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A Quick Guide on Men’s Hair Products

Your hairstyle says loads about your sense of fashion and personality. And unlike clothing, you can try as many styles as you want, even the trendy ones, without creating a huge dent in your bank account.

You don’t have to go to a high-end salon to have a stylish hairstyle – a great way to take your hair to new heights is through experimentation with some quality hair products.

Forget the memories of overusing gel and making your hair hard as nails, the goal is to work with your natural hair type and adding some touches to bring out it’s best.

This article will be your simple guide to what different hair products can do for you. Experiment and find a hair styling product that gives you the style you’ve always wanted.

Hairspray


Hairspray is usually used as a finishing product, but it works great as a styling product too. It’s one of the best ways to make your hair look thicker. It also adds a nice shine to your hair – which if you use sparingly, will make your hair look healthier. If you spray it on wet hair, you can mold your hair in whatever way you like. It can also be used on styled or dry hair for a super maximum hold.

Pros: Super easy to apply, and keeps your hands free of sticky hair product.

Cons: Lots of hairsprays have a strong scent that can even overpower your cologne. Avoid these type of hairsprays. Also, if you use too much, it can make your hair very dry and crunchy – which may even flake if it’s a cheaper product.

How to apply it: Simple and easiest hair product to use – just spray it evenly across your hair (4-5 sprays max)

recommended brands:

  • Sebastain Shaper Hair Spray
  • Nexxus Headress Spray 4
  • Paul Mitchell Fast Drying Sculpting Spray
  • Folicure HairSpray (body &fullness)
  • Grande finale UltraHolding Spray (Holds for weeks)

Pliable Hair Products

dfi.pliable.molding.cream

Pomade: Pomade works great for a flexible hold without any stiffness to it. It works best for short to medium length hair. Pomade also allows you to have a natural look while adding texture to your flat hair. It’s a great product for more stylish haircuts and for that “messy” look. Just apply a small amount to slightly damp or dry hair and style.

Waxes: Similar to pomade, but normally more aggressive and petroleum based. This product is great for lending shine and control to short cuts. Waxes are also great for those who want to manage thick hair. This product must be applied to hair that is completely dry because oil and wax don’t mix.

Muds, Fibers: A less familiar product – mud (or fiber) is used when maximum control is needed. Many muds and fibers will give a more matte finish, so they are it’s definitely worth trying for those who want that “bed head” type style. This product type is great for giving texture to short, disheveled styles and for adding separation to long styles.

Creams: Styling creams are a lot lighter and are great for controlling flyaway hair. It’s great because it gives you some control over your hair you while making you look like you have no product in your hair. If you have very fine hair, use a tiny amount to avoid a greasy look. If your hair is curly, a cream is a great option to add a healthy looking shine and keep your curls together.

Pros: Only small quantities are needed and it really gives your hair great texture. The pliable product lets you restyle your hair throughout the day.

Cons: When too much is applied, it might give your hair a greasy look.

How to apply it: Skim a small quantity onto fingers. Rub your fingers together and apply to your hair. Distribute evenly where molding is needed.

recommended brands:

  • Physique Precision Pomade (excellent overall for molding and defining)
  • Jack Black Pomade (Beeswax and sunflower oil give your hair shine and hold, while mango and shea butter keep your scalp clean, smooth, and moist)
  • Bumble and Bumble Sumotech Styling Wax (This wax has medium grip, making it great for most styles)
  • Kiehl’s Creme with Silk Groom (It provides great control but not too much hold, making it perfect for long, straight hair)
  • Sebastian Crude (It’s perfect for fine-haired folks who want that disheveled look)
  • Magic Move (control your frizz and great natural look)
  • Gatsby Moving Rubber (Japanese hair product – great for all styles)

Mousse

Mousse is great for any hairstyle and it can create practically any desired look. When used with wet hair, it will give your hair a sleek shine. When used on dry hair, it will help shape, mold and hold your hair in place with a more natural look. Mousse can also provide volume for men with thinner or fine hair. Wear mousse on a daily basis to create a natural and easy to manipulate hairstyle.

