How to Remove Smoothing Gel from Hair

Jodie Michalak
Hair product residue

If you've layered on a defining hair product too thick, you may need to know how to remove smoothing gel from hair. While styling products can be useful additions to your everyday beauty routine, some hair products come packaged with a dirty little secret- they can be near impossible to remove once applied. The next time you find yourself in over-application remorse and need to know how to remove smoothing gel from hair, simply follow these step by step tips.

Tips on How to Remove Smoothing Gel from Hair

Chances are good if you've used a smoothing gel for styling, you may be left with a sticky mess come shampoo day. Smoothing gels are a great styling product that can help separate, define and add shine to the hair shaft. Commonly used on short spiky styles or to create a variety of "wet" looks, smoothing gels take a bit of work to break down and completely remove from the hair shaft. Thanks to the high alcohol content of most smoothing gels, hair damage is often inevitable. For best results, follow these tips and be sure to invest in a quality deep conditioner if you plan on dappling with heavy or sticky smoothing hair gels.

  • Rinse hair thoroughly in warm water. This is an important step. Warm water will help to soften and dissolve the residue of a styling product, so be sure to spend a minute or so softening the hair shaft.
  • Apply a liberal amount of a clarifying shampoo and work it into the scalp and ends, massaging at the scalp to break up any residual product build up
  • Rinse thoroughly
  • Repeat
  • Rinse with cool water
  • Follow with the application of a deep conditioner to help hydrate the hair shaft
  • Allow conditioner to penetrate for at least 15-20 minutes for best results. If you have the time, you can even wear a shower cap and keep a conditioning hair mask on overnight to add plenty of shine and condition to dry locks
  • Apply a lightweight leave-in conditioner as needed

Bear in mind that while a clarifying shampoo will garner the best results when removing styling products, deep penetrating shampoos are considered a more aggressive cleanser and should be used only once per week to avoid dehydrating the hair shaft further.

Proper Product Application

So that you avoid having to seek suggestions on how to remove gel from your hair in the future, make sure you always abide by the manufacturers instructions for all hair products. Never overestimate the amount of product needed for your hair type. You can always reapply products on an as-need basis, so go with a lighter hand for best results. In addition, avoid product layering. It's a common mistake that you need several hair products. Many gels have shine enhancers as well as light hold. There's no need to apply hair spray on top of a wet look style if it's already been molded and shaped. Rather than accumulate a vanity cabinet filled with bottles and jars of pomades and gels, work with your stylist to find one or two styling prep products that meet your daily needs and use them sparingly.

How to Remove Smoothing Gel from Hair