How Long Does Hair Gel Take to Dry?

How Long Does Hair Gel Take to Dry

Hair is an extension of yourself, and a great way to express yourself. The best part is that you can do with it what you want! You can braid it, put as much wax in it as you want, or use gel. Gel is used for years and years and continues to be a very popular choice. But do you know how long it takes for hair gel to dry?

How Long Does it Take for Hair Gel To Dry?

When it comes to hair gel drying, it should only take a few minutes for your gel to go from gel to a hardened state. For the most part, hair gel takes less than ten minutes to harden and help freeze your style in place. There are factors that might change that timeline and might make it take less time or more time for your gel to harden.

Gel is something that many people use as a part of their everyday routine. Knowing what might make your gel take longer to dry is essential. So, what affects the time it for hair gel to dry, keep reading to find out.

How Long is It Going to Take for My Hair Gel to Dry?

For the most part, if a hair gel contains alcohol, it is going to take no longer than a few minutes for the hair gel to dry. The alcohol evaporates and then the polymers, emulsifiers, and other viscosity modifiers that help to make the gel actually gel, are left behind to help create the slicked back look and the hold that you want.

Hair gel is going to dry faster if it is an alcohol based gel that has a high alcohol content. This is because the alcohol evaporates very quickly when it does come in contact with the air. If a hair gel is less of a gel and more of a wax, it may never fully dry. If you have a gel that has other ingredients like oils to help nourish the hair, those are going to take longer to dry as well.

Hair gel, in general, takes ten minutes or less to dry if you are using the recommended amount of gel in your hair. Under the ideal conditions, your gel should dry quickly, it should dry clear, and it should be rather flexible for a few minutes before it dries fully so that you can move it around as needed.

What Affects the Time that it Takes for Gel To Dry?

  • Thickness of the gel
  • Type of gel
  • Type of hair
  • How it is applied

There are a few different factors that do affect the amount of time that it takes for hair gel to dry. The first is the amount of gel that you use to style your hair. If you use a huge amount of gel to style your hair, the thicker the layer of gel, the longer it is going to take for that gel to set up. If you have gel that is in a very thick layer, it is going to have to dry from the outside in and is going to take a few minutes longer to dry.

Another factor to consider is how the gel is distributed in the hair. Gel that has been distributed through the hair evenly and that has been put on the hair in an even manner is going to dry more uniformly and is also going to dry faster. You also need to consider the state of the hair before you put the gel on. If you are applying gel to dry hair, it is going to dry faster. With dry hair and gel, you are not going to have to wait for the hair to dry while the gel is drying.

With wet hair, the wet hair is going to break down the gel, it is going to take longer for the gel to dry as you are also going to have to deal with the hair drying under the gel. This means that if you are applying gel to wet hair, it can take twice as long, if not longer, than it normally does for the gel to dry.

Still another thing that can affect the overall time for gel to dry is the type of hair that it is being applied to. Low porosity hair for instance can take much longer to dry with gel on it than high porosity hair. Also, the porosity of the hair can affect how effective the gel is. Hair that is very thick can also make it take longer for gel to dry than thinner hair or finer hair. On top of all of that, you also have to consider the length of the hair and how much hair you have. If you have very long hair or a great deal of hair, this can also make hair gel take longer to dry.

Can Hair Gel Damage Your Hair?

  • Gel can dry your hair out
  • It can irritate the scalp
  • It can prevent hair treatments from absorbing

Using hair gel every now and again to style your hair is not going to make it fall out and is not going to damage it very much. The main issue with hair gel is, that if you are using it every single day and not washing it off or out of your hair after you have applied it, is that it does seal the cuticle, and it does make it hard for the hair to breathe.

When thinking of this, hair does not need to breathe in the traditional sense, it is not living, it does not need oxygen. Instead, your hair does need some time when there is not product on it. Your cuticle cannot absorb things like oils and treatments that you might put on your hair if there is a layer of hair gel. Hair gel creates a film or a barrier between your hair and the outside which means that anything you put on your hair, is not going to be absorbed if there is a layer of gel.

Another issue is that hair gel does tend to have a high alcohol content. This means that the alcohol, even though it does evaporate to a certain extent when applied to the hair, with prolonged use it can damage the hair. Leaving gel on your hair can damage it in that it makes it easier to break off, it can be pulled out or stressed with the gel, and it can become dried out with the gel.

Also, gel on the hair and on the scalp can also cause issue and can cause skin irritation. If you are using gel, and you go get it on your scalp, if you allow hair gel to stay on the scalp it can dry it out, it can cause irritation, and it can cause build up.

Should You Wash Gel Out Daily?

If you are using a ton of gel every single day, you may want to wash the gel out every day or at least, every day or so to help keep your hair healthy. Adding too much gel to the hair and not washing it out can cause your hair to have build up on it which can dry it out and can make it unhealthy. If it is not feasible for you to wash your hair every day or every time that you wear gel, it is advised that you do wash it out as frequently as possible.


Gel is not going to make your hair fall out, and it is not going to damage the hair overnight. If you have healthy hair, and you are taking care of it, gel is a great way to style your hair and get it feeling and looking great. Taking the time to learn what gel is going to work for you, what gel is going to work best, and what gel is going to work for your style can make all the difference.


Hi, my name is Joy-Lee and I'm the owner of As you might've noticed, I'm a true beauty lover, and made it my passion, my work and my hobby. I love sharing my thoughts and feelings on a variety of beauty aspects and want to thank you for reading!

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