Difference between Hair Gel and Hair Paste

Key difference: There are many products available in the market to style hair, including but not limited to hair gel and hair paste. Hair gel is a gel-based formula that can be used to style hair. Hair gel is mainly alcohol based; however, some water-based gels are also available. Usually, hair paste is wax-based.

There are many products available in the market to style hair, including but not limited to hair gel and hair paste. Both are hairstyling products that can be used to style hair into a particular hairstyle.

Hair gel is a gel-based formula that can be used to style hair. It is generally heavy, translucent if not clear, and goopy. Hair paste, on the other hand is milky and gummy like, well you guessed it, a paste. At times, hair paste is also known as hair wax, molding gum, whip, glue, pomade or putty.

Usually, hair paste is wax-based. Hair gel is mainly alcohol based; however, some water-based gels are also available. Due to this consistency, hair gel is prone to dry off after application. This happens as the alcohol or water in the gel dries off during the course of the day. Hair paste, as a wax-based formula, does not face this problem.

Furthermore, gels are stiffer and provide a better hold. The have a "hold scale" ranging from 1 to 10, with 10 being the stiffest. On the hold scale, hair wax has a rating of 2. Hence, it is more pliable than a gel.

Gels are good for molding, scrunching and adding definition and weight. On the other hand, wax is useful for smoothing, separating strands and creating flicks and spikes. Hair wax gives light to medium hold and never gets stiff. Hence, it can be used to provide a soft, natural hold in hairstyles such as the mussed up bed head look. In addition, hair wax adds shine to the hair.

Essentially, wax is best for shorter, layered hair, whereas, gel is good for contouring short hair. However, overusing wax may give the hair a greasy look, as opposed to overusing gel, which has the dread of giving one helmet hair. Helmet hair is when hair has so much gel in it that it feels stiff or plastic to the touch.

Image Courtesy: mydreadlocks.blogspot.com, thebeautyclub.com.au

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