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Is Gorilla Snot Gel a good styling product?

Chinawhite asks…Is the alcohol in Gorilla Snot Gel drying to the hair and what effects does the sorbitol have on the hair used in conjunction with the alcohol?

The Beauty Brains respond: 

I’ll be honest: the primary reason I’m answering this question is because it may be the only time in my life I will get to write the phrase ”Gorilla Snot Gel.”

Gorilla Snot Gel. Gorilla Snot Gel. Gorilla Snot Gel.

There! Now I feel better. The way I see it there are 2 or 3 problems with this type of hair styling product.

Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems

Gels which are based on alcohol can be drying to both hair and skin. This doesn’t bother everyone but some people are more sensitive to this than others. That’s why you’ve seen in movement to alcohol free products over the last 10 years or so. (Plus, companies don’t like to handle alcohol if they don’t have to because it’s more expensive than water and requires special permits.)

Poor humidity resistance

The primary styling agent is this product is PVP (which is short for PolyVinlyPyrrolidone. PVP is used in stylers because its cheap and it gives a very hard crunchy hold. As long as there’s no moisture in the air. Because if there is the PVP will absorb it and become sticky. Some people love the PVP crunch but it’s certainly NOT a state of the art styling aid.

Sorbitol sucks

Sucks water that is. Sobitol is a polyol like glycerine which means it can bind water through hydrogen bonding. It’s probably added to this formula to help plasticize the PVP resin to prevent flaking. However, as noted above, PVP doesn’t do well when exposed to water and sorbitol is likely to only make things worse.

The Beauty Brains bottom line

If you’re looking for a strong hair styling product you’d be better of with a gel formulated with more modern styling polymers than Gorilla Snot Gel.

Gorilla Snot Gel ingredients

Water, PVP, Alcohol, PEG-150, Sorbitol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Triethanolamine, Carbomer, Cyamopsis Tetragonoloba Gum (Guar), Fragrance, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Yellow 10 (CI 47005), Yellow 6 (CI 15985), Green 8 (CI 59040)

{ 20 comments… add one }

  • Jeanine October 10, 2015, 11:38 pm

    My hair is very very dry ever since I’ve been using gorilla snot gel. It starts to flake and I’ve develop worse eczema at My edges….my hair is falling out everytime I itch the skin around my edges get really flaky and I have tiny red bumps everywhere…..should I stop using it ?

    • Randy Schueller October 13, 2015, 7:42 am

      If you’re sure it’s the Gorilla Snot causing the problem then I’d say yes, stop using it.

      • Shana January 10, 2017, 9:37 pm

        This is my first time using this gel. It rained all week & the gel gunked up so badly. It also caused my hair to itch extremely bad and made it feel unusually dry. I then decided to look up side effects and reviews only to find similar complaints.

  • jesus November 6, 2015, 10:28 am

    Im having the same problems as this other guy my hairs dry and inchie and my hair falls out it started happening as soon as I started using gorilla snot

  • Yvette Lee December 19, 2015, 1:20 am

    I have been using Gorilla Snot for about four years on my sons hair. He is Ten now and he has all kinds off acne around his hair line, I can.t figure out if it is from the gel or he is not washing his face right. Red bumps are popping up left and right. Also I do not want the gel to cause my son to go bald or have long term anything. I never thought about the ingredient until now. I read in another article that the makers of the gel got fined because of it ingredients. Please tell me about the gel. Worried Mom

  • Randy Schueller December 19, 2015, 7:29 am

    I really doubt the gel will make your son go bald but there could be something in the formula that’s causing the red bumps you described. If you really think the gel is the problem (vs his shampoo or conditioner or something) then I would say stop using it and try another brand.

  • Lacoco Pirtle April 9, 2016, 3:24 pm

    I just started using this product want I have read I will not Continue using this product

  • Sandra April 18, 2016, 12:31 pm

    I started using it and small bumps began to form && the products makes my edges appear as if fungus is growing

    • Diamond October 12, 2016, 4:49 pm

      Fungus is growing . It was in my jar growing I n took pictures

  • Sarah N. June 16, 2016, 9:12 am

    So is the sorbitol a good or bad moisturizer for curly hair? It “sucks water,” which would help my hair retain water. Is that correct?

    • Asshat keyboard warrior November 24, 2016, 7:26 am

      That is not correct. “It sucks the water” means it doesn’t retain water. You have no reading comprehension back to third grade with you.

  • Nat peterson June 23, 2016, 3:54 am

    This is one of the worst products I’ve ever put on my hair. Flakes terribly, have to wash my hair after one application, and my scalp is literally inflamed around the edges and it itches like hell. It even bleeds if I so much as rub it or wash it… Wouldn’t recommend.

  • Greenolive August 21, 2016, 8:18 am

    Thank you so much. I was wondering about this product drying out my natural hair, and now I am confident about my decision now to purchase it

  • NICOLE September 12, 2016, 2:17 pm

    I absolutely love this product. I’ve been using Gorilla Snot Gel (GSG) almost daily for about a month on my 4C TWA. After co-washing, I saturate my hair with Kinky Curly Knot Today leave in conditioner first and virgin coconut oil, second. Thirdly, I squeeze about a half dollar size dollop of GSG into one palm, rub my hands together and work to evenly distribute throughout my hair with my fingers. I attempt not to disturb my curl patter too much or over saturate any one area. I like the curl definition and sheen. I have no problems with my hair drying or flaking. Initially my hair is stiff and softens up during the day. As a Houstonian, I totally disagree with the comments regarding humidity… sure there is some definition loss, but not much stands up to our summer time humidity here.

  • Marguerite September 30, 2016, 3:41 pm

    I have been using gorilla snot for the past several months and I have never experienced the breakouts that I am reading. Yes, I do get the gel flaking but to combat that I wet my brush and brush my hair and there is no need to reapply the gorilla snot. It works just fine for my hair, love the stuff. You don’t need a lot and I would wash your hair at least once weeks no matter what hair regimen your using.

  • Karoline October 1, 2016, 4:38 am

    I stopped using it when I started having the breakouts

  • Gregory Clarke October 7, 2016, 3:48 pm

    My son hair and scalp is very dry and it is hard to get the hard gel out of his scalp and hair . What can I do or use to get the gel out of his hair and scalp ?

  • DGJ November 7, 2016, 1:10 am

    lmfao I’ve been using this gel for about 10 years nothing bad has ever happened “:^/ by the way I use it daily as well I’m buying this product every 2 weeks I can’t live without this gel. the others I feel are to weak and take off way to fast but thats probably because of the hairstyle I like but I would definitely recommend this product it’s pretty good especially the yellow one

  • Student December 7, 2016, 2:46 pm

    Honestly, at first when i used this product i did so without moisturising. This in turn lead to the flaking of the gel. However, I decided to give it another go after i changed my regime and started to moisturise well etc and it never flakes now, it does not dry out my hair nor cause any damage and it still gives a great hold. Therefore, I rate this product very high since they’re no problems whatsover now except minor build up after a week which is quite normal! Also, I have 4b hair.

  • DIAMOND March 25, 2017, 8:23 pm

    The red Gorilla snot turned my edges white.!when I tried to get it out of my hair it was stuck. So I had Ghana braids and my edges was white the whole time I had the braids! I decided to give the yellow kind a try with my Ghana braids. Do you think this will turn my edges yellow? I hope it doesn’t because I’ve heard stories about the yellow gorilla snot turning people edges yellow!

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