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Hair gel vs hair wax for mens hairstyles, what's the difference?
04-02-2015, 06:16 AM
Post: #1
Hair gel vs hair wax for mens hairstyles, what's the difference?
I'd like to start this thread to compare hair gel versus hair wax. It seems like both do similar things but what's the main difference between hair wax and hair gel?

It doesn't matter what hair type we're talking about or how long is the hair. I'm talking of what's the main thing that makes hair gel different from hair wax. I am new to the forum and I have been reading a lot on hairstyle waxes for straight hair and how great they are. But what about hair gel?

I'm embarking on a reading quest to learn about hair gels from the forum, but just so that we all know how to differentiate them for what they do, what's the difference between hair gel vs hair wax?

I would appreciate any help at all!
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04-05-2015, 10:01 AM (This post was last modified: 04-05-2015 10:02 AM by Bradley.)
Post: #2
RE: Hair gel vs hair wax for mens hairstyles, what's the difference?
The main difference between hair gel and hair wax is that hair gel is used to shape the hair with a harder and stickier look while hair wax is used to shape the hair with a softer texture that doesn't stick.

Both hair gels and hair waxes have a range of holding strength although generally hair gels have a stronger hold. If you need a maximum hold for very vertical hairstyles then a super strong hair gel will pretty much glue your hair and keep it hard and up - now that last part sounded a bit awkward...

To check out a wide range of hair gels go thru this hair styling gel guide which explains hairstyling gels and which goes thru the ones that have different holding strengths and shining capabilities.

With a hair wax you get a softer texture with a range that goes from matter to high shine. Hair gel doesn't really have a matte finish. With hair gel it's either a dry look or a wet look.

If you're interested in learning more about hair waxes and the ones that are recommended by the mods in the forum, go thru this hair wax post by one of the forum admins and in which he goes thru how the range of hair waxes apply to vertical mens hairstyles. All the hair waxes that he recommends in that post are top waxes.

So I'll list the differences between hair wax and hair gel:
  • Hair gel is generally stronger than styling wax but both hair products come in ranges of holding strength.
  • Hair gel gives a harder texture. It can also leave the hair sticky if you use too much of it.
  • Hair gel will give your hair a dry look or a wet look. You can achieve some shine with hair gel.
  • Hair wax gives a softer texture. It's more of a natural texture, not artificially hard like with gel.
  • Hair wax has a wider range of hair finishing than hair gel. With hair wax you can have a matte finish on your hair all the way to a very shiny finish. With hair gel you're limited to some shine and that's it.
So if you want a dry or wet look, or if you need your hair to be shaped vertical all day thru get a hair gel.

If you want a high shine look or a matte look while still being able to style your hair up and with volume get a hair wax.

Cheers!
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04-09-2015, 01:44 PM
Post: #3
RE: Hair gel vs hair wax for mens hairstyles, what's the difference?
To the guy above, that's some great explanation of the difference between a hair wax and hair gel. It's the first time that I see the whole hair wax versus hair gel concept explained, and I have browsed a lot of hairstyle sites looking for answers.

I prefer hair waxes because of what was said above about the natural texture that waxes usually give compared to gels. I have however only tried three hair waxes, so maybe there are a lot more wax products around that do not give a natural finish. Hair gel on the other hand seems to make my hair too crisp too fast if I use too much by mistake. This is something I have experienced more with the really strong hair gels compared to the weak to firm hair gels. With the three waxes I have used I would sometimes use too much as I insisted, or more like obsessed, in shaping the hair to perfection and my hair would still not get really crispy like with some of the really strong gels I have used in the past.

One question I have though is about the strength of a hair gel versus a hair wax. Which one would you say can be the strongest, a hair gel or a hair wax?

Mike
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04-12-2015, 09:41 AM
Post: #4
Explaining the hair product differences between styling waxes and styling gels.
Excellent advice from Bradley above as per his usual. You just won't get any better advice on hair products than from a barber like himself.

Back in the day, hair gels would give you a very stiff and dry look. However, in the last decade, the range of hair gels has increased to offer different textures and finishes that were not available until then. Despite the general drier look of hair gels, they too can provide a wet look depending on the hair gel that you buy.

In addition to the above, the older hair gels weren't any good for curly hair, but nowadays there are softer and light hair gels that work very well with curly hair. Bradley has pointed out and linked to one of our forum's hair gel guide (from another barber, no less!) which recommends some of the greatest hair gels for men. It would be a good idea to go through the hair gel guide (see the link) and read all the ones that have been recommended to learn more about their properties and what is it that hair gels are capable of doing both generally and specifically.

Another very interesting thread to go through is this discussion on the range of Gatsby hair waxes as you will be able to see the different properties and uses that a wax can do when engineered for a particular purpose. Despite being from the same product family, a wax can yield a shiny harder texture or a more natural and matte look.

(04-09-2015 01:44 PM)Mike Lowe Wrote:  One question I have though is about the strength of a hair gel versus a hair wax. Which one would you say can be the strongest, a hair gel or a hair wax?
Mike

Without a doubt, hair gels tend to be stronger and, when comparing a strong hold gel against a strong hold wax, the gel will generally be the stronger. But it will also be the harder to wash off and the more likely to leave your hair crunchy and as if made of cardboard if you use too much of it. Strong hold styling waxes are more forgiving when it comes to using too much of them on your hair.

I'm one of the admins of this forum. Any questions/issue? Contact me directly or any of the moderators. We welcome any feedback to improve our community.

You can also check out our forum's BEST HAIR PRODUCTS FOR MEN thread to read opinions and useful information on men's hair products.
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