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Having natural hair gives you the advantage of styling it differently, and one way to do it is by twisting it to create locs and dreads.
However, this also means you need more styling products to maintain your hairstyle.
Finding the right products for this can be a tedious task. But if you know what factors to look for, you can find the one that suits your hair type and specific needs.
So if you’re looking for the best gel for your locs, we’ve got you covered. We have listed the best-locking products for dreads to keep them healthy, secure, and neat.
Plus, we have provided a buyer’s guide to help you find the ideal gel for your hair. So before you start twisting, read on!
- Softens and manages hair
- Excellent hold
- Pleasant mango scent
- Firm hold
- Lightweight formula
- Controls frizz and flyaways
What Are Locs?
First, let’s define what locs are. Locs are a type of African hairstyle made from coiling, braiding, or twisting hair strands to create rope-like strands.
Although locs look creative, maintaining them takes work. This kind of hairstyle requires a lot of maintenance to keep it clean, healthy, and free of flyaways and frizz.
A loc gel is a styling product used for maintaining locs. You apply it to your hair when retwisting locs to make them look defined and keep them in place.
How To Pick the Best Gel for Locs
So how do you know which gel you should pick to help you maintain your locs? Here are some factors you need to consider before making a purchase:
Look for gels free of sulfates, drying alcohols, heavy waxes, and heavy oils. These may weigh your hair down, leave your hair feeling greasy, and cause damage.
Instead, look for gels that contain natural ingredients like coconut oil, shea butter, or plant extracts to help nourish your hair as you style it.
You’re using a gel to keep your locs in place, so you should also consider its holding power. The holding strength you need may depend on your hair type. Those with fine hair can go for gels with light to medium hold.
However, a product with extreme hold is your best bet if you have thicker and more textured hair.
You can try different gels to see which one works for you. Choose the one that will keep your hairstyle in place with minimal reapplication.
Also, remember that products with a lighter hold have a more watery consistency, while those with a stronger hold have a jelly-like consistency.
Ease of Application and Washability
Although you want to keep your locs in place, you should also consider the product’s washability. You don’t want to have a hard time washing off the gel to re-style your hair.
You also don’t want to choose a product that will leave buildup or residue on your hair — it will ruin your style! Plus, it will clog your hair follicles and may irritate your scalp.
Look for water-based gels that are easy to wash off the second you want to rinse the product off your head.
The product’s scent will linger on your hair once you apply it. So choose a gel that has a pleasant fragrance that isn’t overbearing. This is important because if you don’t like the scent, you likely won’t use the product.
So consider checking the scent of the gel before you use them on your hair.
11 Best Gels for Locs and Dreads
Ready to style your locs with the right products? Here are our top picks for the best gels for locs to help you maintain and rock your hairstyle for longer:
The Jamaican Mango and Lime Locking Hair Gel is the best locking gel for dreadlocks and locs that not only keeps your hairstyle in place but keeps your hair healthy.
Key benefits: Helps seal in moisture; protects and nourishes your hair and scalp; helps improve hair growth and strengthen hair
- No buildup and flakes
- Extra-firm hold
- Packed with nourishing ingredients
The best locking gel for dreads a shiny finish!
What we love about this gel for locs is that it’s specially formulated for dreadlocks. So it’s packed with moisturizing ingredients like moringa seed oil and manuka honey that strengthens your hair follicles.
Moringa seed oil promotes stronger locs and improves its appearance, while manuka honey improves hair growth and conditions and hydrates your hair.
It’s also free from heavy ingredients like mineral oil and petrolatum that may cause hair and scalp damage.
Plus, this gel for dreads is not sticky, so it doesn’t cause heavy buildup, flakes, or residue.
Instead, it keeps your locs clean, nourished, and in place. And even though it has a robust and reliable holding power, it washes off easily when needed.
This locking gel for locs keeps your hair in place with no residue, so you can touch up your hair without the greasy feel.
Key benefits: Helps hydrate and restore hair health; enhances shine; makes hair more manageable
- Ideal for all hair types
- Made with nourishing ingredients
- No flaking
Want to achieve the perfect braids? Look no further than the ORS Lock and Twist Gel!
This hair product features a cream hair gel formula with a jelly consistency that doesn’t feel sticky or greasy even after you apply it to your hair. It also feels lightweight even on 4c hair and maintains hold all day.
Aside from using this gel for dreadlocks or locs, you can also use it for twists and braids. It absorbs quickly and provides strong holding power. Plus, it’s cruelty-free and affordable, and a small amount goes a long way!
Get a versatile twist and lock gel for dreads that protects your hair from heat and damage with the Lion Locs Locking Moisturizer!
