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To Have And To Hold: Bumble And Bumble Gels



A few years ago, a close friend accepted a gig as a marketing executive at a well-known company that manufactures many personal care brands. She did tons of research on their health and beauty products, which included one particularly ubiquitous hair gel brand and found that Latinos were the primary consumers of hair gel. When she relayed the data, I couldn't help but laugh — shoo, I know I used to pile the hair gel on big time during my teen days. If I wanted a high ponytail, I'd wet my hair, slap on some gooey pink gel and brush it in to my curly mane until my hair was so stiff, it was actually crispy. Back then, side parts were all the rage and making sure all those nappy hairs  along the forehead stuck to the program meant industrial-sized buckets of gel. See, back in those days, I thought gel was the only surefire way of ensuring that my hair remained in place.

But, as I got older and wiser, I began to realize why hair gel was such a no-no. For one, it has dried out my hair immensely, creating breakage all along the hair shaft. For another, whenever I wore tons of gel, it would eventually dry out and turn flaky, making it appear like I had a dandruff problem (which, by the way, is ten times worse than having frizzies or fly-aways). And so, I educated myself on other styling tools, focused on better haircare products, and said my final adiós to hair gel.

Imagine my surprise when I saw high-end haircare brand Bumble and Bumble releasing two brand new hair gel products. 'Wasn't hair gel taboo these days?' I wondered. 'Why would Bumble and Bumble revisit this medium?' Well, the answer is this: wanting to find a product that would allow stylists to mold tresses into complex, gravity-defying shapes, Bumble and Bumble called upon its stylists an chemists in hopes of creating a hair gel that could provide the desired hold without overtaxing consumers' hair. Finally, they discovered a polymer that features all the necessary qualities: flexible strength, spreadability, natural shine and memory. They then incorporated it into a unique formula and — voilá— their new Bb.gel was created.The Bb. gel has a much more manageable texture than previous hair gel incarnations, so that you can apply evenly to the desired area and maneuver each section with ease. It's the kind of product that you can incorporate into your daily routine — and you can do so without fear of flaking, greasiness or future hair damage.

Now, if you want to experiment with an avant-garde style and need maximum hold, you should opt for the new Bumble and Bumble Gellac, which will quite literally freeze your hair into the desired mold. Seriously, I applied some in the morning, gave myself some pretty daring spikes, went about my day, worked out, and even took a nap and rolled around the bed — and, when I woke up, my hair was still in place. I was shocked! But, of course, that kind of hold comes with some drawbacks: in this case, your hair will feel hardened and stiff, so you will have a bit of that helmet head thing going on. Now, I should ward you: the Gellac is highly potent, so I wouldn't
recommed it for daily use. But, if you need a heavyweight styling tool,
look no further.

Maybe it's time for me to say hola to hair gel again!
Bumble and Bumble Bb.Gel, $24 for 5 fl oz. and Bumble and Bumble Gellac, $24 for 4.2 fl oz. Available at Bb. Network Salons and on Bumbleandbumble.com

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