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Hardening gel is a hair-styling product used to hold men's and women's hair in a place throughout the day. If the gel is left in hair for too long, though, the hair can become flaky and odorous. Whether you need to quickly return your hair to its natural state or are simply finished with a certain look for the day, you can easily remove the gel from your hair using common shower products and hair accessories.

Wet your hair thoroughly. Getting it wet won't rinse the hard gel out of your hair, but it will soften it. It is important that you get your entire head wet so all of the gel softens for easier removal.

Apply shampoo to your hair. Massage the shampoo in gently. The gel will not come out all at once, but it will start to soften even more. Rinse out the first round of shampoo, then examine your hair with your hands. If it still feels hard in some places, your hair may not have been thoroughly wet before you shampooed it. If your hair feels slimy or filmy, you must shampoo again.

Shampoo your hair a second time, this time massaging the shampoo in a little more aggressively. Make sure you get every inch of your scalp and hair to remove the hard gel. If you have a hard time shampooing all of your hair at once, section it into three or four parts with clips. Concentrate on one section at a time, applying shampoo and rigorously rubbing the gel out.

Rinse your hair and examine once more for hard gel residue. When the gel is gone, your hair may feel drier than usual, but it should no longer feel crunchy or slimy. Add conditioner to your hair to help restore the moisture that was lost when it was gelled.


Never try to brush or comb hard gel out of your hair. The gel will flake and you will damage your hair by ripping the strands and splitting the ends. You should always wash the gel out before adding more or trying to untangle or style your gelled hair.