Pros: Mousse allows you to re-style your hair throughout the day without the stickiness factor.

Cons: Quality hair mousse doesn’t come cheap and it might lack holding strength for those who need more grip.

How to use it: Shake the bottle. Dispense a small amount in one hand and apply to your hair with both hands. Style your hair to your liking and blow dry for maximum hold.

recommended brands:

  • Quantum Sequence (Weightless styling foam)
  • Vigorol (Super hold styling mousse)
  • Jason All Natural Mousse (High performance nutrients for your hair)
  • COUVRe Gel Mousse (More control and adding volume)

Gel

Gel is the most efficient product for holding your hair in place. These are normally water based and good for those who want that wet, sleek look. Gels usually come in light, firm, or strong holds. Get a lighter hold for fine hair, so that it doesn’t weight your hair down. If you have thick, course hair, then get a stronger hold because the light hold won’t hold your hair up.

Pros: It will cement your hairstyle for many hours, even in the course of heavy winds. Great for thick hair – a firm holding styling gel will give strong hold to thick hair.

Cons: A large quantity of gel is needed for many looks and you will get your hands sticky if re-styling is needed throughout the day.

How to use it: Dispense the necessary amount of gel in one hand and use both hands to rub it into your towel-dried hair. Style the hair to your liking. Blow-dry if you want maximum hold or dry naturally for a shiny look.

recommended brands:

  • Paul Mitchell Extra Body Gel (flexible)
  • Jason Hi-shine Styling gel
  • Goldwell Definition Style & Shine Gel
  • Hairgum Hair Dressing (Styling that protects)
  • NU-U tm Freeze Gel (moisturizes and styles for days)

Go out and experiment with some new hair products until you achieve your best hairstyle. You’ll be amazed at how much a little product can make a difference!

Do you use any hair products? What’s your favorite? Share with us in the comments!

  • akira

    Personally I like Gatsby products. And I wouldn’t forget about the straightener and the blow drier, to me they make a great difference on how your hair works, even in my straight hair.

  • deRon

    Like this article.

    Here another professional hairspray:
    “L´Oréal Elnett De Luxe” . It’s more expensive than normal spray, but you’ll feel the difference. It it very strong but alows your hair to float around and it stays in the same position. So you hair is not “hard” like a stone, it is very smooth and nice 😉

  • The Villain

    No tips for other ethnic groups?

  • Nealtse

    About bloody time, Jae.

  • Hugh

    Hi Jae,

    I’ve been recommending this website, and I think this is a great post.

    A couple things I’d love to hear you talk about in the future:

    1. Wavy vs. straight hair, and what products are best for each
    2. Razored haircuts, which seem so popular with celebs nowadays, while average guys don’t know what they are

    Personally, I have wavy hair, yet also a razored haircut so I can do goth/punk styles. This is very hard to maintain and requires a hair iron, so I’m always looking to improve, but so worth it based on female attention.

    Most hair products simply don’t work for me, if they are wet, because they make my hair go wavy again. The only thing that works is loading a ton of hairspray and wax into my hair.

    Us wavy haired guys seem to hair fewer options, so particular recommendations are welcome, especially for those of us who also use hair irons. Also, examples of cool styles for wavy hair are also very needed.

  • Sancho

    Another great article…It’s a damn shame that I’m going bald.

  • Coolhyde

    Mud : Cosmic Craft – L’oreal Professionel Line – (made in Japan)

    recommended !

  • Honye

    Why dont you give tips for people with bad hair. Im having problems with my hair and I dont know what products to use. No one works for me. And I came here hoping that I will see a tip for my hair and nothing…

    My hair is far away of theses kind that you have talked about!

    Give me answers please?

  • Young Hu$la

    can u specify what to use for black men with nappier hair.

