“Product.” The simple, one word term is often how guys refer to the different hair styling gels, wax, pomades, and clays they use in their hair. And yet, the term doesn’t quite allow for much nuance. As a result, a lot of guys don’t have a full understanding of the breadth of products available to them. We want to change that.
So, to help out, we pulled together a list that not only contained some of our favorite hair products for men, but a quick primer on what each type is best for. That way, our readers will get a bit of a sense of the landscape and will be equipped to make better decisions concerning their hair styling. So take a scroll through our list of the best hair products for men and take a look at both all the different types, as well as a closer look at the best examples available today.
Classic Styling Done Right
When it comes to hair products for men, Pomade is likely among the most popular. While some brands may or may not make other products like clay, creams, or sprays – just about every brand has at least one or two types of pomade. This product can be applied to either wet or dry hair (the latter leaves one with more of a matte look and with more hold, while the former gives the wearer a bit of a shiny, looser look), provides a firm, long lasting hold, and at the end of the day it is pretty easy to wash out.
Imperial Barber Grade Classic Pomade
This water-based pomade from Imperial comes in a 6-ounce container, and boasts a tough, long lasting hold. It can be re-styled once wet, and always features a nice, semi-sheen for those looking to keep that classic look.
Baxter of California Hard Water Pomade
A firm holding, long lasting pomade that provides textured separation without giving a stiff feel. To apply, just dollop a simple dime-sized amount into your hands and work into hair with your hands or comb for a textured, shiny look.
Patricks M1 Matte Finish Light Hold Pomade
For those looking for that firm hold of Pomade without the same super shiny look – this pick from Patricks may be for you. Enriched with ingredients like peptides, sage, red clover, and saw palmetto, the light hold, matte finish pomade has a fresh scent to it you won’t get tired of.
The Dream Of The '90s Is Alive...
For better or worse, hair gel just isn’t quite as popular as it once was. Unlike pomade or wax, this type of product produces a tough, all-day hold while also giving off a shiny wet look. Some of the downsides include white flakes that form when the gel dries, and the gel drying out one’s scalp. Despite its relative lack of popularity now, there are still some great brands out there that are making this top tier, strong-holding hair product. Take a look at a few of the best men’s hair gel picks we rounded up below.
American Crew Firm Hold
This alcohol-free formula from American Crew provides tough, firm hold without drying out your scalp and getting the dreaded white flakes dropping from your hair. A solid selection for a hard to beat price.
Malin + Goetz Firm Hold Gel
Designed for men with sensitive scalps, this firm hold gel from Malin + Goetz is a perfect pick for both long and short hair. In addition to holding your hair firm throughout the day, the included Sodium Hyaluronate and Vitamin help protect and keep hair follicles healthy.
Oribe Rock Hard Gel
Designed to hold all day and provide a bright shine, this paraben and sodium chloride-free gel from Oribe is an ideal pick for those looking for a slicked-back style to wear out or just to work.
For More Than Just Bees
If you are looking for a solid hair product for adding some hold to your hair, but want to do more than just slick it back – then wax is well worth considering. This product can be used for more classic styles, or for more modern hairstyle that benefit from a more textured look. Additionally, wax doesn’t add much grease to one’s hair – making it a great pick for those with naturally more oily scalp.
Hanz De Fuko Sponge Wax
Featuring a matte-finish, this high hold wax boasts the dynamism of a pomade with the hold of a gel. It’s easy to wash out, is made from certified organic plant extracts, and both adds thickness to hair.
Jack Black Wax Pomade
For a smooth look and high shine, look no further than Jack Black’s wax pomade. Intended to be used in small amounts on damp hair, it provides a flexible hold and gives hair an attractive, professional look.
Saturdays NYC Wet Wax
A shine finish that isn’t greasy; that’s what this hair product from Saturdays NYC provides. The water-based wet wax rinses out easily, holds well, and is made right here in the USA.
Dolla Dolla Bill Y'all
If you’re looking to get the same type of styling that you’d otherwise get with a gel, but don’t want to deal with the dryness and ultra-hard hold that gel provides, then you should consider a hair cream. This type of product provides a lighter hold than a gel, but moisturizes hair rather than drying it out. It also adds a natural looking shined smooths out otherwise frizzy hair.
Blind Barber Styling Cream
Infused with hops (because why not), this styling cream provides a light hold that is great for styling more casual looks. And it doesn’t hurt that the 3.2-ounce bottle looks great, either.
Baxter of California Grooming Lotion
With ingredients like jojoba seed, grape, and sunflower oil – this lotion from Baxter of California does more than just provide a light hold. Thanks to the moisturizing oils, this cream will help keep your hair soft and tame throughout the day.
Fellow Barber Styling Cream
Use this cream for a light hold, natural finish, and natural moisturizing. It’ll hold all day and washes out easily with nothing more than water. A great grab for those looking to keep their hair tame without trying to use a tough hold.
Sea Salt Spray
Ever catch your own reflection after spending a day at the beach and think, ‘I wouldn’t mind wearing this hairstyle regularly’. Well, thanks to sea salt spray, you can. This stuff – often sold in aerosol or spray bottles – gives your hair textured, light hold as if you’ve spent the afternoon swimming around in the ocean. While most salt spray’s are marketed towards women, they’re a great option for men who are looking for something with a light hold that won’t look too shiny or worked up. The only downside is that it can in time dry out your hair.
Sun Bum Beach Formula
This 6-ounce spray bottle makes it easy to get a tousled beach-hair look. Made from black lava sea salt sourced from Hawaii, this American-made concoction is a solid, easy to use product for those who embrace the unkempt look.
Blind Barber 40 Proof Sea Salt Spray
Protein rich and infused with both sea salt and hops, this 6-ounce spray bottle perfectly mimics the just off the beach vibe you wish you could sport all year long. Application is simple, all you have to do is spray it evenly on your damp or dry hair and let it air dry.
Made with all natural ingredients, this 8-ounce bottle of sea mist from Herbivore works a beach look into your locks with just a few quick sprays.
Looking to add a bit of body to your hair along with a good deal of hold? Consider hair clay. This creamy substance adds a medium hold and gives a matte finish all without actually drying out the natural oils on the scalp. This makes the product a solid one to use for more casual, messy hair styles rather than for slick, formal looks
Woody’s Matte Finish Clay
This clay features a slight shine, a firm hold, and a slight fragrance. Made from ingredient like cannabis, lanolin, beeswax, and mineral oil – it provides a smooth, attractive look no matter what.
Uppercut Barber Supplies Matt Clay
For those looking for hair product that looks as good as it smells, this clay is worth considering. Great for either long or short hair, it gives a textured, matte look and has a slight scent of peppermint that’s both refreshing and attractive.
Rudy’s Clay Pomade
This Beeswax-infused formula is perfect for daily use not only because of the attractive matte finish and strong hold, but because of it manages to moisturize and smooth hair as well. A great American made pick.
10 Best Shampoos For Men
No matter what you put in your hair, you have to find a way to get it back out. Take a look at our roundup of the best shampoos for men to find what looks good.