Locs need day-to-day care and maintenance to keep them looking and feeling great. But, putting the time into them is not the only factor needed; it also depends on the locking gel you’re using! Locking gels help manage your hair and can also provide good shape. The best gels tend to be water-based and can be washed out easily. Wax-based ones are harder to wash out. That being said, different people need different ingredients – it’s not a ‘one fits all’ scenario. Unsure of what you need to look after your locs? Do not fret! Here are the 10 best locking gels out there for dreads.
The main selling point of African Formula’s gel is growth. This may not initially be what you’re looking for in a locking gel, but promoting healthy hair growth is always important! Even if you’re not planning on growing hair like Rapunzel, having healthy and natural hair will make you feel great and look healthy. The product is also Amazon’s choice for the best locking gel, so it’s a great two for one.
This gel is made with biotin and placenta extracts to promote healthy hair. At first many might be confused by placenta, but it’s a source of many nutrients and many swear by using it after a birth! The list of natural ingredients also includes a range of vitamins, vegetable proteins, and coconut oil to name a few. This four-ounce pot is also mineral oil-free. These pure ingredients will not damage your locs at all – no nasty chemicals are in this gel!
This gel is great for those of you who are after healthy growth and a locking gel all in one. If you’re an all-natural/organic fan, this would be the one to use! The price is also affordable, making this perfect for those who don’t want to splurge on their hair.
Lion Loc’s gel is a moisturizing locking gel that prevents breakage and makes the hair healthier and shinier. You’re able to twist, hold, mold, and tame your hair into whatever style you like with this gel! This gel is great to give your hair the extra boost in moisture to keep it from becoming dry and damaged, so if you’re prone to dry hair this is a great product for you!
The gel boasts that it also controls frizz as the gel penetrates hair and can seal the open hair cuticles. This tames stray hairs and keeps you looking fresh. The gel is made from 100% natural ingredients, handpicked to get the perfect combination. The formula is free from harmful sulfates and other man-made chemicals. Ingredients include aloe vera, leaf juice, argan oil, and even lavender oil.
This product is great for those who want a natural moisture boost or to tame their hair. Lion Loc’s has great reviews and lots of customer satisfaction. The 8-ounce locking moisture pot costs a fair price, and you’ll be using it for a long time so it’s easy to get your money’s worth. So, if you suffer from dry hair (or just want a popular locking gel), go for Lion Loc’s gel!
Jamaican Mango & Lime locking gel is great if you’re starting out your locs, or even if you’re maintaining healthy locs, twists, and braids. The gel locks the styles into place with no stickiness or residue – perfect for fresh feeling locs. This one is a good recommendation if you are new to the locs world as many use it as a first locking gel.
The gel is fortified with Manuka honey and Moringa seed oil – the blend of natural ingredients prevents annoying breakages and can even repair distressed hair. The proteins in Manuka honey can even reverse scalp damage whilst also strengthening hair follicles, talk about TLC for your scalp! The nourishing ingredients also seal hair cuticles to keep any frizz under control and will tame flyaway hairs for longer-lasting styles – perfect for the hair conscious among us.
The brand also guarantees natural and drug-free formulas instead of DHT, they state ‘if you’re not 100% satisfied, we will refund your purchase price – no questions asked.’ If you’re worried about buying a locking gel and not liking it, perhaps opt for Jamaican mango & lime, as they will be happy to refund your purchase! No stress here, only good hair.
At $4.95 per 8-ounces, Murray’s Gel Loc-Lock is a great option if you don’t want to spend too much on a locking gel. Sometimes we don’t want to jump into the deep end and end up spending more on a product that won’t get used or doesn’t suit us. Murray’s holds cornrows, braids, locs, and twists ‘tighter longer’, so this product is versatile and for many hairstyles.
The formula is cream-based, setting it apart from more watery alternatives. The locking cream is paraben-free and contains olive oil to secure some moisture. It also states that it’s a ‘non-flaking’ gel – this may be a good option if you are prone to dry hair at times or in the dryer winter months. It should be noted that this locking gel does contain some man-made chemicals though; this may be difficult for those that suffer from sensitive skin.
Check out Murray’s Gel Loc-Lock if you want to test the water with locking gels, there’s no big price commitment and it’s another great starter to see what works for your hair, as different scalps need different gels. Keep your hair moisturized and in a great style with this option. Just make sure to patch test first as some with sensitive skin may need a more natural-based option.
Cantu is another great option if you’re looking to get more for your money. This twist and locking gel comes in an impressive 13-ounce jar for $4.97, giving you a good amount of product for a great price. The gel contains shea butter, which is another great ingredient for moisture and shine. This will control your frizz and maintain a silky smooth hold for a long time.
The brand states that it can be used with many styles, from ‘a beautiful afro, sleek & straight hair, intricate braids or your natural curls in all their gorgeous glory’ proving the product’s versatility. Cantu has also won awards with their locking products, proving many swear by this silky smooth shea butter formula for their curly hair. The ingredients are silicone-free, but are not completely natural – so do check the ingredients list if you have sensitive skin.
