Just like any other haircare or hairstyling product, gel and wax serve different purposes. Therefore, you have to pick the one that is right for you depending on how you want to style your hair that day.

Different occasions call for different looks and thus, different hairstyles. If it’s a casual day with friends, maybe go for a natural look that doesn’t require either gel and wax. Or if it’s a date or a wedding, you’d want to go for a sleek look with your hair pulled back. For that, you’ll need hair gel and wax. If it’s an important day at work or a work meeting, your look should be subtle.

Depending on these factors, you should know the difference between hair gel and wax. 

What is hair gel?

Hair gel is used to create movement in your hair while holding it in place. It is usually used for hairstyles that are slicked back and for when you need to tame the unruly flyaways. It can also create texture in your hair.

What is hair wax? 

Compared to hair gel, wax has a thicker texture. It is mainly used to hold your hair in place no matter what hairstyle you’re opting for that day. 

Difference between hair gel and wax

Hair gel vs wax is one of the most trending men’s hair care topics. Both are used for hairstyling and seem to have the same property. Then why are they two separate hairstyling products?

There is a considerable difference between hair gel and wax. Although realized later, both of these products do different things to and for your hair. And, there are differences as in when to use gel and wax

Hair wax has a weaker hold compared to hair gel. It gives light to medium hold and won’t make your hair look stiff and/or matted. It gives your hair a soft texture and is thus, perfect for natural hairstyles or creating that perfect messed up “bed head” look.

Unlike hair gel, wax doesn’t contain alcohol. This doesn’t dry out the hair and makes it possible to rearrange the way your hair looks. If you decide to change your hairstyle mid-way, hair wax makes it possible. Just reapply a small amount and give your hair the appearance you want.

Hair gel, on the other hand, has stronger properties. The hold it provides is very stiff, making it perfect for slick back hairstyles and quiffs. Hair gel has a good amount of alcohol, thus it can dry out your hair, perfect for hairstyles that require your hair to stay in a place like those quiffs. 

gel and wax

Certain hairstyles are only possible with the use of hairstyling agents like hair gel. Yes, we’re talking about the “scrunching” hairstyles. If you have curly hair, hair gel is a better fix because curly hair can be stubborn. 

Hair gel is not designed to be used in completely dry hair. It has to be applied to damp or towel-dried hair for it to be styled. There are certain hairstyles that allow for the use of a blow dryer after the gel is applied to the hair, but not usually. 

One downside of using too much gel is the look and feel of “helmet hair”. Helmet hair occurs when the hair becomes too stiff and almost plastic to touch. Women like to run their fingers through your hair and there is nothing sexier than that. However, helmet hair makes it impossible and can be embarrassing.

Prepping your hair before using gel and wax

It’s no surprise that both gel and wax are artificial products for your hair. Therefore, long-term use without extra hair care can damage your hair. You should have healthy luscious hair even without using gel and wax for styling. Here’s how you can prep your hair before using gel and wax, or any kind of styling product.

  • Keep your scalp clean and healthy

You should know that a clean scalp translates to a healthy scalp. If your scalp isn’t cleaned regularly, it can serve as a breeding ground for bacteria population, lice, and inflammation. All of these have the effect of influencing your hair follicle and ultimately, new hair growth. 

Use a mild shampoo to clean your scalp. Don’t overdo it. Twice a week is the recommended amount. If you excessively wash your hair, it can strip off the natural oils and make your scalp itchy and dry. If you think that your scalp is unnaturally oily and washing twice a week isn’t enough, it’s best to consult a medical professional. 

  • Hydration for your hair

Cleaning your hair regularly isn’t enough haircare. Just like your body, your hair and scalp need hydration.

Like we said, using shampoo strips your hair of the natural oils, this removes the moisture. To tackle this, you should use a hair conditioner. Using conditioner provides your hair with moisture and prevents a dry scalp. 

Excessive use of hair styling products like gel and wax, pomade, or using heat (straightener, blow dryer, etc) on your hair can also make your hair dry and prone to breakage. Thus, it’s important to use a conditioner.

If you want to provide your hair with some additional benefits, use a serum. A lot of men’s hairstylists today swear by serum for healthy and luscious looking hair.

  • For a dry scalp

Most people suffer from a dry scalp. Dry scalp can be caused by several factors, from something as trivial like not drinking enough water to serious conditions like eczema. 

A dry scalp can be treated by massaging it with tea tree oil or coconut oil. Opt for one that is antiseptic and has antibiotic and antifungal properties. 

There are also several home remedies that you can try to treat a dry scalp. 

In conclusion, there is no particular answer to the hair gel vs wax debate. Both gel and wax are good styling agents and both come with their side effects. Thus, you try both out and see which works out best for you! 

And, no matter what you do to your hair, styling wise, be it use gel and wax or pomade, remember to keep it clean and healthy.