This is the continuation of the max hydration method series where I review and recommend the best products for each step of the process based on my experience and research. You can read the previous articles at below links:
- Does the Max Hydration Method Live Up to the Hype?
- How I Modified the Max Hydration Method for My Hair Type
- Collage of Max Hydration Method Results for My Hair
- 5 Best Conditioners for Step 2 of the Max Hydration Method
- The Best Clay to Use for Step 3 of Max Hydration Method
The gel process is step 5 and the final one in the max hydration method. At this stage, you are aiming to form a gel cast around the defined curls created by the clay rinse and leave in step. Below are the gels I’ve found to be the best in order of their effectiveness:
This is the best gel. All the ingredients are botanical and agrees with most hair types. It however comes with a hefty price tag and doesn’t last long if you have longer hair. You can dilute it prior to use but even with that; it still doesn’t go very far. This gel is a treat for me when my wallet allows it or when there’s some sort of sales going on. I also found that when used full strength, it made my hair clump in a way I didn’t like. I recommend using it diluted a little bit. Sizes – 8oz and 16 oz. Pricing – $$$. BUY FROM AMAZON.
An all natural gel with some very good ingredients like sweet almond oil, castor oil, avocado oil and vitamin e. It is buttery as opposed to the clear texture of KKCC. However, it doesn’t make it any less effective and is a matter of preference based on what your hair likes. It’s very creamy and it wasn’t necessary for me to use a sealing oil after applying this gel. I also found it handing for twisting my hair a few days later. Sizes – 8 oz. Pricing – $$$. BUY FROM AMAZON.
A product with argan oil is always a winner as this is one of the oils that help with the fight against breakage. This product is a creamy runny texture, which softens and smoothens the hair. It also helps combat frizz. Left in overnight, it gives even more definition and hold the next day. You can also add on more than usual without it leaving any residue behind. Among its winning ingredients are horsetail extract, marshmallow root, coconut oil, hibiscus and Irish moss. Sizes – 8 oz. Pricing – $$$. BUY FROM AMAZON.
Miessence styling gel is designed to condition, nourish and protect hair and with ingredients such as aloe vera, sugar cane extract and rosehip oil, it does just that. Additionally, it doesn’t leave any flakes behind. It gives great definition and hold, which lasts for up to 3 days. It’s a bit on the pricey side and I would suggest diluting lightly before use or alternating with less expensive gels. Sizes – 8.5 oz. Pricing – $$$. BUY FROM AMAZON.
With this gel, your curls are greatly defined without being crunchy or causing build up. It aids in elongating curls and giving an appearance of longer length. It contains aloe vera, marshmallow, chamomile, nettle, horsetail, vitamin e and agave nectar, all key ingredients for strength and moisture. Though a bit expensive, it comes in a big bottle that should last for a while. Size – 18 oz. Pricing – $$$. BUY FROM AMAZON.
Though all the gels recommended above are wonderful, nothing beats formulating something customised for your specific hair needs. Even if you have an aversion to mixing your own products, making gel is very simple and can contain as little as 2 ingredients to 10 ingredients. You can check out my earlier articles 20 Herbs, Oils & Powders to Include in Your DIY Hair Gel – Part 1 & Part 2. It’s a good place to start your research into DIY hair gels.