Best 8 Locking Gel No Build-up Of 2024: For Maximum Volume

Medically reviewed by Dr. Amy Revene M.B.B.S.
Written by Our Editorial Team
Last updated

Locking gel has become an essential product for those seeking to maintain their locks with ease and style. In 2024, the focus has shifted towards formulas that not only hold locks effectively, but also prevent the dreaded build-up that can weigh down hair and reduce volume. 

In this post, we will explore the top 8 locking gels of 2024 that are specifically formulated to offer maximum hold without leaving any residue. 

Whether you have thick, thin, curly, or straight hair, these products promise to keep your locks looking fresh, voluminous, and healthy. 

From eco-friendly options to gels infused with natural ingredients, get ready to discover the best locking gels that cater to a variety of needs and preferences, all while ensuring your hair remains build-up free and full of life.

What is a locking gel?

A locking gel is a hairstyling product specifically designed to help in the maintenance and styling of dreadlocks. It aids in keeping the hair strands neatly twisted together, ensuring that dreadlocks stay intact and well-groomed. 

Locking gels typically provide hold and control without flaking or leaving heavy residues, making them ideal for keeping locks tidy, defined, and manageable over time

8 best locking gel with no build-up

Locking gels are crucial for maintaining dreadlocks, twists, and locs, offering hold and control while minimizing residue and buildup. In 2024, several products stand out for their exceptional performance and quality. Here are the top 8 locking gels that promise no buildup and maximum volume:

1. Scandinavian Biolabs Hair Styling Gel

Scandinavian Biolabs Hair Styling Gel

Scandinavian Biolabs Hair Styling Gel offers a unique blend of natural ingredients for a soft hold and high-shine finish, without silicones and fragrances. 

Its formula includes Nordic Sea Buckthorn, known for hydrating and repairing hair, along with Rosemary for its antioxidant properties. 

Aloe Vera is also integrated to soothe the scalp and reduce dryness. This gel not only styles but also nourishes and protects the hair.

Hair Styling Gel
Hair Styling Gel
A light-weight gel to deliver a soft hold and a high-shine look

2. Cantu Moisturizing Twist & Lock Gel with Shea Butter

Cantu Moisturizing Twist & Lock Gel with Shea Butter

Cantu's Moisturizing Twist & Lock Gel offers a unique approach to hair care, emphasizing lubrication and freshness for styles like locs, curls, and twists. It's a perfect blend for those who prioritize both style and hair health. subtle, refreshing floral scent. 

The inclusion of Shea butter is a significant advantage, promoting sleek, silky, and smooth hair. This product is especially beneficial for those seeking to maintain their hair's natural moisture while keeping it well-groomed and stylish.

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3. Style Factor Lock Booster

Style Factor Lock Booster

The Style Factor Lock Booster excels in re-twisting black hair, providing a smooth, long-lasting grip. Its effectiveness in producing excellent locs and twists is noteworthy. 

The Lock Booster maintains its grip over time, significantly reducing frizz, and is favored for its delightful scent. Ideal for locs post-retwist, it offers extra hold and minimal buildup, making it a top choice for dreadlocks. Plus, its fantastic scent is a bonus.

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4. Lion Locs Locking Moisturizer

Lion Locs Locking Moisturizer

For those with very curly hair, the Lion Locs Locking Moisturizer is a top contender. This loc gel is known for its light, fragrant scent and light hold, with the added benefit of moisturizing properties. It's especially appealing to those who prefer natural, organic, vegan ingredients. 

Not only does it work wonders on long strands, but it also leaves hair soft, nourished, shiny, and silky, all while maintaining a subtle scent.

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5. Jamaican Mango & Lime Locking Gel

Jamaican Mango & Lime Locking Gel

Jamaican Mango & Lime is a well-established brand in the locs, dreads, and twists community. Their Locking Gel incorporates beeswax and honey, ingredients known for promoting healthy hair growth. 

