So, you want to step up your hair game. You head to Amazon, the mall, or even your local drug store to purchase a product that will help tame and style your locks, just like your barber. But suddenly, you’re faced with major decision fatigue in an endless pit of creams, clays, pastes, and gels. On top of that, there are hundreds of brands to choose from and multiple options for each hair “type.”
Contrary to popular belief, men’s hair products can get very complex. And using the right products for your hair is just as important as finding the right barber and what works for you. Styling products keep your hair looking fresh for weeks beyond your bi-monthly appointment. We’re here to help solve your decision fatigue with a roundup of the highest rated hair products. Ahead, we tell you what the “type” of product does and who it’s best for, so you can be one step closer to looking and feeling your best.
Best Hair Product Overall: Jack Henry Clay Pomade
Gone are the days when pomades meant slicked-back ‘dos ala John Travolta in Grease. Today’s best pomades have evolved to become one of the most versatile hair products. Case in point: Jack Henry, a clean grooming brand that grew a buzzy following for its clay pomade. Count us as one of their ardent followers. We love that it can easily shape almost any hair type and provide a soft, all-day hold without making our hair greasy or crunchy, thanks to ingredients like beeswax, bentonite clay, and essential oils.
Best Hair Paste: V76’s Molding Paste
Purpose: On dry hair, it gives a medium hold and medium shine. On damp hair, it gives a high hold and medium shine.
Best for: Every single guy (especially those with thin hair). Hair paste is a go-to, everyday styling product that will slightly add shine, texture, and depth to men with short and medium length hair. You will achieve a sustainable composed style with a touch of shine without looking too stiff. It also gives the impression of more hair.
Best Hair Clay: Hanz De Fuko Claymation
Read more: Best Hair Clay for Men
Purpose: On dry hair, it gives a medium hold and low shine. On damp hair, it gives a high hold and medium shine.
Best for: Guys with short to medium length hair that don’t normally wear hats and desire to seal their hair in place with minimal shine. Hair clay won’t let you rub your fingers through your hair as easily as paste, but it will definitely hold the styling shape a bit longer without the “done up” blinded-by-the-shine look.
Best Styling Cream: Fellow Barber Styling Cream
Purpose: Light hold, light shine
Best for: Guys with medium-to-long hair that need a little something to spruce up their styling and flow. This product gives off that “natural, slightly tousled” look of lived-in hair while taming frizz and smelling fresh.
Best Hair Wax: Sachajuan Hair Wax
Purpose: High hold, low shine
Best for: Guys with short, grown-in hair. This is a thicker styling product that you can count on to hold your hair in place all day. It’s also a good finisher to really tame frizzy fly-aways. Because it’s dense, it works best when gently coating your hair. Men with medium or long lengths should use a lighter product than wax.
Best Pomade: Kelsen’s Signature Pomade
Read more: Best Pomades for Men
Purpose: Medium hold, high shine
Best for: Special occasion, slicked-back hair moments for that “done-up” look. Like a well-fitting suit, every guy should have a jar of pomade ready to dapper up with.
Best Hair Fiber: Kevin Murphy Un.dressed Fibre Paste
Purpose: High hold, no shine
Best for: While hair fiber works for all hair types, it works wonders for men with thick, medium length hair. It gives an effortlessly stylish vibe, locking the hair into place without any distracting shine. It adds texture and prevents any type of movement (so no mid-day combing when using hair fiber).
Best Hair Gel: Baxter of California Thickening Style Gel
Read more: Best Hair Gels for Men
Purpose: High hold, high shine
Best for: Locking unruly hairs into place. Hair gel is no longer an everyday essential. Keep this to touch up troublesome zones, especially on your sides.
Best Hair Putty: Harry’s Texturizing Putty
Purpose: High hold, low shine
Best for: Guys with super short hair that want a very slight shine to their styling. For longer lengths, opt for a fiber or paste.
Best Hairspray: Moroccan Oil Luminous Hairspray Strong
Read more: Best Hairsprays for Men
Purpose: High hold, low shine, super light
Best for: All hair types and lengths. Hair spray is great for touching up unruly hair throughout the day, without messing up the original styling shape. It works best as a finisher, holding everything in place without adding too much depth or weight.
Best Hair Oil: Ouai Hair Oil
Read more: Best Hair Oils for Men
Purpose: Low hold, medium to high shine
Best for: Dry and damaged hair, all lengths. Hair oil is another great finishing product. It’s not one to style and hold the hair into place, but instead add a subtle sheen and moisture (and wonderful scent) to your luscious locks. It also nourishes and reverses damage when used regularly.
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