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A Guide: Hair Styling Products for Men

Dapper & Done | How to Choose: Hair Styling Products for Men

This guide is approximately a 7-minute read.

In this guide, you’ll learn about the different men’s hair styling products including:

Let’s dive in.


A Guide: Hair Styling Products for Men

You've shampooed. You've conditioned. But your hair care regimen isn't finished yet!

If you want to be able to get your hair shaped up into that style that you love and keep it in the right place throughout the day, you need to follow up washing and conditioning with styling products.

Today, there are many different kinds of styling products formulated especially for guys on the market.

The huge number of products can make determining how to choose hair styling products for men a daunting task.

This guide to styling aids is designed to take the mystery out of the styling products department by explaining the differences between the most popular types of styling aids.

Once you know what each type of product is, it's much easier to know how to choose men's hair styling products for your specific styling needs.


***Read all the way to the bottom to find out how you get a free download of "A Useful Guide to Men's Hair Products."***


Hair Gels

Who They're Best For: Styles that needs strong, rigid hold with shine; thick hair; medium to longer hair lengths

Hair gel is a thick, jelly-type substance that feels slightly wet to the touch.

When you apply it to your hair, its stickiness allows strands to stick together, so that it becomes easier to shape your hair into your desired style.

The gel dries after a few minutes, leaving hair very rigid and hard - so hard that you won't be able to run your fingers through it. The high degree of hold helps to lock styles in place for hours.

The products typically give a very shiny, sleek finish – and water-based gels rinse out easily too.

One downside to be aware of is that they can make hair flaky.



Who They're Best For: Slicked-back styles; hairstyles that require a softer hold; curly hair; short to medium-length styles

Pomade is a blend of waxes and oils that is used primarily for its manageability-boosting benefits.

A pomade allows you to shape your hair into various styles and is great for slicked back looks, pompadours, and similar looks. Guys with curly hair can use pomade to shape their curls and waves to create an even curl pattern and to reduce frizz.

Pomades do offer some hold, but your hair will still be able to move after application. Like gels, pomades typically leave hair looking shiny.

On the downside, pomades can be harder to rinse out because they are oil-based.

An example of a pomade is the Red Hook Old School Pomade from Brooklyn Grooming:

 Dapper & Done | Red Hook Hair Pomade Brooklyn Grooming



Hair Waxes

Who They're Best For: Styles that require a lot of definition; men with fine hair; short to medium length hairstyles

Hair waxes are styling aids that consist primarily of waxes. Often used on dry hair rather than damp tresses, wax causes hair strands to separate, which gives texture to hairstyles.

You may use a wax to create a piecy, messy style or if you have fine hair and want to make your locks look fuller.

In terms of its ability to increase a hair style's staying power, hair wax is similar to hair pomade with a medium-strength hold.

Most waxes have a matte finish.


Clays, Muds, and Fibers

Who They're Best For: Styles that needs strong, rigid hold without shine; short to medium hair lengths

Clays, muds, and fibers are names for three products that are largely the same in terms of their consistency and function.

Basically, what one brand calls a “clay,” another may call a “mud” and another may refer to it as a “fiber.” In some cases, clays and fibers may be meant for men with fine or thin hair while muds may be for thicker, coarser hair, but the terminology varies from brand to brand.

Generally, these products are used to sculpt and shape hair and increase styling power as dramatically as a gel by helping hair strands stick together.

The products provide a rock-hard hold with very little movement, but instead of leaving hair looking shiny, clays, muds, and fibers typically give a more natural, matte finish.

One thing to note is that a clay, mud, or fiber is very stiff and sticky – and it can be hard to work through your hair and difficult to rinse off of your hands.


Hair Mousse

Who They're Best For: Curly hair; fine and thinning hair

Mousse products are creamy liquids that are mixed with air when you dispense them, giving them a light, fluffy texture that is very easy to work through your hair. 

Mousse helps to improve manageability - but not to the same degree as a pomade, clay, or gel.

Because they are so light, mousse products add volume to hair, making them great choices for guys with fine and thin hair. 

For defining curls, mousse works well and will not leave waves weighed down and limp.

Mousse only provides a light to moderate hold, so it's best for softer, more natural styles.


Styling Creams

Who They're Best For: Natural, shiny hairstyles; hair that's prone to frizz

Styling creams are similar in texture to a body lotion, and they're very easy to distribute through your hair. 

Unlike other styling aids, styling creams do not offer much hold. Instead, they are used to reduce frizz and fly-aways to help keep loose, natural hairstyles looking neat. 

You'll be able to easily run your fingers through your hair after using a styling cream.

Ingredients in styling creams amplify shine to give hair a glossier finish.


Hair Sprays

Who They're Best For: Any style

A hair spray is like a final touch for your hairstyle.

It goes on after you have already finished drying and styling your hair and is used to lock hairs in place with sticky ingredients called fixatives.

You can find hair sprays with different hold levels. Typically, lighter hold products are recommend for looser hairstyles and for finer, thinner hair while high hold products can be used to boost the staying power of more sculpted styles and coarser, thicker hair.

Most hair spray has a natural finish, but you can find ones that increase hair's shine.


Step Up Your Grooming Game

You might also went to check out "A Useful Guide to Men's Hair Products" (which comes with a free Welcome Bundle of gifts, including a 15% promo code and free shipping code for Dapper & Done). You can download your free copy of it by clicking the image below:


And if you’re looking to learn more about hair styling and hair styling products, check out this related content:


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