Hair styling is a daily ritual everyone performs (except if you are bald). Whether you have naturally curly or straight hair, using a hair gel can help shape your style into what you want it to be. This makes hair gels very popular, but I’m sure you’ve heard about the dangers of using hair gel, primarily if you use it frequently. But is it bad to use hair gel every day? 

Well, yes and no. It depends on your hair gel and how often you use it. Some types can cause more damage than others, so it’s essential to take precautions when using any hair product. However, using gel too often can dry out strands and lead to breakage.

Thankfully, it’s not all bad news; if you’re smart about how much gel you use and when you use it, then you can be in the clear.

Can Hair Gel Damage My Hair?

The honest answer to this question depends on your hair type and what you’re looking for. Gel (especially alcohol-free gel) can be used every day, but you should use it sparingly and in small amounts to avoid drying your hair or creating greasiness. In general, if you’re using a gel as part of a daily hairstyle, try not to put too much product in at once.

Make sure that the product dries before putting any more on, and don’t add too much. Only apply enough to get the desired look without going overboard. This may mean reapplying throughout the day or even between washes but remember: it’s better for your hair if you apply less frequently than too often.

However, hair gel is not a good option for your hair if you use it daily. Hair gel can dry out your hair and leave it brittle. It also contains alcohol, drying the scalp and damaging the hair.

Hair gels contain chemical ingredients that can damage hair, such as glycerine alcohols (PGA), diethanolamine (DEA), cocamide MEA and propylene glycol. These chemicals have been known to cause dandruff flare-ups in some people with sensitive scalps.

Reasons to Avoid Using Hair Gel Every day

No doubt, daily usage of hair gel will cause damage to your hair. How quickly or how long the damage occurs will vary and is dependent on body chemistry. If you are still in doubt, below are five reasons to stay away from using hair gel daily:

1. Dry your scalp out

If you use hair gel regularly, then it is essential to know that this can dry out your scalp and make it flaky. Many hair gel products include alcohol and other chemicals, which, when used regularly, can cause your hair and scalp to dry out. Dryness of the scalp may lead to dandruff and itchiness, among others.

2. Cause irritation

daily usage of hair gel can lead to irritation of the scalp

Most hair gel products come from many manufactured chemicals, so they can potentially irritate the scalp. If you use too much gel or put too much pressure on your hair when styling it, this can lead to several issues, including dryness on the scalp and breakage of hair.

It’s also bad for your hair if you use too much gel or apply it daily because it will make your hair brittle and cause frizziness or thinness.

3. Cause dandruff flare-ups

Dandruff is caused by an overgrowth of yeast fungus on top of dry skin flakes. This can happen if you use harsh chemicals in styling products such as gel, which dry out your scalp even if they don’t appear to be doing so when applied directly from the bottle.

When this frequently happens over time, it leads to an imbalance between bacteria in different areas within each follicle. This results in irritation, inflammation, and dandruff for many people who may otherwise have perfectly healthy scalps under normal circumstances.

ALSO READ: Best Shampoos for Oily Hair: Say Bye-Bye to Greasy Scalp and Tresses

4. Can create greasiness

Hair gel used in moderation can create a nice look, but using too much can cause hair to be greasy and shiny. This is because hair gel contains oil that won’t leave your hair quickly, even when the gel appears to dry out.

Greasiness from hair gel is a result of product build-up around the roots of your hair. This can make your hair heavy and more challenging to style. To avoid this, it’s essential to imbibe moderation into using such a product. Always use a small amount of gel to style your hair, and be sure to wash it out properly.

5. Creates product flakes

Product flakes are one of the worst consequences of excessively using hair gels. They can make your hair look greasy and dirty, caused by product drying out, build-up, overuse, or underuse. In addition to being unattractive on their own merits, product flakes indicate that you’ve used more than necessary of an otherwise potentially beneficial product.

If you want to avoid product flakes, don’t use too much hair gel at once and frequently. Also, higher-hold gels tend to feature stiffer ingredients that can create clumps when applied too much or every day.

What Can I Use Instead Of Gel?

