Aside from the viral “Gorilla Glue Girl” from 2021, hair gel is usually the go-to for achieving many natural hairstyles; gel is a styling staple. Nevertheless, concerns about gel causing damage to the hair still linger. While it holds down the hair perfectly, the ingredients in it could be a problem for some and bring about hair problems. Read on as we uncover the impact of gel on your hair’s health.
Hair gels typically contain a combination of different ingredients designed to provide hold. The main ingredient that gives gel its solid hold is a form of vinyl monomer like polyvinyl pyrolidone (PVP) or vinyl pyrolidone (VP). Other ingredients include parabens, sulfates, and alcohol, which you can already guess may have a negative impact on your hair. As much as some formulations may not include alcohol, it’s important to explore how these components interact with your hair.
Parabens are included in cosmetic products such as hair gels as preservatives. They prevent the growth of bacteria and mold. However, parabens have always been a controversial ingredient in the natural haircare world owing to their potential to irritate the scalp and cause conditions like dandruff. And since gel’s consistency may cause it to come into contact with the scalp, it may be an issue for those allergic to the ingredient or those with a sensitive scalp.
Hair gels formulated with alcohol can contribute to overall hair (and scalp) dryness. Alcohol is generally drying, and it can strip the natural oils from your hair once it comes into contact with it. With dryness comes increased brittleness and breakage.
Depending on the specific formulation of the gel, hair gels may or may not have sulfates. However, if the gel has sulfates, your hair may likely suffer the drying effects of sulfates, especially if you have naturally curly or coily hair. Additionally, sulfates can also be pretty irritating to the scalp, causing itching, especially for those with sensitive skin or conditions like eczema.
• Shampoo regularly
If you regularly use gel for styling, make sure you’re cleansing your hair often. Incorporating a clarifying shampoo into your haircare routine can help with the issue of buildup. If you’re looking for one to use, we know you’ll love our guava leaf and peppermint-infused sulfate-free Tsavorite Clarifying Treatment Hair Shampoo. Shampoo your at least once every two week to prevent the clogging effects of buildup.
• Use gel sparingly
Ensure to use just what’s enough to achieve the shape and style you want. You may find that you have to use a lot of gel because the kind of hair gel you’re using doesn’t provide sufficient gold. If this is the case, consider switching to a gel that provides maximum hold to your hair without having to apply too much of it, like a mounding gel wax.
• Avoid having gel on the scalp
With the potentially irritating ingredients in gel, it’s best to keep it away from your scalp. And besides, gel is designed for the hair not scalp.
Hair gel is a must have in many hair styling routines. Ultimately, it’s a valuable product for achieving many different hairstyles, however, you should be mindful of its potential effects on your hair and scalp. We highly encourage you to check the labels for any ingredient you may be potentially allergic to, be it parabens or sulfates. Discontinue use if the product causes any irritations. We also encourage use of alcohol-free formulations to prevent the potential drying effects on your hair.
After selecting the right type of gel, make sure to use it in moderation. Cleanse your hair regularly as well to minimize buildup and you’ll be good to go. We hope this was helpful! Let us know in the comments below.