As someone who has worn dreads for years, I understand the challenges that come with maintaining them. They can be a labor of love that demands the right products to keep them looking their best. One of the most essential items in your dreadlock care toolkit is locking gel. But how do you pick the right one from an ocean of choices? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! Here, I’ll share my top 10 picks for the best locking gels that’ll not only help you maintain strong and healthy dreads in 2023 but also guide you on how to start dreads effectively.

Why Do You Need a Good Locking Gel?

Before we dive into the list, let’s quickly discuss why a quality locking gel is essential for your dreads. Locking gel helps to:

  1. Keep the shape of your dreads: A good locking gel will help your dreads hold their shape, giving them that neat, uniform look.
  2. Maintain moisture: Many locking gels also moisturize your dreads, preventing them from drying out and breaking.
  3. Reduce frizz: They can also help to tame frizz, which is a common problem with dreadlocks.

With that out of the way, let’s get into the list of the top 10 locking gels for 2023.

1. Knotty Boy Locksteady Tropical Tightening Gel

locking gel for dreads

Knotty Boy has always been a go-to brand for dreadlock products, and their Locksteady Tropical Tightening Gel is no exception. This gel offers a strong hold without leaving any residue behind, and it smells fantastic too!

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2. Jamaican Mango & Lime Locking Gel

locking gel for dreads

This product is well-loved for its organic ingredients like Jamaican mango and lime extracts. It’s an excellent option for those wanting to avoid harsh chemicals. Plus, it leaves your dreads smelling tropical fresh!

3. Dread Head HQ Locking Gel

best loc gel

The Dread Head HQ Locking Gel is designed to provide a firm hold while being gentle on your hair. It’s perfect for new and mature dreads alike, and it’s unscented for those who prefer a subtle product.

4. Murray’s Gel Loc-Lock

best locking gel for dreads

Murray’s Gel Loc-Lock offers fantastic value for money. It provides an excellent hold for your dreads and is enriched with olive oil to keep your locks moisturized.

5. Bronner Brothers Tropical Roots Twist Cream

best locking gel for dreads

This product stands out for its ability to stimulate root growth while providing a strong hold. The Bronner Brothers Tropical Roots Twist Cream is also rich in pineapple and guava, which can leave your hair smelling amazing.

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6. Cantu Shea Butter for Natural Hair Extra Hold Edge Stay Gel

locking gel for dreads

This gel from Cantu is a godsend for those with natural hair. Its shea butter formula is excellent at keeping dreads moisturized, and its strong hold ensures your style stays in place.

7. Dollylocks 8oz Coconut Lime Grapefruit Tightening Gel

Top locking gel for dreads

Dollylocks is a trusted name in the dreadlock community, and this product doesn’t disappoint. It not only provides a strong hold but also leaves your dreads smelling like a tropical paradise.

8. Design Essentials Natural Honey & Shea Edge Tamer

Top locking gel for dreads

This locking gel from Design Essentials offers a combination of natural honey and shea butter, which provides excellent hold and moisture for your dreads. It’s also perfect for managing those pesky flyaways.

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9. Eco Style Olive Oil Styling Gel

best locking gel for dreads

Eco Style Olive Oil Styling Gel is a versatile product that can be used on dreads and other natural hairstyles. It provides a strong hold, adds shine, and keeps your hair healthy with its olive oil infusion. It’s perfect for those looking for a budget-friendly yet effective option.

10. Dr. Locs Jinan Leave-In Conditioner

best locking gel for dreads

Though not a traditional gel, the Dr. Locs Jinan Leave-In Conditioner deserves a mention. It offers light hold and keeps your dreads moisturized and frizz-free. It’s perfect for those days when you want a more natural, relaxed look.

How to Choose the Best Locking Gel for Your Dreads

Now that you know the top 10 locking gels for 2023, you might be wondering, “How do I choose the right one for me?” Here are some factors to consider:

  1. Your Hair Type: Just like any other hair product, different locking gels work better on different hair types. If you have naturally dry hair, consider a product with moisturizing ingredients like shea butter or olive oil.
  2. Hold Strength: If you have new dreads, you might need a product with a stronger hold compared to someone with mature dreads.
  3. Ingredients: If you prefer natural and organic products, look for gels made with natural ingredients.
  4. Price: Of course, you also need to consider your budget. But remember, a higher price doesn’t always mean a better product. There are plenty of affordable locking gels that perform just as well as their high-end counterparts.

Final Words

Your dreads are an extension of your personality, a style statement that speaks volumes about you. Therefore, they deserve the best care possible, and using a quality locking gel is a crucial part of that care.

Each of the 10 products I’ve listed brings something unique to the table, so I’m confident you’ll find the perfect match for your dreads. Remember, the key to healthy and strong dreads isn’t just about using the right products, but also about maintaining a consistent hair care routine. So, pick your favorite locking gel from this list, stick to a regimen, and watch as your dreads thrive.

Don’t let anyone fool you – maintaining dreads can be easy and stress-free. With the right locking gel, you’re already halfway there. Here’s to strong, healthy, and stunning dreads in 2023!

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