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Hair Gel is Back — Minus the Crunch

By Wendy Rodewald-Sulz / October 16, 2014

I recently unearthed a #TBT gem from 12 years ago that showed me sporting some seriously crunchy curls. To be fair, that was totally the look back then, when dousing your hair with some alcohol-based gel or spray and “scrunching” for dear life was all the rage.
These days, I’m constantly in search of products that will let me wear my naturally wavy texture without giving my hair the consistency of fried ramen noodles — which means I tend to avoid hair gel at all costs. But the latest offering from Oribe might have me changing my tune. The brand’s new Curl Gloss ($36) is a clear jellylike liquid that defines curls and waves like a gel but leaves hair soft, hydrated and decidedly non-crunchy. After finger combing a quarter-sized dollop through my shoulder length hair and blow drying with a diffuser, my hair is shinier than it’s been since I swore off gel-gels and basically bulletproof (thanks to a specialty styling resin that helps hair retain its texture, even in humidity), but feels product-free to the touch. “Scrunching” just became relevant again.