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The 17 Best Gels for Wavy Hair

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aida turner

Published by Aida Turner

Fact checked by Annie

Gels maybe aren’t exactly the trendiest hair stylers out there, but gels are actually one of my favorite styles for wavy hair.

The best gels for wavy hair will help to tame frizz like nobody’s business and work so hard to keep curls and waves defined all day long.

Best Overall

Amazon best-selling product B01I9JCYD4

Our rating

Herbal Essences Totally Twisted Curl Scrunching Hair Gel

  • Based on botanicals
  • Free of sulfates, parabens and phthalate
  • Infused with coconut oil

Amazon best-selling product B01NAYYX05

Our rating

dippity-do Girls With Curls Gelée

  • Infused with wheat proteins
  • Contains vitamin E
  • Mild enough for a daily usage
Best Value

Amazon best-selling product B07V1X8XG1

Our rating

True Curl Light-Hold Gel

  • Enriched with rosemary and oat
  • Prevents waves from frizziness and damage
  • Infused with balm mint

What makes gel a good styling product for wavy hair?

Wavy hair has a more delicate curl pattern than those with very springy curls and coils. They have a harder time holding their shape which is why it’s important to use gels for wavy hair.

Arguably, gels are lighter than heavy curling creams that are enriched by copious amounts of shea butter and olive oil (which are sure to keep your waves down).

Not only are gels lightweight and wave-friendly, but they also provide great hold to keep your curl pattern defined for a long time.

Gel hold can lie anywhere between soft and flexible to extra-strong when you want your ringlets to stay very tight and defined.

For that reason, you can play around with your curl pattern when it comes to gels!

You can use them to scrunch some beachy waves into your locks, or create very defined spirals with a little extra-hold gel and finger coiling techniques.

As a bonus, gel is really good at taming frizz and flyaways because it seals your hair.

So when you use the gels, you’re left with defined waves that are smooth and pristine.

How To Use Gels for Wavy Hair?

After cleaning your hair with shampoo and conditioner for wavy hair, you can use gels to style.

Using gels on your waves can give you a gel cast or a hard, crunchy shell that coats your hair after the gel dries.

Don’t panic—you won’t have to endure the crispy wet look forever!

All you have to do is scrunch out the gel cast from the ends of your wavy hair up to the roots.

Scrunching releases those curls from their crispy hold, but they will keep their tightness and hold because of the gel for wavy hair’s magic.

Do it with your hands or a soft shirt like you normally would with any styling product, but gentler so you don’t disturb the curls formed by the gel.

You could even use hair oil to help moisturize the ends of your wavy hair while you scrunch out the crunch.

Once you’re done and the gel cast is out, you should be left with pretty and defined waves.

See also:

The 17 Best Gel for Wavy Hair

1. Herbal Essences Totally Twisted Curl Scrunching Hair Gel

Product Overview

While styling waves is more often an investment, there are many affordable gels that will give your hair beautiful, frizz-free waves.

One of the best options out there is Totally Twisted Curl Scrunching Hair Gel by Herbal Essences.

This berry-scented gel is a cult favorite by wavy girls everywhere.

  • Leaves a nice, tropical scent
  • Contains coconut oil
  • Based on botanicals

Not only does it activate your delicate waves, but it also keeps them tame and in place even when you’re in highly humid environments.

And though it has a strong hold, you end up with touchable waves after you scrunch out the crunch.


  • Leaves a nice, tropical scent
  • Controls frizziness and split ends
  • Helps your damaged waves

The Cons

  • The package might be broken

2. dippity-do Girls With Curls Gelée

Product Overview

If you want a lighter wavy but have an insane definition that will last days, I recommend this gelee by dippity-do.

It comes in a huge tub in cute pink packaging, so it will take you a while before running out of it.

  • Contains vitamin E
  • Has wheat proteins
  • Protects against UV and thermal damage
  • Infused with aloe vera

This gel is infused with aloe to hydrate the hair as you style wavy lightly.

It also has vitamin E and wheat proteins to nourish and strengthen the hair and make it more full-bodied.


