Hair gel seems to be an integral part of our initiation into the world of grooming. When we first begin experimenting with a ‘hairstyle’ it seems the first product we turn to is a sickly, plastic-scented, gluey mess in lurid packaging. Those who dabble with gel quickly learn it can withstand wind, rain and a double header; hell, you could even sleep in it and hair wouldn’t budge. In the early days, gel abuse is common, but when you know how to apply it properly, it’s actually hard to beat.
What Is Hair Gel?
Hair gel is a styling product that typically has a clear, jelly-like consistency and is known for its shiny, wet look and elastic properties.
Who Does It Work For?
Gel helps those who struggle to restrain their natural hair texture. It smooths away curls and repels moisture, so it keeps frizz in check. Gel is also an essential ingredient for short to medium length slick back styles, sharp side partings and retro shapes such as a pompadour or rockabilly quiff.
How Should You Use Gel?
Who better to ask how to use gel than some of London’s top hair stylists? “I think gel had a bad reputation because it can make hair super crispy when it dries, and it can even cause hair breakage when you touch your hair if the hold is too strong,” says Davide Barbieri, session stylist with regular clients including Robbie Williams. “Modern gel formulations are nothing like their crunchy, flaky predecessors and are easy to remove,” he says.
“Always start with a small amount when using for the first time and apply evenly to damp hair before styling into the desired shape,” adds Joshua Gibson, session stylist at Sassoon, who’s worked on editorials for i-D and L’Uomo Vogue.
The Best Hair Gels
Sebastian Liquid Steel
When only the strongest hold will do, recruit this heavyweight. Joshua Gibson says, “Liquid Steel is one of my go-to gel products in my kit. It does what it says on the tin—it gives the strongest hold—and nothing will move a sleek look made using it except washing.” Be warned: this one dries super-fast so it’s for advanced gel users only.
Eco Styler Professional Styling Gel
Want a no-gel look with a strong gel hold? Lee Machin, session stylist, who creates show looks for Missoni and regularly works with actors such as Jamie Dornan and Douglas Booth, goes for Eco Styler Professional Styling Gel Krystal Clear. “This is my favorite gel. You can blow dry it in on wet hair to get volume and hold for quiffs and it will dry and look completely product free. I also love it for catwalk shows and for sleek wet looks and it won’t flake.” It’s also the best value for money.
Bumble & Bumble Bb.Gel
Want a natural look? Davide Barbieri favors the flexible hold of the Bb.gel from Bumble & Bumble when testing out new styles. “It doesn’t dry too quickly so you have more time to change the shape of the style,” he says. It also gives great natural-looking shine and firm hold once your style is set.
Nioxin Thickening Gel
Fair or fine hair? Gibson recommends Nioxin Thickening Gel. “It’s is great for lighter hair colour types like blondes, or where receding is an issue. It still has strong hold but isn’t concrete and brushes out easily.” The formula contains thickening polymer technology to form bonds between gaps in the hair to give it a denser looking appearance.
Fudge Hair Gum Extreme Hold Controlling Gel
Want the hold without the shine? Carmelo Guastella, Men’s Grooming Director at Gielly Green Four Seasons in London, recommends Fudge Hair Gum Controlling Gel. “It gives hair volume with strong hold and control, without going totally stiff, and the finish is matt. The other quality I like about this gel is that you are able to put your hands through your hair, breaking up the stiffness of the gel. And it leaves no residue or flakes.”
Davines Strong Hold Cream Gel
Tim Pateman, session stylist, uses Davines Strong Hold Cream Gel on fashion shoots and on clients at his salon, The Lion & The Fox. “This strong hold gel gives a great wet look, which is easily pliable when water is added to allow control before the style sets in place. If you like a tight barber look with a top that is going to stay where you want it to stay—use this.” It doesn’t flake and a little goes a long way. For best results always apply to wet hair.
You already trim every six-to-eight weeks and employ the help of a hair mask, so what’s left to learn on the path to better hair? According to Christian Wood, the hairstylist behind Emily Ratajkowski’s faux bob and Olivia Munn’s infamous chop, there’s more. Wood shares his insider hair rules and styling tips for healthier, red carpet-worthy hair.
Sleep on Silk
“This tip gives a literal spin on beauty sleep, making eight hours dozing off beneficial to your hair. “I always recommend my clients to sleep on a silk pillow,” Wood says. “Damage is caused while sleeping due to the hair being roughed up and tangled. A silk pillow will help give a more slippery surface for the hair and [will] avoid excess friction, resulting in less repeat styling and brushing.”
The Secret and Cheap Treatment
The secret to Emily Ratajkowski-level hair is hidden at your local drugstore. “The little tubes of conditioner you get in at-home hair coloring boxes are a must for an emergency treatment,” Wood reveals. “They contain silicone which leaves a film over the hair creating a super shiny, lustrous effect.” He doesn’t recommend using this trick daily, but keep one on hand for special events.
