Best Locking Gel – Buyer’s Guide

Styling your hair seems so difficult without the right products to soften and detangle it, hairdressers will confirm. In addition, almost any manipulation can harm your strands, leading to damage and breakage. My years of salon experience with a wide variety of clients shows that a high-quality fixing hair gel should be part of the routine if you want to restore and moisturize your hair, leaving your strands neat and bouncy.We’ve created a detailed TOP-5 of such gels for you, presenting the best products found on Amazon. Following the list, you can find some useful information on locking and keeping your hair healthy.

Best Locking Gel Buyer’s Guide: Toxins to Stay Away from and Useful Locking Tips

4 Hair Care Product Ingredients That May Damage Your Hair

On a quest for more natural hair care, let’s try to move away from the following:

Up till 2009, sulfates were a common thing in most hair care products. That year, L’Oréal Paris has introduced its sulfate-free line that started a movement against the chemical in care products. The problem is, combining with other chemicals, sulfates can create a dangerous carcinogen class called nitrosamines.

Coal tar

Coal tar ingredients are usually carcinogenic. They can be found in hair dyes, but the modern movement for more natural and eco-friendly ingredients and hair care should fix it. Exposure to coal tar may cause vision issues, dizziness, and mild dermatitis. A kind tip: If your hair care product is green or turns green over time, it might contain coal tar.

Imidazolidinyl Urea and DMDM Hydantoin

Difficult to remember, but these ingredients are also strong carcinogens that damage reproductive systems. A lot of products contain them for extra longevity. You might have heard of formaldehyde. This is a derivative.

Propylene glycol

A common ingredient in hair gels and antifreeze (you’ve read it right). Direct contact with the substance may cause brain, kidney, and liver dysfunction. When working with it, manufacturing employees have to wear protective gear.
With so many benefits, it’s hard to see why anyone would want to give up silicone. However, looking at the products that caught their eye can be useful during the first call.

When silicones first began to be used in hair care, they were used as purpose-built shampoos that saved time. In any case, they were very good, but after a while they would collect the hair, making it limp and difficult to do other services such as coloring or whistling. So they began to have a bad name.

 Paul Edmonds, stylist and GTG expert.

Tips for Locking Faster and Better

Getting back from the gloomy toxic town, here are some great tips on faster locking:

● Style after retwisting to make sure the hair does what you want it to do
● Be wise with the choice of products; they don’t “create” locks, your hands or comb do, they are only helpers
● Wear a satin scarf or another protective cover at night to prevent loose hairs and entanglement
● Look for a professional opinion before you do your first locks
● Don’t use lock jewelry for at least the first 4-6 months to avoid holes in your locks

Nourish Your Hair on Every Step of Locking

Not all of these options are natural yet all of them are effective and not damaging. Make every step of your hair care routine nourishing and enriching for it. Even when applying gel for locking, be sure it brings something useful other than a stronghold.

What is the Best Locking Gel on the Market?


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best locking gel

1. Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Lock & Braid Butter – 100% Vegan Formula

SHEA MOISTURE Jamaican Black Castor Oil Loc & Braid Butter, 6 Oz
1,323 Reviews
SHEA MOISTURE Jamaican Black Castor Oil Loc & Braid Butter, 6 Oz
  • Delivers intense moisture to locs and braids
  • Softens, conditions and leaves hair more resistance to breakage
  • For dry, over processed hair


This is a 6-ounce container with natural butter that will soften and moisturize your hair. Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Lock & Braid Butter (official website) is a great way out if your hair breaks a lot or if you want to promote hair growth. It has a very thick consistency but distributes very well.


This product will:

Repair and prevent further hair damage
Due to Jamaican black castor oil and its numerous nutrients, this gel makes your hair stronger and more flexible. Omegas are especially good for that, and JBCO has quite a lot of them. The hair becomes shinier and overall neater and healthier.
Improve hair growth
Peppermint is another significant ingredient in this gel. It helps activate the scalp and hair follicles, making them stronger and improving hair growth.
Moisturize your hair and scalp
Raw shea butter is one of the major ingredients, it helps moisturize and enrich damaged hair with nutrients.
Control frizz
Due to the natural formula of the gel that penetrates every piece of hair, any hairdo will look very neat and frizz will be tamed.


