substitute for hair gel
substitute for hair gel

Whenever you see an awesome hairstyle and wish to try it on yourself. What you do?

You go to the saloon and get your hairs trimmed, and the hair style you need appears flawlessly.

But when your hair gets dry, or blown by the wind, the hairstyle vanishes eventually. When you try to keep your messy hair in place, the hair doesn’t stay in place as you desire.

No big deal; we’ve all been in such situations. Those models, and actors or footballers having such awesome hairstyles you crave for.

Do you know the secret behind their hair staying in style even after a rough day at work or game?

Well, having a personal hairdresser, costly hair products do help, but among those, all secrets also lay a single hair product called Hair Gel. Also there are some substitute for hair gel. We will come to that later.

 Today I am going to tell you all about hair gel, how hair gel works, hair gel’s side effects and substitutes for hair gel

To know about the history of hair gel we have to go back to the early 19th century when a small pharmacy located at Buenos Aires, Argentina who manufactured the first product for hair to fix hair.

Later on, a British company introduced the first worldwide popular and renounced hair gel, Brylcreem, which became a hit hair gel product in later times.

Ever since, hair gel has become an essential styling product which is used widely in the fashion industry daily. There is no doubt that, hair gels are always on the rescue when someone is  having a bad hair day, or when someone is on rush and don’t have time to go to a salon to fix his/her hair. Men uses hair gel the most as it provides perfect and stiff hair, making their hairstyle last longer throughout the day when at work or in field, but hair experts have found out that too much use of hair gels everyday can cause severe side effects on your hair and skin.

What is Hair Gel?

hair gel substitute
Creator: Mario Castello/Corbis/VCG | Credit: Getty Images

As the name of the products says, simple definition of hair gel is a jell like substance which is used to style hair. Hair gel is one kind of a popular hairstyling product which is mainly to harden your hair into to keep the hair into specified hairstyles. Hair gel supports your hair to stay in a specific hairstyle.

Most of the conventional hair sprays composed of water. It also contains different proteins, conditioners, oils and humectants. There is a big range of different types of hair gels you can find in the market today.

Hair gel can be applied to both dry and wet hair, but it is best to apply on wet hair. The gel is not quite useful or you can say designed for dry hair, so it’s better if you apply hair gel to your wet hair and let it dry naturally or use a hairdryer to dry it and set.

Now since you know a little more about the hair gel you might be wondering if it is a safe product for your hair. Why people around the world search for hair gel substitute?

How to use hair gel ?

best substitute for hair gel

First thing is that gel is used mainly on short hair. Hair gel is not designed for long hair. Unless you are using a huge amount of hair gel on your long hair.

I don’t think it can be used to provide long-lasting hold on mid-lengths and long-length hair. There are other products that are a lot more suitable, such as hairsprays for styling and fixing your hair. We always recomend to use natyural hairsprays or non toxic hair sprays

To acchieve wet-look on your hair, use a medium-hold gel to avoid your hair going very stiff. Take a small amount of hair gel in your hands then run your fingers through your hair until you achieve the wet look result you’re looking for. This works best when your hair is wet.

Our tip: Always distribute the hair gel evenly throughout your hair to stop your hair becoming stiff. Stiff hair is not natural and this is certainly not attractive! Then apply the hair gel in your hair using all your fingers with much precision as possible.

Why People Search Substitute for Hair Gel?

best hair gel substitute

The quality of the hair gel depends on the different chemicals and ingredients used in the gel.

Ok, so first of all, using harsh chemical on your hair can and will harm your hair and scalp to some extent. No, if you think hair gel is not safe because of the different ingredients used in it.

Some branded hair gels might be reliable to some extent than low quality or cheap ones available in the market, but no matter how much branded, they still do affect your hair.

Also Read : Seven Minerals Aloe Vera Gel | Best Aloe Vera Gel Review 

Most conventional hair gels contain high concentrated alcohol as the preservative, and it’s not recommended to use at all. The presence of alcohol tends to suck in the moisture from your scalp and dry out your hair, which makes your hair weak and tend to break. For these reasons people tent to ask one simple question. What is the best alternative for hair gel?

The harsh chemicals and specially concentrated alcohol used in hair gels make your hair dry and de-moisturized, which messes up the moisture level and pH level of your hair.

It will surely result in dry and broken edge hair and also result in the itchy scalp. Even if you have a good hair gel we will recommend you not to use it daily, it is recommended to use hair gel less.

Also, make sure that the hair gel you are applying on your scalp should not last on your hair for more than seven hours.

Now when you know that conventional hair gels are not much safe to use and not recommended to use daily, you will surely be curious about the effects of hair gel on your scalp and hair.

We will recommend you to use natural hair gel alternatives or you can say some substitute for hair gel for good results without compromising on your health. In the letter article we will be suggesting you some good hair gel substitutes and alternatives to hair gel.