If you’re into rocking lots of different styles and want a locking gel to support these, opt for Cantu. Not only is it an economic price, but also it is award-winning – this gel has your back when it comes to pulling hair looks. Many also claim that this gel smells great too, another bonus to the moisturizing shea butter!
If you’re on the lookout for a more specialized product, try Taliah Waajid’s Tight Hold locking gel. This is a good choice if you’ve experimented with color in your hair – the gel is made to help color-treated locs. The locking gel holds resistant, color-treated, and gray hair; this is a nice option if you’re not starting off with locs. The gel can help treat and moisturize hair that is dryer and already in twists.
The locking gel has a nice cream texture; this defines natural curl patterns and can maintain locs, twists, and natural hair making it another versatile product. The gel also prevents flaking and build up, so this is again great for dryer hair textures. There is no alcohol in the formula, but there are rosemary and nettle for a boost of natural goodness. This also makes for a pleasant smell!
Tight Hold locking gel is great for the more experienced in the hairstyling community, this is because it can deal with pre-colored and damaged hair and the price is a little higher. If you know what products suit your hair or want to spend a little more money to ensure a good product this one is a good choice!
This is another great locking gel for starters, ORS Lock and Twist Gel isn’t specialized to any particular style or hair type – but many swear by it for great moisture and a good hold. The gel has a cream hair gel formula and is made for natural hair care. If you want a no-fuss product that doesn’t need any special endorsements – look no further!
The formula is dye-free and contains coconut milk to lock in moisture to your locs. It does contain chemicals, so this is another to patch test before trying, but don’t let that put you off, many claims this is the Holy Grail. Lock and Twist Gel provides great gold, keeps your hair super moist, and prevents flakes. It is also not animal tested, so if you’re a vegan or vegetarian this is a good option!
If you’re unsure or confused by all the products on the market, this could be an option for you. Perfect for starter locs and natural hair, this product is what you need. Also, the non-animal tested formula is a must-buy for cruelty-free shoppers. Keep your hair care vegan with the ORS Lock and Twist Gel.
Do you fancy smelling great and looking good too? Try the Bronner Brothers Tropical Roots Twist Cream, this pineapple and guava sensation is a sensational smelling locking gel that makes you smell like heaven. The locking gel also maintains braids, locs, and twists and can promote healthy growth too – an all in one product!
The product is full of stimulating agents that promote growth, so if you’re trying to maintain your locs whilst growing them out this will be perfect for you. Try massaging the cream into your scalp for a boost in growth. The product can also be used for holding in moisture and laying edges, it keeps coils very defined for a longer amount of time. There is also no flaking and no residue after usage.
This locking gel is great for those with any style; it’s become an essential product for many and many return just for the tropical fragrance of the gel. Many also claim this product works for a long time, so no need to fuss about re-styling. It is also great for styling (as well as locking in moisture), so if you also want to lay your edges this is the locking gel for you.
Dollylocks is a great product for taming those fly-away hairs and containing frizz. This coconut, aloe, and lime loc tightening gel nourishes and strengthens locs whilst keeping them neat and tight, the aloe and coconut in the formula contain the perfect natural moisture blend. This is also recommended for new locs as a starter locking gel and many backs this up in the reviews!
The formula is residue-free and water-soluble, so it’s easy to wash out with no mess left behind. The ingredients also improve hair elasticity and promote repair from elemental or chemical damage, this is good for those who have experimented with their hair in the past and want to give their hair some love and care. This gel also comes in a pump container and not pot, this can make for easier usage and less mess.
If you are after dreadlocks with a tight appearance or are a newbie, this is a good option for you. The strong hold mixed with aloe and coconut ingredients gives you a good balance of moisture and organic natural ingredients. However, be aware that the formula is not 100% organic and contains some chemicals.
Unlike others on the list, Dax Bees-Wax locking gel is formulated with Royal Jelly and Pure Beeswax. Some find that wax holds their locs better than non-wax products, so if you’re one of these check this product out! The product softens and smooths hair to give a natural shine. The product is great for dreadlocks, twists, braiding, and sealing ends too.
The beeswax formula adds volume to the hair, as well as making it stronger and thicker. This gives more control to help when styling. The beeswax also gives shine and gloss and a protective layer to keep hair protected from harm and damage it may experience day-to-day. The Royal jelly extract contains vitamins and minerals for nourishment and to promote healthy hair growth. The formula also contains Safflower oil and mineral oils to minimize frizz and hydrate the hair.
If you have curly or coarse hair, this is a great product to try. Anyone new to locs may want to try this too, as it offers different types of protection to the non-wax locking gels. If you’re looking specifically for a product to use on braid ends this is another great buy, as it will seal them very well.
There are locking gels for all hair types and all loc styles; you just need to work out which suits you best. Maybe start experimenting with them and see what feels good, from wax to gel there are hundreds of types to try. Different fragrances, textures, and ingredients are waiting for you to use. What locking gel do you think is best? Give us your top picks in the comment section below.