Finding Long Lost Hair Gel & Shampoo

January 2, 2023

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Concierge Request:

I'm looking for a comparable hair gel to one that's been discontinued (BTZ Retro Vinyl) I have tried numerous other brands - some are too sticky too fast, some are just not a paste type that allows you to add body and style hair when dry - they just add weight. I used to buy this from Sally’s Beauty Supply. It sold for $6.95. I want to find a good new type that works for shorter hair- doesn’t make it spikey, but let’s you style your hair but is flexible. I'm also looking for a shampoo that fixes hair that has been chemically damaged. Needs to help hair get healthy, add body and shine, and be able for a normal person to purchase- not just a licensed beautician.
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Best Pick for Hair Gel

SumoGel by Bumble and Bumble - $26.35 (including shipping if prime)

Why this Hair Gel?

We spoke directly with a women's hair specialist to see what products would match the your hair description and BTZ Retro Vinyl best.  Yes - it's more expensive, but the specialist assured us that you'll require significantly less of this product to get the look you're going for and it should last for quite awhile. If you prefer a paste/wax instead of a gel, any product with "sumo" in the title by Bumble and Bumble will work for dry hair styling.

  • Ingredients: 91% allergen free.  The ingredients in this product match BTZ's closely, but slightly higher quality and better for sensitive scalps.
  • Reviews: 4.5 stars on Amazon (108 reviews) and 4.3 stars on their website (6 ratings).
  • User Quotes: "SumoGel is amazing! I wanted something that didn't feel like a cement truck on my head but with enough hold for the whole day and I finally found it! Sumo Gel is very easy to shape and style with as well with only a little bit of product"

About Bumble and Bumble

Founded in 1977 in New York City by hairdresser Michael Gordon. They started out as a premium hair salon and transitioned to a premium hair care brand.  They come highly recommended by hair care stylists.


Runner Up (Hair Gel)

2. Style Lab Forming Paste - $29.57 (including tax and shipping)

Why this Hair Gel?

The stylist recommended this as a great alternative if you wanted a larger size. It provides a medium hold for shorter hair styles.

  • Ingredients: Paraben, Phthalate, Silicone-free. Color safe and safe for   chemically treated hair. The ingredients look similar to BTC, but higher quality.
  • Reviews: 4.5 stars on Living Proof.
  • User Quotes: "After thousands of years trying everything on the market, along comes the first and only product that lets me be “one-and-done!” No more need for a thickener then a mousse then a texturizer then a spray... Hooray!!!!!"

About Living Proof

Founded in 2015 by a group of biotech scientists. They patented their hair technology originating from MIT. They focus on silicone-free, innovating haircare products.

Similar Products


Best Pick for Repairing Shampoo

Botanical Repair Strengthening Trio - $30

Why this shampoo?

When treating damaged hair, there are two things to look out for: 1. Does it contain the protein that helps heal it and 2. Does it use more natural ingredients to keep from hurting your hair further?  This product does both and was recommended to us by a hair stylist not associated with Aveda. This box allows you to try the shampoo and conditioner before committing to it fully by buying the larger individual bottles.

  • Discounts: Use WELCOME15 for 15% off your order (As of Jan 2, 2023)
  • Ingredients: 94% naturally derives and is silicone/sulfate free.
  • Reviews: 4.5 stars (53 customers).

About Aveda

We recommend buying this starter kit from Aveda directly rather than Amazon. Amazon only has resellers for this product and users were complaining ofalready opened/broken shampoo and conditioners.


Runner Up for Repairing Shampoo

Pureology Hydrate Shampoo - $35 (including shipping)

Why this shampoo

This was the runner up recommended by the stylist we spoke with. She said it's worked wonders for her customers. It helps to hydrate color-treated hair.  You can also get a $9 dollar sample bottle if you're not ready to commit fully.

  • Ingredients: Sulfate, Paraben, Mineral Oil-free.

About Pureology

Founded in 2001 with the goal of creating products for color-treated hair. They also try their best to be sustainable and not put damaging ingredients in their products.


Notes on your search

  • We spoke with a professional stylist and salon owner to get these recommendations.  We then validated it with reviews on supergreat.com, Amazon, beauty/styling blogs, and more.
  • BTZ Retro Vinyl - our beloved styling gel was definitely discontinued and the remaining sellers have increased the price 4x!  We hunted everywhere and even looked to see if BTZ had rebranded the product under a different name.  We recommend moving to one of the products listed above.

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