Ultimate Guide To Hair Gel Alternatives

Are you a big-time hair gel lover? Do you feel like hair gel is a lifesaver? If by now you have tried all the famous and most expensive hair gels the market has to offer but need a change, then hair gel alternatives you must try!

When trying to slick your hair down, or get your hair up into a good ponytail or bun, or need for certain parts of your hair to lay, then you may be a hair gel user and lover and probably think you can’t live without it. That said, too much hair gel may not be that good for the overall health of your precious locks, so we bring you some fantastic hair gel alternatives.

More and more people are looking to use hair gel alternatives after realizing that some of their regular styling gel ingredients are a big no-no. Regular hair gel can contain harmful components that have caused users to become lightheaded and have also experienced skin, hair, eye irritation, and even hair loss. If exposed to toxic chemicals for long periods, other more dangerous side effects may be extremely unhealthy for our bodies. Animal trials have shown that high doses of some ingredients used in hair gels can weaken the immune system and cause liver and bladder cancer.

All the more reason to find hair gel alternatives that are much more natural and less harmful. Hair gel alternatives also come in handy when you desperately need some styling and you run out of your favorite hair gel.

What Can I Use Instead Of Hair Gel? What is the Best Hair Gel Alternative out there?

Struggling to get that slick kind of wavy and wet look, or to hold your hair in place? Then you might think that hair gel is the only solution.

Hair gel pretty much allows you to style your hair into whatever style you want for an extended period of time, at least a whole day. And as fantastic you think it is, it doesn’t mean it is your only option; today, there are many hair gel alternatives.

Some gels are so strong that they leave your hair feeling stiff and might even flake when it dries. Not an attractive look. Whatever the reason, having alternatives is always good.

Instead of gel, you could opt for using other products such as hair wax, hair cream, hair paste, hair serum, hair spray, pomade, gelatin hair mask, aloe vera gel, flaxseed oil, or almond oil; are all fantastic alternatives to hair gel.

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When it comes to pomade, stay away from those petroleum-based pomades that will prove to be easy to use and give you a stronghold.

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Gelatin Hair masks are a healthy option, and they are easy to make. Mix a pack of gelatin, 2 tbsp of water, and 2 tbsp of hair conditioner. Measurements may vary depending on the length and hair volume.

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Somebody once told me about using flaxseed oil; in my experience, I found that Flaxseed takes longer to get ready; however, it’s healthy and natural, so if you have it handy, you should give it a try.

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Aloe vera gel, now this baby is one of the healthiest alternatives you can find since it gives you that hold and strengthens and conditions your hair, same thing with almond oil.

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The only difference between aloe and almond, in my opinion, is that Almond oil smells better.

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Can I Use Vaseline As Hair Gel?

Vaseline is known to have numerous uses when it comes to beauty hacks. Vaseline contains mineral oils, petroleum oils, and natural waxes, making it safe to be used on hair.

Generally, Vaseline can be used on your hair for different purposes; you can use it as a hair mask or to get rid of frizz, and yes, it can even be used as a hair styling gel.

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A dollop of your trusty Vaseline can keep your style in place and will help protect your hair from heat damage. Take a small amount and distribute it evenly across your hair; getting your hair wet first is advisable.

That said, it should not be applied directly to the base of the scalp because it can clog hair follicles.

Can I Use Conditioner As Hair Gel?

Conditioner to style your hair after you have dried it might not be the best idea. If you think about it, hair gel is meant to hold your hair in place, to give it added stiffness and substance; by applying conditioner, all you are doing is making your hair look greasy; probably not what you are aiming for.

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Also, keep in mind that the conditioner has a heavy formula to make your hair feel softer and give it that extra shine. They condition the hair and nourish styling it, hence the word conditioner.

During shower time, the proper use is to rinse it off after it’s been on your strands for a short period.

What Is The Healthiest Hair Gel?

It’s all about what works better for you; however, a few hair gel alternatives are considered or viewed as healthy. Pomades are one of those healthy options since it is water-based. The downside, as you may imagine, is that the hold is not as great.

A gelatin hair mask is another healthy choice due to its formula. Proteins in the gelatin that aid in damaged areas leave your hair smooth; you’ll also notice less breakage and can achieve glossy hair.

Our third healthy option is flaxseed oil. Organic flaxseed oil is highly recommended for a happy scalp and hair; in addition, the protein in the hair is not altered.

Is Hair Gel Bad For Your Hair?

While it is true that hair gel takes care of the arduous task of properly giving your tresses a manageable aspect, it could also really mess up your hair. There are serious side effects you should be aware of.

Have you ever wondered how hair gels have that sticky consistency or what ingredients are responsible for their viscosity?

The presence of harmful chemicals in hair gels has specific side effects on the hair, scalp, and body. Some hair gels may be responsible for hair loss, dandruff, discoloration, damage, split ends and thinning.

