair days than most and I need a gel to have hair that doesn’t droop by the time its dry. I go back and forth between this gel and the Arc AnGel, which has even more hold and less protein. It’s glycerin and protein heavy but I love it on my fine hair for combatting frizz and not really giving much of a cast. My annoyance is that I go through it rather quickly and that I can’t invest in the litre sizes without the texture of the gel changing by the time I finish those larger bottles. It’s good at adding volume and lift while defining curls.

Dippity Do Girls With Curls Defrizz Gelee ($7-8 CDN)

I never expected to like a product made by Dippity-Do but I couldn’t be happier to like such an affordable and easily available hold product that’s Curly Girl Method friendly in Canada – I’m frustrated to no end how difficult it is to come across affordable options in stores here. It’s definitely smoothing and helps to clump curls with a light to moderate hold but it’s not enough for me to use on its own on wet hair  . However,  I adore how it’s lightweight and has that curl clumping ability. I prefer to use it when I refresh my hair, as it helps bring the spring back to my curls and waves without adding any weight or anything. It has a nice subtle clean scent and contains a little bit of panthenol, aloe and protein. Unlike most of the products I’ve talked about, it’s also glycerin free.

Shea Moisture Mongongo & Hemp Seed Oils High Porosity Moisture-Seal Mask ($18.50 CDN)

Truth be told, I haven’t used this mask in a while. I have loved incorporating conditioners and masks from Shea Moisture’s line in my routine for that boost of moisture, slip and reconditioning that my somewhat porous hair needs. I threw out the bottle of the one that I used the most recently and grabbed this one because it has been my favourite long term. I can’t use it like I use lighter conditioners where I scrunch and leave them in my hair but it helps form juicy curls on the lengths of my hair and keeps things manageable. Unfortunately, I have to order most Shea Moisture products online but they are great if your hair doesn’t mind shea butter and cocoa butter. I just ordered this one again and am excited to have this mask back in my life. It’s butter-heavy but doesn’t seem to weigh down my hair when rinsed out and also has some nice oils in it and a small to moderate amount of protein that my finer hair agrees with.

Any thoughts?
Maggie, x.