Use a Quick Drying Towel
“To cut styling time I always recommend clients wear a quick dry towel wrap directly after washing,” recommends Wood. Anything to help reduce heat application is always a plus, so use this product to “reduce frizz, reduce drying time, and make hair more manageable” while styling. You can try the Turbie Towel, but we also recommend Aquis’ cult-favorite turban.
Try Another Miracle Oil
Coconut oil might reign as the omnipotent, magical elixir, but there’s a new oil to try. “If I work with a client two days in a row, I don’t always want to re-wash the hair but it still needs to be re-softened and styled again,” explains Wood. “I use a simple trick off adding a few drops of almond oil in a water spray bottle and misting through the hair. This helps break down product residue so re-styling is more manageable while also adding softness and shine. Great on next day curly hair when you don’t want to wash again but the curls need reforming.”
Meet the Micro Trim
If you thought you were bad for skipping a haircut, you’re in for a surprise. According to Wood, we should all be up-keeping our hair with what he deems the ‘micro trim’: “It’s not a full hair cut but it’s just enough to keep split ends and at bay and adds movement to the hair, resulting in easier styling and manageability.”
Hair spray for men is great for styling your hair. One of the greatest questions of our time is, are men allowed to use hairsprays? By all means, they should! It’s very unlucky if men are only allowed to use gels and waxes. Although gels and waxes are perfect for creating various hairstyles yet it tends to be heavier on your hair. This is why hair spray for men is the best alternative.
It is an excellent way of adding volume to your thin hair. However, it’s also great for men who have thick hair. Men who have thin hair are always having issues in adding volume and lift. Yet, a few people know that men who have thick hair are also facing challenges in styling their hair. Due to the denseness of their hair, the natural oil on the scalp will not be able to reach the tip of the hair, making it look dry and brittle. If you have a thick hair then you need a hair spray that can give you more hold since you already have tons of volume and lift. It should be able to make your hair stay exactly where you want it to be.
1. John Frieda Luxurious Thickening Hairspray
If you need additional volume on your hair then we recommend this product. This hair spray is specifically created for providing volume or lift to your hair. Just spray it 3 to 4 times on your hair. You can also blend it with other John Frieda volume products to make your volume issues disappear.
2. Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Wild Ginger
This is the best hair spray for men who have curly hair. It incorporates wild ginger which is beneficial to your hair. It can invigorate the roots, making your curls look fuller and healthier. This hairspray also works on men with straight hair.
3. L’Oréal Elnett Extra Strong Hold
Whether you have thick or frizzy hair, this product will work for you. This hairspray offers a long-lasting hold without feeling sticky or heavy. Additionally, it can shield your hair from humidity.
4. Gatsby Super Hard Set and Keep Spray
This hair spray is not only effective but very affordable too! It provides an amazing texture to your hair. Your hairstyle can last longer without any residue. Aside from retaining a strong hold, it can also make your hair shiny and UV protected plus you can enjoy a refreshing citrus scent.
5. Schwarzkopf Professional Got2b Rockin’It
This hair spray can give you a weightless firm hold that can last for the entire day. This means that you don’t have to make any touch ups. You cannot feel any sticky substance on your hair, so you can rock your style from morning ‘til evening.
If you aren’t using dry shampoo already, you’re missing out. Case in point: The oil-absorbing, style-extending product can help you avoid washing your hair for five whole days. Even if you do already have this multipurpose miracle product in your haircare arsenal, you may not be getting the most out of it if you’re buying the wrong dry shampoo for you or using it the wrong way.
First thing’s first, don’t blindly buy the first dry shampoo you come across in the drugstore or the one your friend is obsessed with. Dry shampoos are made for specific hair textures, colors, and with different goals in mind, so be sure to pick the right one for you. The options are pretty much endless: There are volumizing versions for fine hair, black colored versions for dark hair, and loose hair powders for those who want to opt organic.
Some other key tips: Don’t spray the dry shampoo all over. While there’s certainly no harm, since it will help add allover texture, if it’s the just-washed look you’re after, part and spray the roots, then brush out with a boar bristle brush to absorb all the hair’s build up oil and volumize the roots in the process. Don’t forget to work the dry shampoo into the crown of your head too to get extra volume (and a super-clean look). Another trick: Spray dry shampoo on the brush directly, wait a few minutes, and then use a zig-zag motion to add texture and ensure the product is fully absorbed. If you’re using a loose dry shampoo powder, apply to your roots with a fluffy makeup brush to avoid white splotches of powder that can be hard to blend in with the rest of your hair.
