|My TwistOut using curl activator gel|
I’ve gotten this questions many times, because when I had a TWA I used curl activator gel often to set my twists instead of styling gel. Now the only reason I picked up curl activator gel in the first place was because I was attracted to the words “curl activator” and I was desperately searching for something to define my natural curl pattern and my styling gels, ic fantasia and eco styler, weren’t defining my curls, so why not give the curl activator gel a try. This would have to work because it says right on the bottle activator.
After using the curl activator gel on my hair several times with less then stellar results I started using it to set my twists. I wasn’t going to waste the gel just because it doesn’t define my curls.
Now on to the question.
What I’ve learned to be the difference is not scientific, but simply common sense when I learned a little about the ingredients and after using them both in my hair.
Curl activating gel has an ingredient called “Glycerin” in it. Glycerin is a humectant. meaning it attracts water, and it is great in warm months because it sucks moisture from the air. But in cooler dryer months like Fall, Winter and Early Spring it sucks the moisture from your hair leaving it dry and flaky. Curl activator gel doesn’t give any hold. It keeps hair shiny and soft without the hold. Also, because it sucks up moisture, your hair will puff up due to all the moisture and will feel incredibly soft.
Styling gels are meant to add hold to hair. When used on wet or dry hair it can slick hair down and hold it down and/or slick hair up and hold it up against gravity. When used in large amounts styling gel can give hair a hard feeling but also gives your hair a very smooth look. When used on wet hair it helps in defining curls and holds the definition while keeping the hair smooth and less frizzy. Not all styling gels are created equal though, some have alcohol that dries out hair. Some have oils that add shine.
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Jenell Stewart, formally known as BlakIzBeautyful is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Kinky Curly Coily Me. Jenell has a MS in special education and dedicates her time to educating and uplifting women with kinky, curly, coily hair. She big chopped on March 26, 2010 and currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.View all Jenell posts.