Despite the controversy around wax, it's effective in preserving and protecting locs when used correctly. This gel ensures no flyaways, flakes, or unwanted residue, keeping dreadlocks and locs clean and well-maintained. Plus, it's known for its pleasant, long-lasting fragrances.

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6. Bronner Brothers Tropical Roots Firm Locking Gel

Bronner Brothers Tropical Roots Firm Locking Gel

Bronner Brothers Tropical Roots Firm Locking Gel, free from minerals, petroleum, and dyes, is an all-natural option excellent for starting braids, locs, and twists. 

It promotes healthy hair growth with a firm hold, ideal for stubborn hair. Slightly stickier than others but less so than beeswax, it's effective for both starting and maintaining locs.

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7. Taliah Waajid Black Earth Products

Taliah Waajid Black Earth Products

Taliah Waajid's locking gel is exceptional in maintaining hair growth and holding locs post-retwist. 

The gel, fragranced with subtle rosemary, provides a tight hold lasting more than two weeks, even surviving a retwist. It’s particularly effective on kinky hair, offering a quick-drying, waxy texture that is ideal for thick, curly, and challenging hair types.

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8. Super Gro Hair Gel

Super Gro Hair Gel

Super Gro Hair Gel is another excellent choice for a lightweight scalp feel. Packed with oils, vitamins, minerals, and herbal extracts, it rejuvenates, moisturizes, and promotes hair growth. 

The gel is more jelly-like than sticky, leaving no residue and offering a subtle fragrance. It keeps locs and twists neat and refreshed.

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Tips for choosing the best locking gel with no build-up

Choosing the best locking gel without buildup is key to maintaining healthy and well-styled dreadlocks or twists. Here are some tips to help you select the right product:

  • Ingredients matter: Look for natural ingredients like aloe vera or tea tree oil, which are less likely to cause buildup.
  • Avoid heavy waxes: Steer clear of products with heavy waxes like beeswax, as they tend to cause more buildup.
  • Water-based formulas: Opt for water-based gels as they are easier to wash out and less likely to accumulate residues.
  • Lightweight consistency: Choose gels with a lighter consistency to avoid weighing down your hair.
  • Check for moisturizing properties: Keeping your hair moisturized is important, so select a gel that offers hydrating benefits.
  • Fragrance-free options: If you have a sensitive scalp, consider fragrance-free products to reduce the risk of irritation.

Conclusion

The quest for the perfect locking gel with no buildup is crucial for maintaining healthy, voluminous, and well-styled dreadlocks or twists. 

Our comprehensive list of the best 8 locking gels of 2024, including standout products like the Scandinavian Biolabs Hair Styling Gel, offers a variety of options tailored to meet diverse hair care needs and preferences.

Each product, carefully selected, promises to deliver maximum hold without leaving any unwanted residue.

The Scandinavian Biolabs Hair Styling Gel, with its unique blend of natural ingredients for a soft hold and high shine, exemplifies the innovation in hair care products that prioritize both styling and hair health. 

This, along with the other top picks like Cantu Moisturizing Twist & Lock Gel and Style Factor Lock Booster, ensures that there's a solution for everyone, regardless of hair type.

FAQs

Can locking gel cause buildup?

Yes, locking gels can cause buildup, especially those containing alcohol and protein. To avoid this, look for formulas that are alcohol-free and protein-free to minimize flaking and buildup on the scalp and locs.

Is it possible to lock hair without using gel?

Absolutely. You can loc your hair naturally by palm rolling each dread clockwise every few days. This method helps your hair to lock naturally and speeds up the maturation process. Consistency in palm rolling can eliminate the need for products.

How can I prevent my gel from flaking?

To prevent flaking, start with clean hair, apply products to damp hair, and be consistent with the brands you use. Section your hair for even application, understand how different products interact, avoid over-manipulation of your hair, and use a moderate amount of product to avoid excessive build-up.

References:

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0378517323005410 

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Dr Amy Revene M.B.B.S. graduated from the University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. She is currently working as a General Physician at New Hope Medical Center. Amy has a passion for research and offers her expertise and opinions to help people in their quest to lead healthy, happy lives.