Hair Gel for Women: 9 Best Hair Gels & How to Use Them

Time to get re-acquainted with this '90s styling go-to!

Hair gel is a unisex styling product that is used to hold and tame hair into a particular hairstyle. You can use it to smooth frizz, tame flyaways and most importantly, to create sleek hairstyles. And with slick-back and wet-look styles making a comeback, you might be wondering if a hair gel for women is what your styling routine is missing.

If you’re not used to using it, gel can be a bit intimidating, but this styling gem is brilliantly versatile. Don’t believe us? Why not read on and discover how you might able to make hair gel work for you.

9 Best Women’s Hair Gels for 2021

Want to know which hair gel for women is best for you? Keep scrolling to find your perfect match! Once you find the right one, you’ll be able to create all your fave looks.

VO5 Mega Hold Gel Spray

Best For: Frizz Control

If you’re looking for a hair gel for women that can do it all, you’ll love the VO5 Mega Hold Gel Spray! Conveniently, this gel comes in spray format, which means you apply to where you need it the most.

This non-sticky gel spray is great for managing frizz, slicking down flyaways and giving your hair a polished finish.

TRESemmé Botanique Air Dry Natural Hold Gel

Best For: Natural Hair

If you’re looking for a gel that will help to define your curls, this is all you need. Not only does the TRESemmé Botanique Air Dry Natural Hold Gel smell refreshing (thanks to its coconut and cactus fragrance!), but it also helps to enhance natural waves and curls like a dream. Plus, it’s specially designed for air drying, so you can simply wash and go.

VO5 Wet Look Styling Gel

Best For: Wet Look Styles

The VO5 Wet Look Styling Gel is designed to specifically give you that wet look hairstyle the runways and celebrities adore! It provides 24-hour hold and can keep your look in place even in very high humidity, making it perfect for year-round wear.

Alberto Balsam Ultra Strong Gel

Best for: Strong Hold

Great for all hair types, the Alberto Balsam Ultra Strong Gel is great for those of you who want to create long-lasting hairstyles (trust us, your hair won’t move an inch!).

This is also the ideal hair gel for women looking to lay down their baby hairs and smooth frizz.

VO5 Gel Wax

Best for: Shorter Hair

The gel-meets-wax hybrid formula of the VO5 Gel Wax makes it perfect for styling shorter cropped and pixie cuts. It has a natural shine finish, which gives hair a neat and polished look, so you can rest assured your style will stay looking flawless.

VO5 Firm Hold Styling Gel

Best for: Fine Hair

If you’re looking for a hair gel for fine hair, we’ve found it. When applied on damp hair, the VO5 Firm Hold Styling Gel not only provides hold but also adds fullness and lift at the roots.

Alberto Balsam Wet Look Gel

Best for: Slick Styles

Recreating the wet look hair trend can be tricky – you want to strike the right balance between looking wet and glossy but definitely not greasy. Thankfully, that’s exactly what the Alberto Balsam Wet Look Gel does best. This non-sticky gel gives hair an instant wet look effect (à la Kim K) but doesn’t make hair greasy at all and washes out easily, too.

VO5 Mega Hold Styling Gel

Best for: All Day Styles

Apply the VO5 Mega Hold Styling Gel in the morning and your hair will seriously stay in place all. day. long. The max-hold, weatherproof formula locks your look in place, so even if it’s damp or humid outside, you’ve got one less thing to worry about.

VO5 Volume Boost Gel Spray

Best for: Volumising

The convenience of a hairspray and hold of a gel combine in the VO5 Volume Boost Gel SprayThis spray-in gel gives hair noticeably more body – apply to damp hair, focusing on the roots and dry your hair upside down to achieve the most volume.

How to Use Hair Gel (Female)

Now that we’ve broken down some of our favourite go-to hair gels, keep reading for our top tips on how to apply gel to create different styles.

hair gel for women slicked back hair
Could hair gel be your new BFF? Credit:

Use Hair Gel to Style Short Hair

When it comes to styling shorter cuts, hair gel for women is brilliant for achieving a variety of looks. Use it to smooth down your locks and comb it back for a sharp and slick ’80s-inspired ‘do (also big on the runways this season), or to create a more shiny, voluminous finish). Work it through your hair before blow-drying backwards with a brush to achieve a fair stronghold that’ll last all day.

Tame Frizz

If you’re struggling to tame your frizz, then the tiniest dab of hair gel combined with smoothing serum makes for a powerful cocktail that will help calm frizzy hair, without weighing it down, or getting flaky. Mix in the palm of your hands and apply it to your tresses before or after blow-drying to get a sleeker effect that’ll help banish pesky flyaways, too.

Boost Volume

Hair gel for women isn’t just for creating spellbinding shape and texture, they can help you achieve volume, too.

“Try the VO5 Mega Hold Gel Spray,” recommends Dan Lynes. “Use it in conjunction with a hair dryer and it’ll help boost volume as well. So it’s kind of like a very soft version of a mousse. If you spray it on to wet hair and let it dry, it will crisp up, but if you run your fingers through it, then blow-dry, you can pretty much get rid of that crispiness straight away.”

Create Wet Look Hair

Want to work that wet look you’ve seen so much of on the runways in real life? Well, now you can!

“If you combine the VO5 Mega Hold Gel Spray and the VO5 Big Volume Mousse together, you could get a good hold with a little bit of shine. Then mix a little bit of oil or serum into it as well to help you get that nice glossy sheen,” says Dan.

Work It in Subtly

hair gel for women
As well as shine, hair gel’s great for pumping up the volume, too. Credit: Indigital

Despite its strong-hold formula, hair gel doesn’t have to be the main attraction; you can also use it in less obvious ways to help style your hair.

Create a smooth look with a hairband – keep the front combed back and leave the rest soft and loose. Or, work a tiny amount into the front of an off-centre part to create a cool, small quiff.

For a more casual, dishevelled outcome, work it in through the lengths of your hair to create a tousled look.

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