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5 Best Vegan Hair Gel Brands for the Style You’ll Love

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We all have different hair situations and not one of ours is the same. You may have curly hair, frizzy, or so straight it’ll never hold a curl!

Hair gel is the key to creating the best look and feel to your hair by calming frizz, adding shine, and holding any style.

It’s come a long way over nearly a century and is very versatile. Hair gel now does more than just style your hair – it can even treat it and help it grow!

We’ve rounded up the best vegan hair gel brands for all of your hair needs – check them out!

In a Hurry? Here’s Our Quick List of Top Picks

All About Hair Gels

Hair gel has evolved since its invention in the 1920s. Throughout nearly a century, hair gel has been necessary to creating the look and fashion of the times.

Iconic movies like Grease put hair gel on display in their slicked-back look of the 1950s. While most of us growing up in the 1980s remember products like Dippity Do used to create those memorable hair-dos.

Fast forward to today where you can find numerous hair gel products for all kinds of hair types.

Most importantly, some hair gels, like the ones on our list of top picks, no longer contain the toxic chemicals the original products once did.

Not one gel is created equal, but neither is our hair, right? What it comes down to are the ingredients.

Each gel is formulated with different ingredients to offer different levels of hold and to smooth curls, control frizz, add shine, create style, and treat hair.

Hair gel is versatile, and once you find the right one for you, it’s something you can include in your daily regimen for the enviable mane you desire.

Things to Look for That Differentiate These Products

The products on our list are vegan and cruelty-free. This means they were not tested on animals, and no animal byproducts are used to make them.

Also, there are no toxic chemicals absorbing through the pores in your scalp and skin on your face and neck.

You’ll notice various differences among the products like the levels of hold and the ingredients.

We want you to find the perfect hair gel for your hair type! So among our top picks there are gels with light to strong hold for curl control, wet look, or even fine baby hair.

Some of the gels are gluten-free as this is important to some, others even treat your scalp and encourage hair growth.

You’ll also discover all the hair gels contain nourishing, plant-derived essential oils and/or extracts your hair will love.

Ways to Use Hair Gel

There are several ways to use hair gel and it all depends on your type of hair, length, and thickness.

For men, distributing the gel throughout clean hair is the first step. Then either create the “bed head” look or smooth out with a comb.

In this video, watch how to achieve a great men’s style:

For women with long hair, gel is used to slick back hair, create various styles, or control frizz.

When gel is used on wet or dry hair it will render different results, and you can even become skilled on using a diffuser which often times makes hair gel work the best.

This video gives you some helpful tips on how to use hair gel for long hair styles:

Distribution is important, but so is not using too much! If too much hair gel is used you could risk over drying and build-up to occur.

Plus, if too much is used you may end up with lots of unsightly white flakes all over your head.

Lastly, and undoubtedly the most complicated of hair types, is curly hair. There is definitely a routine to follow when using hair gel to control your curls and make them beautiful and frizz free.

Finally, this video explains how to apply gel to curly hair for best results:

There are many other methods for curly hair success so find the one that works best for you!

5 Top Picks for Vegan Hair Gels

Whether you are looking to control your curls, add shine, or create the perfect hairstyle we have a hair gel perfect for you!

Shear Miracle Organics Hold It! Hair Gel

Hold It! Hair Gel - Vegan, Gluten Free, GMO Free, No Animal Testing.

Shear Miracle Organics’ Hold It! is a salon quality hair gel providing natural control and soft feel for curls and men’s hairstyles.

This hair gel is great for someone looking for a medium hold, and the option to use for wet or dry styles. It is especially great for taming curls!

You can create an organic hair salon experience at home when using this product!

If you’d like to create a wet look with firmer hold, simply diffuse or air dry your hair after applying the gel.

For the dry, softer look, blow dry hair and manipulate as desired once the gel is applied.

I love the natural ingredients including essential oils such as rosemary and organic evening primrose, and the base ingredient is structured vitamin water concentrate.

It’s also very moisturizing with its jojoba, grape seed, olive, and apricot oil! All known for their hydrating properties and excellent for your hair!

What We Like

  • Great for curls
  • Gluten-free, Non-GMO, Vegan
  • 100% organic
  • Soft, medium hold

What We Don’t Like

  • May not work the same on “2nd day hair”
  • Won’t work for slicked-back look

Deva Curl Light Defining Gel

Deva Curl Light Defining Gel, 32 oz

Calling all curly-haired women and men! Deva Curl’s Light Defining Gel is the solution for defined, controlled curls, and scrunch without leaving it stiff and crunchy.

This is a professional-grade hair salon product, and is completely free of sulfates, paraben, and silicone.

The hair gel works best for styles that are achieved using a diffuser or letting your hair air dry. Applying this to wet hair is a must!

Remember to use a microfiber towel or cotton t-shirt to absorb any excess moisture from your hair – not terry cloth!

Scrunch upward toward scalp when your hair is wet, and once dry, scrunch again to release your beautiful curls.

What’s great is at 32 fluid ounces, you will definitely get your money’s worth!

If you are in search of a light hold and moisturizing gel this fits the bill.

