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Drugstore Gel Gem?

Hair Care Reviews

Name: Smooth'n Shine Curl Defining Gel

Brand: Schwarzkopf

Purpose: A sulfate-free product that provides a lightweight flexible hold for frizz-prone hair. 

Hair Type: Curly or coily

IngredientsAqua (Water, Eau), Glycerin, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Oleth-20, Propylene Glycol, Carbomer, Phenoxyethanol, Aminomethyl Propanol, Methylparaben, DMDM Hydantoin, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Camellia Oleifera Seed Oil, Disodium EDTA, Panthenol, Parfum (Fragrance), Benzophenone-4

Rating: 3/5

Frizz is one of the enemies all curly haired people suffer from. Especially when you have two or more different curl types on your head. It's difficult and tedious to find that holy grail product that will give the right amount of curl definition, while providing hold and nourishment to your hair. Like many out there who suffer from frizzy and dry hair, I went on the hunt for a cream or gel product (ideal for curly or coiled hair) that would give me the curl definition and hold that I was looking for. As I've mentioned in my previous haircare reviews, my curl type is 2c, a combination of curly and wavy hair, which unfortunately comes with frizz and tangles. I needed something that would hold up well not just for one day, but until my third day hair. 

After days of research and reading reviews online for curl definition and hold products, I have to say I was feeling overwhelmed and a bit frustrated. There aren't many people on YouTube who have my curl type so it was hard to see if any of the products I read up on would work on me. Finally, I just decided to head into the drugstore and pick something out that looked promising. 

The Smooth'N Shine Curl Defining Gel from Schwarzkopf was something that had caught my eye before, but I never really gave it much thought since I'd been using the Defining Curls Styling Custard from Pantene at the time. The only problem I have with the Pantene curl custard is that it was only 7.6oz and used it up too quickly. I have long hair and I use product like there's no tomorrow. It can get pretty expensive. The curl defining gel from Schwarzkopf is 16oz, which would provide me with enough product to last for at least a few months since I only wash my hair every three to four days a week. 

Before we get to the review portion of this post, I'd like to talk about frizz and what causes it. 

Frizzy hair is described as hair that isn't smooth or neat because the individual shafts are variably wavy and don't align together. When your hair is in this state, the cuticle layer is full of missing lifted sections that allow the moisture from the air to swell up your strands, which only makes your frizz worse around humidity. Hence, why we need products that provide not only the moisture, but the taming agents that would allow us to wear out our natural curls even in humid climates or in the summer time in general. 

Okay, now let's get into this review!


The formula of this curl defining gel is very thick and feels heavy on the hair upon first application. It does feel lighter when your hair is completely dry, but please keep in mind I used this product with a leave-in conditioner that was thick as well, which undoubtedly added more weight onto my hair. It didn't leave my hair sticky or crunchy at all, which is a definite plus since some gels and defining creams give you sticky and crunchy curls. Nonetheless, the scent was peculiar to me, but only because I've never used any products that involved camellia oil before. Upon doing some more research on the benefits of camellia oil, I discovered that it has youth-restoring properties, can help with skin inflammation and acne-prone skin, and is also a great moisturizer all on it's own!

Who knew? 

How I Used This Product:

  1. After I removed the excess water from my hair and applied my leave-in conditioner, I parted my damp hair and began to work the gel onto the middle section of my hair first. I continued to work through my ends and then the roots.
  2. I used the commonly known "scrunch" method almost every curly haired person knows about and scrunched until I was satisfied with the curl definition.
  3. I placed my hair into messy low bun and left my hair under a satin head scarf.
  4. I let my hair dry after two hours of being underneath the satin head scarf and kept an eye on how my hair took to the leave-in conditioner and gel combination.

That's it!

Third Day Hair Results:

While this curl defining gel gave me the definition and hold I was looking for and even some volume, the only grievances I have with my results are that the gel left a light greasy film on my hair during the first two days, but it disappeared after that. I also noticed how dry my ends looked with the gel. Not frizzy, but dry. That's just how my ends are unfortunately. I might have to try this gel with just an oil based product beforehand instead of the cream leave-in conditioner. 

All in all, do I recommend this drugstore product? Yes. If only for the curl hold and definition even after 2nd day hair! My only hope is that it holds up even during the summer time. 

Until next time guys!

P.S. If you want more updates and shorter reviews on other sample products, check out my twitter: @fleekonabudget and my Instagram: @fleekonabudget! 

The Lowest Price I Could Find:

Smooth n Shine Curl Defining Gel, 16 Ounce | Rite Aid
Buy Smooth n Shine Curl Defining Gel, 16 Ounce and other Personal Care products at Rite Aid. Save up to 20% every day. Free shipping on orders $34.99 or more

Walgreens also has this product for just under $6!

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