In the never ending struggle for the perfect gel, here is what I am left with:
Garnier Fructis Pure Clean Styling Gel:
Aqua (Water) , Sorbitol , Glycerin , Dehydroxanthan Gum , Benzyl Alcohol , Lithium Magnesium Sodium Silicate , Fragrance , Limonene , Citronellol , Linalool , Acacia Senegal (Acacia Senegal Gum)
As I Am Smoothing Gel:
Aqueous (Water, Aqua Purificada, Purified) Extracts: Beta Vulgaris (Beet) Root¹, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice ¹, Glycerin¹, Triethanolamine, Carbomer, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein², Laureth-23, Potassium Sorbate, Diazolidinyl Urea, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Fragrance/Parfum, Limonene
Curl Junkie Pattern Pusha:
Water, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Dehydroxanthan Gum, Corn Starch Modified, Xanthan Gum, Ulmus Fulva (Slippery Elm Bark) Extract, Camelia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Panthenol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Propylene Glycol, Diazolidinyl Urea, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Fragrance, Tetrasodium EDTA.
Curly Kinks Coil Jam:
Distilled Water, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Chondrus Crispus (Carrageenan) Extract, Althaea Officinalis (Marshmallow) Root Extract, Sea Kelp, Xanthan Gum, Dehydroxanthan Gum, Vegetable Glycerin, Agave Nectar, Olive Oil, Olea europaea (Olive) Oil, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil , Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Meadowfoam (Limnanthes alba) Seed Oil, Phenoxyethanol (and) Caprylyl Glycol, Frangrance, Citric Acid
I try to stay away from edge gels mostly due to paraben content along with mineral oil or petrolatum content. That’s just something I prefer. In the end, I am left with a limited selection 😦
Nothing will EVER compare to the likes of jam and pro-style black gel, but it can at least come close or I can wishfully think there is a comparative counterpart out there, no? No. I cannot.
All I ask if for something to get my edges back. The rest of my hair can look like it got caught up in a blizzard as long as my edges look kept…. And its all down here from the moment I hoped…
Eco-Styler was an epic fail for me. It provided no hold whatsoever. I shouldn’t have to use products to smooth back hair just so the gel can work. Now, I don’t have rough edges, but while they are pretty hard to tame, I don’t understand why I am the only one this stuff does not work for.
The As I Am gel was less than mediocre. It’s ok if you have soft, smooth edges but for me… Let’s say by the time I got to work my edges were laughing at me. It is only an hour difference between the time I do my hair and get to work. It was not smooth at all. Because it’s ingredients are similar to Eco styler (not listed) it should be a no brainer why this was a epic fail. This left me with small build-up if I didn’t use it with AVG prior to applying it to my hair.
The Curl Junkie is an interesting case. My friend, Vegan Oracle, gave me a sample in the black jar shown in the picture. It’s very liquidy yet jelly (because jam don’t shake like that!) and slips very easily.
You wouldn’t associate it with a smoothing gel, more like a soft set gel. However, I find it to work very well. Based on ingredients and reviews, its not only supposed to work well but is to hold up in any weather. And here comes Tasia crushing all hopes and dreams. No, I won’t. This is my favorite gel so far. My only issue with it is that while it’s great in higher dew points, when the weather is too dry or cold, it doesn’t hold up well for me. Not sure why, but I feel like there is a missing factor that doesn’t allow it to really tame these beast of edges in drier weather. Left me with no build up and combs/brushes easily.
The Coily Kinks gel is awesomeness. This gel has a custard like consistency that looks gritty, but really isn’t. It provides good hold and somehow, 30 degree days in NY is normal so far this year and those seem to be the days this gel works best. I’m not crazy about it in wet weather, but on the super cold and super dry days, it provides good hold. And can you guess what a NY winter is like? Super cold and super dry! I don’t feel like it leaves my edges looking like edges after a few hours. It’s still leaves me decent after work (you know, like I be at the mirror every hour with a brush) and that means a lot to me. I just look like a normal girl with tamed edges with this gel. My only issue is that for me, if the weather is not cold enough, it looks like “gel” and while I’m not crazy about the gel look (you know, that super laid back look), I don’t wanna look like I just came from recess either.
The Garnier Pure Clean Styling Gel… It’s Pattern Pusha at a cheaper price for me. Neither are better than the other. It claims strong hold, but tell that to my hair. It also has a typical gel consistency and combs out well without buildup. It’s good, but like I said, it’s Pattern Pusha at a cheaper price.
All of them have pleasant smells and I have no issues with the last 3 mentioned and would highly recommend all. Pattern Pusha is a dual item as you could use this if you wanted good hold from a twist out though Garnier Pure Clean finishing paste is a cheaper alternative. Pattern Pusha is also the most expensive, which is why I say Garnier is a cheaper alternative. Curly kinks is a decent price, but I don’t think you can find in on the ground. If you are looking for “Jam” and the like hold, these won’t suffice. Trust me. I had to use castor oil with Garnier to get the hold I was looking for *whomps*
I only use these gels on my edges. Not really on much more. I will continue this battle and see who prevails, but so far, only three are winning in my book :*
One Day, It Will Happen