  • Helps with hair damage
  • Provides beneficial proteins
  • Moisturizes and hydrates your scalp and hair

The Cons

  • Doesn’t smell so great

3. True Curl Light-Hold Gel

Product Overview

This sulfate and silicone-free gel by True Haircare has a light hold but promises long-lasting waves free of frizziness.

It was developed and approved by salon professionals, so you know you’re getting an effective hair styler.

This gel has castor oil in it to help moisturize the hair and leave it soft and touchable.

  • Perfect for tangled waves
  • Infused with castor oil
  • Has seaweed proteins
  • Enriched with rosemary and oat

It’s also enriched with rosemary, oat, and balm mint for a fresh, clean scent, hydration, and protection.

It’s great to practice scrunching out the crunch with because it’s super easy and hassle-free to get rid of the crispiness with this gel.


  • Nourishes hair follicles
  • Prevents hair from frizziness
  • Leaves your hair hydrated and smelling good

The Cons

  • The packaging might be broken

4. Aussie Instant Freeze Gel

Product Overview

If you’re not afraid of a little extra-strong hold, then try out this gel for wavy hair by Aussie.

It provides maximum level hold for your waves while still replenishing it with moisture from Australian jojoba oil and sea kelp.

  • Infused with jojoba oil
  • Contains beneficial proteins
  • Provides maximum hold for your waves
  • Perfect for frizzy hair

When you use this gel, you get up to 20 hours of ultra-defined waves with zero frizz.

It also leaves your hair smelling fruity and refreshing because of its fragrance that has notes of citrus, flowers, and the tropics.


  • Helps with split ends and frizziness
  • Reconstructs and strengthens your hair follicles
  • Leaves your hair nice and soft

The Cons

  • Not for oily scalps

5. Renpure Coconut Creme Curling Jelly Styling Gel

Product Overview

People think gels aren’t as nourishing as curling creams. Let this gel for wavy hair by Renpure prove you wrong!

It has a unique blend of coconut, argan, and monoi oils to transform the hair from dry and frizzy to smooth and moisturized, all while locking in your waves in a long-lasting hold.

  • Infused with coconut and argan oil
  • Packed with beneficial nutrients
  • Doesn’t weight down the waves
  • Makes your hair more manageable

Because Renpure advocates for clean beauty, you only get good ingredients in this gel. It’s formulated without potentially harsh sulfates, silicones, parabens, gluten, and sodium chloride.


  • Enhances your hair health and elasticity
  • Does great with shyness
  • Improves overall health and minimizes tangles

The Cons

  • Dries your hair if not properly used

6. Paul Mitchell Ultimate Wave

Product Overview

If you want a touch of salon expertise in your everyday wavy hair gel styling, try out this one by Paul Mitchell.

It’s specifically designed to enhance waviness, so you can bring out your natural curl pattern with pride.

It separates big clumps of hair to give you soft, voluminous waves in that sexy, tousled look.

  • Infused with mushroom extracts
  • Contains lush passionfruit
  • Only natural ingredients usage

It’s also infused with mushroom extracts known to combat frizz and keep your hair smooth and neat.


  • Treats and hydrates your hairs
  • Combats dry scalp and hair follicles
  • Moisturizes and reinforces hair roots

The Cons

  • Contains silicones

7. Cantu Shea Butter Moisturizing Twist & Lock Gel

Product Overview

Give your hair some extra nourishment while you style it with this gel by Cantu.

This brand is known for its rich and emollient shea butter. So does this gel —it’s loaded with that nourishing goodness too!

  • Packed with natural ingredients
  • Leaves a nice coconut scent
  • Infused with essential oils

While this gel moisturizes and seals the hair, it also does an amazing job of controlling frizz so that your waves or curls are left silky smooth.

It also has a refreshing coconut scent, leaving your hair smelling irresistible.


  • Protects your hair against damage
  • Nourishes and moisturizes
  • Works perfect with tame unruly waves

The Cons

  • Has silicones

8. Wet-n-Wavy Wet Gel Liquid Sculpting Gel

Product Overview

This gel by Wet-n-Wavy is a bit thinner and more liquid in consistency than your average wave-enhancing gel, but it surprisingly gives an incredible amount of volume and body to wavy hair.

It sculpts and defines your waves without weighing them down and leaves them in a soft to medium hold to be flexible and natural-looking.