What We Like

  • Designed for curly and/or frizzy hair
  • Light, moisturizing hold
  • Great value

What We Don’t Like

  • Faulty pump design
  • Product may seem runny
  • May not be suitable for people with gluten allergy
  • May not work for all hair types

Max Green Alchemy Scalp Rescue Styling Gel

Scalp Rescue Styling Gel, 8.2 fl oz, Organic Unisex Formula Controls Frizz and Fly Away Hair, Curly Hair Community Favorite Gives Flexible Natural Hold, Fights Humidity, Alcohol Free & Water Based

This gel from Max Green Alchemy (MGA) is for men and women who are looking for a low, flexible, natural hold.

This gel is great for people who need frizz, flyaway and curl control!

Even better, it is treatment for your scalp! So if you suffer from scalp issues such as dandruff, psoriasis of the scalp, seborrheic dermatitis, dryness or itchiness, this may be the gel for you.

Nutrients like vitamin B5 and essential oils such as tea tree, lavender, and geranium treat your hair and scalp.

The herbs and essential oils treat your scalp, while the vitamin B5 is known to improve hair elasticity and moisture retention.

Also, hydrolyzed soy protein makes your hair super shiny and manageable.

MGA guarantees no build-up, and there are no toxic ingredients to worry about like sulfates, parabens, and petrochemicals.

To use, apply to dry or wet hair evenly throughout, and style as you wish! You can re-activate the gel by dampening your hair – so neat!

What We Like

  • Non-toxic ingredients
  • Light, flexible hold that re-activates when wet
  • Gluten-free
  • Scalp treatment and gel in one
  • Unisex

What We Don’t Like

  • May not work well for fine hair
  • Hold may be too light or not last for some
  • Some may be sensitive to essential oils scent

Giovanni L.A. Natural Styling Gel Strong Hold

Giovanni L.A. Hold Styling Gel - Extreme Hold Hair Gel with Surface Enhancers, 6.8 Ounce (Pack of 1)

Here’s a gel with an extreme hold! If you want to spike or shape your hair with lots of control this is the gel to check out.

Giovanni’s gel contains surface enhancers to make your hair shine; along with the company’s unique Eco Chic Technology.

While this gel may have the same look and feel of the traditional hair gels of the past, it is in fact very different.

This product contains plant-derived, non-toxic, and nutrient-rich ingredients – not tons of chemicals like traditional gels!

Essential oils take up the majority of the contents of the gel, which I love. For instance, there is rosemary, nettle, birch leaf, chamomile, clary and lavender.

Interestingly, another natural ingredient, called horsetail oil, when used on hair, will actually help it grow! It does this by sending nutrients directly to the site of hair loss.

Apply to clean, wet hair, and comb through or massage for even distribution – then style away!

What We Like

  • Strong hold without chemicals
  • No added fragrances
  • Hair nourishing ingredients

What We Don’t Like

  • May be too drying for some people
  • Some may not like the herbal smell
  • May not work for some hair types; might be too thick or sticky

Original Sprout Natural Hair Gel

Original Sprout Natural Hair Gel. Anti-Frizz Hair Gel. All Natural Hair Care for Babies, Kids, and Adults. 4 oz.

Original Sprout’s hair gel is safe for all ages! So if you are a parent looking for a free and clean hair gel, or you want the confidence knowing this product can be safely used on anyone including babies, here’s your gel!

This natural hair gel provides a medium to light hold and is great for controlling frizz and flyaways for a smooth, clean look.

The company proudly refers to this product as “worry-free luxury” since it is 100% natural, vegan, gluten-free, and clear of any hormone disruptors.

Natural Sprout is family-owned company in operation since 2003. They have gone to lengths to ensure all ingredients are entirely safe for you and your family.

For example, there are lots of fruit extracts such as cranberry, pineapple, apricot, and raspberry.  Plus, rosemary leaf and coconut oil further nourish the hair.

What We Like

  • All-natural and safe ingredients
  • Pleasant scent
  • Good for all ages
  • Light, smooth hold

What We Don’t Like

  • May flake once dry
  • Hold may be too light for some

Top Choice for the Best Vegan Hair Gel

Hold It! Hair Gel - Vegan, Gluten Free, GMO Free, No Animal Testing.

All of the hair gels on our list have unique qualities and holds from light to strong and offer nourishing ingredients to treat and style your hair.

However, one hair gel stands out among the rest: Shear Miracle Organics Hold It! Hair Gel!

Shear Miracle gel is versatile; you dictate the level of hold depending if you apply to wet hair and let it air dry, or diffuse and manipulate it for a dry, smooth hold.

I love the natural ingredients such as the essential and moisturizing oils, that are non-GMO, vegan, and gluten-free.

Finally, you can achieve lovely, controlled curls or a wet look with firmer hold all with one gel!

For these reasons we vote Shear Miracle Organics gel as our top choice for the best vegan hair gel brand!


Katie Hill

I'm a vegan mom, and I love cooking new vegan recipes. Over the years of living a plant-based lifestyle, I've learned the benefits to our health and the environment. I enjoy hiking, skiing, and attending music events.

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