Is Gel Bad For Your Hair? 11 Facts About Hair Gel For Men

1. When Was Hair Gel First Invented?

Think hair gel is a modern invention?

Think again!

The Ancient Egyptians styled their hair with fat based hair gels and even used the product on people who died - because death is no excuse for bad hair. 

2. Hair gels with natural ingredients are nothing new

Analysis of an Irish man who died between 201 and 392 BC found he had been using a hair gel made from pine tree resin imported from Spain or South-west France!

We dread to think how much the shipping was. 

3. Modern hair gel traces its routes back to household cleaners

In 1929, an English company called Chemico Works - manufacturers of kitchen cleaners - decided to diversify. They created the first hair gel designed for consumers and marketed it as Brylcream.

4. The hair gel you know started life in 1960s USA

It was marketed with the name ‘Dep’ in recognition of the substance that gave it its unique, non-greasy consistency: diethyl phthalate, commonly abbreviated as DEP.

5. Some hair gels contain alcohol

This allows the gel to 'glide' over your hair but can also dry your hair and scalp, leading to brittle hair and ‘dry scalp’.

Be careful with the type of hair gel you use and pick a men's hair gel with natural ingredients

5. Hair gel is not designed to be manipulated throughout the day

Don’t keep fiddling with your hair throughout the day - especially as some cheaper hair gels can flake, leaving you with the appearance of dandruff which has been shown to turn off 100% of women.

If you insist on running your fingers through your hair, find a natural hair gel with "anti-flake" properties. 

6. Some cheaper hair gels are flammable

If your hair gel container says “flammable”, don’t use it. End of story.

7. Cheap hair gels can damage your hair

Always go for a hair gel with natural ingredients like aloe vera and spearmint leaf because they promote a healthier scalp, while providing a decent degree of hold.

8. Hair gel works best when applied to slightly damp hair

Don’t apply hair gel to wet hair - the water dilutes the gel and stops it adhering properly.

And if it runs into your eyes, you'll be in a whole world of pain. 

9. Hair gel should not be combed after application

Why? You’ll look like a sleazy second hand car salesman.

Apply the gel then style with your hands for a more natural look. 

10. Overusing hair gel could stop your hair growing!

Slapping the hair gel on to your hair and scalp could be bad for your hair because it blocks the pores on your scalp, which impedes hair growth.

Only apply hair gel to your hair from the route up - never massage it into your scalp!

11. Hair gel should be washed out at the end of every day

Hair gel - particularly cheaper ones - completely coat your hair, preventing it from ‘breathing’.

If you don’t wash it out and the end of the day, your hair could become dry and brittle.

Make sure you buy a water soluble hair gel - this makes it easier to wash out! 


Hair gel sometimes gets a bad rap - often associated with brick hard "wet look" hair, 1980s bankers and irritating teenagers. 

But a good hair gel has a rightful place among other hair products for men - especially for those looking for a strong hold.

Just don't coat your entire head in gel, make sure you style it with your hands (and not a comb) and find a hair gel which doesn't flake.

And with everything - look for a men’s hair gel with natural ingredients over harmful chemicals and synthetic fragrances. 

Cheaper hair gels may be tempting but saving a couple of dollars now will seem insignificant when when you're suffering from dry scalp.

And always, always wash your hair gel out at the end of the day, remembering to use a natural moisturizing conditioner for men to replenish your hair's natural oils.

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