  • Packed with vitamins and minerals
  • Incredible amount of volume
  • Perfect for oily hair

It also leaves a lustrous shine to the hair without making it look greasy.


  • Makes dry and weak hair healthy again
  • Leaves a nice scent
  • Provides natural shine all day long

The Cons

  • Smell filled with overwhelming perfume

9. MATRIX Total Results Curl Please Super Defrizzer Gel

Product Overview

The gel for wavy hair by MATRIX has lightweight formula which is easy to work into your hair but doesn’t leave it heavy or extremely crispy.

It defines the hair and controls frizz very effectively, but only leaves a light gel cast that can easily be scrunched out.

  • Infused with conditioning ingredients
  • Deep detoxifying properties
  • Perfect for wavy hair

Ending your wavy hair routine with this gel ensures your hair will be perfectly shiny and glossy all day without any hard or crunchy feeling.


  • Nourishes hair follicles
  • Deeply cleanses and hydrates
  • Detoxifies your scalp and hair

The Cons

  • Doesn’t help with heat

10. Garnier Fructis Curl Scrunch Controlling Gel

Product Overview

While this Garnier gel offers a stronghold to keep your frizziness at bay, it doesn’t leave your hair flaky and excessively crunchy.

That’s because it’s infused with rich shea butter that gives it a creamy touch to nourish your hair deeply as you style it.

This gel is awesome at defining your wave pattern, so it’s always exciting to scrunch out the crunch and see how your spirals and ringlets look.

  • Infused with shea butter
  • Contains cactus water
  • Has organic botanicals
  • Makes your hair stronger and shinier

They end up being smooth, soft, and shiny, thanks to that exquisite shea butter.


  • Leaves your hair silky smooth and soft
  • Penetrates deeply into your skin and hair
  • Provides a nice scent 

The Cons

  • Strong perfume

11. BIOLAGE Styling Gelée

Product Overview

Sometimes, having wavy hair feels like a constant battle between wanting more volume and keeping your waves controlled and frizz-free.

This styling gel by BIOLAGE gives you both while giving your waves a nice, natural shine.

  • Packed with vitamins
  • Sulfate and paraben free
  • Infused with essential oils

This paraben-free gel is an all-purpose formula so all hair types can use it.

But it’s especially useful for wavy hair because it allows for more body in your hair movement while keeping pesky flyaways tame.


  • Repairs and prevents future damage
  • Reduces frizziness and dryness
  • Does a great deal moisturizing

The Cons

  • Not for oily curls

12. MIZANI True Textures Perfect Coil Oil Gel

Product Overview

This gel by MIZANI is another deeply nourishing gel for wavy hair enriched with oils like coconut, olive, and marula oils.

If you have dehydrated waves that can’t seem to hold a curl pattern, this gel is going to be your best friend.

The gorgeous oils will help define your curls while the gel itself holds them nicely.

  • Rich in olive oil
  • Packed with antioxidants and vitamins
  • Extra volume for your hair
  • Leaves a nice, pleasant scent

This innovative oil gel pretty much does it all—it conditions your hair to make it smooth and silky, keeps your wave pattern alive for a long time, and is rich in antioxidants to give your hair extra protection from damage.


  • Deeply moisturizing effect
  • Hydrates your scalp and hair
  • Leads to a silky smooth hair

The Cons

  • Contains some chemicals

13. Carol’s Daughter Pracaxi Nectar Style Control Gel

Product Overview

Modern gels aren’t just there to keep your hair’s shape—gels like this one from Carol’s Daughter nourishes the wavy hair deeply and strengthens it with botanical extracts while it’s at it.

This gel is infused with pracaxi, sweet almond, and castor oil to feed your hair some moisture to keep it soft and touchable even with a gel’s hold.

  • Contains acai extracts 
  • Rich in fatty acids and vitamins
  • Sulfate free formula
  • Fights frizziness and dryness

It also has acai extract, which is rich in omega fatty acids and vitamins that keep your hair strong and healthy.


  • Moisturizes and reduces itchiness
  • Strengthens your hair with protein
  • Seals the moisture inside your hair

The Cons

  • Has silicones

14. Ouidad Advanced Climate Control Heat and Humidity Gel

Product Overview

It can be extra tricky to keep your waves defined and frizz-free when you live somewhere hot and humid because you could be left with a poofy mess of hair in seconds.

