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The 8 Best Gel Hairstyles To Try

Photo of women with slicked gel hairstyles

If you’re anything like me, your memories of using hair gel begin way back in middle school. I would grab a bottle of my favorite formula and scrunch it into my hair until my strands were nearly glued to my head. Luckily, hair gel formulas and styling techniques have come a long way since then. Now, we pretty much solely rely on hair gel for strong hold, adding shine, managing flyaways, and keeping strands in place for hours on end.

Wondering what hairstyles you can create with gel (without ending up with dreaded ramen noodle hair)? These are eight of the best gel hairstyles to try now.

Best Gel Hairstyles To Try Now

Natural Curls

If you have natural ringlets, a dime-sized amount of hair gel is all you need to manage your frizz while holding your curls in place. Since curly hair is also prone to dryness, opt for a hydrating hair gel formula like Mizani True Textures Perfect Coil Oil Gel. This formula defines and shapes your curls and coils until your next wash day while helping to keep them moisturized.

Sleek High Ponytail

If you want a look that works from day to night, nothing beats the sleek high ponytail. Beginning with clean, dry hair, use a boar bristle brush to completely detangle your strands. Smooth out the hair at the top and sides of your head and gather all of your hair at the back of your head to form a high ponytail.

Still holding your hair with one hand, use your other hand to apply a dime-size amount of strong-hold gel like Matrix Vavoom Hold My Body Forming Hair Gel to the front and sides of your hair to create a sleek look and tame frizz. Then, use a hair elastic or to secure your high ponytail. If you want to cover the elastic, take a loose strand of hair and wrap it around the base of the ponytail. Complete your look with a finishing hairspray like Matrix StyleLink Style Fixer Finishing Hairspray.

Wet Look

Wet looks are huge on runways and red carpets, but the classic look is just as doable for everyday wear! When your hair is damp, work a quarter-sized amount of hair gel throughout your hair beginning at the roots. Then, use a wide-toothed comb to smooth your hair towards the back of your head. Complete your look with a few spritzes of shine-enhancing hairspray like Redken Shine Flash 02 Glistening Mist Hairspray.

Slicked-Back Low Updo

Looking to add a bit of texture to your updo while keeping your strands away from your face? Opt for a slicked-back low updo for any occasion.

Tucked Behind Ears

It doesn’t take a lot of effort to create an elegant hairstyle. Case in point: A hairstyle that’s tucked behind the ears. Create soft waves throughout your mane and apply gel around your hairline to create a polished, frizz-free look. Tuck your strands behind your ears and use a bobby pin to lock your look in place.

Slicked Back With Deep Side Part

This slicked-back look paired with a deep side part proves that using hair gel doesn’t mean your hair needs to look stiff and crunchy. For this look, opt for a volumizing hair gel that adds body, shine, and control like Biolage’s Styling Gelée All Purpose Styling Gel. Wondering how to create a deep side part the right way? Click here for our guide.

Piece-Ey Pixie

Searching for an effortless way to give your super short ‘do some style? If you have a pixie cut with a bit of length, work a light-hold hair gel throughout your strands to give your look instant body and texture.


If you’re searching for a gel hairstyle with a ton of edge, opt for a mohawk. When it comes to androgynous hairstyles, the mohawk is one of our all-time favorites—and takes minutes to style with a hair gel on hand!

Looking for more hairstyle ideas? Use our salon locator to book an appointment with a stylist near you.

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