As a setting lotion or to soften curls, experimentation with hair-gel stems back for as long as we can remember. Ancient Egyptians reportedly gelled their hair with a mixture of resin and animal fat. They believed this would ensure their hairstyle travelled with them into the afterlife. Emerged in the 1920s was the first known pomade, a thick oil-based gel that created a slick - greasy - look for men. So oily in fact that homemakers would knit lace doilies to protect furniture from men's heads. And while modern hair gel emerged in the 60s, the slicked-back greasy look fashionable in the 20s made a swift comeback circa the year 2000. Popstars including Gareth Gates and the members of Westlife championed this look. Meanwhile, people have continued to experiment with other viscous solutions to soften and style their hair. Of these include petroleum jelly, beeswax and perhaps the most surprising of all, KY Jelly. The latter - made up of glycerin, a humectant - was commonly used in the 50s to create the ultimate gelled look and is currently being lauded for its ultra moisturising properties and ability to smooth coarse curls.

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