Key benefits: Tames locks and curls; locks in moisture in natural hair; helps reduce hair breakage and split ends
- Made of organic ingredients
- Free of parabens and sulfates
- Vegan and cruelty-free
The best dread-locking gel packed that boasts an all-natural and organic formula!
This gel is an excellent option for those practicing a clean lifestyle with its vegan and organic formula. It’s also free from sulfates and other harmful chemicals.
It tames frizz and flyaways all day and also contains ingredients that nourish your hair, such as the following:
- Aloe vera leaf juice helps promote hair growth and repair damaged and dry hair.
- Hydrolyzed wheat protein strengthens hair shafts and promotes healthy hair.
- Argan oil moisturizes hair and protects it from sun damage.
- Lavender and ylang-ylang oil makes hair smell great.
This hair gel has a creamy texture that feels lightweight on the hair. This locking gel is ideal for all hair textures and loc types. And although it’s white in color, it dries clear with no residue.
Want to keep your hairstyle neat and controlled? The African Pride Black Castor Miracle Extra Hold Braid, Loc & Twist Gel has got you!
Key benefits: Boosts your hair’s shine; deeply conditions your hair and scalp; helps with hair repair
- Free of harmful ingredients
- Strong and lasting hold
- No residue or sticky feel
The best locking gel for ultra-sleek braids and twists!
Another product made of natural ingredients, this gel slicks down stubborn edges (or short hairs near the hairline) and helps you retwist your locs easily. It also works on both dry and damp hair.
Plus, its lightweight formula prevents flaking!
Additionally, it’s free of heavy oils and waxes like petrolatum and mineral oil. Instead, it’s enriched with natural oils from castor and coconut that helps nourish the scalp while giving your hair a neat and shiny finish.
To use this product, apply a small amount to your hair and roots. Braid, twist, or style it any way you choose. After letting it dry, your locs will look good as new.
This product boasts a conditioning formula for shinier and smoother hair while keeping your braids and locs in place.
Key benefits: Conditions and smooths hair; tames frizz and flyaways; protects hair from breakage
- No wax and drying alcohol
- Smooth and shiny finish
The best lock gel for softer and smoother hair!
This gel features a microemulsion technology for better hold and shine. It smooths out nicely once applied to your hair and leaves it moisturized and soft without leaving white flakes.
We also love how it conditions hair and helps prevent breakage. So it’s ideal for dry and damaged locs, keeping them neat and healthy.
Aside from keeping your dreadlocks conditioned, it can also help enhance curls. However, some reviews have mentioned that it isn’t very effective in taming thicker hair types.
So it might not be ideal if you want to use it to tame 4c hair. Still, this gel can hold braids and twists, so use it when you go with those hairstyles.
This great product boasts a natural herbal formula safe for color-treated hair.
Key benefits: Superior hold for unruly hair; keeps frizz at bay; leaves hair soft and manageable
- Non-greasy formula
- Pleasant rosemary scent
- No alcohols
The best lock gel for dreads for chemically-treated hair!
We love how this gel helps clean locs with its natural formula. It doesn’t leave any residue and washes off easily.
Aside from keeping your locs styled, it’s also infused with herbal ingredients like the following:
- Yarrow root helps promote healthy scalp and hair growth.
- Rosemary rejuvenates hair and scalp.
- Soybean oil seals in moisture and boosts shine.
- Indian hemp helps boost hair growth and protect it from damage.
It also tames frizz and flyaways while leaving the hair soft, thanks to its nourishing ingredients. So if you’re looking for a gel that’s safe for color-treated hair, this is your best bet.
For silky locks and a polished look, Cantu Moisturizing Twist & Lock Gel has got you covered! It boasts moisturizing ingredients that give your twists and locs long-lasting and natural-looking hold.
Key benefits: Provides a firm yet manageable hold; reduces frizz; moisturizes the scalp
- Packed with moisturizing ingredients
- No drying ingredients, sulfates, parabens, and phthalates
The best dreadlock locking gel for securing your locs into place!
Made with pure shea butter, this moisturizing gel defrizzes hair, making it more manageable while giving your locks a soft and shiny look.
We also love how it’s made of natural ingredients and free of drying chemicals, so you can keep your dreads healthy. The scent is also amazing. Plus, it conditions your hair, so it helps reveal your natural curl pattern.
However, keep in mind that this gel might shrink natural hair. Although using this product may make your twists and locks appear shorter, it will also make them look more defined.
This gel helps secure hairstyles, so they look great for longer.
Key benefits: Helps soothe the scalp to reduce itching; flexible hold; keeps braids and locs in place
- No sticky or greasy feel
- No white residue
- Medium hold
For versatile and flexible hold, go for this product!
This gel from Murray’s contains olive oil and sweet almond oil to help soothe the scalp and reduce itching. Also, it leaves hair hydrated and locs shiny.