If you’re not using hair gel, you can try using another styling product or a product that contains the same ingredients as it. For example, waxes and pomades are often used to create similar effects as some gels.

essential oils such as coconut oil and olive oil are suitable alternatives to hair gel

If a product doesn’t contain alcohol or if it doesn’t have ingredients that will dry out your hair, then it’s probably safe to use in place of gel if you want to improve your hair’s appearance.

ALSO READ: Best DIY Flax-Seed Gel Recipe for Defined Curls

1. DIY hair gel with Flax seeds

There are a few reasons why you should consider ditching your hair gel for flaxseed gel. The first reason is that it’s made from an ingredient that’s good for your health. Flaxseeds are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have numerous benefits for the body, including your hair.

Thankfully, you can get flaxseed gel from stores or make your own. To make your Flaxseed gel, follow the steps below:

  • Boil flax seeds in ample water for about 7-8 minutes while stirring frequently.
  • Allow the mixture to cool down and thicken.
  • After which, you can strain it with a cheesecloth.
  • Store your homemade gel in an airtight container and refrigerate.
  • Keep in mind that your gel will be potent for two weeks.

2. Coconut oil 

Coconut oil is an excellent alternative to hair gel. It’s a natural moisturizer and has anti-fungal and antibacterial properties that help prevent dandruff and other scalp issues. You can apply coconut oil directly to your hair or mix it with any other oils that you like using on your hair.

3. Lemon hairspray 

Lemon juice is a natural antiseptic and astringent that helps keep your hair clean and healthy. It also acts as a bleaching agent, lightening your hair so you can achieve various incredible hairstyles.

You can also count on its refreshing fragrance to help keep your hair smelling fresh all day long. Follow the DIY process below to create this natural hair gel:

  • Mix freshly squeezed lemon juice with two cups of water.
  • Add a teaspoon of baking soda into the mixture to balance the acidity.
  • Now pour your mixture into a spray bottle and mix well.
  • Spray ample quantities on damp hair and comb.

4. Coconut milk 

This is an excellent idea for those who have curly or coarse hair. The coconut oil will help to soften the hair while also helping protect your hair from sun damage. Add a few drops of coconut oil to your mix to have an even more potent product that can help you style your hair quickly.

However, use only a small amount when applying, and it’s best on damp hair so that it absorbs well without being heavy or greasy.

5. Rose water hair spray

Rose water is a natural hair conditioner used in place of gel, spray, and mousse. It contains essential oils, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that strengthen hair and prevent breakage. Rose water also restores moisture to dry or damaged hair by penetrating the shafts to nourish strands at the core.

TRENDING: Protein Hair Masks: Types, and Process to Make Homemade Natural Protein Hair Masks

How Often Should I Use Hair Gel?

If you are expecting a definite answer, don’t; because there is none. The human body works differently from person to person, which makes it hard to pinpoint how often hair gel should be applied. However, the most important thing to know is that it’s not meant to be used daily.

You should only apply it when you need a stronger hold or want to add moisture to the hair, such as after washing. In other words, if your hair is naturally fine and straight and isn’t prone to being frizzy in humid weather, you can probably skip styling products altogether. But if you have curly or wavy locks prone to frizzing when the humidity hits, then using some styling product is recommended.


Using hair gel daily isn’t necessarily bad for your hair. However, it’s essential to be aware of the signs and symptoms of product build-up so you can take steps to prevent damage. For example, if you notice clogged pores or breakouts around your hairline, in addition to an increase in dryness and fizziness, it’s best to take a break from hair gel. Better still, switch products or find healthier alternatives.

Disclaimer: Content Research, Product Opinion & Publication Process

The articles, cosmetic tutorials, and beauty tips on SheBegan magazine are contributed by experienced fashion professionals, beauty & cosmetics experts. The team of our beauty and cosmetics professionals tests the products and then share the outcomes with proper citations and then after passing all the research & editorial checks; the content is sent live making sure there exists No Conflict of Interest. You can read about our authors, volunteers, team members and editorial board with our content review, product testing, tutorial guidance process here.


Abimboye Femi is an experienced Beauty Expert. Over the years, he has developed an uncanny nose for sniffing out the perfect fragrance as well as an eye for best beatification practices. He brings to bear, his vast knowledge of research to help deliver rich contents centered on Beauty and Cosmetics.

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