Botanical Gel

Why I Replaced My Leave-in With A Botanical Gel

Do You use a botanical gel in your styling routine?

The conscious consumer and the advent of the clean beauty movement have made pant-based everything more popular. When it comes to hair care, plant-based products bring promises of healthy, conscious curls, definition, and ease.

While this is very enticing, all plan-based products are not equal. The use of plant-based is good, but the overuse or misuse of the wrong plant-based products can lead to more of the same with natural hair care. If you’re curious about botanical gels and their benefit, you’re in luck! Today we’re taking a closer look at botanical gels and why they might be right for your styling routine.

Disclaimer – this post will not tell you what botanical gels to use on your natural hair. If you’re curious about my favorites, a post about some of my fave botanical gels is coming soon!

What are botanicals

A botanical, by definition, is a substance obtained from a plant used as an additive. When it comes to hair care, botanical additives exist in various products, including shampoos, conditioners, and stylers. Some common botanicals used in hair care include coconut oil, shea butter, castor seed oils, aloe, marshmallow, camomile, and horsetail. Essentially, if it grows from the earth and has a perceived benefit, it can exist in or as a product.

Benefits of botanical gels

Botanical gels tend to be plant-based and water-soluble. Unlike gels you may have grown up with or used in the past, botanical gels don’t typically contain parabens, fillers, plastic, or polymers as their main ingredients.

These products usually include humectants, which draw water to the hair and help maintain moisture levels of adequately hydrated hair.  Because they are water-soluble botanical gels wash out easily, are less likely to lead to build-up when sufficiently cleansed from the hair, and are perfect for layering under other gels to create a flexible hold that lasts.

Side note: ingredients and additives differ based on quality. If you’re curious about what is in your stylers or products in general, scan the label. The items listed in the top five to ten ingredients are usually the most prevalent in your products.

Why botanical gels may be better than cream-based leave-ins

Dense, creamy leave-ins, while sometimes plant-based, are not often water-soluble, can easily lead to build-up, and can potentially reduce some gels’ effectiveness. If you’re struggling to maintain longevity or realize definition in your curls and used a leave-in religiously, consider changing your base product.  

Water solubility makes botanical gels an excellent option for pairing and layering with other products. When used as a leave-in, these gels are great at enhancing definition, are light enough not to weigh down the hair, and typically don’t reduce other gels’ effectiveness. While cream-based leave-ins do have a place, botanical gels may better meet your styling needs.

Don’t just take my word for it. While layering of botanical gels has become part of my go styling technique, I challenge to give it a try and test the results yourself. Whether you like it or love it, comment below and let me know how it works out.