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How to Style Your Hair with Gel

Styling gel is the Swiss army knife of hair styling—an all-purpose tool that can help you achieve any goal or look. You may even want to take some on your next camping trip.


  • Step 1: Choose style Choose the style you want and determine the type of gel you'll need to hold it in place. Use a lighter foam gel for a tousled, bed-head look; a medium-hold gel for wet and shiny spikes; or a thick gel for a slicked-back look.
  • TIP: Avoid using gels that contain alcohol—they will damage and dry out your hair.
  • Step 2: Wet hair Start with wet or damp hair. The gel will hold better and longer.
  • Step 3: Rub gel between hands Squeeze the gel into your palm and rub it vigorously between your hands until it is warm and thoroughly emulsified.
  • TIP: Use a dime-sized amount for short hair, a quarter-sized dollop for medium-length hair, and two or more quarter-sized dollops for longer, thicker hair.
  • Step 4: Work gel through hair Work the gel from your scalp to the tips of your hair.
  • Step 5: Style hair Style your hair as desired.
  • Step 6: Let dry or blow-dry If you want your hair to remain shiny from the gel, allow it to dry naturally. For less shine and a stronger hold, blow-dry your style into place on a low setting.
  • FACT: Unlike his gelled up, spiked-hair bandmates, Steve Jones, lead guitarist for the Sex Pistols, actually had a perm.

You Will Need

  • The gel hairstyling product of your choice
  • A blow-dryer

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