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Stay Slick: Our Best Hair Gels For Any Occasion

biolage texture sap gel and woman holding redken velvet gelatine

Picture this: You’re back in middle school, getting ready for another day of long lectures and heavy textbooks. Still half asleep, you drag your feet into the bathroom and begin to style your dark brown hair. The first thing you reach for? Your favorite hair gel that you apply all over your mane to give you perfect, long-lasting gel hairstyles.

We can’t deny that our throwback crunchy styles bring back fond memories of hanging with our besties after lunch and having little responsibility. However, we will admit that sometimes it left our hair a little too hard and stiff. Luckily, hair gel has come a long way since middle school. These days you can find any hair gel to satisfy all of your styling needs sans the crunchy-feel.

Wondering what is a good gel? Keep reading for eight of the best hair gels you can use to create any look for every occasion.

Biolage Styling Gelée All Purpose Styling Gel

Whether you’re going to a wedding or on a date with someone special, Biolage Styling Gelée All Purpose Styling Gel is likely to create a hairstyle that’ll make you feel gorgeous wherever you are. The all-purpose formula offers a firm hold and adds body, shine, and control for all hair types.

Matrix Vavoom My Body Forming Hair Gel

Gel has a reputation for sometimes drying as hard as rocks, but that’s not the only texture you want to avoid when choosing a hair gel. If sticky gel is the bane of your existence, you need Matrix Vavoom My Body Forming Gel. This formula offers firm control in the form of a liquid gel but dries all the way through without any sticky residue that weighs strands down.

Mizani True Textures Perfect Coil Oil Gel

Looking for a gel for curls that defines as well as it moisturizes? Look no further than Mizani Perfect Coil Oil Gel. The formula combines the moisturizing properties of oil with the shaping abilities of gel to give your hair a no-fuss style. This highly natural formula, which contains sustainably-sourced coconut, marula, and olive oils, defines your curls and coils while keeping them hydrated all day long.

Redken Velvet Gelatine 07 Cushioning Blow Dry Gel

Gel is typically the last styling product you apply to your mane when getting ready to hit the town, but you can apply Redken Velvet Gelatine 07 Cushioning Blow Dry Gel to your hair before you begin styling to give your blowout volume and hold without a crunchy finish. This light and airy, cushioning blow-dry hair gel melts into strands to produce a soft, velour-like finish with natural-looking shine, and works wonders at giving even limp, flat hair sexy volume. Apply the gel throughout damp strands before blow drying or on dry hair as a medium-control gel.

L’Oréal Professionnel Tecni.Art Transformer Gel

As self-proclaimed product hoarders, we know just how difficult it can be to purge your vanity of products, but if you’re looking to have a more minimalist hair care routine, you need a product that can do double duty. L’Oréal Professionnel’s Tecni.Art Transformer Gel is a first-of-its-kind product that starts as a hair gel and transforms into a foam formula once emulsified in your hands. When used as a gel, the product adds control to short cuts and definition to curls without stiffness. When used as a mousse, the product adds volume and lift to hair from root to tip.

Mizani Edge Trimming Hair Gel

Are the baby hairs sticking up around your edges, ruining your otherwise flawless hairstyles? Then you need Mizani Edge Trimming Hair Gel. This dry-finish, high-hold styling product smooths edges, and also protects the hairline from heat damage, and promotes good hair health.

Biolage Styling Texture Sap Gel

Love the holding power of gel but not the feel? Then you’ll love Biolage Styling Texture Sap Gel. This buildable hair gel offers a flexible, touchable finish that won’t leave a waxy residue on your strands. This formula is ideal for giving short hairstyles a medium-hold, lightweight finish.

Matrix Total Results Curl Super Defrizzer Gel

Curly creams and lotions have been getting a lot of love over the last few years, but every curly girl knows when you want true curl defining, frizz-fighting power, gel is where it’s at. This lightweight, strong-hold formula offers definition and texture, so curls feel more natural, not crunchy. Don’t believe us? Our Senior Editor says this gel has gotten her through quarantine.

In search of more products to add to your hair styling routine? Click here to check out our newest products.

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