American Crew Firm Hold Styling Gel Review

American Crew Firm Hold Styling Gel is a highly rated hair gel on Amazon. It bears the coveted Amazon’s Choice badge and it an Amazon prime item. American Crew Firm Hold Styling Gel is part of one of the biggest salon quality hair product lines in America, but does that mean that it is a good product? Hopefully by the end of this review you will know if American Crew Firm Hold Styling Gel is the right product for you. 

Best Fea​tures

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    Available at nearly any salon
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    Extremely cost effective
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    Large bottle

Initial Thoughts

Hair gel’s primary use is to style your hair. Styling is why it was made. Many of the hair gel products on the market today are full of harsh chemicals that, while doing their job of holding your hair well, wreck your hair’s health. The chemicals are harsh and they break down your hair cells. The chemicals also tend to coat your hair even after you wash your hair, and that prevents it from getting the nutrients that it needs. Harsh, chemical laden hair gels also tend to dry out your hair and scalp by preventing oil from getting into your hair. 

American Crew Firm Hold Styling Gel is kind of your standard, run of the mill hair gel. The second ingredient on its ingredient list is such a long chemical name they created an abbreviated it so it would seem less threatening. Instantly that makes me wary of the product because I prefer to use products that are all natural. I have even gone to great lengths to make sure my products are natural by creating my own hair care products such as shampoo and hair gel. However, the product is supposedly healthy, and the listed chemicals are apparently just polymers made to condition your hair. 


Hair gel is something that you might not think about in terms of healthiness when you are buying a new tube. Admittedly, most people purchase hair gel based on effectiveness. What you might not know is that hair gel can be one of the most detrimental things you can do to your hair. It stays in your hair for a long time. It is in there possibly days. Only styling products stay in your hair that long. If they are full of damaging chemicals that can really wreck your hair. Unfortunately, American Crew Firm Hold Styling Gel is full of different chemicals. In fact, it seems to be primarily chemical and water based. I’ll cover those, but I will also talk about the good ingredients in this product as well. 


PVP is a chemical with a huge array of uses. Its primary use is to bind to polar molecules because of its polarity. I do not know how that applies to hair, but PVP helps make your hair gel stay in your hair longer and more efficiently. It is a really safe chemical that has been approved by the FDA. I guess people eat PVP in their food fairly regularly. PVP is great because it is soluble in all polar solvents like water. That makes PVP extremely versatile and useful. 

Quillaja Saponaria Bark Extract

When it this is one of the main ingredients in American Crew Firm Hold Styling Gel that is good for your hair. Quillaja saponaria bark extract is designed to be useful for so many different purposes. It is a soap replacement, a food additive, and a foam to fight fire. In your hair, it helps clean your hair and it keeps it moisturized while also helping to hold it in place. 


This sounded pretty scary to me before I knew what it was. I only ever associated glycerin with explosives that we talked about in science class years ago. Studying it further, I realized glycerin is naturally occurring in many natural places like plant oils. Its primary use in a hair is to pull moisture into your hair and help it maintain that gelled look. It also helps your hair stay hydrated throughout the day. So if you are in a drier climate, using gel with glycerin is a great way to keep your hair from looking worn out by the end of the day. 


Hair gel is not just for men who want to style your hair. Natural hair gels have many different purposes for both people with short hair who want a specific style and long people who just let their hair hang down every day. Hair gel can do lot of things besides styling your hair. Hair gel is a great way to protect your hair from different weather conditions. If you are facing a really sunny day where you will be outside for an extended period of time, hair gel can help your hair retain moisture and prevent the sun from burning your hair. If hair gel is applied then combed through, it can make hair more smooth looking and control frizz that you might have. 

The Product

American Crew Firm Hold Styling Gel doesn’t really have very many negative reviews. A lot of the reviews are really positive actually. This product has a lot of really loyal customers that have used it for years. It seems like it is something that most consumers feel good about, but there were also some really polarizing reviews as well. Lots of people were really particular about the smell. It is really strong and it bothers a lot of people. 

There are many positive reviews about American Crew Firm Hold Styling Gel as well. Many of the people who review it say it is their go to hair gel. They are returning customers, and it seems to really work for them. Honestly the reviews are pretty funny by those who are pleased with the product. They almost all are long time returning customers. American Crew Firm Hold Styling Gel has procured many long time users. That is a really good sign for this product. They claim it is because they get the perfect hair do, it smells great, and if it gets messed up, just a little bit of water can reconstitute the hair gel and get you looking fresh again in no time. 

About This Company

David Raccuglia founded American Crew in 1994. He saw a future where men would care about their looks more than they did in that time. He got ahead of the game and started American Crew as a brand for men that would perform at the level he saw as the gold standard. For over 20 years now, American Crew has delivered a high quality product consistently. 


American Crew Firm Hold Styling Gel comes from a trusted brand and is a widely referred product in salons nationwide. It is extremely cost effective for salon quality gel. This hair gel doesn’t take much to style your hair so the bottle lasts longer than you would expect. It leaves your hair feeling a little more flexible, which is nice so that you don’t break your hair. 


Many of the complaints about this product claim that it doesn’t hold your hair firmly enough and that it just smells cheap. Several people claim it gave them dandruff, and others have said that they received bottles of clumpy and gritty stuff. 

Final Thoughts:

Using hair gel isn’t something that everyone does, but if you do, often times the not so picky consumers will just use what their hairdresser tells them is good. There is a good chance that this could be that product. There isn’t anything wrong with that if that is what you are comfortable doing. Paul Mitchell is a cool company so I have no complaints there. Just know that there are other, natural options that will undoubtedly be healthier for your hair and will leave it feeling softer and looking shinier. 

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    Comes in large quantities
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    Extremely cost effective
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    Widely available


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    Not as effective as some wish it was with a strong smell

American Crew Firm Hold Styling Gel Conclusion

American Crew Firm Hold Gel is a great product that you will probably like. It comes in a massive quantity so it will last you  a really long time. That quantity at this price makes it extremely cheap. However the quality of the product isn't cheap. It also has the Amazon's choice badge of honor, so you know it is trusted. Many of the people who use this product are longtime customers. They continually buy this product because it performs well. Give it a try, and you might become one of the lifelong users as well. 

Common Questions

Here are some top questions that I found for people seriously considering buying the American Crew Firm Hold Styling Gel.

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    How many ounces is it? It is variable. You can buy it up to a 33.8oz bottle, which will last you a long time.
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    Does this make your hair hard? It starts out hard, but if you brush it it becomes soft but still stylable.

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Mitchell Condie

I have a passion for the environment and try to spend as much time as I can in nature. I love hiking, camping, and fishing. In my spare time, I like to play music and board games. I love cultivating my own garden and taking care of animals. I grew up on a farm, so relying on nature for my living has always been my lifestyle. I try to do everything I can to reduce my impact on the environment.

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