There are no safety concerns since the ingredients used for this line are vegan. Still, make sure you, your children, or your pets don’t ingest it. Due to its concentration, the product may be a mild irritant.
The manufacturer specifies there’s no:

● Animal testing of their products;
● No petrolatum
● No mineral oils
● No parabens
● No sulfates
● No phthalates

Our team recommends this product. It’s for those who try to be as friendly to nature as possible. Its 100% vegan formula offers all the same benefits for your hair without having to use silicones. Some say the latter is the fastest helper for their hair strength, but we’re moving towards an eco-friendly future, right? This all-natural formula is great for frizz control and leaves your hairdo neat even after several days.

Pros and Cons

  • Thick consistency
  • Vegan formula
  • No parabens, glycols, silicones
  • Promotes hair growth
  • Locks moisture for a long time
  • Repairs hair and prevents further damage
  • Controls frizz
  • The container is too small for some people
  • May not be good for retwisting since it softens hair a lot

2. ORS Lock and Twist Gel – No Residue

ORS Lock and Twist Gel 13 Ounce (Pack of 1)
1,052 Reviews
ORS Lock and Twist Gel 13 Ounce (Pack of 1)
  • Cream hair gel formula.
  • Natural hair care.
  • Perfect for all natural styles.


The product (official website) comes in a 13-ounce container and combines two of the most wanted things from a locking gel: stronghold and moisture lock. There’s no flaking, the gel dries clear, and fits all-natural hairstyles.


The product is water-based, contains coconut milk and soybean oil that provide nutrients to the hair. The manufacturer offers detailed directions of use. They also recommend using the product with other items from the line. The steps work for freehand, comb, and double-strand twists.

This gel is as good for the initial twist as it is for touch-ups. Apply it in-between shampoos and twist the newly-grown length to freshen up the hairdo.


The manufacturer specifies the product is only for external use and should be out of reach of children and pets. It’s an irritant, so avoid contact with the eyes. If the contact occurs, rinse thoroughly with water.

The gel doesn’t contain silicone, and while it’s a matter of dispute whether silicones are good or bad for your hair, we still consider their absence a major advantage. It does contain propylene glycol, though, and two kinds of parabens. The proportions are safe to use but if you’re looking for an all-natural option, this isn’t one.
This gel is great for all-natural hairstyles. Although it contains some chemicals, the proportions don’t seem to damage your hair while providing a stronghold. There are no silicones, though, and the product doesn’t leave any residue even after multiple consequential uses. The latter is great if you’re traveling a lot and can’t afford a full hair care routine.

Pros and Cons

  • Respectable brand
  • Doesn’t contain silicones
  • Leaves no residue
  • No animal testing
  • Detailed usage directions
  • No flaking
  • May not hold twists strongly for many days

3. African Pride Black Castor Miracle Extra Hold Braid, Lock, Twist Gel – Natural Formula

African Pride Black Castor Miracle Extra Hold Braid, Loc, Twist Gel, Tames Frizz & Edges, No Parabens, No Sulfates, No Mineral Oil, No Petrolatum, Contains Black Castor & Coconut Oil, 8 oz
10,226 Reviews
African Pride Black Castor Miracle Extra Hold Braid, Loc, Twist Gel, Tames Frizz & Edges, No Parabens, No Sulfates, No Mineral Oil, No Petrolatum, Contains Black Castor & Coconut Oil, 8 oz
  • PROVEN HAIR CARE - African Pride Black Castor Miracle Extra Hold Braid, Loc, & Twist Gel smooths frizz & flyaways while boosting...
  • FEATURED INGREDIENTS - Enriched with Black Castor Oil: Nourishes scalp and helps to promote hair growth; Coconut Oil: Deeply...
  • NATURALLY FORMULATED - The ingredients within African Pride products are free of harmful components, including parabens, mineral...


This gel (official website) is stored in 8 oz containers. It offers premium care if used with other products from the line. The gel smells great yet has a natural formula that nourishes and protects your hair from damage. You get all the features without mineral oils, petrolatum, and sulfates.


The product provides

● Professional care
● Neat twists
● Controlled frizz
● No flyaways
● Long-lasting result

One of the ingredients is black castor oil that improves the speed and quality of hair growth and enriches the follicles and scalp with nutrients. Another element in the mix is coconut oil that is known to deeply hydrate skin and hair, locking moisture there for a long time.


