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In praise of gel

A not-so-humble product

So, hair gel. The first thing that comes to mind is the 12-year-old boy applying way too much of a cheap, bog-standard, luridly coloured wet-look gloop. It’s probably the first product men use on their hair and the start of a hair styling journey for most. Because of this, gel is often overlooked as a product. In fact, it can be extremely versatile and create some incredibly sophisticated styles on both men and women.

Gel is possibly my favourite pre-styling foundation product to use on shorter hair. Unlike a salt spray that opens up the cuticle and can make the hair seem dry and tug on a brush if over used, gel gives you smooth control over hair as you style it into place. When blow-dried in, gel doesn’t give you that wet-look ‘crispy’ feel but much more free-flowing volume and texture, depending on how much you apply.

For longer hair looks, especially rock‘n’roll looks, it can be used in wet hair, dried in, then finished off with a small amount scrunched into the ends to create that bit of dirtiness, separation and texture without creating a feeling of heaviness, or the need to wash the hair soon after.

Speaking of which, gel washes out incredibly easily, too, which is always a bonus. No one likes heavy build-up in their hair, especially if the product is oil-based. Because of this gel is great for high-shine, almost wet-look pompadours and if you let it dry naturally it will stay in place all day long, with no need for hairspray. And I’m yet to see a Fashion Week pass without at least one designer using gel on their models. It’s completely timeless.

I’m delighted to announce that I’ve been working with The Bluebeards Revenge male grooming brand on developing and testing an exciting new barbershop quality hair styling gel. And 50p from every tub we sell will be donated to the Lions Barber Collective to help prevent male suicide.