Wax vs. Gel for Dreadlocks – What Should You Use?

Wax vs. Gel for Dreadlocks main image

Most beginners in the world of dreads have one, big question on their minds when it comes to starting, maintaining, and styling their locs.

  • What product should I use?
  • Should I go for wax or gel?

I agree that it can get extremely confusing, especially when you’re new to this and all you have to work with are countless opinions coming at you from people all around or from the online world. That’s why we’ve decided to make a short yet comprehensive guide in which I take wax and gel to battle against each other.

This is the ultimate wax vs. gel for dreadlocks showdown!

beeswax dreadlocks

Gel for Dreadlocks

  1. There are a lot of people who use gel to start or create dreadlocks because it helps them make it more malleable. This, in turn, makes the whole process of creating dreads a lot easier than if you were to try it on dry hair. However, keep in mind that gel should not be used for every method out there, just for the ones that require it.
  2. As a formula, gel is based on water. Therefore, it’s a lot easier to wash out. You only need to shampoo once and the gel you have previously used is gone. This is why a lot of people with dreads prefer gel to wax.
  3. There are some types of gels on the market that have alcohol in them. It’s highly advisable you don’t use them because alcohol will dry your hair. You definitely don’t need this when you have dreads!
  4. Another amazing thing about gels is that you can create your own if you’re on a budget or if you simply prefer a solution that’s gluten-free, vegan, organic, and not harmful for the environment.
    Many dreadlockers just apply aloe vera gel freshly squeezed out of a plant to moisturize and condition their locs.

Wax for Dreadlocks

Let’s give wax a fighting chance in the wax vs. dreadlocks game and see what amazing benefits it has. Or maybe it doesn’t?

  1. Loc lovers who use wax report that it’s fantastic if you have thicker hair that needs just a little bit of a boost to bind together. Wax will help keep it together and lock it tightly when you form the dreads.
  2. People with mature dreadlocks say that if you try natural beeswax on your locs, when you wash them with warm water, only the excess wax should melt away. The remainder will stay within the core of the loc itself, moisturizing it from inside and holding its shape.
  3. However, on the down side, loctitians say that wax may not be a fantastic idea if you have very thin or fine hair. Wax will prove very difficult to remove, it will attract lint, residue, and dust, and cause build-up to form in your locs. This, in time, might turn white and unappealing and might even start to smell. Wax vs. gel for dreadlocks? Will wax be the loser?
  4. Unlike gel which is water-based, wax is very heavy as a product and can easily weigh down your hair. Therefore, your locs will lose their natural volume, freshness, and that beautiful bounce they have. This might put you off wax as a styling formula for good.
  5. If you have caked up wax in your locs or built-up residue, you might need more than shampoo to get it out of your hair. Loc wearers recommend that if this should happen to you, try using soda bicarbonate diluted in water to dislodge the wax pieces form your hair.
Bees wax on your Dreadlocks
Avoid using wax on your dreadlocks

Wax vs. Gel for Dreadlocks – Who Is the Winner?

Based on the criteria I described above and trying to be as objective as possible, gel is best to use for dreadlocks if necessary.

As noted already, wax is simply too risky to use. It may lay too heavy on your hair and it will cause a lot of build-up that you may not be able to wash off.

Apart from that, wax requires you to put even more product in your hair just to wash it off, such as multiple shampoo washings, soda, and so on. This might end up harming your locs in the long run.


Seeing as it is water-based, gel is easier to wash off whether you use it to start your dreads or to style them. Wax will only cause build-up and caked layers of product, so stay away from it as much as you can!

gel for dreadlocksgel for dreadlocks
Get the essential items that you need to maintain healthy & amazing looking dreadlocks.

Click below for:

Dreadlock Shampoo

Dreadlock beads

Dreadlock extensions

Scalp care for dreadlocks

The complete set to care for your dreadlocks

Learn more about how to care for your dreadlocks.

Click below for:

How to wash dreadlocks.

How to moisturize your locs everyday.

How to treat dandruff on dreadlocks.

Things that you should not do with your dreadlocks.

How to keep your dreads healthy.