Gels vs. Creams

When shopping for styling products, you want a product that provides shine, hold, moisture, and softness to your child’s natural curls. When it’s time to style, gels and creams are standard styling products for natural hair. However, they differ in many ways that can help or hinder the next hairstyle. 

Here are the pros and cons of gels and creams to help you choose the best one for your child’s next natural hairstyle: 


Natural hair gels are commonly used because of their long-lasting hold and definition on curls. Gels typically have a gelatinous consistency accompanied by drying alcohols and other ingredients not moisturizing to natural curls. When using gels, people tend to utilize the LCO or LOC method to seal moisture before coating their hair strands with a gel. 


  • Add shine 

  • long-lasting hold

  • great to use for slick backs 

  • great to hold natural hair down in braids and twist 

  • anti-frizz 



  • may contain drying alcohols

  • do not moisturize hair 

  • can make natural curls stiff or crunchy

Styling Gels:

Mielle Organics Styling Gel with Honey and Ginger
Aunt Jackie's Flaxseed Don't Shrink Curling Gel
Curls Control Curl Sculpting Gel  
Eco Style Professional Styling Gel with Argan Oil


There are plenty of creams that vary in heaviness and consistency for natural hair. Many creams are moisturizing and add a lot of slip to naturally curly hair. Even though creams do not have as hard of a hold as a gel, creams can be used to detangle, style, and moisturize your child’s natural hair. Heavier creams are used in the LOC method to seal in the moisture. 


  • moisturizing 
  • can be used in a variety of hairstyles to seal in moisture with a soft hold
  • provide a voluminous look compared to gel 
  • used in the LOC and LCO method 


  • softer hold 
  • some creams do not mix well with other products in natural hair, which leads to flaking

Styling Creams:

SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Kids Curling Hair Butter Cream
Camille Rose Naturals Kids Brown Butter Melt Mandarin Oil Hair Balm
The Mane Choice Sweet Strawberry Fruit Medley KIDS Moisturizer  
Cantu Care for Kids Curling Cream 

So what product should you use on your next wash day? Well, it depends on the natural hairstyle.  If you are doing a twist or braid out, we recommend using a moisturizing cream that will help your child’s hair stay moisturized for the whole week. If you are styling a high bun, then a styling gel is perfect for smoothing her edges and making sure there are no flyaway hairs at the top. Having a go-to gel and cream in your natural hair product bucket is beneficial. 

Understanding what product works for what style is key, and you can teach your child this with Zoe. Zoe’s hair is full of curl power that can be washed and styled, just like real hair with real products.  

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