I’m going to cut right to the chase. I love this Biotera gel!
But I didn’t love it at first.
So today, I’m going to cover the pros and cons of the Biotera Defining Styling Hair Gel. I’m also going to cover my first impressions of this hair gel and what application changes I made that made this gel work for me.
Keep in mind, I can only speak from my experience with my 3a/3b hair. My hope is that this review will be a good guide for all the curly girls out there, but your results may be very different from mine.
Side note: This page does contain affiliate links, which means if you purchase something using the product links on this page, I may get a small commission. This comes at no extra cost to you and helps keep this site running. Thank you!
Also, I follow the simplified version of the Curly Girl Method most directly derived from the Curly Girl Handbook. This means the only ingredients I look to avoid are sulfates, silicones, and drying alcohols. If you have more ingredients that you look to avoid, it would be a good idea to check the ingredients for yourself before making a purchase.
Definition and Hold
This gel gives great definition and hold that lasts all day long. The hold is listed as a three out of five, which to me is a medium hold.
But I’ve tried several other medium hold gels and I’d consider this to be medium/hard. It has more flexibility than traditional hard hold gels, but I also feel like it has better hold than traditional medium hold gels.
This gel locks in moisture like nothing else–it’s almost too good at it! And because of that, it keeps frizz under control for almost the entire day (unless I’m playing with it too much, but that’s on me, not the gel).
However, there is typically some frizz at the end of the day, but I would consider it to be minimal. And I typically get as many compliments at 7 PM as I do at 11 AM.
I’ve also found that if frizz does pop up, the gel is easily reactivated with a little water.
This is one of my favorite parts of this gel–how it feels on my hair. It goes on smooth, and leaves a great gel cast.
I’ve found that the cast breaks up a little bit as it dries and the rest breaks up insanely easily when it comes time to scrunch out the crunch.
One of my biggest issues with harder hold gels is that I would often have a harder time breaking up the crunch, and when I finally made it happen, my hair would end up a little frizzier than it should be because I had to play with it so much.
This was true no matter if I use my hands, coconut oil, or a t-shirt to scrunch out the crunch.
This Biotera gel breaks up easily, so I’m not touching it to the point of frizz. And it leaves behind soft, hydrated curls.
The smell to this is very light and refreshing–at least, I find it refreshing, though you may disagree. 😉 And I’ve found the smell fads once my hair’s dry, so even if you’re not a fan of it, you shouldn’t be smelling it all day.
Minimal build-up and no flakes
My hair is pretty susceptible to product build-up, but I don’t have a problem with this gel at all.
I wash my hair a couple of times a week because I get build-up from my curl cream, but I’ve been using the gel longer than the curl cream, I’ve never experienced any visible build-up or flaking.
The is one of the biggest pros! You can get a giant 33oz bottle for around $12, depending on where you get it from. I find one bottle lasts me about 6-8 weeks.
This is as much of a pro as it is a con, but I’m light on cons so I’m popping it here. The constancy is a little more watery than most gels.
When I use other gels, I typically squirt them in my hand and I can trust them to stay put. The same cannot be said for this gel. It will spread and even drift right off your hand if you’re not careful.
However, the pro to this is that I’ve found because it’s so liquidy, it spreads over my hair so easily and I feel like my hair is more evenly coated compared to other gels.
I found I need a lot more of this gel than other gels. I usually use about half a palmful of other gels on each half of my hair. For this gel, I use a full palm full for each half, plus another half a palmful over the top/canopy layer.
But honestly, the gel is so inexpensive and works so well, that this doesn’t bother me all that much.
My first impressions of this gel weren’t that great.
I first gave this a shot about 4 months into the Curly Girl Method, so my hair was still pretty dry. To get good curls I had to use a crap ton of product.
(At the time, I was using Shea Moisture’s Curl Enhancing Smoothie and a leave-in. And I was using a lot of them).
I found that this gel didn’t do well with heavy product use. With this leave-in/cream combination and other gels, it would take my hair 4-5 hours to dry, which was longer than I was used to, but still manageable.
With this gel, the products seemed to sit on my hair. My hair was still wet after 8 hours, and it still had a ways to go. In fact, after eight hours it was so wet, there was barely a gel cast.
