Do You Put Oil In Curly Hair Before Or After Gel?

Curly hair can be a beautiful and unique feature, but it also requires special care and attention to keep it healthy and defined. One common question that arises is whether to apply oil before or after gel. The answer to this is simple: it depends on your hair type and personal preference. If your hair is on the drier side, applying a small amount of oil before gel can help to lock in moisture and provide extra nourishment. On the other hand, if your hair tends to get oily easily, applying oil after gel may weigh it down. Experimenting with both methods will help you determine which one works best for your specific hair needs.

Do you put oil in curly hair before or after gel?

Curly hair requires specific care and styling techniques to enhance its natural beauty. One common question that many people with curly hair have is whether they should apply oil before or after using gel. The answer to this question depends on personal preference and the desired outcome. Both options have their own benefits and it is important to understand how each method can help you achieve your desired look.

Benefits of using oil on curly hair before gel

Applying oil to your curly hair before using gel can provide several benefits. Firstly, it helps to nourish and moisturize your hair, leaving it softer, smoother, and more manageable. Oil acts as a protective barrier, preventing the gel from overly drying your strands. Additionally, using oil before gel can help to seal in moisture, reducing frizz and promoting healthy hair growth.

Benefits of using oil on curly hair after gel

On the other hand, applying oil to your curly hair after using gel can provide a different set of benefits. By using oil after gel, you can further enhance the shine and definition of your curls. The oil helps to seal the style and lock in moisture, giving your hair a polished and finished look. Additionally, it can prevent the gel from leaving your hair feeling stiff or crunchy, allowing for more natural movement and bounce.

How to apply oil before gel

If you choose to apply oil before gel, here’s a simple step-by-step guide:

  1. Start with freshly washed and conditioned hair.
  2. While your hair is still damp, apply a small amount of oil to your palms and distribute it evenly throughout your hair.
  3. Focus on the ends of your hair, as they tend to be more prone to dryness and damage.
  4. After applying the oil, proceed to apply your preferred gel or styling product as usual.
  5. Style your hair as desired, either by air-drying or using a diffuser.

Remember, a little goes a long way when it comes to applying oil. Start with a small amount and add more if needed. You don’t want your hair to feel weighed down or greasy.

How to apply oil after gel

If you prefer to apply oil after gel, follow these steps:

  1. Style your hair as desired using gel or any other styling product.
  2. Once your hair is completely dry, take a few drops of oil and rub it between your palms to warm it up.
  3. Gently scrunch the oil into your curls, focusing on the mid-lengths and ends of your hair.
  4. Avoid applying too much oil to your roots, as it can make your hair look greasy.
  5. If needed, use your fingers or a wide-toothed comb to distribute the oil evenly.

Remember, the key is to use a small amount of oil and apply it in a gentle manner. This will help to avoid disrupting the curl pattern and maintain a natural-looking finish.

Recommended oils for curly hair

Choosing the right oil for your curly hair is essential to achieve the best results. Here are a few oils that are highly recommended for curly hair:

  1. Argan oil: Known for its moisturizing and nourishing properties, argan oil is ideal for taming frizz and adding shine to your curls.
  2. Jojoba oil: Similar in composition to our natural scalp oils, jojoba oil is easily absorbed by the hair, providing hydration and preventing moisture loss.
  3. Coconut oil: A versatile oil that can penetrate the hair shaft, coconut oil helps to strengthen and protect your hair, as well as add shine and reduce frizz.
  4. Sweet almond oil: Lightweight and non-greasy, sweet almond oil is rich in vitamins and minerals that promote healthy hair growth and prevent breakage.
  5. Grapeseed oil: With its high linoleic acid content, grapeseed oil is perfect for moisturizing and conditioning your curls, without leaving behind a heavy residue.

Remember, everyone’s hair is unique, so it may take some trial and error to find the perfect oil for your curls. Don’t be afraid to experiment and see what works best for you.

