Its widespread misuse (and in some cases downright abuse) in the late nineties and early noughties has seen hair gel develop something of a bad reputation. We’re all on the same page in thinking that abounding wet look spikes and frosted tips are better off consigned to history, but that isn’t to say that hair gels don’t have their place in a modern man’s grooming routine. When used correctly (see below), they can be an invaluable hair product that can create some fantastic looks. In this post, we give you our answer to the question “what is the best hair gel for men?”.
The story of hair gel has been one rife with misfortune. When it began to gain traction, the only commonly available alternatives to it were hairsprays, creams, and pomades, products that, while they have their uses, are limited when it comes to creating ambitious looks. Gel emerged as an alternative to these products that allowed for a level of hold and sculptability previously unseen, and people went haywire with it, such that the late 90s and early 2000s were positively awash with wet look gel, hedgehog spikes and crusty finishes.
The fact remains that this is simply not the optimal way to make use of hair gel. Have you ever attempted to create a slicked back look but your tough to tame hair stopped the style from staying in place? Gel is for you. Have you ever wanted to create a big, ambitious look but due to the thickness, curliness, or oiliness of your hair, you found it began to droop so quickly you might as well have never bothered? Hair gel is for you.
In certain cases, you might want the wet look finish: if you’re dressing as the Backstreet Boys for Halloween, for example. In most other instances, there are ways of avoiding this. Applying sparingly to damp hair, ensuring a thorough coating from root top tip, and combing through before it sets will help you to create the neat, glossy texture and finish required for classic looks. Alternatively, if you’re looking to add volume and lift, apply to damp hair and blow dry with a rolling brush to finish. Again, your hair will have a glossy finish, but won’t appear drowned. With this method, you can even use a smaller quantity as a pre-styler, and combine with a matte finish product to create your final style.
The Going Strong Styling Gel from House 99 is a powerful, versatile hair gel that can be deployed to create all kinds of styles, making it an invitation for you to express your creativity. Keeping your styles locked in all day while making use of superfoods Spirulina and Quinoa to condition and nourish the hair strand, this gel will help your hairstyle stand up to wind, humidity, and gravity.
The Gel Forte from Sebastian Professional is a fantastic product for creating voluminous looks and ensuring they stay in place. Apply to damp hair, and blow dry into the style you need. You can expect your look to last the whole day, especially if you using a fixing product such as a hair spray to follow.
The American Crew Ultramatte is a medium hold gel with a matte finish. This makes it great for creating naturalistic looks that require less lift, but which you want to fix in place for the whole day. Its nourishing formulation, including silica and wheat proteins, also protects your hair from sun damage.
The Fudge Hair Gum volumises, thickens and boosts the hair while setting to fix your hair in place. A fantastic product for shorter hairstyles, you can also use a light gloss of the gum to keep natural longer hairstyles in place, or apply more to create hold for bigger, more ambitious hairstyles.
Next on our list of the best hair gel for men is Matrix Biolage Style Link Super Fixer Strong Hold Gel, a lightweight, strong-hold, high-shine gel. Use on damp hair before allowing to dry to create a more naturalistic look, or apply direct to dry hair to maximise the shine. A fantastic product for those with thick hair which washes out easily.
With a glossy shine, and long-lasting hold and control, KMS HairPlay Styling Gel is an exceptionally useful tool for adding texture and contrast to longer hair styles, while fixing them firmly in place.
The L’Oréal Professionnel Tecni Art Glue is great for creating spiked looks, textured looks, or holding a neater, slicked or swept back look in place. With high shine, it’s hold defies the laws of gravity.
The Hair Gel from Jack Black is lightweight with long-lasting hold, and conditions your hair to preserve its strength and health. Non-sticky and formulated with high-quality organic ingredients, the gel adds body and fullness to the hair while adding shine and fixing the hair firmly.
Working to create lift and texture while adding a naturalistic sheen that enhances the natural colour of your hair, the Wella Professionals Eimi Pearl Styler Gel creates a medium hold which long lasting.
The American Crew Firm Hold Gel is an interesting example of a gel which is a hybrid. Its spray mechanism gives it fantastic ease of application, and it has great hold with some degree of shine. Use in combination with a styling product as a fixer, or use it on its own to create naturalistic looks.