Is your hair about as easy to control as an unruly teenager? Do you want to sport one of the ‘Trad’ haircuts that seem to be huge this summer (think David Beckham in the Sky TV ad), slick back your fine hair or simply bang up the curl? If you use the right finishing product, you’ll stand a chance of success.
Not all of us want the oily finish that waxes or pomades can give your hair. If this is the case, you may have struggled to find a styling product that gives the right amount of control without overload.
With this in mind, we have created our guide to the top five men’s hair gels currently on the market. Yes, gel – one of the best all-rounders for styling hair. It’s been a long time since it was the hair product of choice for most of us over the age of twelve, but it does come in many variations and I personally use it in the salon on some pretty discerning clients.
FashionBeans Tip: Look for gels that come in a tube rather than a tub. The latter tend to be either lower quality or water-based jellies, with the exception of some specialist afro hair products.
Before we start, here is a collection of hairstyles from our gallery that could be created successfully with gel products. This should hopefully give you an idea of whether you should consider using gel on your current style:
FashionBeans Top Five Men’s Hair Gels
Below are FashionBeans‘ top five men’s hair gels that are currently available on the market, in no particular order…
1. Sebastian Liquid Steel
One of the best strong hold gels on the market, Sebastian Liquid Steel is perfect for thick, coarse and wavy hair or stubborn, straight and textured hair.
This concentrated styler isn’t for the faint hearted – it’s extremely strong and will hold down, slick back and keep any hair firmly in place. If you want to make it slightly more pliable, try mixing it with a little soft pomade or serum, once it has been applied to the hair.
Use Liquid Steel only if you want a very strong, fixed hold for your hair. Apply a thumbnail sized amount to freshly shampooed, dry hair using your hands and then comb or brush into a style.
Alternatively, you can use this product on damp hair in the same way for a gentler hold and a more even distribution. Allow the hair to dry naturally after you have applied and styled.
FashionBeans Tip: You may find it easier to apply if you add a few drops of water to the palm of your hand and mix together with the gel. This will not alter its holding ability.
2. Philip B Oud Royal Gravity-Defying Gel
Another favourite is Philip B Styling Gel. It offers a softer hold but will still give control and keep your hair in place.
This gel works well on any hair texture but is perfect for finer to medium types, where volume may be required. The product feels and smells great, is made using a gel-like extract taken from Irish moss and won’t cause itchy scalp – overall, it’s an extremely gentlemanly product.
To create sleek short styles with some volume, apply a small amount of gel to the hair and then blow dry using your fingers to keep the hair in the direction you desire. Once dry, reapply the gel and style into place.
3. Original Sprout Natural Hair Gel
If you are an eco-conscious gent who cares about more than just his hair, Original Sprout Natural Hair Gel ticks all the right boxes.
Its 100 per cent vegan formula is environmentally sound and doesn’t feature some of the potentially harmful parabens and sulphates that other cheaper products continue to include. The gel has a real feel of luxury to it and offers guilt-free styling.
This product is suited to any hair texture where control is wanted without stickiness or a ridged finish. Like most gels, this one doesn’t stay pliable, but it has a clean feel and is easily removed.
Again, use on wet or dry hair, depending on the strength of finish you require. Apply with your fingers and evenly comb through to create the look you want, or blow-dry and reapply to dry hair to style.
4. B for Men Powerplay Firm Finish Gel
This is a good one for textured styles. Providing a gentle hold, Powerplay Firm Finish Gel is a great mid-priced product that features pleasant scent.
I always recommend gels that can be used on both wet and dry hair to my clients in the salon. Whether you choose to let your hair dry naturally and then style, or apply product and then blow-dry, this gel will certainly do all.
You should only need a small amount on short hair. A great tip with this type of gel is to mix it with a pea-sized amount of serum in the palm of your hand before applying – this gives a more pliable hold, which works and looks better for those with longer hair on top.
5. Kerastase Homme Capital Force Sculpting Fixing Gel
Another strong hold gel, Capital Force Sculpting Fixing Gel offers a flexible finish and thickening effect, making it ideal for finer hair textures.
This top of the range gel not only feels and looks great in your hair, it also won’t end up making your scalp itch like some gels do. This is due to its superior ingredients, designed to give you a perfect finish whilst caring for and conditioning your hair and scalp at the same time.
This gel is best applied to damp, towel-dried hair. Work a small amount into the hair and then brush or comb into place and let dry. If you want extra volume, you can then blow-dry into your style.
So there you have our top five men’s hair gels available on the current market. I have personally utilised all five on clients within the salon, so if you have any questions on the products featured today feel free to drop a comment below…