While I try not to use any gels, waxes or sprays to manipulate my hair, as I'm only just starting to enjoy my locks after years of abusing it, I occasionally want something to add a bit of character to it before a night out. When I discovered Giant's Gel Hair Dressing in the Oxford Street store, it seemed like the perfect product to add some much needed volume to my locks.
Described as a 'hair dressing', this exclusive product has a consistency that is very similar to that of a hair gel. It looks and feels a little like a very thick body lotion but one that is slightly more gloopy between the fingers - almost like a shower gel with a small helping of glue.
While the ingredients list reads like a foreign novel to me, the product does contain fresh strawberries - a slightly misleading factor because aside from the wonderful colour it helps to create, the gel doesn't smell like strawberries at all. In fact, Giants Gel offers a very strong neroli fragrance that gives this product a sweet, heavily floral and slightly woody aroma overall.
How you use this dressing is up to you - there are multiple ways of applying it and it will depend on how you usually style your hair as to which method you choose. As I don't tend to blow-dry or straighten my hair, I opted to apply it once it was completely dry. This also allowed me to compare it to Mr Dandy's Hair Candy Hair Dressing so I could decide which product I preferred.
Lush state that a 'little goes a long way' so I squirted a small, pea-sized amount onto my fingertips and began to work the product throughout my hair. As this is a gel for volumising and not taming, I chose to scrunch and 'mess up' my hair while I was working the gel into my locks - starting at the bottom and working my way up to carve out the shape that I wanted to achieve. I found that I needed to apply another helping or two throughout this process because I have fairly long hair and one portion wasn't enough for my liking, but shorter hair styles should only need a single helping with each use.
Much like Mr Dandy's Hair Candy, I was pleased to find that this product worked really well at giving my hair a very natural looking wave without leaving it frizzy or too unkempt. What's equally as impressive is that this product also allowed me to style my hair differently a few hours later, without needing to reapply any more gel to do so. Had I not done this, my hair would have still remained in place from the original styling in the morning - which is more than what I can say for a lot of the shop-bought alternatives that I have tried over the years.
While Giants Gel let me down by leaving my hair feeling slightly sticky and a little knotty whilst it was on, I did notice that it wasn't as heavy as Mr Dandy's Hair Candy in that respect. Although the aforementioned dressing was a tad more powerful and gave my hair better shape, I liked the fact that this product didn't leave such heavy feeling in my hair.
Overall, there's no denying that this product works and it's impressive just how well it holds the hair and how long-lasting it is - especially when compared with other non-Lush alternatives. If you regularly use a gel or wax, this is definitely a product you'll want to try out because it's definitely far more natural than some of the bigger brands. My sister, who has medium-length hair, said that she found this product perfect for spiking up or 'punking-up' her locks, and she said that it was no more noticeable for her as her usual brand.
As with Mr Dandy, I've given this dressing a high rating because as I said above, the problems that I encountered are to do with my personal preference, not a fault with the product itself. If you're looking for a natural dressing that'll give you volume and hold your style in place, this is definitely one you should try out for yourself.
Quantitative Ingredients: Fresh Strawberries, Fine Sea Salt, Water (Aqua), Perfume, Polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP), Glyceryl Stearate & PEG-100 Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Polyquaternium-88, Polyacrylate 21, Hydroxyethycellulose, Cationic Guar Gum, Stearyldimoniumhydroxypropyl Laurylglucosides Chloride, Amyl Cinnamal, Citral, Limonene, Geraniol, Linalool, Citronellol, Coumarin, Methylparaben, CI45380.
2015 Price: £9.95 for 120g.
Year Of Original Release: 2015.