What do gels do?

“There are many different styles you can achieve with gel–it is really versatile,” says McLaren. “Gels are great for hold, definition, shine, and humidity protection.” For long-lasting styles, “Gel has more grit and a better hold than most hair creams allowing for styles to last all day,” says Harrington. “Gels behave more as a bonding unit for styles while creams and oils can make hair too soft to hold a desired look.”

Can all hair types use gel?

Whether you have curls, coils, waves, or straight hair, gels can work with your hair type. “Gels are for a wide variety of hair types,” says Harrington. “Those with curly hair tend to like gels because they can create amazing curl definition, fight frizz and its versatility,” says McLaren. “However, gels are also great for short hairstyles, sleek looks–like a sleek ponytail as well as creating a more sculptural style or even a wet look.”

What ingredients should you look for in gels?

“Ingredients to look out for in hair gel are similar as in other hair products,” says Harrington. “Parabens, formaldehyde, SLS, phthalates are all undesired ingredients. Drying alcohols are also an ingredient to avoid because there can cause hair to become dry and brittle. However, not all alcohol is the same; cetearyl and cetyl are safe and can soften your hair.”

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