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Men's Hair Product: Which One Is Right For You?

Ever wondered why there are so many hair-styling products for men? What’s the difference between wax, gels, pomades, and clays? Why is it so difficult to choose which would suit your lifestyle?

There used to be just hairspray and gel, but now there are many products to choose from. With so many products to choose from, finding the right product for you is essential. With this guide, we aim to help you figure out what type of product is good for you.

What to consider when choosing a Hair Product?

Shine. It reflects light, makes your hair look shiny and wet, and makes your head look glossy.

Matte. It makes your hair absorb light, the opposite of shine. Seems like your hair doesn’t have product at all.

Holding power. Holds your hair in place. They’re categorized as low, medium, or maximum hold. Products with high holding power will make your hair stiff but kept in place. Products with low hold do not keep your hair in place but result in a more natural look.

Malleability. This is how much you can improve your hair after you’ve styled it. The gel has a high hold but is not malleable because it hardens and you won’t be able to shape it after. Hair wax has a high hold and is malleable. It can hold your hair and later on, you can still change it.

Types of Hair styling products

It is best to talk to your barber regarding your hairstyle goals and your hair type. That way you will be guided as to what type of hair product suits you best.

Here’s the ABC of hair products to make things easier for you.


Pomade is a classic among hairstyling products. It works extremely well with combed hairstyles. Pomades do not make your hair dry, hard, or crusty, unlike gels. You can change your hairstyle at any given point of the day.

  • Petroleum-Based Pomade

High shine; medium hold; high malleability

Old school or the classic, used by our grandpa. Oil is used as their base which gives your hair a wet look and lots of shine. It makes your hair greasy and stays in your hair for a long time. If you want to go for the classic 40s/ 50s look, this is the best product for you.

Products to check out:

  • Don Juan Hair Grease

  • O’Douds Pomade

  • Uppercut Deluxe Monster Hold

  • Brylcreem

  • Murray’s Pomade

  • Water-Based Pomade

Shine varies; medium hold, low malleability

Offer the hold and shine of an oil-based pomade but without the greasiness. Easy to wash using water. However, if you get rained on, it rinses the pomade out.

Products to check out:

  • American Crew Pomade

  • Layrite Superhold Pomade

  • Imperial Classic Pomade

  • Duke Cannon News Anchor Pomade

  • Groom and Clean

  • Wax- Based Pomade

Shine varies; medium to high hold, high malleability

Offers a lot of hold and a lot of malleability without the greasiness. Stays in your hair even after taking a swim. You can run a comb through your hair and your hair stays in that position. It takes a lot of effort to wash the product out.

If you have wavy or curly hair, this is a product that you want to avoid because it clumps in your hair.

Products to check out:

  • Byrd Classic Pomade

  • Bed Head Men

  • Maneuver Working Wax

  • Gatsby Styling Wax

  • Clay-Based Pomade

Low shine; degrees of hold vary; high malleability

This is a product best for men who want to magnify the texture of their wavy hair or who want to have a more natural look. It stays in your hair all day.

Products to check out:

  • Baxter Clay Pomade

  • Byrd Clay Pomade

  • Smooth Viking Styling Clay

  • Redken Rough Clay

  • Layrite Cement Clay

  • Fiber Pomade

High hold; high malleability; medium shine

It’s typically waxed-based but super sticky. It feels like gum when you pinch it between your fingers. It has a matte finish and has a lot of hold and malleability.

Products to check out:

  • American Crew Fiber

  • Duke Cannon News Anchor Fiber Pomade


Low hold, medium shine

This is ideal for thick, coarse, or curly hair. It gives hair flexibility and strength and tames flyaway hair without the greasiness or stiffness of wax and gels.

Provides zero hold and acts as a conditioning lotion that gives thick hair a perfect bed hair look. An excellent option for men with thinning hair. It is lightweight and makes you feel like you’re not wearing any product.

Products to check out:

  • Brylcreem

  • Smooth Viking Hair Care

  • Layrite Natural Matte Cream

Putty/ Mud

Medium to high hold; no to low shine

Ideal for men who wants a casual, easy-going style. It adds texture and some movement. You can have a messy, disheveled look.

Products to check out:

  • Slick Gorilla


Low malleability, high shine; high hold

Shiny and stay-in-place hairstyle. However, it gives you flakes from the dried gel that looks like dandruff.

Products to check out:

  • Johnny B. Mode

  • American Crew Firm Holding Gel

  • Redken Brews

Sea Salt Spray

No shine; low to medium hold; high malleability

This is the newest hair product for men. It does contain salt as the name suggests. It absorbs the natural oil in hair and gives you texture, waves, and volume.

You just need to spray it, style your hair and let it dry. It gives a matte finish and a lot of malleabilities, you can style your hair all throughout the day.

This is a good product if you want a tousled, natural look. If you have natural wavy or curly hair, you might want to skip this as it makes your hair more wavy and curly.

Products to check out:

  • Byrd Texturizing Surf Spray

  • Sachajuan Ocean Mist

  • Blind Barber Sea Salt Spray


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