So, you want to step up your hair game. You head to Amazon, the nearest mall, or even your local drug store to buy the best hair product to help tame and style your locks. But suddenly, you’re faced with crucial decision fatigue in an endless pit of hair 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 complicated and overwhelming. 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 Overall Hair Product: Stmnt Grooming Goods Dry Clay
Newly launched gender-neutral grooming brand, Stmnt, brings you upscale grooming products that honor the art of barbering by upgrading the classics. At The Manual, we’ve tested dozens on hair clays and pomades. This dry clay is by far one of the best in terms of hold, application, and scent. The workable clay is super strong for a long-lasting hold. This product was created for those who want to add texture to both curly or straight hair, leaving the hair with a matte-finished look. All you need is a penny size amount of product, work it into your palm, and work in as desired.
Read more: Best Grooming Products for Men
Best Hair Gel: L’Oreal Paris Studio Line Gel
Purpose: If you’re looking to tame wild hair with long-lasting hold and maximum shine this is the gel for you.
Best for: We recommend using a gel for only those stray-aways that just don’t want to cooperate. Using a hair gel as a primary styling option can leave for a very dramatic and glossy look — which is fine if that’s what you’re going for!
Read more: Best Hair Gels for Men
Best Hair Serum: R + Co Bleu Surreal Styling Serum
Purpose: All hair types. Can be used on hair that’s air-dried, blow-dried, or while still damp.
Best for: This styling product is a great option for those who like to play around with a variety of hairstyles. Being super lightweight and flexible, this hair serum provides hold and texture for any hairstyle you attempt to step out in that day.
Best Pomade: Jack Henry Clay Pomade
Purpose: A daily medium-hold product for classic styles that provides a high sheen. Apply to damp hair for a more wet styled look, apply to dry hair for a natural firm hold look.
Best for: Other than hair gels, pomades have been around for generations and are considered THE go-to styling product. Think the classic slick back and pompadour. The pomade has definitely evolved over its years in action and created for a multitude of hair types from straight to curly. A little goes a long way here when applying a pomade, a little too much can give your hair a greasy appearance.
Read more: Best Pomades for Men
Best Styling Creme: Fellow Barber Styling Cream
Purpose: Light hold for flowy “no product, product” look.
Best for: Creams are a great option for guys who aren’t really interested in too much styling, but want a bit of hold. The Fellow Barber Creme provides a light hold to shape the hair naturally for a very easy flowy look.
Read more: Best Hair Styling Creams for Men
Best Hair Putty: Head and Shoulders Texturizing Putty
Purpose: Apply for a long-lasting hold to damp or air dry hair, leaves hair with a natural shine compared to a pomade.
Best for: Hair Putty’s are great to tame shorter hairstyles whereas clays would be better for mid-length hair. Putty’s create a long-lasting hold and texture. I prefer using hair putty as it also tends to be a lot less sticky in the hair and not appear greasy.
Best Hair Oil: Wow 10 in 1 Miracle Hair Oil
Purpose: Secondary hair product that provides additional hold, shine, texture, and volume.
Best for: Hair oil is a great option to build on top of your primary hair styling product. Naturally, hair oil promotes a higher shine when added with, or after your hair clay, pomade, or putty. Hair oils also have ingredients that help nourish and hydrate the hair.
Read more: Best Hair Oils for Men
Best Hair Mask: Malin + Goetz Detox Scalp Mask
Purpose: Apply to damp hair to revitalize, moisturize, and soothes the scalp while removing any build-up.
Best for: If you feel your scalp is filled with product build-up, is dry, and just needs an overall reset — the Malin + Goetz Detox Scalp Mask is a great product to use for well … a detox from your hair routine. After using this mask your hair will feel revitalized and refreshed and will improve the overall application of products.
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