Tips for using oil on curly hair with gel

Here are some additional tips to help you make the most of using oil on your curly hair with gel:

  1. Start with a small amount of oil and gradually add more if needed. It’s easier to add more oil than to remove excess.
  2. Focus on the mid-lengths and ends of your hair when applying oil, as these areas tend to be drier and more prone to damage.
  3. Use a wide-toothed comb or your fingers to distribute the oil evenly and prevent clumps or greasy spots.
  4. Experiment with different oil-to-gel ratios to find the perfect balance for your hair. Some people prefer more oil for added moisture, while others prefer a lighter touch.
  5. Avoid applying oil to your roots if you have fine or easily weighed-down hair. This can make your hair look greasy and flat.

By following these tips, you can achieve the desired results and create beautiful, defined curls that are nourished and protected.

Common mistakes to avoid when using oil and gel on curly hair

While using oil and gel on curly hair can yield fantastic results, there are some common mistakes to avoid:

  1. Using too much oil: Over-applying oil can leave your hair feeling greasy and weighed down. Start with a small amount and add more if needed.
  2. Applying oil to dirty hair: Oil is best applied to clean, damp hair for maximum absorption and benefit. Avoid applying oil to dirty or product-laden hair, as it may not penetrate effectively.
  3. Not experimenting with different oils: Each person’s hair is unique, so what works for one may not work for another. Don’t be afraid to try different oils and see which one suits your hair the best.
  4. Not rinsing out the gel properly: Gel can create a cast on your hair that needs to be rinsed out or scrunched out once dry. Leaving the gel cast can prevent the oil from properly penetrating the hair.
  5. Using products with harsh ingredients: Avoid using hair products that contain sulfates, parabens, and other harsh chemicals that can strip your hair of moisture and cause damage.

By being aware of these common mistakes, you can ensure that your oil and gel routine is effective and beneficial for your curly hair.

Other styling products to use with oil and gel

In addition to oil and gel, there are other styling products that can be used to enhance your curly hair routine. Some options include:

  1. Leave-in conditioner: A leave-in conditioner provides extra hydration and moisture to your hair, making it more manageable and reducing frizz.
  2. Curl cream: Curl creams help to define and enhance your natural curl pattern, providing hold and reducing frizz.
  3. Mousse: Mousse is a lightweight styling product that can add volume and hold to your curls without weighing them down.
  4. Heat protectant: If you use heat styling tools, a heat protectant spray or serum can help prevent damage and breakage.

These additional products can be used in conjunction with oil and gel to create a customized hair care and styling routine that suits your hair’s specific needs.

How often should you use oil on curly hair?

The frequency of applying oil to your curly hair can vary depending on factors such as hair type, porosity, and individual preference. Some people may find that using oil once or twice a week provides sufficient moisture and nourishment, while others may need to use it more frequently. It’s important to listen to your hair’s needs and adjust your routine accordingly.

If you have low porosity hair, which tends to be resistant to moisture absorption, applying oil more frequently can help to combat dryness and promote healthier curls. On the other hand, high porosity hair, which tends to absorb and lose moisture quickly, may benefit from using oil less frequently to avoid weighing down the hair or causing excessive greasiness.

Ultimately, finding the right balance and frequency of oil usage will require some experimentation and observation of how your hair responds. Pay attention to how your curls feel and look, and adjust your routine accordingly to ensure they stay healthy and vibrant.


When it comes to whether you should put oil in curly hair before or after gel, there is no definitive answer. It ultimately depends on your personal preference and the desired outcome. Applying oil before gel can provide added moisture, nourishment, and protection, while applying oil after gel can enhance shine and definition. Experiment with both methods to see which one works best for your curls.

Remember to choose the right oil for your curly hair, follow the correct application techniques, and avoid common mistakes. Additionally, consider incorporating other styling products into your routine and adjust the frequency of oil usage based on your hair’s needs.

By understanding how to use oil and gel effectively, you can achieve beautiful, healthy curls that are full of life and vibrancy. Embrace your curly hair journey and enjoy experimenting with different techniques and products to find what works best for you.

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