Hair Gels: To determine which men’s hair gels offer the most flexibility and holding power without giving your head the appearance of having been shellacked, we tested some of the top brands on thick, straight hair and thin, fine hair. The greatest men’s hair gel for all hair types is Johnny B. Mode, while Gentlemen Republic’s Refined Molding Gel offers the most gel for your money.
Hair Gels: Best for All Hair Types: Johnny B.
Hair Gels: Water is a key component of all hair gels, and when coupled with thickeners and emulsifiers, they produce a product that is simple to use and gives your hair a polished appearance. Additionally, the top three chemicals in many gels include alcohol, which could dry out your hair if used frequently. A few gels are alcohol-free, like our top choices, Johnny B Mode and Gentlemen’s Republic – Refined, and you can use these regularly without harming your hair.
We’ve evaluated alternative men’s hair products you might want to try in place of hair gel as they might not give you the textured, natural look you want for your pricey haircut.
Best Value: Gentlemen Republic – Refined
The major rival to Johnny B is Gentlemen Republic – Refined Molding Gel, another alcohol-free, fragrant gel. When you rub it into damp hair, it has a thick, frothy texture that holds peaks like meringue and looks to melt off your fingertips.
Due to the high hold factor of Gentlemen Republic, a little bit goes a long way. To achieve the desired result, we advise trying with little amounts, as our tester did. Even though it dries rapidly, you still have time to style your hair before it sets. Gentlemen Republic offers a good shine with just a few dabbed on.
This is a fantastic gel for any hairdo when used lightly. But when used heavily, it solidifies into an immovable mass. Gentlemen Republic-Refined is available in 8 ounces.
Hair Gels: American Crew – Firm Hold
While American Crew Firm Hold contains many of the same components as other gels, it also has a few extras that help it rank very high on our list. By stimulating the scalp and supplying fatty acids, three ingredients—Quillaja Saponaria bar, Panax ginseng extract, and safflower seed oil—have been shown to increase hair growth. The difference was instantly apparent: Our tester’s hair appeared full and healthy.
The American Crew gel was simple to use and has a little soap aroma. It is only slightly tacky. Allowing the American Crew gel to dry naturally will give you a polished, shining appearance that won’t feel like helmet hair. Alternatively, you might use a blow dryer to achieve salon-quality results.
Our tester’s hair felt like it had been treated with a high-end conditioner after blow-drying, and he was able to adjust the setting with his fingers all day.
You can buy the American Crew gel in a variety of sizes, and it is reasonably priced considering that you only need a small quantity of it each time you style your hair.
Hair Gels: Body sculpting Gel Extra by Paul Mitchell
Extra-Body Sculpting Gel by Paul Mitchell is a lightweight gel with a medium hold that gives hair softness and volume. Due to its poor shine and the fact that when it dries, the hair looks matted together and gritty, it isn’t truly a gel for a wet appearance. However, using the Paul Mitchell gel with a blow dryer on damp hair will give you that salon look if you have the time and patience to style your hair.
You can definitely feel your hair getting thicker and taller as you blow dry this gel. Once the hair has dried, you can shape it with a brush or, for a more organic look, your fingers. Paul Mitchell gel’s grasp isn’t as strong.
Hair Gels: Hard Up: A Sexy Haircut
Sexy Hair Style – Hard Up Gel unquestionably lives up to its name. This gel is made for hair that has been spiked up and has a hold level of 10 and a shine level of 9. Unlike other gels, Sexy Hair doesn’t add body, volume, or texture, but it does make your hair, regardless of kind or length, stand straight up. This substance, depending on how much you use, can keep your hair raised for hours.
Sexy Hair comes out of the tube-like strawberry-flavored, sky-blue toothpaste and is quite sticky. Imagine it as superglue for your hair. It was actually rather entertaining to watch how crazy our tester could get with his hair as he tried molding it into various postures.
Hair Gels: Swagger Gel by Old Spice
We’ll admit that we were a little nervous before testing Old Spice – Swagger Gel. First of all, the gel’s name gave the impression that it was perfumed with the renowned (or infamous) Old Spice perfume that our grandfathers wore. We were astonished and happy to discover that it has a soft, fruity aroma. Even better, it has a good grip and a matte finish. Although the hair of our tester dried hard, he was able to manipulate it with his fingers and give it a more natural aspect.
The difficult-to-pronounce chemicals are really typical for hair products that provide humidity and UV protection. Unfortunately, alcohol is Swagger’s third ingredient, thus like older gels, it could damage your hair if used frequently.
Hair Gels: Fructis Style by Garnier – Pure Clean
Garnier Fructis Style – Pure Clean, which claims to be 98% naturally derived, provides a firm hold that can tame frizzy, curly, and other unruly hair. When dried, you can leave it as-is or style it with your fingertips. It has a fresh, shampoo-like aroma. Pure Clean gave our tester’s hair a gloss even after working through dry hair. The gel didn’t give anybody to his hair after being brushed out, though; it instead laid flat.
We looked into the ingredients of Garnier Fructis Style because the company claims that the gel is made naturally. Their claim sort of holds up because they are in reality substances that have been processed from herbal, vegetal, and mineral origins. Benzyl alcohol makes up the remaining 2% of Pure Clean, which is hardly much overall.
Hair Gels: Control Gel from Dove+Men Care
One of the many skin and hair products that Dove markets to men are the Men+Care Control Gel. It is a thick, clear gel with a firm grip, similar to Garnier Fructis’ Pure Clean and Old Spice’s Swagger Gel. If you want a wet appearance, the Dove gel shines when applied to damp hair. Our tester’s hair felt thick and velvety after it; it can also be combed out. The Dove gel has an intriguing perfume that some online reviewers have referred to as “masculine,” but we would characterize it as more apple pie-like.
Despite Dove’s successful performance, we disagree with their assertion that this gel is an “alcohol-free composition.” Propylene glycol, a typical humectant used in cosmetics and hair products, is the third main component.
However, because propylene glycol is alcohol by definition, Dove gel’s third ingredient will probably cause your hair to get dry.
Additionally, Dove gel contains two preservatives: methylparaben and propylparaben, both of which the FDA has approved as safe but is still investigating for potential cancer-related effects. You can decide whether to use paraben-containing products, but to be safe, we’ll suggest our top options over Dove Men+Care – Control Gel.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Hair Gels: Is pomade preferable to gel?
Choose gel if you want a product that has the best hold and support and leaves a lustrous finish. Pomade is a better choice if you want a product that is less harsh on your hair while still offering a good amount of hold.
Hair Gels: Which is better for fine hair, mousse or gel?
On the other hand, some hair types, particularly fine hair, may find gel to be overly heavy. Mousse works wonders for giving fine hair bounce and volume and retaining waves or curls in straight hair. Curly or wavy hair can be given structure and definition by applying mousse to damp hair.
Hair Gels: Which gel works best to smooth back hair?
If you have very fine hair, you should pick a lightweight gel; avoid anything too thick because it will make your hair appear much thinner and stiffer. Parker chooses the Aveda Confixor Liquid Gel to create sleek ponytails and other styles, even though he would suggest Oribe’s Rock Hard Gel for fine hair.
Hair Gels: Does one apply hair gel on dry or damp hair?
Don’t completely dry your hair because you need to have it moist when applying the gel. A smart choice if you’re pressed for time is to dampen your hair in the sink. When the gel is applied to oily or filthy hair, it may become less effective and appear more “crunchy.”