Alcohol present in hair gels can also make your hair dry and dry hair is more prone to breakage and ultimately may cause your hair to stop growing.

What Can I Use Instead Of Hair Gel For Curly Hair?

If you have curly hair and wish for maximum curl definition, no frizz, and bouncy, pretty-looking curls, then you are probably familiar with shingling your hair.

However, if you want to ditch your hair gel, you could also use curling cream, hair wax, or a leave-in conditioner to define each curl. Hair Gel AlternativesPin

You can also try flaxseed oil, aloe vera gel, gelatin hair mask, Hair Serum, Pomade, or defining paste.

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How Can I Make Homemade Hair Gel?

If you are looking for a natural hair gel alternative with no harsh, drying chemicals or synthetic materials to make at home, follow the following recipe.

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Use the following recipe on wet hair and style as usual!

4-6 drops essential oils
¼ teaspoon unflavored gelatin
½ cup hot distilled or filtered water

Directions: In a small bowl, mix gelatin in warm water. Stir well to combine and refrigerate for about 3 hours, or until set. Once it is cooled and set, add essential oils if desired, and stir to combine. Using a funnel, transfer to a small squeeze bottle. Keep styling gel refrigerated between uses. It will last for up to two weeks.

Best Hair Gel Alternatives You need to Know About

If, after all, you’ve decided hair gels are the right thing for you and your hair, then you should be able to pick the best hair gel option for your specific styling needs.

Getting the correct type of hair gel means your mane will look amazing all day long, no matter your hair type. So peep your eyes and choose wisely.


Shaping and Sculpting

If you are looking to create a style that requires a particular shape, like finger waves or side swoops, then shaping and sculpting gel is the way to go. As the name indicates, this gel-type provides a stronghold and allows you to produce a personalized look.

Curl Defining

Defined curls and no frizz is a delicate balance that curl-defining gels can provide. Natural curls take work, and if you want your curls to rock, you should try this type of gel designed to give you definition, soft curls with a stronghold, and a frizz-free finish.

Firm Control

Firm control gels are perfect for sleek updos; they avoid flyaways all over your hair and fight humidity which will help your hair look on point all day long.

Extreme Hold

Are you looking to rock a mohawk? If so, then an extreme hold gel can help? As you may imagine, this type of gel is for edgy hairstyles that need to stay in place no matter what.

Hair Gel Alternatives by Hair Type


IF you have dry hair, you need to make sure you will not cause more damage to your hair, so when choosing your hair gel, make sure to get one specifically made for dry hair. These products contain moisture and avoid frizz, giving you the style you want while also moisturizing your locks.


Oily is likely to look wet, so you do not want to make a mistake in getting the wrong hair gel. You want to choose a gel designed to fit the appearance of oily hair.


If your hair is usual, then congratulations, you can use almost any type of gel without significant concern.


If you have fine or thin hair, you can try a volumizing hair gel to add the volume and hold you are looking for. Hair gels for delicate gel are meant to offer a little bit of hold without weighing down the hair.

Chemically Treated

Colored or bleached hair is very delicate, and the less you want to do is to cause more damage. Choosing a hair gel made specifically for chemically treated hair is how you should think because it is made without many of the ingredients that regular gel has. Furthermore, you want to make sure your hair gel doesn’t mess with your hair color.


If you don’t want to end up with flat and dull hair, it’s essential to pick a hair gel that offers you enough control and makes your texture pop out.


If you are tired of your straight hair and want a stylish finish, hair gel can do the trick. When choosing hair gel for straight hair, make sure it will not weigh down your locks. A hair gel is advised if you have thick straight hair.


Since wavy hair has more body to work with, you’d want your gel to give you bounce and movement and not weigh it down and make it look flat. Your gel should have a little hold and not enough to make it straight.


People with curly hair can take their curls to the next level with the suitable hair gel; however, it can also look like a hot mess if you aren’t careful. Hair gel is meant to give you clean and neat curls, so what you want is a gel that offers ample grip, so getting one designed for curly hair is critical.



Going natural or organic is always the best choice. These gels will contain good ingredients for your hair, so you shouldn’t worry about harmful chemicals.


It is not a pretty picture to think that what you are putting in your hair was tested on animals. Thankfully you can choose from a variety of cruelty-free hair gels.


Alcohol is a common component of most hair gels, and we all know how alcohol can damage your hair. If you want to avoid getting your hair even drier than it already is, choose an alcohol-free hair gel.


Parabens cause health problems, and you probably don’t want something entering your bloodstream that can make you sick. Instead, opt for a paraben-free hair gel.


If you don’t want to add the extra oil to your already oily hair, make sure you consider an oil-free hair gel.


While most hair gels have some aroma, you should think about picking an unscented hair gel if you suffer from allergies or other respiratory problems.


Sulfates can cause your hair and scalp significant damage and irritation. If you want to protect your hair, then opting for a sulfate-free gel is the most brilliant move.

Read: Hair Spray Alternatives