Possible Hair Gel Side Effects

Hair gels are more like hairspray but in gel formation. Hair gels are composed of a wide range of harsh chemical products including alcohol as a preservative. Alcohol and harsh chemicals suck in all the moisture from your scalp and hair, leaving your beautiful hair dry like and stiff!

On top of that, excessive and everyday use of these conventional hair gels disrupts the pH balance of your scalp, resulting dry and sometime itchy scalp.

These harsh hair gels reduce the production of sebum. Sebum protects your hair. Hair gels result in dry hair that is prone to breakage and it also leads to itchy scalp. Because of these side effects one should search substitute for hair gel.

Shedding of scalp skin is a natural process, but when the shedding continues at a faster rate, then dandruff is formed.

When you start using hair gel daily, your scalp eventually lose its moisture, resulting in itchiness, unbalanced sebum production, clogged skin pores and so on.

Ok, so now when you learned how hair is used and its possible effects on your hair and scalp, its time to tell you guys , which substitute for hair gel will work best for you in many hair gel substitutes.

How to Make Natural Hair Gel at Home?

Best Working Substitutes For Hair Gel

Sea Salt Spray

I only recently discovered this little ocean in a bottle, sea salt is a magical substance which has been a secret style weapon known to women for several years.

Sea salt is not designed to tame your hair but it will give you a good look. When you go to surfing to a beach and while walking back up the beach it dried and you achieve a chaotic hair perfection.

This is what you’ll get with sea salt spray. Sea salt spray will lends volume to your hair and will give a deliberate messed up look. It’s perfect for wavy, and medium length or long hair.

Wax, Putty & Clay

Wax, putty, clay are all somewhat very close. Wax is made from wax ( beeswax), clay is made from clay.

The characteristic they both share is that they don’t harden over time. Wax, putty won’t fix your hair permanently, so you can restyle your hair throughout the day.

You can apply all of them in the same way too, use your fingers to work the product thought your hair — and your hair will look styled with medium efforts. This works great when you want to add thickness to your hair and you’re seeking a neat look.

These substitutes for hair gel are generally matte and not shinny. Hold runs in the order: Wax. Putty. Clay.


Pomades come in oil-based, or water-based and the this works best for hairstyles which are formed using a comb. Just think about DiCaprio in the movie The Great Gatsby.

Oil-based pomades are basically grease, and if you’re wanting to recreate the 1950s old fashioned slicked back quiff, then pomade is probably the best substitute for hair gel to go for.

However,because it is oil based so practically it is impossible to wash it totally in the shower. For only this reason water-based pomades tend to be more user friendly hair gel substitute option.

If you want to add shine instead of matte and want to create a softer texture for your hair, pomades are best substitute for hair gel.

You have to apply pomade in your hair with your fingers, then take the comb in action. You don’t have to use too much of it either. I hope you know the reason. Because its oil based option.

Styling Cream

Creams do not have the same dense as pomades or waxes and clays. Instead creams have a lotion-type consistency and offer a light, softer hold in comparison to the other hair gel substitutes in this list.

A cream will also add little shine for a natural-looking hair style. If you have curly hair or longer hair, this is the product which can be useful for taming your frizz.

Apply by taking out a small amount in your hands and run them through your hair, and add more as required.


download 1

Moroccanoil Hydrating Styling Cream

Provides soft hold
Adds definition
Hydrates hair
Combats frizz
Fights the effects of humidity
Leaves hair smooth
For all hair types

What’s best substitute for hair gel?

This totally depends on your hair type and what style you want to do. Maybe you want a matte or shinny finish. If you know at the end how your hair is going to look like, then that is the obvious product to go for.

In my case, I kind of believe in trying a few options and seeing which option works best for my hair.

I went to Amazon and brought a cream and a sea salt spray, and now I am going to find out just what kind of results I can get with those.

One advice is, always read the label on the product and check what exactly the product contains. If you see things you don’t like it is good to go with something else.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Is it bad to use hair gel everyday?

A. Using hair gel daily gives you a good hairstyle, but it is not good for your hair. The harsh chemicals in the hair gel may make your hair look dull and dry. Try to use any given substitute for hair gel in this article.

Q. Does hair gel cause hair loss?

A. Yes, conventional hair gels can cause the hair to be fall out. By using these hair gels many people suffers from hair loss or baldness. It happens due to the harsh chemicals present in the hair gel makes the hair stiff and dry and eventually falls out.

Q. What are the side effects of hair gels?

A. Split ends, thinning, and discoloration of hair are very common side effects of hair gels. Hair gels dehydrate the hair and scalp, thereby making the hair prone to breakage and fall. Hair gels can cause inflammation in the scalp which can further lead to other skin diseases like acne.


Hello, I am Benjamin from The Natural Idea team. I love to write about Organic Beauty Products and Celebrity Beauty Gossips.

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