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What Is Hair Spray Gel?

By Angela Colley
Updated May 17, 2024
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Hair spray gel is a type of gel designed to work in a spray bottle. As a hair care product, hair spray gel has several benefits for both men and women. This styling product can help create different hair styles, hold hair in place, and reduce frizziness. Ingredients vary by manufacturer but typically include glycerin, for thickening, water, to reduce the potency of other ingredients, and preservatives.

While hair spray gel and hair spray are similar, hair spray gel produces a softer hold on the hair than traditional hair spray, which can give hair a "tough" or "crispy" texture and appearance. Since the hair spray gel offers a looser hold, it is useful for both long and short hair styles. For example, women with curly hair often spray the gel on after styling their hair to keep the style in place while allowing the hair to retain some movement. Women with frizzy hair can also benefit from the product, as the gel coats the hair shaft and smooths down any fly-a-away strands.

Men can also benefit from hair spray gel, as the gel helps hold shorter hair styles in place. Spiky hair, a popular style for men, requires that the hairs stand up from the head. A spray gel provides enough holding power to make this style possible.

Most hair spray gels come in non-aerosol spray bottles or cans. The user simply holds the sprayer several inches away from the hair and sprays a small amount of product onto the hair, over the area that needs styling. Some consumers, especially women who use the gel for all over hold, use their fingers or a hair comb to distribute the hair product throughout the individual hair strands. The gel works best on slightly damp hair, as very wet hair can cause the product to slip off the hair strands, and applying the product to dry hair can give the hair a "crunchy" look.

The ingredients in hair spray gel vary by manufacturer. Typically, a thickening agent, preservatives, water, oil and fragrances are combined to create the right consistency for the gel. Popular ingredients also include glycerin, coconut oil, essential oils, and water. Gels contain different chemicals to help preserve the product, but environmentally friendly, or organic, hair spray gel may replace these with natural essential oils.

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