Men’s Hair Products: A Complete Breakdown

We compare the top hair styling products in the industry, so you don’t have to!

 

When it comes to creating an impressive, well-groomed men’s hairstyle, there are a range of tools that can be used to get the job done. Whether it’s extra hold gel, volumizing texture spray, or lightweight molding paste, the styling product you use will determine the quality of your final outcome.

But choosing a men's hair product for your hair isn’t as simple as you might think. Each men’s hair styling product comes with its own unique pros and cons, which means that depending on your hair type and the look you are trying to achieve, results will often vary.

So, how can you be sure you are selecting the right hair styling product for your hair? And what are the fundamental differences between each product type that you should know?

In this article, we’ll be sharing everything you need to know, and pitting the top men’s hair styling products against each other to see how they stack up.

Let’s get to it.

Here is a comparison of the top men's hair styling products on the market today:

1. POMADE VS WAX

They key difference between wax and pomade is shine level. Pomades are often oil-based, and are used to create high-shine, slicked-back looks that have that “just out of the shower” finish. Waxes, on the other hand, provide less shine and more hold, providing a final look that appears matte and natural. Additionally, waxes will eventually dry, giving hair a soft-to-the-touch consistency. This is not the case for pomades, which are intended to leave hair highly moisturized and lacquered.

For oily hair types, a wax would be the ideal styling solution, since they don’t cling to the hair as much and won’t weigh your style down. For thicker hair types, or for those looking to create that perfect, sharp, and polished pompadour, pomade would be the best choice. Only you know which product will come out on top of the hair wax vs pomade debate, but by assessing your hair type and better understanding your desired style, you can be confident you are choosing the product that best suits your needs.

When deliberating on wax vs pomade, also consider your personal styling preferences. If you are someone who doesn’t like to spend a ton of time in front of the mirror, a wax would be a better option, since it can be quickly distributed using just your hands. A pomade, on the other hand, will require a comb (unless you want super slick hands) and a little more focus.

2. GEL VS POMADE

As mentioned above, pomades have shine-boosting formulas that are ideal for thick or curly hair types. Since pomades are so creamy and provide such long-lasting moisture, they are more difficult to wash out, and can sometimes have a stiffening effect when applied.

Gels, on the other hand, provide a stronger finish than most pomades, locking in your hair style for all-day wear. The downside, however, is that once your hair is in place and the gel has dried, you will need to wash your hair if you want to change your look. Gels typically solidify after they’ve been applied, giving hair a “crunchy” finish that is difficult to comb through. This can sometimes be a benefit, though, depending on your hair type. If you have particularly difficult-to-control hair, gel will likely be the winner for you in the hair gel vs pomade showdown, since it will keep your tresses in place much longer. But if you are aiming for a more pliable, glossy hairdo, pomade would be the better option.

3. CLAY VS WAX

If you have unruly hair that likes to do its own thing, but don’t want the high-gloss finish that pomades and gels provide, clay is the answer you’ve been looking for. It’s tough, extra adhesive formula can tackle even the most stubborn of flyaways without weighing your locks down with grease or oil. For this reason, clay has become increasingly popular in barber shops and men’s hair salons, with more men opting for this game changer in the hair clay vs wax battle.

If you like to keep your hair short, and go for spiky styles that need lift and volume, clay is also ideal for you. Since it is more lightweight, it will leave your hair feeling airy and silky, while still giving you structure — great for those who prefer a more natural finish.

Additionally, if you have dry hair, or hair that is prone to breakage, clay is a great option. It naturally nourishes and fortifies hair, strengthening your mane while you wear it. Pretty awesome, right?

4. POMADE VS PUTTY

If you’re like most men, this is probably where you’re beginning to feel a little lost. If you’re wondering “What is hair putty?”, don’t worry, you’re not alone. This product is often confused with hair paste (not the same), and is lesser known than some of the other items on this list.

The key difference between hair putty and other types of men’s hair styling products is that it is deliberately designed to be flexible, allowing you to reshape and mold your style throughout the day.

Additionally, putty is versatile in that it can be applied to damp or dry hair, unlike clay and other types of products that are meant for dry hair only.

When considering pomade vs putty for your hair, one crucial factor to keep in mind is the type of style you are aiming for. If you prefer a more relaxed, effortless, “just rolled out of bed” vibe, putty would be the recommended option for you. However, if you’re more of a sharp, meticulous type of dude, pomade will give you the precision you’re looking for.

5. PASTE VS POMADE

In this final round, the low-grease benefits of hair paste go head to head with the slick-finish advantages of pomade. When comparing these two products, it’s all about the feel and finish you are hoping to achieve. If you’re looking for a water-based, easy-to-control product, paste will likely be your winner. But if you’re in need of a heavy-duty, paunch product that will give you that perfect 1950s pompadour, you’ll want to go with pomade.

The most important question to ask yourself when deliberating pomade vs paste is: “How do I expect my hair to feel when I’m done styling it?”.

If you want a soft and smooth finish that you can run your fingers through, go with the paste. If you want a shiny, swanky finish with maximum hold, the pomade is the obvious choice.

Either way, both work wonders when it comes to creating handsome hairstyles that will get you noticed.

 

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