This gel has no jelly consistency, so it doesn’t cause buildup. And the thin consistency makes it more suitable for normal to oily hair. It’s also water-soluble, so it leaves no residue, and it’s easy to wash off.
However, since it’s lightweight and more watery, it has a lighter hold. So it doesn’t do well with thicker hair. But you can get a more flexible hold after styling if you want to change your hairstyle.
The Bronner Brothers Tropical Roots Firm Locking Gel provides great holding power that keeps your stubborn locs in place.
Key benefits: Firm and long-lasting hold for resistant hair; helps accelerate healthy hair growth; nourishes hair
- Versatile for different hair styles and types
- No dyes or artificial colors
- No buildup
The best locking gel for dreadlocks that gives you long-lasting hold!
This gel is ideal for those with stubbornly frizzy and unruly hair. But while it keeps your locs firmly secure, it has a lightweight formula, which means it doesn’t cause product buildup.
Its vitamin-rich formula helps in keeping hair frizz-free while enhancing its natural shine. It also keeps braids, locks, and twists healthy.
If you want to keep your locs twisted longer, use a small amount of this product and distribute it evenly throughout your hair. Then style your hair and let it dry.
Also, you don’t have to use much, as a little product goes a long way. Plus, you want to avoid using a lot to avoid flaking.
Specially developed for dreadlocks, this gel includes a blend of moisturizing ingredients to keep your locs nourished and healthy while keeping them in style.
Key benefits: Helps improve hair elasticity; nourishes hair; tightens dreadlocks
- Contains natural and organic ingredients
- Lightweight formula
The best gel for clean and neat locs and dreads!
This gel is a natural blend of coconut, aloe, vitamin E, and other organic and nurturing ingredients that tames loose and stubborn hair.
Aside from keeping your dreadlocks clean, it helps improve hair elasticity and repair damage.
Its lightweight formula leaves no residue. Plus, it’s water-soluble, so you can wash it off easily after use.
Plus, a little goes a long way for this gel, so use only sparingly and apply the light coating from roots to ends.
Joie's is the ideal solution for those who want to maintain thick, silky braids with little maintenance.
Key benefits: Conditions hair; leaves hair nourished and healthy; stimulates hair shaft for thicker hair
- Plant-rich ingredients for healthy hair growth
- No buildup and flakes
- Excellent hold
Go for Joie Naturals MyGel for healthy retwists and excellent styling hold!
Achieve any style you want to recreate with this styling gel. This formula will give your hair the right amount of hydration and shine.
It’s fortified with natural oils and plant extracts, such as ginseng roots, turmeric powder, aloe leaves, and fruit.
It’s lightweight but provides an excellent hold for any style. It nourishes and conditions your hair shafts for a thicker look. Plus, it helps with hair growth.
We also love how it works well on any hair type — even 4c hair. Use it to keep your locs secure all day without the greasy feel.
How To Apply the Best Gel for Locs
Follow these steps to help you apply your chosen locking gel the right way:
- Take a small amount of gel and rub it between your palms.
- Apply the gel to your hair, distributing it evenly from the roots to the ends.
- Style your hair as desired.
- Let the product set by air-drying your hair, or just let it sit for at least 30 minutes until it’s dry.
- If you notice flyaways and frizz, use gel on the problem areas to set them in place.
Remember that when your hair is exposed to sunlight, the gel you use to style your locs or dreads will become runnier and less thick.
So if you spend a lot of time outside, choose a gel that can withstand extreme temperatures or cover your head to protect your hair’s moisture.
FAQ About Styling Locs
Is Gel or Wax Better for Locs?
Gels are better to use for locs because they’re lightweight. Plus, they also dry and wash off easily. Wax products can weigh your hair down and may cause buildup that may be hard to remove.
Can You Use Any Gel for Locs?
No. It’s best to use gels formulated for styling your locs. Some gels may contain heavy ingredients that may cause hair damage.
Remember that the best gel for locs should not only keep your hairstyle intact but must also contain ingredients that improve the condition of your hair.
How Do I Make My Locs Shiny?
To make your locs shiny, use moisturizing hair care products. You can also use natural oils to keep them nourished and healthy. If possible, try not to use products that contain sulfates and alcohol.
You should also steer clear of oil-based products like waxes and opt for water-based and lightweight options like gels.
Time To Style Your Natural Hair With the Best Lock Gels!
While locs are beautiful hairstyles, you must maintain them properly. Getting the right gel for your locs will help tame flyaways, frizz, and stubborn hair that doesn’t stay in place.
If you’re ready to start creating locs, choose a product from our list that works best with your hair.
These locking gels can help you achieve a fashionable hairstyle while leaving your hair feeling conditioned and looking healthy!
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