The Worst Mistakes a Man Can Make With Hair Gel

Hair gel is one of those grooming essentials that sometimes gets a bad rap — especially because of our associations with heavily greased styles. It is one of the most misused products, and it is high time we put an end to it and embrace the grooming goodness that is gel. Before you can embrace its great power, it’s important to know what mistakes you can encounter so you can use this product correctly. Here are the worst mistakes a man can make when it comes to using hair gel.

1. Plastering your hair down by using too much

a stylish man posing

You don’t want your hair to look like it is stuck to your head. |

There are few worse things than seeing a man who has plastered his hair to his head with an overabundance of gel. This look is so not in and reminiscent of Yuppy serial killer Patrick Bateman — the style is best left to that horrible association. Movement is in and quite frankly glopping your hair full of gel is a pretty amateur grooming move that robs your hair of natural definition and shape; it also takes away from your overall appearance.

Lucky for you, this one is a very easy fix and you’ll know to never make this mistake again: If you cannot move your hair 10 minutes after you’ve placed product into it, then you have added way too much. Men with short and spikey hair are the ones most likely to fall victim to the dreaded over-gelled appearance. Opt for lighter pastes and putties instead for a more free flowing, yet solid appearance. Plus, you’ll end up looking younger as well.

2. Combing through it once the gel is in

Man combing his hair

Combing after applying hair gel is a serious no-no. |

“Never use a comb after you apply a paste or cream product to your hair — once you’ve got it in there it should be hands only,” hairstylist to the stars Andrew Dale told Birchbox. “I recommend combing or brushing hair into the shape you want and then applying product.” Talk about causing unwanted flaking and weird globbing of the product. Dale explains that there are, however, exceptions to this rule: There are gels and pomades that are actually meant to be combed into the hair, but as a general rule, just don’t.

3. Not allowing your hair to dry before you gel it up

man washing hair in shower

Let your hair fully dry before adding product. |

Placing gel in your hair while it’s still wet is a very common mistake a lot of men make. The problem with doing this is that the water that is still in your hair will dilute the product and cause it to run throughout your mane, and therefore make the product less effective. As a rule, remember that if you’re applying gel to your hair make sure it’s pretty much dry before you start styling with the product. It will only make the style look better and allow you more control of your hairstyle.

4. Applying only at the tips

a well groomed man

You don’t want to apply the gel to just the tips of your hair. |

Applying gel only at the tips is a rather odd thing to do, yet, it’s something many men do and are not aware of. You can’t just let gel or any product for that matter sit at the top or ends of your hair. The reason for this is that applying it only at the tips won’t allow you to manipulate how you want to style it — it won’t even come close to what you’d like it to look like.

To solve this problem, simply apply the gel from the root to tip (making sure to not overdo it) when the hair is dry and massage it in to ensure even distribution. Of course, this is much easier if the particular product you’re using is a water-soluble product, in which case it’s easier to massage in from the root to the tip while the hair is damp. Just be aware when you apply it to avoid a flaky look.

5.  You’re not opting for high-quality products

Man getting a hair cut

When in doubt, ask your barber for product recommendations. |