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Choosing the Right Gels and Glue


Given the versatility and styling uses that gels and glues have, it’s no wonder they’re popular with those who love dramatic and unique looks. Gels are great at defining the natural attributes of your tresses and they can also work towards smoothing, straightening or volumizing, depending on which gel you choose. With glue, you can go wild and convert your head into a styling playground, creating spikes and shapes that hold for an entire day.

But how do you know which one is for you? There are many different types of gel out there and each is designed for a specific purpose. To help you choose, here’s a list of gels with their descriptions, plus a brief mention of glues to control your styles and keep them firmly in place.

  • Smoothing gel: keeps your hair frizz-free as it hydrates and locks in moisture, providing a firm hold and great shine. You can use this gel on damp hair before picking up a hair dryer and if your hair is curly, use a diffuser. If you want to go completely straight use a concentrator to achieve sleek locks.

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  • Straightening gel: seals in moisture and helps straighten your hair without leaving it sticky. It’s a good idea to check for thermal protectants to place a barrier over your hair while heat styling. Apply this gel to damp hair and use a layer of serum to bring it to its maximum potential, then blow dry with a round brush for the sleekest straightness, finishing with a flat iron to complete the look.

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  • Volumizing gel: provides your tresses with fullness and body, supporting the roots to achieve height. It’s properties allow you to keep your style firmly in place no matter your hair type, whether it’s straight, wavy or curly. You can use this gel on damp or dry hair, applying on your entire head or specific sections if you wish.

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  • Curling gel: makes the most out of your natural curls leaving out unsightly frizz and defining the twists and twirls that give your curls bounce. You can apply this gel to damp hair and comb through using your fingers to distribute it evenly. Let it dry normally or blow dry with a diffuser, and if you like, finish the look with a spray gel to revive those curls and give them long lasting shine.

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  • Glue: for an extreme hold over your styles, you can apply the glue all over, but it’s recommended that you use it over specific sections and smaller details that need the most holding instead of spreading it everywhere unnecessarily.

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Gel Weight

You’ve just read about the different types of gel for certain styles and looks, but there’s more to them yet! Most of these gels also are available in various weights: light, medium and firm. Which is the best for you? Well, it depends on the characteristics of your hair. If you have fine or thin locks, choose a light hold gel, you don’t want too much product weighing down the strands and making your tresses look limp. If your hair is thicker, courser and tends to frizz up, then your best bet is a medium or firm hold gel to smooth down flyaways and keep styles in place.


There are plenty of options if you’re still not convinced, like alcohol free gel that’s ideal for curly, dry or damaged hair since the lack of alcohol allows for gentle styling without sapping much needed moisture. Spray gel is really easy to apply and distribute, great for curls that don’t take well to a lot of handling. There are also brightening gels that release the potential for color and shine in light hair, so if you’re blond or have highlights, make sure to keep your eyes peeled!
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