Wednesday, 1 September 2010
Gel or wax for your locks, how to make the right choice
Though it is true that these do affect your choice in a gel or wax, I have tried to compile a small list that will help you out. The list might not give you a specific brand that you'll go pick at the store tomorrow but atleast it will help you choose one more easily and faster.
First things first, what are all these things, there is gel, wax, pomade, mousse, paste and gum? What can you use on your locks and what can't you? What is the difference between them? Well considering we all want our locks held in for at most 2weeks, we'll just cancel out mousse, paste and gum from the list as they are not meant to hold the hair for too long. If you have dry hair, completely stay away from mousse, it contains alcohol that dries hair. Now we're left with gel, pomade and wax. Pomade is wax like, actually for some it means the same thing but according to the Wise Geek, pomade contains wax in it plus other oils and fragrances while wax is pure. Both of these lead to build up in the lock though they do hold much better than gel. I would say pomade is better than wax in that it contains oils that moisturize your hair unlike wax that's just plain wax. Though wax doesn't dry up hair like mousse I do think the extra oils in pomades do make a difference. You have to check what kinds of oils are in the pomade as sometimes they use petroleum based oils which cause more build up than moisture.
Now that all those are solved, we're now left with gel and wax yet again. Which is better?
1. Gel is water based so it can easily be washed out of hair after only shampooing once while wax tends to build up and to avoid the build up you may be required to shampoo more than once.
2. Gel should only be used on wet hair as it tends to set the hair, setting dry hair may cause breakage. Wax on the other hand is very flexible and may be applied even on dry hair with no damage.
3. It's advisable to stay away from alcohol based gels, especially for dry hair.
Lastly, I would insist you always check the ingredients of the gels you use before you take them to the cashier at the department store. If you definitely want a specific gel even with it's unadvisable characteristics, you can always "pimp" it. Check out websites on different homemade recipes to enhance your gel, or wax or pomade.
You may also use honey as a substitute for your usual gel or wax, it doesn't hold as well as either of the two but it gives a very fresh feeling to the scalp, you can read about that at Sweet Locks and Sweet Locks Aftermath. But even with honey it's not advisable to use it throughout your locking journey as it bleaches the hair not unless you already do bleach your hair.
Another school of thought advices to completely stay away from both of the above (wax and gel) and instead use oils while other advice to make your own gel. Shea butter is a no go zone, as adviced by various readers when I revealed I wanted to try it out on my own locks. I hope with this I've brought you closer to a decision on what is best for you. Unfortunately, I still don't really know what is in the gel I have been using for my 3 locked years but I'm still trying to get my loctician to reveal the BIG secret.
Finally just for the fun of it, does anyone
remember this scene on There's Something about Mary when she used the guy's sperm thinking it was hair gel?