Gone are the days when hair styling and hair products were something where women had a monopoly. Over the years, the number of hair products available in the market for men has gone up by huge numbers and so has their demand. It’s time when men also use different styling products for different hairstyles, and to set their hair accordingly. 

Two familiar products used by men to hold their hair in place are hair gel and wax. These two products, though used in different ways and for different purposes, are a bit confusing and some people might not know the difference between these two. Here, we are going to draw a small comparison between the two products.

Hair wax never creates a stiff appearance on your hair and gives a very light hold to the hair strand, and sets them just right to not fly away hither and thither. It is generally used to hold hair and at the same time give a natural look to your hairstyle. A hair gel, on the other hand, is generally used by men who wear their hair in extra neat and clean, perfectly side-combed hairstyles. 

Wax is a kind of a semi-dry paste, while a gel is a wet and jelly-like substance, and much heavier and slicker than hair wax.

If you apply a hair gel to set your hairstyle, it dries on your hair, unlike a wax, which does not stick and dry and it is easier for you to run your fingers through the hair. In that drying, both water and alcohol-based hair gels, also leave small flakes on your hair in the form of some dry components. A hair gel gives a stiffer hold to the hair, similar to what a hair spray does. 

Also, a hair gel must not be applied in completely dry hair, rather on damp, towel-dried hair.

Pomade to hair styling

Hair gel vs. wax:

Hair wax is one of the most popular hair products for men nowadays. Carrying some natural oils like coconut oil, olive oil, etc., gives unparalleled shine and moisture to your hair. Lower quality waxes might dry out and flake, but that wouldn’t be a justified reason to compare a hair gel and wax. Good quality waxes do not flake in the hair, rather give your hair a smooth look.

Waxes can be used in any length of hair and any type of hair, as well. If your hair is thin and you want them to look more voluminous, hair wax is your go-to product. When you get up in the morning and are in a rush with no time to style your hair, the wax will turn out to be your saviour. 

A hair gel, on the other hand, has been the hallmark of men’s hair styling products for ages now. Hair gels generally provide a stronger hold to the hair, and you can find this in the numbering system of gel packages of most brands. They label the gels in terms of their strength to hold the hair. The only thing that you would want to consider before going for a hair gel would be the amount of hold you want in your hair, because the greater the hold, the stickier and harder it’s going to make your hair. However, some gels comparatively give you a weaker hold, so you must do your research and look for the type of product you want and that would suit your hair as well.

Hair gel works better for thicker or medium hair and almost all hair lengths. Being a water-based product, it is easy to wash out and is a good option for people with sensitive skin or a lot of acne.

Young man looks in mirror and straightens his hair with his hand

hair gel and wax

How to use hair gel and wax more effectively?

Tips to use hair gel:

Squirt a dime-size amount of gel into your hand, rub your hands together, and spread the gel to all your fingers. After this, spread it through your hair to get the look you desire. Depending on the amount of hold you want on your hair, apply it on wet or dry hair accordingly. For greater hold, apply the gel on wet hair, whereas applying it on dry hair for a lesser hold. A quick hand wash will clean your hands after this.

Tips to use wax:

Dab a dime-size amount of wax into your palm, rub it through your hands. Starting with your hair follicles and reaching to the length and tip of your hair, spread it using your hands. For the amount of hold you want on your hair, work accordingly as you do in the case of a hair gel, as given above.

Main points of difference between hair gel and wax

  • Hair wax gives a low to medium shine, whereas the shine that a hair gel gives is generally duller in comparison.
  • Wax has a lesser hold of the hair, while a gel has a medium to hard hold. Some gels might even make your hair rock hard.
  • A wax generally doesn’t flake. However, cheaper quality gels might dry out and flake.
  • Hair wax is a wax that comes in the form of a paste, whereas hair gels come in different forms, you may use them with a direct application or even in the form of a spray. 
  • Hair gel comes in different types of volumes that essentially determines the strength of hold that it gives to your hair. However, there is no such thing in the case of wax.
  • Hair wax might be a little difficult to remove and you might have to wash your hair several times for your hair to get completely free of it. However, a hair gel, being a water-based product, is very easy to remove and can be washed off in just one shampoo wash. 

As you have seen the differences between a hair gel and hair wax is quite basic, and basically differ in the shine and the after results. We hope this helps you in understanding the difference between hair gel and wax, and in choosing the right product according to your requirements and preferences.

Happy Styling!