The Ultimate Guide To Men’s Hair Styling Products

Ultimate Guide To Men's Hair Styling Products

There are more hair styling products available for men than ever before. The difficult thing now is understanding what product is right for your style but ultimately that is also right for your wallet. You don’t want to fork out for a product that just doesn’t do the job.

In this ultimate guide to men’s hair styling products I break down the differences in the products and what products you should consider buying for your desired look.

Best Mens Hair Clay | Ultimate Guide To Men's Hair Styling Products

Clay

Hair clays have come to the forefront of hair styling over the last couple of years because of there ability to create texture and hold without high shine. Clay is great but can be really hard to get out of your hair, I like to use a shampoo like Fish de-gunk to help get rid of product build-up like this.

What is it great for?

Clay is designed to give you texture and shaping of your hair without adding loads of shine. If you have short hair its great if you like a messy or styled look but without the appearance of lots of product in your hair. If you have longer hair it’s great if you want to quick style your hair and leave it for the day, perfect for those with an office cut or longer on the crown.

Application

Applying clay takes some work especially if the clay is set or firm from the container. Take a pea sized amount and start working it pretty rigorously in your palm, moving around your fingers. Apply to dry hair and style to your desired style, be gentle in your hair as the clay can clump and rip hairs. With clay, less is more.

Best Clay to buy?

Mitch Material Styling Clay or Fish Stonefish Styling Clay

Johnnys Chop Shop Clay | Ultimate Guide To Men's Hair Styling Products

GEL

Gel was the stable hair product in the 80’s and 90’s and still does the job yet.

What is it great for?

Gel is great if you have short to mid-length hair and want some serious shine with hold. Whether you like a modern caesar cut or wear your hair short and spiky. With some of the more budget gels, they can tend to lose the hold and shine throughout the day and can also cause dandruff. So if this is your go to product, I’d recommend choosing something a little higher end.

Application

For best results, towel dry your hair, apply back to front and ensure the gel is applied throughout your hair.

Best Gel To Buy?

L’Oreal Professional Homme Strong Hold Styling Gel

L'oreal Professional Gel | Ultimate Guide To Men's Hair Styling Products

Fiber

Fiber is a recent hair product that has got popular from longer quiffs and the love of more texturised and messy based hair styles. It’s like the in-between product between paste and wax. Slightly harder than paste, but not quite at the wax stage.

What is it great for?

Fiber is perfect for messy quiffs and any style needing height without wanting too much shine but with good hold and texture.

Application

Take a small amount, rub throughout your fingers and warm in the palm of your hand until less firm. Run through your hair and style gently, the harder the fiber the harsher it is on your hair.

Best Fiber to Buy?

Fudge Fat Hed

L'oreal Poker Paste | Ultimate Guide To Men's Hair Styling Products

Paste / Putty

There are hundreds of different types of pastes and putty hair styling products available. Pastes have been around since the beginning of the 2000’s and are a staple for bathroom cabinets.

What is it great for?

Paste is probably the easiest product to style with and works for nearly every hair type and length. It is your ultimate multi-styler.

Application

If you are using a soft paste or putty, rub throughout fingers and apply throughout your hair and style as required. 
If the paste is slightly harder, rub throughout hands and fingers until it becomes softer and more rubbery. Then apply throughout your hair more gently to prevent breakage.

Best Paste To Buy?

Mitch Clean Cut or Aveda Thickening Paste

Aveda Thickening Paste | Ultimate Guide To Men's Hair Styling Products | Mens Lifestyle Blog

Wax

Wax was always associated with people who needed really high hold, but because of the hard wax it also gave a really shiny finish.

What is it great for?

Wax is perfect if you want an all day hold, a thicker look and a style you don’t touch all day.

Application

There are two types of hair wax, the super shiny hard bees-wax style wax, this needs working quite a bit through the fingers and palm to soften up the wax, applying throughout your hair from root to tip.
The second type of wax is typically softer but has more hold and less shine. For this softer type of wax work through your palms and apply from back to front so it doesn’t clump together.

Best wax to buy?

Paul Mitchell Elastic Shaping Paste

Paul Mitchell Elastic Shaping Paste | Ultimate Guide To Men's Hair Styling Products

Pomade

Pomades aren’t new but definitely have become trendy since the reintroduction of the pompadour and side parting. Pomades are a slightly wetter/greasier alternative to pastes.

What is it great for?

Longer hair styles wanting to get a shiny finish and pompadour’s needing height and all day hold. A warning, don’t overdo pomade otherwise it will look like you have poured oil over your hair and it just won’t set or dry properly.

Application

You can apply to wet, damp or dry hair. If you apply to a wet head, apply throughout your hair and comb or brush to your required style and allow to set. If you apply to damp hair, apply a fingernail size into your palm and apply from front to back. To get a quick set in your hair blow-dry into shape.

Best Pomade To Buy?

Low shine: Bumble and Bumble Semisumo Hair Pomade
High shine: Layrite Super Shine Deluxe Pomade

Mousse

Mousse is another stable from years gone by, known for creating a light feeling hold with a foamy texture. In recent years mousse has become a pre-styler.

What is it great for?

Mousse is good as a good pre-styling product. Meaning you can get real height with a hairdryer or achieve hold for a longer quiff. Mousse finish can be shiny or matte depending on how much you apply.

Application

Mousse works well either in damp or dry hair. Apply throughout your hair where you would like height and texture

Best Mousse To Buy?

Paul Mitchell Sculpting Foam
Ultimate Guide To Men's Hair Styling Products | UK Mens Grooming Blog

Other must have hair products

Sea Salt Spray

Great as a pre-styler and wanting to get texture in your hair before applying heat or product. Sea Salt spray is great for messy styles and wanting to add definition and reduce the amount of harder products in your hair.

Hairspray

If you struggle to keep your hair in place, hair spray is a must have. A little goes a long way so don’t overdo it trying to keep your fringe staying up all day. TIGI Bed Head’s Masterpiece is great for that extra strong hold hairspray.

Dry Shampoo

If you don’t like washing your hair every day or want to have cleaner hair when working with harder products like clays and waxes then dry shampoo is a great product to use the following morning. Apply at the roots to clean and/or as a styling product. 
A favourite is Johnny’s Chop Shop Hobo Hair Dry Shampoo.

Do you have a favourite styling product?

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  • Clara

    Great list! My partner recently had his hair done by a mobile barber from this company http://www.getsmooth.co/ and I think I remember them recommending the Tigi product! He did an amazing job so I can vouch that he had a good knowledge of hair products.