Is Gel Bad for Your Hair? (See Pros and Cons)

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is gel bad for your hair

Whilst hair gels have been used for about a century now, there has been a rising concern regarding the negative effects of using gel on hair.

This leads us to the question we are tackling today:

Is gel bad for your hair?

In short, there are pros and cons of using gel on your hair as described below;

Disadvantages of some types of gels include;

  1. Drying the hair
  2. Gel build-up which often results in dandruff
  3. Leaves flakes in hair
  4. Split ends and thinning

Benefits of hair gel

  1. Sleeker hairstyles
  2. May tame frizz
  3. Natural hair gels may add volume to the hair
  4. Gels such as Flaxseed and Aloe Vera gel promote healthy hair growth

If you are feeling uncertain about using hair gel, then keep on reading as we will explore both the pros and cons of using hair gels.

We will also share tips on the best way to use hair gels without damaging your hair

Is Gel Bad For Your Hair?

Disadvantages of Hair Gel

1.  Drying hair

is gel bad for your hair

One of the reasons that make some hair gels harmful to the hair is the ingredients used to make these gels.  

Hair gels containing content such as alcohol tend to leave the hair to dry. Alcohol is drying to hair and will get rid of needed moisture in hair.

Additionally, such types of harmful ingredients will usually block production of sebum which additionally contributes to drying and dehydration.

Continuous usage of hair gels that contain drying ingredients will only to dry, stiff and dull hair.

2. Gel build-up which often results in dandruff

Another disadvantage of using gel is product build which usually results from failing completely washing out hair gel.

Some hair gels because of their composition are not easily washable by water. This might make it more difficult to completely get rid of gel in water.

The remaining product builds up on the hair scalp and over time leads to scalp irritation and dandruff formation.

Dandruff can also be a result of dry scalp. With hair gel use, hair is more susceptible to dryness and dehydration. Unfortunately, dry hair will usually lead to additional complications for the hair and scalp.

Dry scalp and hair will often lead to itchiness, flakiness and development of dandruff on hair scalp among other scalp complications. Sensitivity to some ingredients in hair gels also contributes to dandruff formation.

3. Leaves flakes in hair

Hair gel leads to flakes in hair. This is mainly caused by ingredients in hair gel particularly polymers.

Polymers create a film that aids in holding hair strands together to create the sleek finish that is popular with gel hairstyle.

However, the film is prone to breaking mostly due to contact with external objects. As a result of the film breaking, transparent flakes can be visible on the hair surface.

Flaking on hair can also be caused by product build up due to excessive use of hair gel or gel that remains in hair after washing.

Once the buildup breaks down, it causes flaking along with dandruff, inflammation and other scalp issues.

4. May lead to split ends and thinning

Continuous or excessive use of hair gel can lead to split ends and thinning. This is usually as a result of the dryness and dehydration that comes from drying hair gel products.

Dehydrated hair and scalp lack the moisture that keeps it from stretching correctly especially after any form of styling or friction with external breakage.

Over time, this shows as spit ends and thinning sections of hair especially around the edges where hair is most vulnerable.

Benefits of Hair Gels

Benefits of gel on hair

1. Sleeker hair styles

Hair gel is famously known for its smooth hold that achieves a sleek finish for your hairstyle.

If you are dealing with frizz or messy hair, gel is great for making hair more manageable and easier to style.

Whether you are aiming at spiky hair or a smooth finish to add hair extensions to, hair gel works great to deliver your desired hairstyle.

2. Thicker Hair

Some types of hair gels have been found to add some volume to hair. This results in the appearance of thicker and fuller hair. This could work great as a quick fix for hair that is thinning.

3. Healthier Hair

Gels with harmful chemicals can indeed cause additional harm to your hair. However, those made from natural organic ingredients such as Aloe Vera Gel and Flaxseed gel promote healthy hair growth.

 Therefore, in addition to holding the hair, the gel also eventually leads to well-nourished hair.

How to Use Hair Gel the Proper Way

Unfortunately, using hair gel can cause some harmful effects to your body. However, there are some few tips you can use to make gel safer for hair and reduce the intensity of these effects.

1. Opt for Natural Hair Gels

Natural hair gels contain hydrating elements including oils that work to counteract this by adding moisture to hair. They therefore offer a safer, more nourishing option when trying to maintain a sleek hairstyle.

When purchasing natural hair gels, be on the lookout for those that contain hydrating oils such as olive and coconut oils. These are light and easy to absorb adding extra needed moisture to hair.

2. Have a balance in how often and how much you use

Using hair gel the right way can make the difference between dry, brittle, thinning hair and healthy hair.

Using more than enough amounts of hair gel will usually weigh heavy on hair increases the chances of breakage. Reducing the frequency of gel use if possible also works to reduce hair loss.

Additionally, care should be taken to reduce excessive tension and manipulation when styling hair after gel application.

Since hair with gel is already susceptible to breakage, increasing tension further increases the likelihood of breakage, thinning and loss of hair.

3. Wash Hair Thoroughly

Product build up caused by gel on the scalp is likely to cause a lot of complication including dandruffs which can be difficult to remedy. Therefore, it is important to properly and carefully wash hair after gel application.

Consider using shampoos that are not drying to hair as this can worsen the dehydration that might have been caused by the hair gel.  

Avoid shampoos that contain drying ingredients such as alcohol and sulphates.

4. Avoid Applying Hair Gel on the Scalp

To achieve a sleeker finish, it can be helpful to apply hair gel on the scalp making the overall appearance smooth and sleek however, the gel can block hair pores reducing the chances of hair growth and can cause breakage.

Therefore it is advisable to begin hair gel application from the strands to keep hair safe and healthy.

BTW, did you know hair porosity plays a key role in hair growth? Take this simple hair porosity test to determine if your hair is HIGH, LOW or NORMAL porosity.

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