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A bad hair day is almost always the sign of a bad day. The frizz is uncontrollable, you can’t get it to stay in one position, and pieces start to separate to make it appear that you’re balding.
Those supermodels have seemingly unattainable hair, setting beauty standards that cannot always be reached without using a handful of products. For men struggling to keep their hair in the same place for whatever reason, they need a good quality hair gel.
Hair gel is designed to keep hair in a specific position throughout the day, ideal for various events from weddings to work meetings. Hair gel can also be a huge source of confidence for men who are insecure about their hair.
Whether you want to try out a new hairstyle or you’re desperate to keep your hair in one position to hide any bald spots, here is our guide to the best hair gel for men!
Virtually every man has gone through a series of hair gel experiences. Some make your hair too sticky and heavy, wherein your hair either doesn’t move or moves in one giant clump.
Others provide little to no hold and are about as effective as drops of water.
If you’re looking for a hair gel that keeps your hair held in a particular style without looking sticky or unrealistic, this is the hair gel for you.
The Got2B Ultra Glued Invincible Styling hair gel is designed to hold any hair type in whatever shape or style you like, ensuring a long-lasting hold throughout the day.
This is brilliant for styling your hair vertically for events like weddings, going clubbing, parties, and more. Plus, it’s not limited to any gender, as women with short hair can also benefit from the gel’s fantastic holding abilities.
This hair gel doesn’t provide a flaky or crunchy texture despite its firm hold. Not only does this mean it keeps your hair looking natural and healthy, but it is also easy to remove with only a small amount of shampoo.
We found that it works best when applied in small amounts on wet or partially dried hair when testing this product. Users can then build up the product to their liking.
Not all hair gels are designed to make your hair appear greasy. Ideally, a good hair gel for men allows enough flexibility for your hair to move around naturally without being affected by those movements.
The American Crew men’s hair gel is a great option for men who want to achieve a natural look.
This is one of those hair gels that can be used for everyday styling, where you want to maintain and tame your natural hair without making it look too sticky or fake.
The natural look is achieved by the hair gel’s light hold, which essentially means it can keep the hair in place while allowing for almost complete freedom of movement.
This allows hair to move naturally while keeping it frizz-free. It also leaves a natural shine finish to keep your hair looking hydrated.
When trying this product, we found that this hair gel works best when only a small amount of product is applied.
Simply squeeze a pea-sized amount of hair gel into your hands and work it into your hair, adding small amounts at a time to achieve the desired look. Too much product can make your hair appear heavy and greasy, which isn’t the point of the product.
Hair gel doesn’t have to be just for daily usage. Sure, the natural look is great for keeping your hair well-tamed when going to work or shopping, but if you’re looking for something that will keep your hair in place for hours at a time, this is the hair gel for you.
The Elegance Triple Action hair gel, as the name suggests, features three fantastic benefits not often found in a regular hair gel - a glossy shine, great volume, and extreme hold.
You’ll struggle to find another hair gel that’s as strong as this one, but don’t be fooled because it doesn’t make your hair crispy or thick. Instead, it keeps your hair appearing somewhat natural, thanks to the additional attractive shine.
This hair gel is ideal for men going out clubbing (we all know how our hair likes to react to dancing), those pesky windy days, and men struggling with hair loss.
The gel’s volume-enhancing benefits are also ideal for those with thinning hair, as it gives the illusion of a thick head of hair.
When testing this product, we were surprised by the refreshing fragrance. We assumed the extra stronghold of the gel would leave a sticky, smelly residue, but this wasn’t the case.
Not everyone likes the smell of an overly odorous hair gel. Sometimes, odorous hair gels provide a nice scent that carries through the night, rendering the use of body spray and cologne useless. However, others find it far too overwhelming.
If you’re one of those people who prefer unscented hair gels, the Garnier Fructis Style Pure Clean Styling gel is ideal for you.
This gel is inspired by nature in its list of 98% natural ingredients, including minimal artificial perfumes, to keep your hair looking and smelling fresh, without the obvious scent of hair gel.
The Garnier Fructis Style hair gel also stands out for its ingredients list, with the main ingredient being Acacia gum. Acacia gum is sustainably sourced from the sap of acacia trees and is often found as an ingredient in food for its various health benefits.
When we tested this product, we found that the performance of the hair gel was excellent for providing a 24-hour long-lasting hold and medium shine.
It’s not tacky enough to make your hair appear thick and greasy, but it provides just enough shine for a healthy and glossy finish. It works best when applied in small amounts on damp or partially dry hair.
Cheaply made hair gels might appear good for your hair when they produce a glossy finish, but it’s not always the case.
Hair gel can sometimes literally make or break your hair, and if you plan on using hair gel more than once a week, you’ll want to look out for ingredients that will improve the quality of your hair as well as the appearance.
