The Ultimate Guide to Removing Gel from Your Hair

Gel is a great way to style your hair and keep it in place, but it can be a pain to remove. If you’ve ever woken up with gel flakes on your pillow or struggled to brush out your hair after a night out, you know what I’m talking about.

But don’t worry, there are a few simple ways to remove gel from your hair without damaging it. In this guide, I’ll show you the best methods for removing gel from all types of hair, from fine and straight to thick and curly.

Why is gel so hard to remove?

Gel is made up of long-chain polymers that coat the hair shaft and create a strong hold. These polymers can be difficult to break down and remove, especially if you have thick or curly hair.

How to remove gel from your hair

There are a few different ways to remove gel from your hair. The best method for you will depend on your hair type and the type of gel you’re using.

Method 1: Co-washing

Co-washing is a popular method for cleaning and conditioning hair without using shampoo. To co-wash, simply apply a generous amount of conditioner to your wet hair and massage it in from root to tip. Rinse thoroughly and repeat if necessary.

Co-washing is a great way to remove gel from your hair because it helps to break down the polymers and gently cleanse your hair without stripping it of its natural oils.

Method 2: Clarifying shampoo

Clarifying shampoo is a type of shampoo that is designed to remove build-up from your hair, including gel, product residue, and hard water minerals. To use clarifying shampoo, simply apply it to your wet hair and massage it in for a few minutes. Rinse thoroughly and repeat if necessary.

Clarifying shampoo can be effective at removing gel from your hair, but it’s important to use it sparingly as it can be drying. Avoid using clarifying shampoo more than once a week.

Method 3: Oil cleansing

Oil cleansing is a natural way to remove gel and other build-up from your hair. To oil cleanse, simply apply a generous amount of oil (such as coconut oil, jojoba oil, or avocado oil) to your dry hair and massage it in from root to tip. Cover your hair with a shower cap and let the oil sit for at least 30 minutes.

Once the oil has had a chance to work its magic, shampoo and condition your hair as usual. Oil cleansing is a great way to remove gel from your hair without stripping it of its natural oils.

Method 4: Heat

Heat can help to loosen the bonds of the polymers in gel and make it easier to remove. To remove gel using heat, you can use a blow dryer, a flat iron, or a curling iron.

If you’re using a blow dryer, start by setting it on the lowest heat setting. Hold the blow dryer about 6 inches away from your hair and direct the heat at the sections of hair with the most gel.

Once the gel has started to loosen, brush your hair out with a wide-tooth comb. Be careful not to overheat your hair, as this can damage it.

If you’re using a flat iron or curling iron, be sure to use a heat protectant spray first. Then, section your hair and clamp the iron down on each section for a few seconds.

Once you’ve straightened or curled each section of hair, brush it out with a wide-tooth comb to remove any remaining gel.

Tips for removing gel from different hair types

Fine and straight hair:

If you have fine and straight hair, you may want to avoid using clarifying shampoo and heat, as these can be drying. Instead, try co-washing or oil cleansing to remove gel.

Thick and curly hair:

If you have thick and curly hair, you may need to use a combination of methods to remove gel. For example, you could start by co-washing your hair and then following up with a clarifying shampoo if necessary. You could also try using oil cleansing or heat to remove the most stubborn gel.

No matter what hair type you have, it’s important to be gentle when removing gel. Avoid brushing your hair vigorously, as this can damage it.

How to prevent gel build-up

The best way to prevent gel build-up is to use a clarifying shampoo once a week. You should also avoid using too much gel, and be sure to rinse your hair thoroughly after each use.

If you find that you’re still having trouble with gel build-up, you could try using a lighter hold gel or a styling mousse instead.


Removing gel from your hair doesn’t have to be difficult. By following the tips above, you can find a method that works for you and

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