Gelling Instructions

Gelling is a synchro tradition used only at shows and competitions.

The purpose of gelling is to hold hair up and keep in place during routine competitions.

Tools and supplies needed:

  • 6-8 packets of Knox unflavored gelatin (1 tablespoon - each packet)

  • Old towel

  • Brush and comb

  • Old toothbrush or small paint brush

  • Hair binder (for a ponytail)

  • Straight bobby pins

  • Plastic squeeze bottle (like a mustard or ketchup bottle that they sell empty in the relish aisle at the grocery store)

  • Small bowl

  • Whisk or fork

  • Measuring cup


  • Put dry or damp hair in a high bun, around the crown of the head--long hair can be braided and then wrapped

  • Use bobby pins to pin up stray or short hair

  • Mix 6-8 packets very slowly to approximately 3/4 to 1 cup of very hot water. Make sure there are no lumps or excessive bubbles. The gel should be thick, but, not clumpy

  • Wrap an old towel around the shoulders to catch gel drips

  • Use an old paint brush, comb or fingers to spread the gel evenly--Don't be shy with the gel!

  • Allow gel to dry (it will be hard)

  • After swimming, shampoo out with HOT water

NOTE: Gelling can be done the night before or the morning of the competition. Make sure the gel is dry before going to bed. You can use a cool hair dryer setting to help dry the gel.