That’s where the Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Firm Hold gel comes in. As the name suggests, the prime ingredient in this hair gel is tea tree oil, which is used to hydrate the scalp by preventing the build-up of dead skin cells, keeping your hair moisturized, and promoting hair growth.
This means that this hair gel is ideal for people who struggle with dandruff and those experiencing hair loss, thanks to the hair growth and hydrating benefits of tea tree oil.
As well as improving the quality of hair, this hair gel works to style hair and maintain the position throughout the day. While it still has a gel-like consistency, the cooling tea tree and citrus ingredients help to keep the hair feeling and smelling refreshed.
When testing this product, we found that the price was matched with the high-quality ingredients, making it worth the cost for people wanting to improve the health and quality of their hair.
Whether you’re new to buying hair gel or if you need a refresher on what to look out for, here is our guide on factors to consider when buying hair gel for men.
Above all else, the overall finish of a hair gel is probably the most important factor to consider. Hair gels typically come with three types of finishes: matte, medium shine, and ultimate shine.
Matte finishes are ideal for people who want minimal shine and a more natural look. Some hair gels with a matte finish can make hair appear dry, which is why it’s good to look out for matte hair gels that offer a bit of gloss to make the hair look healthy.
Medium shine is probably the most popular type of finish. Thanks to the glossy and shiny finish, these hair gels keep hair looking somewhat natural but very attractive. The shine isn’t intense enough to make hair appear greasy.
Ultimate shine hair gels are very hit or miss. While some ultimate shine hair gels are typically the most long-lasting gels on the market (ideal for dancing the night away at a wedding or bar), they can make hair appear greasy or wet if too much product is used.
If hair gel makes your hair feel crispy and unclean, then it’s not worth the hassle. Hair gel should be used to make you feel and look good, so there’s no point in weighing your hair down with a thick, heavy gel - even if it does make your hair look great.
The key is to look out for hair gels that advertise themselves as crunch-proof and flake-proof. Cheaply made and thick gels often result in flakes building up in the hair, appearing like dandruff.
The best way to tackle this with any hair gel product is to use a small amount at a time and build the product up slowly.
It’s also a good idea to check out the review of each product to see how other people responded to the hair gel according to their hair type.
Speaking of, you’ve also got to consider the type of hair you have in relation to what hair gel product you need to buy. Here are the general rules for the three varying thicknesses of hair:
This goes without saying, but thick hair typically requires hair gel with the strongest hold to maintain the structure and style throughout the day. In addition, it’s common for the weight of thick hair to fall naturally, so you’ll need something that has the strength to keep thick hair in place.
The key with any type of hair gel is only to use a little at a time to prevent drying your hair or causing flakes to appear. People with thick hair shouldn’t use excessive amounts of thinner hair gel because it can weigh the hair down and appear greasy.
Medium is the average thickness of most men’s hair. Luckily, there are countless hair gels out there designed for people with thick hair, so you have a lot of freedom of choice.
However, the main thing to look out for in hair gel for medium hair is that the gel offers flexibility. Hair gel on medium hair can go one of two ways - it’s either too weak and leaves hair floppy, or it’s too thick and leaves hair thick and greasy.
Flexibility offers some natural movement without disrupting the overall hairstyle.
Thin hair is the complete opposite of thick hair, so it requires the lightest hair gels. Thick hair gels will weigh down thin hair, only enhancing the appearance of balding or very thin areas.
It can also make your hair appear like a wax model thanks to no movement, which can look unattractive.
If you can’t find a good low-hold hair gel, you can experiment with medium-hold hair gels by using small amounts mixed with some water to make the consistency thinner.
Below are the most commonly asked questions about the best hair gel for men.
While hair gel is brilliant for maintaining particular hairstyles, it’s not always that good for your hair. It mainly depends on the manufacturer because they are legally required to make safe products for hair and skin.
Some manufacturers will use mostly all-natural ingredients, such as tea tree oil and fruit extracts, to add some form of nourishment to hair.
However, what you do with hair gel determines how bad it is. If you use hair gel every day, it’s going to dry out your hair, leading to breakages and dandruff.
Gel won’t make you lose hair, but it can reduce thinning. This is because of the high alcohol content of hair gel that dries out hair fast.
The key to using hair gel safely is to limit the use of hair appliances when using gel. This is because appliances like straighteners essentially dry out and burn hair, which is only made worse by hair gel.
Make sure only to use small amounts of gel at a time, and commit to thoroughly washing your hair after every use of hair gel.
If you’re not convinced by using hair gel, here are some alternatives:
Each alternative comes with its own advantages and disadvantages, but with the ultimate goal of keeping your hair styled in a certain way, they can all work to achieve your desired look.
So, there it is! Whether you’re looking for a starter hair gel or if you want something best suited to your hair type, hopefully, this guide will have helped you find the best hair gel to create the perfect gelled look.