Remember the days when hair gel ruled the world? From boy bands’ spiky locks to slicked back guys at bars to crunchy crunchy curly girls . . . let’s just say hair gel earned its notorious reputation.

But did you know gel can be a great boost to your daily routine? Straight or curly hair, long or short — the right hair gel can create a fab new look!

Slicking it back

No, we are not talking about J’Lo circa 2000. That style is usually achieved with wet hair. Using gel in dry, straight hair can have a very sexy effect that is truly 2013. After blow-drying your hair straight, smooth gel from roots to ends before brushing it up into a ponytail. This will create a truly luminous look to your locks while keeping frizz at bay. Add shine serum to boost the luster even more.

Making frizz-control cocktails

Sometimes my out-of-control frizz does make me need a drink, but that’s not the cocktail I’m talking about here. Gel is a perfect ingredient for a curly or wavy hair styling cocktail, because it contributes just enough control without weighing the hair down like a straight up frizz cream can do. Mix some frizz-blocking gel with an anti-frizz cream and apply to your hair when it’s damp, not wet. If your hair is curly, mix a dime-sized amount of gel and a nickel-sized blob of cream, and reverse if your hair is straight or wavy.

The best straightening agent

You may associate gel with crunchy curls, but it can actually be a fantastic straightening agent, too, as long as your hair is thick. Apply a dime-sized amount of flexible-hold gel to your hair, then blow dry it straight and use your heat styling tools if necessary. You might be surprised at the sleek results!

The basic rule of thumb with gels is to choose one that meets your hair’s needs and never use too much. If you have fine hair and use globs of super-hold gel, yes, you will look like a wet dog (or Joey Fatone circa 2000). Use the right type and in moderation, and you might just love the results!

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