To help dry shampoo absorb fully, you can also apply to roots at night so in the morning, hair is all ready to go. Whatever you do, just don’t touch roots afterwards—your hand’s oils will transfer to your hair, undoing all of your hard work. A few other dry shampoo mistakes to avoid at all costs? Spraying on wet hair, or becoming over-reliant on dry shampoo (um, guilty as charged), which can actually dry out your scalp in the winter and cause dandruff.
Japanese hair straightening is a process of breaking down the natural structure of the hair through chemical and heat processes. After the process is complete, hair is straight and appears shiny and healthy. Taking care of hair that has been through a Japanese hair straightening process takes only a few steps, but is necessary to preserve and maintain the desired results.
Things You’ll Need
- Gentle shampoo
- Moisturizing conditioner
- SPF hair product
- Protein-enriched deep conditioner
Avoid exposing the hair to any moisture or water for 72 hours immediately following the treatment. Moisture can reverse the results of the straightening process.
Do not tuck hair behind the ears or place in any clips, rubber bands, ponytail holders or any other hair styling items for 72 hours after the straightening process.
Purchase specialized shampoo and conditioner that is specifically formulated for hair that has received thermal reconditioning. Use shampoos and conditioners that are specifically formulated to be gentle and moisturizing.
Avoid swimming or exposure to chlorinated water for at least two weeks after the initial treatment. Avoid any other chemical processes, such as hair coloring, for at least two months following the initial Japanese straightening. This will help prevent any additional damage to the hair or reversal of the hair straightening.
Schedule a touch-up treatment at the same salon approximately four to six months following the original treatment. This will ensure that hair remains smooth and straight.
Protect hair against UV damage by lightly spraying hair with styling products that contain SPF when exposing the hair to sunlight for moderate amounts of time.
Deep condition the hair once a week with a protein-enriched deep conditioner.
Trying to look after your hair and get all that everyday stuff done you need to do, as well as look after your friends and family, can be a difficult balancing act. We all want to have great hair; but unfortunately, shiny, healthy hair doesn’t just happen without a little bit of effort. That effort, however, doesn’t have to take up all of your time or break the bank. In fact, the only thing you need to do is put in the short amount of time necessary to follow this simple daily hair care routine. It’s that easy!
1. Brush Your Hair
It may seem like the obvious thing to do, but maybe what you didn’t know is that brushing keeps your hair tangle free and distributes its natural oils throughout the hair. This promotes healthy growth and shine.
2. Wash Your Hair
How often you wash your hair depends on your hair type and texture. Work out what’s best for you by seeing how your hair reacts to washing and hair care products, and develop a schedule from there. For instance:
- Your hair is coarse/dry if it often feels brittle—this means you only need to wash it every second or third day.
- Your hair is fine/oily if it feels greasy the day after you wash it—this means you need to wash it daily.
- Your hair is normal if you wash it one day and it’s not too greasy the next-—this means you can get away with washing it every other day.
- Remember to shampoo in small, circular movements; don’t forget to target dirt collecting areas such as the nape of your neck.
- Massaging your scalp will increase blood flow which encourages growth and will stimulate your hair’s natural oils (producing shiny locks).
- Coarse/dry hair will benefit from hydrating shampoos.
- Fine/oily hair should be washed with a clear shampoo (one that doesn’t look creamy).
- Normal hair can use just about any type of shampoo- just remember to always use good quality products for the best results.
- Similar to body lotion for your skin, conditioner is moisturizer for your hair and will keep your strands hydrated and manageable.
- For an even application use your hands and a wide-toothed comb.
- If you’ve got coarse/dry hair try a hydrating conditioner and apply it right from your roots to your ends.
- For fine/oily hair use a lightweight conditioner and avoid putting it on your roots (evenly distribute it from the mid-lengths to the ends).
- For normal hair you can use just about any kind of conditioner, applied from your roots to your ends also.
3. Apply Hair Styling Products
If you have a hairstyle that needs to use hair products—hairspray for hold, wax for hold and shine, or serum for shine and to maintain fly-away pieces—then don’t use too much! You might end up weighing your hair down and reducing its volume, or just making it greasy and dirty. Often less is more.
Also, don’t forget to protect your hair. If you style your hair with a hair straightener or blow dryer, it’s very important to protect your hair with heat protecting products, and to give your hair a break every few days from the stress of using hair accessories and hairstyling tools.
4. Style Your Hair
Everyone styles their hair, whether they’re elaborate updos, professional looking hairdos for work, or casual wash-and-wear looks. Styling is required daily and should be done as gently as possible.
5. Brush Your Hair Again at Night
Brushing your hair again at night will help you to untangle any knots that made their way into your locks during the day.
6. Secure Your Hair at Night
Securing your hair at night with a simple ponytail or plait will make sure your locks don’t get snagged or tangled as you sleep.
There you have it, a simple daily routine (and some great hair care tips). It’s not hard to follow, it won’t have you spending all of your hard earned cash, and most importantly, it will get your hair in the best condition possible.