Having a personal sense of style is important to making a memorable impression in any situation, as well as being a way to celebrate your individuality. Hair style plays a large role in accomplishing that special look you call your own. Slicking back your hair ensures both neatness and ease of care in a variety of environments. Different hair types have their own special needs, however, and African American hair is no different. This type of hair is prone to dryness and breakage if not properly cared for, so using a moisturizing styling gel is an effective way to minimize those attributes.

Things You'll Need

Dampen your hair before applying styling gel. If you showered before hand, use a dry towel to lightly wick away most of the water. Otherwise, use a spray bottle to spray a fine mist of water into your hair, using a wide-tooth comb to expose and moisturize the roots.

Read the manufacture’s directions on the bottle for how much gel to use for your hair length. It is best to start with a small amount and add more if necessary.

Dispense the gel into the palm of your hand and gently rub your hands together to spread the gel evenly. Distributing the gel evenly will keep your hair from clumping.

Run your fingers through your hair to apply the gel, and try to get an even coating on the roots and the tips. The dampness will give your hair the slick look, and having an equal measure of gel on the tips will keep your hair in place throughout the day.

Gently run the comb through your hair, allowing it to settle evenly and neatly. Shake your head lightly from side to side, and if your hair doesn’t hold to your preference, apply more gel.

Maintain the slicked-back appearance by allowing your hair to air dry. Thoroughly wash your hands and comb to prevent the gel residue from sticking.


  • For best results, wash your hair before applying gel. This will remove any excess oil.

  • Use shampoos and conditioners targeted for dry hair. They contain natural oils and vitamins to keep your hair healthy and durable for styling.