What Are the Best Tips for Styling Hair with Gel?

Lauren Romano

The best tip for styling hair with gel involves choosing the right type and applying the correct amount and in a specific way. All gels are not created equal; there is one version for every type of hair. Using only a small amount of gel can control an entire head of hair. How wet or dry the hair is plays a part in how the gel reacts with the style. Applying gel to the hair, especially at the roots, should be done in a specific way to avoid the hair looking weighed down or greasy.

The best hair gel for styling depends on hair texture and hairstyle.
The best hair gel for styling depends on hair texture and hairstyle.

When styling hair with gel, it's important to choose one that is specifically meant for the hair's texture and appropriate to use for the desired hairstyle. For example, those who want to improve the look of their curls should use curl enhancing gel; volumizing gel is ideal for adding a little more oomph to hair. Anyone with sensitivity to hair products should use hair gel specifically for sensitive scalps. There's also gel for specific types of hair, such as gel for fine hair or thick hair, and gel for the type of hold that's required depending on the hairstyle, such as light hold or maximum hold. There is even hair gel that adds temporary color and washes out immediately upon shampooing.

A small amount of gel can go a long way and still be effective.
A small amount of gel can go a long way and still be effective.

Some may think that styling hair with gel works better when there is a substantial amount of product used, but that's far from the truth. Using a quarter-sized amount of gel is ideal; rub the hands together to spread the product out evenly. Using too much means the hair will look wet, hard and crusty; it can also weigh the hair down and completely ruin the style.

There are those who say styling hair with gel when it's wet is the proper way to do it, others say to do it while it's damp. However, the technique to use depends on the individual's hair texture and type. Test it out to find which works best; when the hair dries after using the product, it shouldn't look weighed down or as if the product hindered the desired hairstyle.

It's important to be careful when styling hair with gel, especially when applying it at the roots. To correctly apply it, start at the tips of the hair, preferably while the head is flipped upside down, and massage the gel into the hair as if it were being shampooed; it prevents the hair from being crushed. Stop a few inches before the roots and apply the product very lightly to prevent the roots from looking greasy, crusty and squashed to the head.

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