Man combing hair with hand

A Complete Guide to Hair Products for Men From pomades to gels — everything you need to know when picking a hair product

Unless you’re rocking a buzz cut, your hair probably requires a little more attention than just a towel dry. When you’re dealing with length, using some product will give your style shape and help the look last all day. Different textures and haircuts require different formulas — some need just a touch of products while others will benefit from something heavier.

Not sure what product is best for your follicles? We put together this guide to hair products to help you find the right one.

Read next: A Masculine Guide to Face Masks

Table of Contents


A classic styling product a pomade is a mix of oil and wax. This unique combination is ideal for ideal for a slick and still-wet look that can be restyled throughout the day. If you’re a guy whose hands are always in his hair, this product is great for you.

Pomade is ideal for those with thicker hair who are looking for a little more control over their locks. The best way to use it is by starting with a little and building with more, depending on how the product feels on your hair. This is a product that should be applied all over — make sure you don’t forget the back of your head.

Classic pomades like Murray’s Original and Royal Crown will provide a better hold than newer water-based pomades. However, keep in mind that the less water a product contains, the harder it will be to wash out.



If you want to look like you haven’t used any product at all, go with a cream. Cream allows your hair to keep its more natural look — but that means you’ll give up some styling power. Since it’s a lightweight product you’re trading more volume for less pliability. If you have hair that’s thinner or doesn’t need too much attention, this product is for you.

In terms of being good for your hair, cream will be the healthiest option. Cream will usually contain some type of conditioning element that moisturizes your hair and it won’t cause build-up like other products.



Imperial Barber Fiber Pomade, 6 oz

  • Highly Pliable Re-Stylable
  • Long Texturizing Fibers
  • Medium Hold/Higher Sheen.

A little different from your average product, fiber is made from keratin, the same protein found in your actual hair. Fiber is another product that’s going to give you a whole lot of hold without the shine. Since it binds to the hair, it’ll give your hair the appearance of being fuller and thicker.

This product has a high level of pliability and a little will go a long way. If you have shorter hair (between 1” – 3” inches), you’ll find this product works particularly well for you. This product is also popular with guys who find their hair is getting a little thinner.



Triumph & Disaster | Coltrane Clay Hair Pomade | Medium Hold for Fine to Thick Hair – Matte Finish for Men, 95g

  • A natural wave clay creating the perfect hold with a matte
  • healthy wave flexible enough to sculpt
  • well-suited for all hair types

Clay’s characteristics are very similar to wax, with the added benefit of no residue. Clay also nourishes the hair. It contains healing properties that stimulate growth and repairs damaged hair.

If you have sensitive skin, we recommend using clay since it won’t cause breakouts at the hairline like some heavier products might. Formulas range from creamy and malleable to thick and solid. All textures will make your locks feel and look voluminous. The thicker your hair, the thicker formula you should be using.

There is a light, nice earthy smell to this product and it washes out easily. Though it’s not the cheapest compared to the other products, it delivers a lot of benefits.


Using a gel is going to give you an intense hold and an intense shine. With its strong styling power, we’d recommend you save this product for either the most formal of occasions or if a stiffer style is what you’re going for.

While it’s pliable and easy to control when wet, once gel dries your hair will be locked in place. You’re going to lose some touchability with this product as well since it hardens around your locks.

When used correctly, gel can be great for a classic slicked back style or a pompadour look. You’ll need a pretty liberal amount for both these looks.

Styled Hair, Don’t Care

Styling your hair doesn’t have to be intimidating or time-consuming. Once you know which product looks best with your locks, you’ll find it becomes almost second nature. As long as you follow the cardinal rule of less is more, you’re sure to look great.

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