11 Top Gels for Locs: Must-Try Locking Gels for Lasting Hold

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One way of the most creative ways to style your natural hair is by creating locs or dreads!

However, you need the top gels for locs to properly maintain this hairstyle and keep it clean, healthy-looking, and free of flyaways and stray hairs.

A small jar of jar hair gel with a wooden lid.

So if you want to get the right product for your locking and retwisting needs, we’ve got you covered. We’ve listed the best locking products for dreads right here!

Jamaican Mango and Lime Locking Hair Gel
Editor's Choice
  • Softens and manages hair
  • Excellent hold
  • Pleasant mango scent
Lion Locs Firm Hold Hair Locking Dreadlock Gel Cream
Premium Pick
  • Firm hold
  • Lightweight formula
  • Controls frizz and flyaways
Murray's Gel Loc-Lock
Budget Pick
  • Lightweight consistency
  • No sticky or greasy feel
  • Shiny finish

11 Top Gels for Locs and Dreads

Ready to style your locs with the right products?

Here are our top picks for the top gels for locs to help you maintain and rock your hairstyle for longer:

1
Jamaican Mango and Lime Locking Hair Gel

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

Features: 

  • No buildup and flakes
  • Extra-firm hold
  • Packed with nourishing ingredients

The best locking gel for dreads a shiny finish!

 

What makes this product a standout is that it’s specially formulated for dreadlocks.

It keeps your locs in place with its firm, robust, and reliable holding power. But it’s non-sticky and easy to wash off, so it doesn’t cause heavy buildup, flakes, or residue.

Packed with moisturizing ingredients like moringa seed oil and manuka honey, it also strengthens your hair.

Moringa seed oil promotes stronger hair and improves your locs’ appearance, while manuka honey facilitates hair growth and conditions and hydrates.

It’s also free of heavy ingredients like mineral oil and petrolatum that may cause hair damage or weigh down your locs.

Watch this video to learn about YouTuber Gunther Da’Great’s positive experience with this locking gel:

2
ORS Lock and Twist Gel

This locking gel keeps your locs in place with no residue.

Key benefits: Helps hydrate and restore hair health; enhances shine; makes hair more manageable

Features:

  • Ideal for all hair types
  • Made with nourishing ingredients
  • No flaking

Want to achieve the perfect locs? Look no further than the ORS Lock and Twist Gel.

 

With a jelly-like consistency, this locking gel doesn’t feel sticky or greasy when applied. 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.

Additionally, it’s cruelty-free and affordable, and a small amount goes a long way!

3
Lion Locs Locking Moisturizer

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 frizz; locks moisture into natural hair; helps reduce hair breakage and split ends

Features:

  • 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 ideal for all hair textures and loc types.

It’s particularly excellent for those practicing a clean lifestyle with its vegan, organic formula, which is free of 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 your locs smell great.

Plus, this locking gel also has a creamy texture that feels lightweight. Although it’s white in color, it dries clear with no residue.

4
African Pride Black Castor Miracle Extra Hold Braid, Loc & Twist Gel

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

Features: 

  • Free of harmful ingredients
  • Strong and lasting hold
  • No residue or sticky feel

The best locking gel for ultra-sleek locs!

 

Another product made of natural ingredients, this gel slicks down stubborn edges 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 help nourish the scalp while giving your hair a neat and shiny finish.

After retwisting your locs with this product, they will look good as new.

See how YouTuber Tiana Alexandra did a loc retwist using this product:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CUR5oqaPvs
5
SoftSheen-Carson Let's Jam! Shining and Conditioning Hair Gel

This product boasts a conditioning formula for shinier and smoother hair while keeping your locs in place. 

Key benefits: Conditions and smooths hair; tames frizz and flyaways; protects hair from breakage

Features: 

  • Flake-free
  • 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.

It also conditions hair and helps prevent breakage. So it’s ideal for dry and damaged locs, keeping them neat and healthy.

The product even offers superior hold for other hairstyles like braids and twists.

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 on 4c hair.

6
Taliah Waajid Tight Hold

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

Features:

  • Non-greasy formula
  • Pleasant rosemary scent
  • No alcohol

Maintain the vibrance of your locs with this gel!

 

The perfect gel for styling and retwisting your locs, this product doesn’t leave any residue and washes off easily.

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.

Thanks to these nourishing ingredients, it tames baby hairs and flyaways while leaving the hair soft.

The best part is it’s safe for color-treated hair, so you can use it if you’re rocking vibrantly colored locs.

7
Cantu Moisturizing Twist & Lock Gel

For silky locs and a polished look, Cantu Moisturizing Twist & Lock Gel has got you covered! It boasts moisturizing ingredients that give your locs long-lasting and natural-looking hold.

Key benefits: Provides firm yet manageable hold; reduces frizz; moisturizes the scalp

Features:

  • Packed with moisturizing ingredients
  • No drying ingredients, sulfates, parabens, and phthalates
  • Cruelty-free

The perfect choice for securing your locs into place!