But this Ouidad gel was explicitly designed to combat wavy hair issues you might face in extreme environments.

  • Packed with beneficial vitamins
  • Rich in fatty acids
  • Contains high level of proteins
  • Makes your hair more manageable 

This gel is made with a unique anti-frizz nanotechnology to lock out frizzy flyaways and poofiness even when there’s a lot of humidity.

It provides the hair with a flexible hold so they can still be touchable even while working hard to fight frizz and keep the hair neat.


  • Deeply moisturizes and nourishes your scalp
  • Restores and rejuvenates your hair
  • Doesn’t use silicones or other chemicals

The Cons

  • The package might get broken

15. Curls Blueberry Bliss Curl Control Jelly

Product Overview

If you’re looking for a trendy and renowned gel to try out, this cult-favorite Curls Blueberry Bliss gel may be one of the most-recommended by wavy girls around the globe.

This jelly is formulated with argan oil and aloe vera to hydrate and moisturize the hair, while the gel seals in all that goodness while enhancing your natural wave pattern so it can come out more.

  • Infused with argan oil
  • Contains aloe vera 
  • Silicone-free formula
  • Perfect for flat waves

It also has an enchanting blueberry scent to keep your wavy hair smelling fresh and sweet throughout the day.


  • Makes your hair more manageable
  • Eliminates impurities and dirt
  • Detoxifies your scalp and hair

The Cons

  • Can get your hair oily

16. Aunt Jackie’s Don’t Shrink Flaxseed Elongating Hair Curling Gel

Product Overview

If you love the look of natural, beachy waves and hate it when your hair shrinks when your waves get too out-of-control curly, you’ll love this elongating gel by Aunt Jackie’s.

While it’s not heavy, it tames your hair to make it look more put-together with tousled waves rather than excessively voluminous hair.

  • Contains fatty acids
  • Rich in vitamins and antioxidants
  • Formulated with advanced technology hydration
  • Infused with wheat proteins

It’s suitable for a more natural hair day that still allows your waves to shine.

This gel is infused with flaxseed, which is rich in omega fatty acids to nourish the hair and reduce frizz for your wavy hair.

It also has wheat proteins that strengthen the hair shaft and give your waves some bounce.


  • Cleanses and makes your hair smooth
  • Prevents tangles in tight wavy hair
  • Rejuvenates damaged hair

The Cons

  • Has some chemicals

17. Aveda Confixor Liquid Gel

Product Overview

This Aveda gel may be a bit more watery in consistency, but don’t let it fool you.

It’s packed with so many nourishing ingredients to strengthen your hair while giving your waves medium hold and sufficient volume.

It has flaxseed and castor oil to nourish the hair deeply, keeping it soft and shiny.

  • Contains manuka honey
  • Infused with castor oils
  • Has amino acids and proteins
  • Perfect for very damaged hair

It’s also enriched with wheat amino acids to fortify the hair and make it more resilient against damage, which is always a plus.


  • Works great with fine wavy hair
  • Moisturizes and hydrates your waves
  • Reduces frizziness and dryness

The Cons

  • Has some chemicals

You May Also Like:


So to all my wavy girls out there who don’t want to let go of their heavy curling creams and butter, trust me when I say you do not want to sleep on hair gels.

They give amazing definition and hold, all while keeping your frizzies tame.

There are lots of gels for wavy hair to choose from, depending on how you love to style your hair.

You can go for light hold if you hate the crispy feeling of a gel cast or one with an extra hold to give your waves springy definition and bounce.

The choice is yours—just try one out!

Best Choice

Amazon best-selling product B01I9JCYD4

Our rating

Herbal Essences Totally Twisted Curl Scrunching Hair Gel

Based on botanicals
Free of sulfates, parabens and phthalate
Infused with coconut oil

aida turner


Founder & Hair Beauty Specialist

I’m Aida and this is my blog where I write mostly about beauty and make up related stuff, but I like to spice it up a bit with lifestyle and photography posts. Or with whatever that comes to my mind. Hope you will enjoy the reading enough that we will ‘see’ each other more often!


Sources: by Samantha Berley