As men, choosing the right product for our hair can be a nightmare. With some many different options and variations, it’s almost impossible to distinguish what is actually made for your hair style and what is for hair totally different than yours. To make life easier, I went ahead and created a guide to hair product, so we men can easily sort through the options and determine the right product for us.
If you still have questions, ask your local Men’s Cuts stylist what is right for your hair and your next haircut. It’s their job and they know best.
Pomade can be great not only for the style of your hair, but also the health of your hair, which makes it an attractive candidate in the hair product race. Intended for men with hair on the thicker side, pomade provides a medium to high hold with some shine. Pomade works best in short to middle length hair styles and allows you to restyle throughout the day, allowing you to transition perfectly from the office to happy hour.
Wax can be used for a wide variety of hair lengths and styles, but it’s typically best for shorter styles that require a comb, such as a side part or spiked hair. Basically imagine any character from Mad Men – that is wax. Typically a medium to high hold with a low, matte shine, wax is for the straight-cut professional. Curly-haired men beware, though, as wax has a tendency to clump in hair that isn’t relatively straight.
Gel is the classic hair product we all know and probably hate. It is almost a rite of passage for men to try hair gel at some point in their life. Gel is a product where quality absolutely matters. The difference between cheap gel and a more expensive gel can be seriously substantial. Gel typically provides the maximum hold and a high level of shine. As you can image, gel is not great for your hair. It can cause anything from flaking, excessive drying leading to dandruff, frizzing, to broken hairs. When done right, gel can look good but once it’s in the hair, it’s best not to touch it again for the rest of the day.
Cream is a subtle product typically for men with medium to longer hair styles. With a light hold and low, natural looking shine, cream simply gives your hair direction without locking it into place. If you’re looking for the classic bed-head look, cream is the product for you. Best for thick, coarse or curly hair, cream is also commonly used as more of a conditioning lotion for hair rather than styling product.
Typically the most versatile of all products, paste is the workhorse of hair products. The beautiful thing about a paste product is that it can work magic in almost any length or style. This allows you to use the same product from one hair cut to another, even as your hair grows. In short, damp hair, paste provides a medium hold with a matte finish. In dry hair, paste gives you more of that messy, bed-head look.
Clay is a pretty comparable product to pomade, however clay is typically a bit stickier and provides a stronger medium to high hold. Clay gives your hair a matte finish with plenty of texture and volume. Clay is a great product for the modern haircuts that require a high hold without losing volume to your hair. As an added bonus, clay can be great for your hair as well, providing minerals and nutrients without drying it out.
Hair spray is something that maybe should have stayed in the 80’s, but didn’t. More times than not, hair spray is actually used best as a protective helmet applied to already styled hair. The hair spray keeps the styled look in place, even in active or high stress situations. Basically, hair spray makes your hair convertible proof.
And now, a chart that explains everything: