Hair gel is an everyday hairstyling solution for many men and women. There many types of hair gel, and as a result, hair gel ingredients vary widely and are ever-changing. Though hair gel ingredients may vary depending on the type of gel, there are some basic ingredients found in all hair gels.

Basic Hair Gel Ingredients

The main or basic ingredients in hair gel are some form of humectants, plasticizers, and water-soluble polymers. Each of these ingredients make hair gels easier to apply and helps hair become more manageable and pliable. These ingredients can increase the strength of the hair, increase its natural shine and protect the hair from everyday damage. Lastly, these substances also help prevent the feeling of stickiness in hair.

Natural Hair Gel Ingredients

The ingredients in natural hair gels provide a host of benefits to the hair. These ingredients include grapefruit seed extract, vitamin A, vitamin E, aloe vera gel, calendula and water. All of these ingredients are nontoxic and are often environmentally safe. The different vitamins, nutrients, and fatty acids found in these ingredients are indispensable for promoting hair growth and health.

Chemically Based Hair Gel Ingredients

These gels, which are often more readily available and inexpensive, are the most toxic hair gels to use. Chemically based hair gels often include ingredients such as cetereth-25, methylparaben, PEG-8 Methicone, PEG-7 Glyceryl cocoate, and artificial fragrances. Of all the ingredients listed, the fragrance is usually the most toxic ingredient in the hair gel.

Homemade Hair Gel Ingredients

Homemade hair gels can have similar ingredients to natural hair gels, but often use basic household ingredients. Recipes for homemade hair gels can contain anything from aloe vera gel to white glue. One recipe calls for mixing cornstarch with white glue, which would work for Mohawk hairstyles. Another recipe calls for dissolving one teaspoon gelatin in one cup of warm water. This gel needs to be kept in the refrigerator and only lasts for one week. Another homemade gel recipe uses flax seeds. To make this hair gel, boil two tablespoons flax seeds in one cup of water for 10 minutes. Strain the flax seeds and use the remaining cooled liquid as the gel.

Benefits of Hair Gel

Since there are different types of hair gel, there are many different ingredients used in hair gels. Some hair gels focus on promoting hair growth and creating soft and bouncy hair and hairstyles. Others focus on making hair extremely manageable. Either way, modern hair gels do not build up on hair and often very little product is needed to achieve the desired hairstyle. In choosing a hair gel, be sure to look at the ingredients and make sure they are of good quality.