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Hair gels are very familiar hairstyling products used by numerous people around the planet. While gels can help you attain a nice hairstyle, there has been some discussion on whether they are harmful to the hair.
The truth is that gels are not necessarily damaging to your hair, but inappropriate or disproportionate use can harm it.
Some specialists have shared worries over hair damage, dryness, and scalp irritation as a result of using gel incorrectly. Thus, it’s important to know the potential dangers associated with using gels on your hair and how you can evade them.
This article will cover all these and more, so keep reading.
Reasons Behind the Harmful Effects of Hair Gels
Hair gels have become a famous hair styling product among people of all generations. Unfortunately, some of the components of hair gels may cause damage to your lovely locks.
This was demonstrated in a study that showed that the use of alcohol-based products may not be so good, especially for people with scalps sensitive to alcohol and who experience dryness and irritation upon using such products. (1)
Another sneaky component in some hair gels is silicone. (2) When you scan through the ingredient list of hair gels, you can spot silicone components as they end in a “cone.”
According to experts, silicone forms a barrier over the hair strands and scalp, due to which you may experience buildup that can make your strands greasy.
Some hair gels contain preservatives, fragrances, and other chemicals that can be brutal on the hair and scalp. (3)(4)
Although fragrances are mainly used to produce delightful scents or conceal displeasing odors, they can have adverse health and environmental effects. These effects include contact dermatitis and photoallergy. (5)
Caution and Prevention of the Harmful Effects of Hair Gels
Although hair gels can be harmful to your hair, you can take some protective measures to minimize the damage they cause.
1. Use the right amount
When using hair gels, ensure that you are not taking a lot of the product. Using unreasonable amounts of gel can harm your hair, and it can make your hair oily.
It is suggested to use a tiny quantity of gel when styling your hair. Experts propose using a coin-sized portion of gel for short hair and a quarter-sized amount for long hair.
Various types of gels are sold today, such as styling gels, volumizing gels, and texturizing gels. Each variety of gel has a distinct composition and use.
Thus, you ought to determine the correct variety of gel that suits your hair type and styling requirements. For example, experts recommend a volumizing gel for thin hair and a styling gel for thick hair.
Look for hair gels that are alcohol-free, silicone-free, and free from other harsh chemicals that can harm your hair. Choose a gel that hydrate and nurture your hair, and get out of using too much of it.
Experts suggest doing a deep-conditioning treatment once a week to help restore moisture in your hair. This can be done at home with a hair mask or a deep conditioner.
Moreover, use a clarifying shampoo once a month to eliminate any product buildup from your hair.
If you’re worried about the probable risks of using hair gels, there are many alternatives you can try.
One option is to use a hair mousse. Leave-on hair products, such as setting lotions or mousse, can be applied to wet or dry hair and do not need rinsing.
Unlike other hair products, they do not develop rigid bonds with hair but rather function by providing a detangling effect to make combing easier. (6)
You can also try employing natural ingredients to style your hair, such as aloe vera gel, which is mild on the hair and scalp and can deliver a more nourishing and moisturizing effect.
Using aloe vera as a hair gel also safeguards the hair from damage. (7)
For a long time, artificial chemicals such as Carbopol have been the go-to ingredients for creating hair gels. The good news is current research has indicated that natural gums can be just as useful, if not better, for developing gels.
In fact, the usage of natural gums in pharmaceutical applications is coming to be increasingly attractive due to their numerous advantages. Natural gums are: (8)
- Readily available
- Can be chemically modified
- Potentially biodegradable
Not only that, but biological gums can also be altered to create tailor-made developments for drug delivery systems, and they do not comprise dangerous ingredients that are seen in synthetic hair gels.
Guar gum, a natural gelling agent, has been researched as an ingredient for herbal hair gels and has been confirmed to be a natural and efficacious alternative to synthetic hair gels. (8)
Can hair gels damage hair?
Overuse of hair gels can make your hair brittle and prone to breakage, which can lead to hair fall.
How often should I use gels on my hair?
It is recommended to use gels only when necessary, such as when styling your hair for an event.
Can gels make my hair look shiny?
Yes, gels can make your hair look shiny.
Hair gels are not necessarily bad for your hair, but improper use can lead to hair damage. You need to take the right precautions and use the right type and amount of gel to avoid damaging your hair.