You've probably heard—or seen online—that there's an ongoing debate as to which product(s) work better for curly hair, and there are as many different opinions as there are curl types out there. If you're wondering whether cream or gel is better for curls, well...let's talk. (Sometimes mousses or other products work their way into the debate as well, but for today, let's focus on cream vs. gel.) Creams and gels produce different results, and your specific curl type may react better to one than the other.
Gels can work on most curl types. Not every curly likes gel and the characteristics that can accompany it. Some gels can cause flaking, stiffness/crunchiness, stickiness/tackiness, or the feeling of having dirty hair even when it's clean. That's not to say that ALL gels would do this...there are certainly gels out there that do none of those things. But for some curlies, gels carry with them these minor pitfalls and it's tough for them to get past that. However, gel can have good properties as well. Some curlies have finer hair and have a hard time getting their curls to make it to the end of the day without drooping. The same goes for looser curls and waves—even without a fine texture, if you have hair that falls in lazier s-waves, you may have a tough time getting enough hold without a gel. Using a gel on waves can give just enough added definition and texture for your curls to last all day and even a second day, perhaps. Even if you have a tighter curl pattern and prefer a stronger hold and firmer definition, gel can help with that.
Curl creams are designed to be used on any curl type; the majority of curl creams work universally on any version of curly hair. That doesn't mean that they will work the same, of course—but creams encourage any type of curl, from loose waves to ringlets to tight corkscrews. Creams also give a softer hold and definition, encouraging the curl with moisture rather than locking it in place with a firm hold. Controlled Chaos Curl Crème, for example, gives all curls and waves added definition and shine while letting them bounce softly in their natural pattern—without crunch, flaking, or any of those above-mentioned pitfalls. When you use a curl cream, you know your curls will feel soft and clean—natural—no matter what. And there will definitely be no crunch factor! Controlled Chaos allows your curls to be the best version of their natural selves. And you won't have to worry about frizz! Curl creams always add moisture, while not all gels do. So you know you're getting just the right amount of frizz-fighting moisture when you use Controlled Chaos Curl Crème, and that in turn adds shine to your beautiful curly locks!
And then there is the hybrid option: gels and creams can be mixed/cocktailed/layered together on curls. For those who may have waves or curls that like to droop, or maybe like the holding properties of the gels but the smoothing/defining softer properties of a cream, try using both! Generally it's recommended to use the cream first (try the Controlled Chaos Curl Crème for best results!) and layer the gel over it, scrunching it into dripping wet hair. This may be a win-win option for curlies who have loose waves or maybe just prefer a curlier look. Waves or curls can be simultaneously allowed to bounce up softly and stay put. This is also a good option for heavier/longer hair that has trouble keeping height at the root. Perhaps a good dose of Controlled Chaos Curl Crème followed by a light spritzing of a spray gel at the roots and over the curls will give you the best of both worlds!
Your curl type, hair length, hair texture (fine/coarse), and desired look and feel of your curls will help you determine which product is your best bet for your curls. You know that curl creams are designed to be used on any curl type. We recommend giving Controlled Chaos Curl Crème a try to see how your own hair responds to it and go from there!