 

Made with pure shea butter, this moisturizing gel defrizzes hair, making it more manageable while giving your locs a soft and shiny look.

With a formula loaded with natural ingredients and free of drying chemicals, you can keep your locs healthy with this gel.

The scent is also amazing.

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.

8
Murray's Gel Loc-Lock

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

Features:

  • No sticky or greasy feel
  • No white residue
  • Medium hold

For versatile and flexible hold, go for this product!

 

This gel from Murray’s is a must-have for loc maintenance. It keeps your locs firm and secure for longer.

And it contains olive oil and sweet almond oil to help soothe your scalp and reduce itching. These ingredients also leave your locs hydrated and shiny, keeping dryness at bay.

The product also has a thin consistency, so it doesn’t cause buildup. It’s water-soluble, so it leaves no residue and washes off easily.

However, since it’s lightweight and more watery, it has a lighter hold. So it might not do well with thicker locs.

9
Bronner Brothers Tropical Roots Firm Locking Gel

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

Features:

  • 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!

 

Ideal for those with stubbornly frizzy and unruly locs, this vitamin-rich formula helps keep your locs frizz-free while enhancing their natural shine.

This means you can flaunt neat, healthy-looking locs and keep dryness at bay.

But while it offers secure, lasting hold, it has a lightweight formula, which means it doesn’t cause discomfort or buildup.

10
Dollylocks Coconut, Aloe, and Lime Locking Gel

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

Features:

  • Contains natural and organic ingredients
  • Lightweight formula
  • Cruelty-free

The best gel for clean and neat locs and dreads!

 

Featuring a natural blend of coconut, aloe, vitamin E, and other organic and nurturing ingredients, this locking gel tames loose and stubborn hair to give you perfectly styled locs.

Aside from keeping your dreadlocks clean, it helps improve hair elasticity and repair damage.

Its lightweight formula doesn’t leave any unsightly residue.

11
Joie Naturals MyGel

This Joie gel is ideal for those who want thick, low-maintenance locks. 

Key benefits: Conditions hair; leaves hair nourished and healthy; keeps locs secure without making them feel stiff

Features:

  • 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 loc 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. These nourish and condition your hair for a thicker look.

It’s lightweight but provides an excellent hold for any loc style, from basic locs to detailed, complex styles.

Use it to keep your locs secure all day without the greasy feel. 

Portrait of young black woman outside smiling with wind blowing through her hair on a sunny day.

How To Pick the Top 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:

Ingredients

Look for gels free of sulfates, drying alcohols, heavy waxes, and heavy oils. These may weigh your locs down, leave them 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 while securing your locs.

Holding Power

You’re using a gel to keep your locs in place, so you should also consider its holding power.

Now the level of hold you need may depend on your hair type and your locs’ thickness. Here’s a quick guide to help you select the right product:

  • Fine hair and/or micro locs— Go for gels with light to medium hold and a watery consistency. These can keep your locs intact without a heavy, uncomfortable feel.
  • Thick hair and/or thick locs — Choose locking gels with extreme hold and a jelly-like consistency. Light-hold gels may not be enough to keep your locs tight and firm.

Quick Tip

If you’re not sure which level of hold is right for you, try using both a light-hold gel and a strong-hold gel. Then choose the one that will keep your hairstyle in place with minimal reapplication.

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 when you need to rewist your locs. 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 irritate your scalp.

So look for water-based or water-soluble gels that are easy to wash off the second you want to rinse the product off your head.

Fragrance

The product’s scent will linger on your hair once you apply it. So choose a gel that has a pleasant but not overbearing fragrance that suits your preferences.

A woman with dreadlocks is touching her hair.

How To Apply Locking Gel for Retwisting

  1. Section your freshly washed and conditioned locs with clips and part them with a rat-tail comb.
  2. Apply a small amount of your locking gel to each loc.
  3. Retwist each loc by palm-rolling it starting at the roots all the way down to the tips.
  4. Secure the retwisted loc with a clip, then retwist the rest.
  5. Let your locs air-dry, or use a blow-dryer to speed up the process.

For a more detailed look at retwisting your locs by yourself, check out this video:

FAQ About Styling Locs

How Often Should I Use Locking Gel?

It’s generally best to only use locking gel for retwists once every four to six weeks.

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 not be formulated to keep your locs intact for weeks to months. 

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 Top 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 stunning protective hairstyle while leaving your hair feeling conditioned and looking healthy! 

Want More Styling Products for Curly Hair?

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Author

  • Shai Urbano

    Shai is a licensed pharmacist with a Bachelor of Arts in Pharmacy. She uniquely intertwines her medical expertise with a fervent passion for beauty. With an intrinsic understanding of ingredients and formulation, she's the proud creator of her own line of products designed exclusively for naturally curly hair. Over her four-year writing career, Shai consistently delivers content enriched by her distinct blend of knowledge and enthusiasm.

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