How does a man, who doesn’t think all that much about his hair, find the best hair products for men? Well, he stops being that kind of man. Your perception of hair care needs to change. It’s no longer just a ‘metrosexual thing’ to care about your locks (and skin for that matter, but that’s a different article).
In a hair product market inundated with different brands, price-points and the hair type-specifics, we’ve recruited the 10 best hair products for men. Depending on your current hairstyle, work one or several of the products into your daily grooming routine. Cause hair creams, gels and lotions aren’t just for prettying up your bathroom shelf, they’re for your hair, Fabio.
Know Thy Hair Type
Not all men’s hair is equal. Before you start product shopping find out your hair type. Team fine? Team curly? These are the main hair characteristics to consider:
- Density: thick, medium or thin
- Porosity: the hair’s ability to hold moisture (low, medium or high)
- Elasticity: the hair’s ability to stretch and not break (low, medium or high)
- Curl Pattern: straight, wavy, curly or coily
For a true assessment, do so when the hair is dry, clean and void of any hair product that inhibits a true assessment. Now, you’re ready to shop, shower and style away.
The Best Hair Products
Pomade: Thick, Wavy, Straight Hair
Pom-what? Pomade is something pops would’ve worn in his debonair days back in the Fifties. And with the renaissance of the crooner era, pomade gives back that stronghold shine that classy men want. While pomades in the past have come made from bear fat and bees wax, you need not be so au naturel.
The key is consistency: thick, creamy and sticky. Wax-and-oil based pomades produce a smooth, medium shine with a strong hold, and are easily worked through the hair so not to look too wet or oily. Pomade is perfect for creating dramatic styles like the pompadour and quiff. And it has enough hold to slick back even the most unruly hair, curly to straight.
Try: Penhaglion’s Bayolea Hair Pomade
Paste: Fine, Thick, Curly
Paste is designed for pretty much every hair type: fine and light to thick and heavy. The product comes in both matte and shine finishes, depending on your taste, with hold capabilities that allow for movement and texture, and restyling throughout the day. It’s great for short-to-medium hairstyles, working it through your hands before applying.
Be sure to apply on dry hair. The oil, applied to wet hair, will simply sit on top and seal in the moisture, making it look dark and oily. Overall, this the best styling product for those with curls or hard to control hair. Locking them down, with room to move, with a touch of fingertip.
Try: Oribe Fibre Groom Hair Paste
Wax: Thick, Wavy, Fine
Wax has also come a long since the good old days. Not as greasy as it used to be, hair wax adds a subtle sheen to your hair, and it’s strength – like paste – is pliable so running fingers through it or restyling throughout the day is never a problem.
Wax works just as well for defined, sculpted styles as it does softer, bed-head looks. With damp or dry hair, warm up the wax in your hands before applying, adding more for hold and definition, depending on the look that you’re after.
Final tip? Look for one that’s easy to that gives moisture and is easy wash out of your hair. Wax build-up, just like in the ears, is bad news.
Try: Sachajuan Hair Wax
Gel: Thick Hair
Gel is a men’s hairstyle staple. Gel is excellent for slicking hair or achieving the wet look, and its superior hold gives your style an all-day hold. Play around with gel’s varying ‘holds’: strong if you want stiffness or light if you simply want to make your hair more manageable or your waves more defined.
Gel is also versatile in application, used on wet or dry hair. As well as an end-stage styling product, gel can also be blow-dried into hair as a primer to control volume and help support your hairstyle. Due to its wet look, gel works better with thicker hair, showing up the sparsity of thinning hair.
Try: Malin + Goetz Firm Hold Gel
Powder: Oily, Thin Hair
Hair powder has revolutionised the way many guys style their hair. The purpose of a powder is to support the style you’re going for, while absorbing some of your hair’s natural oils. It makes for a great anti-greaser for oily hair.
Hair powder as builds a layer on hair creating a natural-look coverage to add volume and even disguise thinning hair. It’s also a great way to get that coveted beach hair look.
Apply it before adding another finishing product such as pomade. Simply sprinkle the powder into the root of the hair for instant volume and control.
Try: L’Oreal Super Dust
Mousse: Thin, Fine Hair
More associated with the ladies, mousse still has place on your bathroom shelf. Mousse adds fullness to fine hair – its foamy texture surrounding the hair follicle shaft with chemical compounds called polymers which give them a full appearance.
Try: Kevin Murphy Body Builder
Hairspray – All Hair Types
Hairspray can be used as a styling or finishing product. It makes your hair look thicker and can add shine. Spray it on wet hair and then style your hair to your liking with a comb or fingers.
Hairspray is also great for finishing already-styled, which is dry hair, for maximum hold. A tip? Unlike paste or wax, once hairspray is in place and dried, there’s no re-jusching.
Hairspray is the simplest hairstyling product to use: Spray it evenly across your hair. Blow dry or let dry for different styles. Just make sure to stay away from open flame and lit cigarettes.
Try: Schwartzkopf 3D Mension
Sea Salt Spray – All Hair Types
Ah, the beach. Sea salt spray brings the sun and surf (no gritty sand) to your hair, without stepping foot outdoors. The spray gives the hair volume (like the breeze from the sea), leaving you with a tousled, lived-in look that doesn’t appear over-styled.
Pump a small amount on damp or dry hair, aiming for the roots. Crunch the hair and then style as usual.
Try: Lavett & Chin Sea Salt Texturising Mist
Oil – Medium-Long, Wavy, Curly Hair
Nature is your hair friend with brands bottling up the juices of the earth for your stylish hair pleasures. Avocado oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil, almond oil and olive oil all make for excellent hair care products.
Use oil for moisturising and conditioning your locks (especially the ends, which are the oldest part of the hair and faced more environmental hardship). Their replenishment slso encourages growth, adds some subtle shine, and even serves as a treatment for dandruff (the oil alleviates scalp dryness).
Apply oil sparsely if you’re prone to oily hair, adding more as you need it. Use a comb to distribute it evenly, from root to tip.
Try: Moroccan Oil
#10 Dry Shampoo
Not just a lazy man’s answer to washing, a dry shampoo offers a solution for water-free hair oiliness. Or, for when you’re trying to break the cycle of over-washing your hair (If your scalp is extra-greasy, it could be a result of over-shampooing due to the daily scrubbing of it, resulting in the production of more oils). Ugh, we know.
Dry shampoo also soaks up excess oil (sebum) without causing your scalp to produce even more. It’s also a great timesaver and comes in handy after the gym or when travelling (think long-haul flights when you haven’t showered). Plus, like sea-salt spray, dry shampoo can add texture to your hair.
Try: Tresemme Dry Shampoo