In 2017, nothing will a drive a grooming editor crazier than walking down the street and seeing a perfectly normal-looking gentleman breaking the single worst haircare rule in the book: using hair gel.
Yes, more than two decades after Mighty Mighty Bosstones rose to popularity, a full decade after the premiere of Growing Up Gotti—and at a time when great male grooming options are multiplying faster than the crawling demodogs in Stranger Things 2—some men out there actively choose to forgo today’s wonderful pastes, pomades, creams, clays, serums, waxes, and (why not?) hairsprays, and opt instead for two-fingers worth of smelly goo that turns their heads into plastic helmets.
I simply can’t take it anymore. So I’ve compiled here all of the reasons why men should retire hair gel once and for all. Trust me: if you banish it from your life, you’ll not only look better and feel better, but you’ll also be protecting yourself from hair gel’s more noxious, unhealthy effects. What’s more: you’ll be performing a public service for the rest of us. (Especially grooming editors.) So read on, and clean out your bathroom immediately! And for more great advice, here are the 50 Designer Names You’re Probably Mispronouncing.
You’ll Look Dated—Not Dateable
If your hair calls to mind “N’Sync” and not “Justin Timberlake,” let me be very, very clear: That’s not a good thing. (You know what would be a great thing? A hairstyle that called to mind Michael Fassbender.)
Hair Gel Has Tons of Alcohol—and No, Not The Fun Kind
Dude, alcohol is all up in hair gel, and it’s super drying and strips the hair and scalp of moisture. If you’re all, “I don’t care about that,” let me spell out the consequences for you: This can lead to thinning and balding in the long run.
It’s Bad for Thinning Hair
Sound like a self-fulfilling prophecy? It may be. If you have thin or fine hair, trust me: you will not like the results of what gel does to your head. Hair gel naturally sticks and clumps together, and when it does so on your dome it will draw attention to your scalp—your glaring, patchy, shiny scalp.
It Works With Or Without You
Gels dry super quickly, so if you have any doubts as to what you’re doing with it when you’re styling your hair, it may be too late by the time you actually decide.
It’s Frozen In Time
Let’s say you’re at work all day—you know, doing your slicked-back gelled hair thang and chafing your thumb across Tinder—and you officially hit on a match. Let’s pretend that she overlooks the fact you have gelled hair and says, “Hey, I’m free after work if you are.” Well, you may be psyched by this, but you’re hair gel won’t be. By the end of the day that shiny style looks pretty flat, gross, and lifeless. And guess what?! You’re stuck with it.
It’ll Give You’ll Get Flakes
Some “natural” or “organic” gels may advertise non-flaking, but it’s totally bogus. It’s simply a fact: when you’re using gel, expect maximum flake-age. Do you want to look like you have dandruff even if you don’t have it?
It Probably Exacerbates Hair Loss
The general consensus is that the drying alcohol and clogging nature of hair certainly doesn’t help your hair. At all. It’s a shame, because most guys don’t think about the effects of hair gel in this way. Over time the inactive hair follicles clog (like an artery, for example) and have a much harder time producing a new hair once active again. This means less hair. It’s science, bro.
It’s Hard To The Touch
We hate to state the obvious, but your hair feels like trash. Have you ever met a woman who loves to run her fingers… along the hard grooves of your gelled hair? No? Thought so.
There Are Zero Health Benefits
A lot of hair products these days have vitamins and proteins that help moisturize and strengthen your hair and scalp. Gels by design keep anything good out of your hair. Polyvinylpyrrolidone (or PVP’s), which are found in gels to create that firm, hard hold, actually devour your individual hairs like gross, soul-sucking amoebas. Stop it!
It Gives You a Bad Look
Do I have to go there? Honestly, I tried really hard not to. But if all the science and adverse health effects of hair gel don’t persuade you to retire your tube of gunk, just remember who you look like (even if you use sparingly, and don’t unload the entire bottle on your head in the mornings).
And for more great haircare advice, don’t miss the Best and Worst Hairstyles for Older Men.
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