However, when it finally did dry, it had great definition and it was SO SOFT. (It was very frizzy, but I was pretty sure that was only because I got impatient and played it with it a lot while I was waiting for it to dry.)
This made me decide to hang on to the gel to experiment with down the line.
How this gel works for me
A couple of months later, I started to feel that as my hair got healthier, the curl enhancing smoothie was too heavy on my hair.
When I started using lighter products and more normal amount (half a palmful or less, depending on the product), I gave this gel another shot.
Now I found it worked really well! It locked in moisture like it was supposed to, and after a few hours, I had gel cast I could scrunch out.
The cast broke easily and left me with awesome, soft, hydrated curls!
Ultimately, I found this pairs great with a little Suave Essentials as a leave-in (little more than a quarter size for the whole head) and Not Your Mother’s Curl Talk Defining Cream (about a fingertip for each half).
This gel is my favorite, everyday gel, and I’ve yet to find one that works better–especially considering the affordable price.
Of course, your results will vary depending on your hair type and hair needs, but if you’re searching for a new gel, I’d say this one is worth checking out.
However, I learned this doesn’t pair well if I use a lot of product, so if you need a significant amount of leave-in, cream, etc, this may not be the best gel for you. But if you have minimal to average product use, it’s probably worth a try.
You can find Biotera’s Defining Styling Gel on Amazon here!
OR you can find it at Sally here!
Also, quick shout out to Curly Susie on YouTube for recommending this gel!
Click here to find more curly girl approved product reviews.
To check for yourself if a product is curly girl approved, you use isitcg.com.
Looking for more guidance on your curly hair journey?
If you’re new to curly hair care and looking for some help, you should check out the No-Stress Guide to Curly Hair Care!
After spending two years learning and caring for my curly hair, I wanted to create my own, in-depth guide to help fellow curlies create incredible curls in the easiest way possible.
It took me a while, but I eventually found an approach that helped me create a curly hair routine that fits into my life in the simplest way possible. And now I want to help you do the same!
For more intermediate/advanced guidance
If you’ve been on your curly hair journey for a while but still have some struggles, check out Curly Hair Problems!
After spending hours scouring the internet looking for solutions to my own curly hair problems, I found myself wishing for an easier, more comprehensive guide to the most common problems.
So that’s what I created!
Curly Hair Problems offers you 78 total solutions to the five most common curly hair care problems, including frizz, curl clumps, limp curls, product issues, and scalp issues.
Sound off: Have you tried this gel? Tell us about your experience! Be sure to tell us a little about your hair type too!
very nice post thank you
Thanks so much for reading!
This is what I got from your article (aside from the review about Biotera gel):
If a product isn’t working for you now, save it for later because you might find it will work at a different stage of your curly hair journey.
It’s so easy to forget that your needs change as your hair gets healthier. I’m three months into my journey and still learning to read my hair’s signals. (It took me finally doing my first deep conditioning treatment about a month in to realize how truly dry my hair really was. Before then, I was using arbitrary handfuls of conditioner and styling products. Afterwards, I increased the amount of conditioner I leave in and my hair has thanked me so much!). My hair is still telling me to use tons of leave in conditioner and that is possibly why I don’t really like the Biotera gel. (I’m really happy with Deva Curl’s Ultra Defining Gel currently). So, you’ve given me license to put it away and try it again later during a different stage of my journey.
I have found your articles so helpful and your advice well researched and sound. (I’m a checker and a re-checker of advice before I follow it). Thank you for helping this curly girl on her path to healthy hair. I’m 3b/c, medium/high porosity and most of your tips work for me. The ones that don’t do not apply to me anyway (i.e., I don’t have a dry scalp, so don’t need to take the extra care that requires). Cheers form Virginia
Wow, thanks so much! I’m so glad to know this blog has been helpful to you! And yes, that’s absolutely a solid take away. There are products I loved in the past that my hair grew out of, and products that didn’t work for me (like this one) that I’m so glad I hung on to because they were exactly what I needed down the line. If that ends up happening to you when you try this gel again, you’ll have to come back and let us know! 🙂
Robert Milliman says
This is a very useful article, I want to know that can men’s use this product?
To the best of my knowledge, hair products aren’t gender-specific, so if you want to give it a shot that’s entirely up to you.
Is the styling gel sulfate free?
Yep, if it’s curly girl approved, it’s sulfate free!