How to use hair gel: Our top tips for achieving different looks

Arianna | 07 July 2016

Whether you’re after slicked-back, wet look or super sleek hair, gel has you covered.

Believe it or not, hair gel is one of the most versatile hair products out there. It can be used to slick back hair, create a wet look effect, tame flyaways and hold curls. Phew! So if you’re not already acquainted with this handy styling product, better keep reading to find out how to use hair gel!

How to use hair gel


How to use hair gel to smooth flyaways

We all know that feeling, when you’ve styled your hair into a chic updo or slick ponytail, but your loose baby hairs are trying to bring you down. The solution? Hair gel!

Once you’ve styled your hair, squeeze a 5 or 10 pence-piece-sized amount of hair gel into your palm, and rub your hands together before gently sweeping them over your scalp to smooth down those pesky flyaways.

how to use hair gel to get wet look hair
How to use hair gel to get wet look hair. Credit:

How to use hair gel to create a wet look effect

Initially, as the wet look hair trend swept the nation, most people (including us here at the All Things Hair HQ) thought it was pretty weird to leave the house with hair that looks like you’ve just stepped out of the shower. But thanks to celebrities like Gigi Hadid and Kim Kardashian, the wet look trend quickly became a firm favourite in our books.

To create the wet look effect at home, style your hair down with a deep side part. Spray some VO5 Classic Mega Hold Gel Spray (£2.99*) over your mane, before using a comb to distribute the product throughout your strands, et voilà!: a sleek and sexy wet look that even Miss Hadid would be envious of!

How to use hair gel to get slicked-back hair
How to use hair gel to get slicked-back hair. Credit:

How to use hair gel to create a slicked-back look

On numerous spring/summer 2016 fashion week runways, lots of models debuted slicked-back locks (just look at Barbara Bui SS16 for proof).

To achieve this look, start by backcombing the top layer of your hair to create a subtle lift. Then squeeze a generous dollop of hair gel onto your palm and evenly distribute it onto the top section of your tresses. Using a comb, brush the top backcombed layer of hair near your face upwards and backwards until it’s all slicked back. Keep repeating this action until your hair looks smooth and sleek.

How to use hair gel to style curls
How to use hair gel to style curls. Credit:

How to use hair gel to hold curls

Generally, if you want to help retain the shape of your curls without them going frizzy, you’ll need to use some sort of hair styling product in your mane. Try the TRESemmé Make Waves Sculpt & Define Spray Gel (£5.50*) from the Runway Collection as it’s super easy to use and it works a treat on curly hair.

Start by spraying the gel on to towel-dried hair before blow-drying or styling, then once styled, spritz a little more on your tresses and scrunch in using your hands to help add definition and staying power. Just remember: always start off using only a small amount of hair gel (you can always build this up later), otherwise you may end up with curls that look too stiff and crispy!

How to use hair gel to add texture to a pixie crop
How to use hair gel to add texture to a pixie crop. Credit:

How to use hair gel to add texture to a pixie crop

Adding a bit of movement and texture to your pixie crop can result in a cool and edgy look. The good news is, you can do this with hair gel! Spray some VO5 Gel Spray through your crop, and then run your fingers through your hair, twisting the strands in different ways as you work through it. As your hair is quite short, you’ll only need a small amount of gel to achieve the desired look.

*RRPs are Unilever suggested retail prices only, it is at the discretion of the individual retailers to set the actual price.

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