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Hair gel has come a long way since the 1990s. No longer the domain of curtains and spiky fringes, hair gels can transform a fluffy mop into a coiffured, more debonair look – (see Justin Timberlake and modern day era David Beckham for hair gel gone right looks).
Choose the right gel
Hair gels are usually categorized by the thickness of the compound and the power of the hold. The color and the scent of hair gels generally doesn’t make any difference in terms of how they work. Most gels are applied with the fingertips, but there are a few which are spray-on. Decide which is best for your style, or try out each one and see which you prefer.
- A light, foamy gel is effective in creating a playful, messy look. You’ll still be able to have some bounce and some life in your hair.
- A medium-hold gel is great for shiny spikes, getting your hair to stay in almost gravity-defying ways.
- A thick gel like La Biosthetique Gel Ultra Strong will give you a slicked-back look, holding it in place firmly all day. You might not be able to run your fingers through it, but it’ll hold fast in a windstorm.
Gel Your Hair
Wash your hair to get started. Starting with a solid foundation of clean hair will make creating your gelled style much easier. Shampoo and condition your hair as per normal, and then use a towel to dry it until damp. It’s important to have damp hair when you apply gel, so don’t dry it thoroughly. If you’re short on time, dampening your hair in the sink is also a good option.
Applying gel to dirty or greasy hair can make the gel less affective and more “crunchy” looking. It also promotes split ends and poor hair health, so it’s always a good idea to give your hair a thorough washing first.
Scoop out some of the gel. Put a small dab of hair gel onto your fingertips and rub your hands together to coat your hands evenly and rub it into your hair, as if it were shampoo. Depending on how thick and long your hair is, you’ll need to use an appropriate amount of be sure to spread it evenly across your fingertips. Remember, you can always add more, but it’s hard to get hair gel out of your hair without rewashing, so go easy:
- Use a dime-sized amount for short hair.
- Use a quarter-sized amount for medium-length hair.
- Use two or more quarter-sized amounts for long (or especially thick) hair.
Apply the gel. Style your hair according to the look you’re going for (as aforementioned). Generally, you should start with the gel just above your hairline, and work it back towards the crown of your head/nape of your neck. Use your fingers to apply the gel, and if desired, use a comb to better incorporate the gel afterwards.
- For a straight-haired look, brush or shape hair to your desired style.
- Scrunch or twist your hair with your fingers to encourage curls.
- To give curly or wavy hair extra volume, especially at the roots, flip your head over to scrunch the gel in evenly.
Complete your style. Most hair gels contain alcohol which allows them to dry quickly. If yours does not, you’ll need to wait a few minutes for the gel to set. You can manipulate the gel while it’s wet, but once it dries it will become stiff and firm. When the gel has set, your look is finished and you’re ready to show off your new hair!
(Thanks to WikiHow for the fab guide).