There are no special safety precautions. The product is an irritant and is only for external use. Don’t get the gel into your eyes, and if the contact happens, rinse the affected area well. Don’t let children or pets play with it.

This is another natural option for stylish hair. It’s very easy to use: just wet your hair, apply some of the product to the roots and/or hairline, style the hair, and dry the hairstyle. The non-toxic formula makes it suitable for more people, especially during this time when we try to be more aware of the global eco-problems.

Pros and Cons

  • Natural formula
  • Respected brand
  • Great smell
  • No petrolatum
  • No sulfates
  • No parabens
  • No mineral oils
  • None found

4. Cantu Shea Butter for Natural Hair Moisturizing Twist & Lock Gel – Great Detangling Properties

Cantu Moisturizing Twist & Lock Gel with Shea Butter for Natural Hair, 13 oz (Packaging May Vary)
18,205 Reviews
Cantu Moisturizing Twist & Lock Gel with Shea Butter for Natural Hair, 13 oz (Packaging May Vary)
  • TURN FRIZZ INTO TWISTS: soothes silky & shiny curls perfectly for twists, braid outs, and loc styles
  • AWARD-WINNING TEXTURE: creamy gel formula made from pure shea butter soothes, de-frizzes & moisturizes strands
  • GREAT FOR: Type 3 Curls, Type 4 coils, and Locs


This is a 13-ounce container full of shea butter softness. It’s thick, quite heavy, and free of toxins. The product makes your hair silky and shiny, maintaining the condition of your hairdo for many days. It’s good for people who sweat frequently. Usually, when the scalp sweats, the product tends to change the shape of the hairstyle. The Cantu line (official website) will still hold your hair and keep it frizz-free.


The gel:

● Provides naturally-looking results
● Nourishes hair due to shea butter content
● Controls frizz and edges
● Makes any twist and braid shiny and neat
● Softens hair

It’s a very good option for natural hair. The product makes even the worst tangles more manageable. For such situations, though, it’s better to have more than one untangling item in the routine.


There are no unusual safety precautions specified by the manufacturer. The product may be an irritant, so make sure you don’t get it into your eyes. Keep away from children and pets. If ingested, contact a doctor. If the gel gets into your eyes, rinse them well.

The whole Cantu line works great for any natural hairstyle. It gives that neat look, calms down all the loose hairs, and tames the edges. The result doesn’t look fake yet the hair is shiny and smells great. The gel dries clear and doesn’t leave a residue.

Pros and Cons

  • Good for natural hairstyles
  • Maintains through sweat
  • Smells nice
  • The result looks natural
  • Thick formula
  • Clear dry-out
  • Great curl guide
  • May not hold difficult hairstyles well

5. Joie Naturals MyGel Hair Styling Gel – Easy Braiding

Joie Naturals MyGel Hair Styling Gel, 4 ounces
3,335 Reviews
Joie Naturals MyGel Hair Styling Gel, 4 ounces
  • Specially-formulated hair gel stimulates and nourishes your hair shafts to give a thicker, and healthier look.
  • Rich ingredients such as plant oils and extracts of herbs promotes healthy hair growth.
  • Works as a great styling aid, especially for locks.


This gel (official website) comes in tiny 4-ounce containers, which is great for frequent travelers. It promotes hair growth, makes weak hair stronger, and helps condition it. As a result, you get neater braids that are easier to make.


The formula:

● Enriches the hair shaft, strengthening it
● Makes hair look thicker
● Promotes faster and healthier hair growth due to plant oils and herb extracts
● Works as a conditioner as well

It’s recommended to apply it to the roots, especially on the areas with weak hair. Massage the scalp well after use, and only then style the locks.


There are no unusual safety precautions specified by the manufacturer. The product contains no parabens but it does contain propylene glycol, so use it at your own discretion. Don’t get the gel in your eyes, and if the contact happens, rinse them well and contact a doctor if the irritation gets worse. Keep children and pets away.

This product is half styling, half healing mix. It can help you treat balding spots and areas with weak hair. For longer hair, make sure you have more than one container. 4 ounces isn’t too much of a volume. We recommend this product for conditioning and styling, but if you have too many loose hairs or need to keep your edges under control, consider adding another product with a stronger hold.

Pros and Cons

  • No parabens
  • Easy braiding
  • Conditions hair
  • Has herb extracts and plant oils
  • Good styling for locks
  • May not style edges well

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Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links.