If you’ve ever tried to spice things up when it comes to hair products, you may have found yourself overwhelmed by the variety that exists out there for curly hair. Mousses, creams, gels, soufflés and serums - the list goes on and on. There’s a whole world of options that can be used to give your hair the look you love. Though you may want to just “say yes to the dress” and grab something off the shelf that sounds like it has potential, you and I both know that you deserve to know what kinds of products you’re using. Styling your curls with products that are best suited to your hair’s individual needs can make a huge difference in your confidence when you step out of the house.
Many people have a very specific look in mind when they think about using gel. I know for myself, an image of the slicked down, stiff hair of boy bands immediately comes to mind. Though we love a flashback to the 90s every once and a while, these days most of us want to feel like we can still run our hands through our hair without it getting stuck. This is what often has curly haired queens turning to creams. The only challenge? Creams don’t always give the same amount of styling power as gels do. This means those pesky flyaways may come back to say hello later in the day.
Though both gels and creams can be great for adding definition and giving a little extra “umph” to your hair, they do have some distinct differences. So - what are these differences? What is a cream gel? How can you make sure your hair doesn’t look like Justin Timberlake in the ramen-noodle-curl phase of his life? So many questions, darling! Let’s dive in.
Gel vs. Cream
The main differences between a gel and a cream have to do with the ways they prioritize tackling frizz and defining curls.
Creams are designed to condition hair strands, and have the product absorbed to prevent dryness.
Gels, on the other hand, sit on top of the hair, and work to seal in whatever texture exists at the time of application. A classic gel will be sticky and be transparent, whereas a cream product will often have a more opaque and smooth consistency.
Though creams have geared up in popularity, there’s still room in our hearts for gel products. The key is to know how to use them, and when.
Gels are designed to keep hair locked into place, and can vary in their hold. For people with fine hair that likes to escape whatever hairstyle that you’ve put effort into, gels can keep the hair locked into place. Hair gel often also creates a “wet look,” especially when a lot of it is used.
Creams, on the other hand, have a velvety texture that is optimized to moisturize. The focus of a cream product is to moisturize the hair from the inside-out and smooth out any stragglers. Hair cream is more often used as a part of a standard hair care routine, rather than just to style. The best creams use natural ingredients, like argan oil, to nourish hair while also giving some definition. Unlike gels, most creams leave a matte look. The hair may get a little added shine, but curls will remain loose and relaxed.
It’s important for me to note that creams and gels are not one-size-fits-all. Many products can vary in what us in the hair world call - “hold.” Nourishing styling creams with a strong hold, like our Dream Cream, are a bit thicker and may be better suited for people with thick hair, or those who are looking to add volume and create more definition for their individual curls.
Products that are developed to be lightweight are better for those who are looking to define and hold their curls without weighing it down. For people with thin hair, these styling products tend to be a better option to give their curls a boost without causing any crunchy clumps.
No matter what products you buy, always look for ones that use natural botanical ingredients and are sulfate and paraben free. Harsh chemicals that are sometimes used in hair products can cause curls to get dry and brittle, and we don’t want anything messing with your gorgeous glow.
What is a Cream Gel?
Many people have realized that a hair care routine that combines cream and gel gives natural curls the best chance to thrive on a day-to-day basis. Using a cream product immediately after your hair is squeaky clean, and then using gel to define and seal the final look can give you curls that bounce and stay defined throughout the day.
As the name suggests, a cream gel combines the moisturizing effects of a cream, with the hold of a gel. It’s the best of both worlds, and creates a balanced hair product for those of us that have textured hair. By conditioning and styling at the same time, you can add a little extra ease into your hair care routine.
Cream Gel May Be Your New Best Friend
If you’re looking to give your curls some definition and shine, without the harshness of classic gels, then a cream gel may be your perfect ally. By moisturizing and smoothing curls simultaneously, you give your hair the chance to stay healthy and hold shape.
Our recommendation? The Royal Locks Pro Curl Cream Gel. It defines curls, dries soft and helps tame frizz. We love cream gels because they’re versatile and compatible with all different curl patterns.
Our final tips: A cream gel is best used when hair is clean, damp, and ready to be told what to do. Always remember that with quality products, a little bit goes a long way. If you want to prevent the look of crunchy curls, less is more. Start with a nickel size. You can always add an extra pump later on.
So, what is a cream gel? It seems to me that it really could be your new best friend.