The best gels to lay edges are called “Edge Gels”. They come in small containers and they give far more hold than a regular gel. But be careful not to choose an edge gel that contains an overly drying ingredient like alcohol.
Otherwise, you’ll have trouble growing your edges out and you’ll need to constantly rely on edge gels to make your hairstyles.
Applying Gel to Slick Back Hair. One of the most common uses for gel is for laying down all hair (not just edges) and pulling it into a bun. Use caution with this hairstyle.
If you’re pulling your hair back into a sleek bun or ponytail every day, and then applying edge gel, you could develop alopecia. Gel tends to smother the follicle and hinder hair growth.
It probably won’t do much damage if you’re doing it once a week but slathering gel on your scalp every day could spell danger. Remember, hair growth slows once you reach a certain age.
If you’re in your twenties or thirties, it may seem like your follicles are invincible, but hair loss can easily show in your forties if your follicles were abused enough in your younger years.
Using Gel for a Wash and Go. You can use gel to define your curls for a wash and go. Gel usually has a better hold than curling or twisting cream, so your hairstyle will probably look more defined for a longer period of time.
However, using gel on wash and gos is not without flaws. Some of the downsides are that your hair can turn too crisp or stiff, and that you could lose moisture and softness.
Another con is that you can’t reapply gel or it will end up with build-up and flaking. Moreover, you’ll have a hard time applying any product after you’ve used gel.
In fact, you should wash the gel from your hair after 1-3 days or you’ll risk dryness.
Also, if you’re doing a wash and go, use a botanical gel. Wash and gos require you to coat your strands, and the ingredients can become deeply embedded into the hair shaft. So, make sure you choose something healthy for your mane.