  • The Master

    Another amazing post. I’m inspired once again.

  • Meena

    This is a great article. Unfortunately, my hubby’s gorgeous curly hair is thinning on top. Any tips for guys who are going bald? Are there any other options besides shaving it all off?

  • Bjorn

    It is about bloody time Jae.

    A couple overlooked (in this article), easy to find, great hair care companies are Redken, Matrix and Tigi. Some signatures of these companies are Concreté by Redken (a well-named gel, that’s perfect for short hair). The Biolage and Men’s lines of Matrix, which smell terrific and span the full spectrum of products. And my favorites, Manipulator (a funky, blue semi-matte, pomade that can handle any thing) by Tigi, and both of Tigi’s wax products which are pricey, but well worth it for the short-haired guy who want any edgy, stand-out-from-the-crowd look.

  • SenorBubbz

    Hey Jae, I was wondering what guys with Curly hair could use.
    The only mention of us in the entire article is that Creams are good, yet you don’t recommend any creams.

  • to Meena

    With current technological advances I doubt that it will take lots of time (or maybe its available today) to cure baldness.

    But if you currently have this problem, I advise him to shave it all off. It will look bad with a bald spot.

  • Meena

    Thanks, Jae. But, oh, so sad (sniffle, sniffle).

  • Tommy

    Hey there, liked the info–especially the specific product suggestions. I think it might help people out if you mentioned thinning sheers since a lot of this article dealt with hold. As far as I’ve learned, if you use thinning sheers on thick hair it’ll give your products more hold without changing the look. I got an OK pair off eBay for around 10 bucks so I figure other people might wanna try it out.

  • jmann

    Need advice on thin hair like a asian person hair want to train short hair forward without sticking up wat works? Tried murrays,johnny b ,doesnt work n e tips?

  • dee

    What about hair products with minimun or preferably no chemicals, for the sensitive scalp?

  • Bullit

    Murray’s Hair Wax with pure Beeswax.

    It’s my favorite. It’s a thick petroleum-based hair wax, the actual “wax” part being real beeswax. I have very thick hair for a Caucasian and just a little bit in the tips of my fingers as my hair’s 90% dry (after a shower) puts my hair in any style I want and holds and gives shine while still being soft and natural enough to run my hands through and restyle throughout the day.

    It’s often found among ethnic-targeted hair products or in African beauty salons. I hear it’s much used for securing dreadlocks as well.

    Bonus: it’s natural, and scentless.

  • Himmler

    I’m African American and I actually use hair lotion now. I like the way it makes my hair look shiny and slightly wet. I like the bigger curls it makes too. I’m sporting a fro right now and the lotion brings the height of it down to lower, more stylish level. I’m still experimenting with the specific look I want in my hair (before I go back to dreads), so I’ll definitely try a cream next. I get many fly-aways after I use lotion and snipping them off every morning is annoying.

  • Ariana Coleman

    Shea Butter can really promote great health.”~*

  • Barb Redhead

    I happened to be doing a bit of work-related researching in Yahoo today and stumbled on this blog. I’ve clearly put in a bit of time here browsing and procrastinating! Carry on the excellent writing and i’m already looking towards checking out future posts. Take care!

  • Matthew

    As a hairstylist love your concept of experimenting. I recommend all my guys do it, BUT never undervalue a great cut that you don’t have to work on styling. A lot of newer trends are cutting the hair in such a way that it doesn’t take much to style. For most this means lots of texture. I love my razor and channel cutting for men’s cuts.

  • Islander

    I used Paul Mitchell Extra Body Gel, I didnt like the way it smelled, I was disappointed.

  • person2600

    How much gel should i use?

  • Just the necessary amount will do.

  • Geoff

    It’s a 10’styling cream is really good and smells really good also

  • Cool! 🙂

  • manvshair

    Great point, Matthew. It’s all about the cut. No amount of product or time spent styling really makes a difference if the haircut sucks.