As a professional hairstylist, a regular question I need to answer comes from my Male clients: “Which hair product should I use on my hair? Gel or wax?”

Male grooming has grown at a very quick rate over the last few years. The result is a huge increase in the number of hair products available to Men.

To make it more difficult, you also have Pomade, Clay AND Powder! Welcome, Men of this world, to our struggles!

Because there are so many products out there, it can leave a guy unsure with what is right for their hair.

My job now, and the reason for this post, is to make it simple for you guys!

So let’s have a brief rundown of the most popular hair product types there are available. Then we will move on to a more detailed description.

Overview Of The Popular Hair Product Types For Men

Let’s keep it brief:

  1. Gel – Ideal for shorter styles. Used to achieve a wet, stiff look.
  2. Wax – Use for more flexibility and a more natural look.
  3. Pomade – Use Pomade for a slick, neat finish. Fantastic product!
  4. Clay – Great for extra volume and also adds thickness.
  5. Texture powder – Use this relatively unknown product for instant volume.

5 Popular Hair Product Types For Men

OK, so now we have given you a very quick overview, I will now explore each option in more detail.

I will also give you a quick rundown on how to use each product.

If you are looking for some recommendations on which are the best hair products in each section, then don’t worry, I have that covered too!

Male Hair Guide – Using Gel

TIGI Bed Head for Men Power Play Firm Finish Gel, 6.76 Fluid Ounce

Hair gel should be used for shorter hairstyles, it achieves a stiff look.

So if you guys are looking for something to hold those spikes, keep your quiff in place, or you want to achieve a wet look, then a gel is the product you are looking for.

In terms of washing a product out of your hair, gels are your best bet. Being water-based, it washes out easily.

Choosing the right hair gel is very important. Hair gels that contains alcohol can cause the scalp to flake and weakens the hair.

To apply hair gel, you will need to towel dry your hair first.

If your hair is too wet, it weakens the gel and you will not get the desired look.

Use both hands and start from the back of your head to the front. Make sure you rub the gel into the hair, not the scalp.

After you have applied the gel, style the way you like it!

Recommended – The Best Hair Gel For Men

TIGI Bed Head for Men Power Play is my product of choice and the best hair gel for Men!

It is a fantastic, yet affordable product! If my clients are after a recommendation for hair gel, I will always tell them to get some of this!

Wella Shockwaves Tuff Stuff is a fantastic option for those of you who still like to look good in the gym, or if the weather is hot! It is sweat proof and heatproof, go Wella!

Big Sexy Hair Blow Dry Volume Gel is slightly different from your usual gels. You will need to use a hairdryer to achieve your look. It is the best hair gel for finer hair and to increase thickness.

Male Hair Guide – Using Wax

Tigi  Tigi Bed Head for Men Matte Separation Workable Wax, 3 Oz/ 85g, 4.8 Oz

For a more natural look to your hair, you want to be looking for a hair wax.

Easily mold your hair into the shape you want after towel drying, or blow-drying your hair.

Application is so important for hair wax.

A lot of guys start from the front because it is what you see first in the mirror. You need to start from the back and work your way to the front!

Apply a small amount to your index finger and rub onto your palms. Make sure you cause some friction to melt the wax, then get to work on your style!

Rub the hair wax backward through the hair to ensure the hair has an even amount, then mold into shape.

Remember, don’t use too much! You can always apply more if you need to.

A little tip from a hair stylist….if you like to look well-groomed, then you can even apply a little hair wax to your eyebrows!

Recommended – The Best Hair Wax For Men

Bed Head Men Matte Separation Workable Wax is the best hair wax for men! It is a fantastic product that leaves a natural matte finish. Also, it is great if you need a strong hold!

Another good option is the OSMO Clay Wax, you will see below that I rate it as the best hair clay for men, but it is kind of a mix between clay and wax. It is cheaper than the Bed Head option above and it also leaves your hair with a natural finish! I also absolutely love OSMO products, so I couldn’t leave them out!

L Oreal Homme Wax is a professional and affordable product that shapes your hair and holds it for a natural look.

Male Hair Guide – Using Pomade

Black & White Genuine Pluko Hair Dressing Pomade Ultra White Blend 200Ml

Hair Pomade has been around for decades! Elvis rocked the Pomade and made it popular by using it to shape his legendary style!

If you want a shiny, slick look then pomade needs to be your hair styling product of choice!

It also works very well for the messy bed hair look.

Pomade is either water or oil-based. The water-based pomades are a lot easier to wash out,

If you use an oil-based pomade, you will need a good detox shampoo to remove it from your hair.

Pomade does not dry out, which ensures it’s longevity, giving you style throughout the entire day.

Applying is very similar to the way you apply shampoo. Massage it into your head, making sure the roots are well covered.

Then your hair can be manipulated into the style you are looking for!

Recommended – The Best Hair Pomade For Men

I have used Black and White Pluko Hair Dressing Pomade since the start of my career as a hairstylist, over 19 years ago now! I have absolutely no hesitation in recommending it as the best hair pomade for men!

Not only is it a great styling product, the beautiful coconut fragrance lingers all day.

Oh, and it is one of the cheapest to buy! That’s a winner!

Bed Head for Men Slick Trick Firm Hold Pomade is the second choice for hair pomades for Men. If you are not looking for a greasy look, then this is your product! It gives a firm hold, and it is great for those hot humid days.

The third choice is Royal Crown RCHP80 Hair Dressing Pomade. The rumors are that Elvis himself used this product and popularity has not decreased in the US!

It keeps your hair manageable, and is a great option for you guys that ride motorbikes! Avoid a build-up of hair product in your helmet, with the Royal Crown RCHP80 Hair Dressing Pomade!

Male Hair Guide – Using Clay

Osmo Firm Hold Clay Wax, 3.38 fl. oz

This is very similar to hair wax, the difference being that clay has more of a natural dull look.

You can use clay to add amazing volume, without weighing the hair down, this is also a great option for guys that have thinning hair because clay gives your hair a fuller look.

Take a pea size amount in your hands and rub them together. It is important to make sure the product melts in your hands to avoid a ‘clumpy’ application.

Apply the product to your hair and use a dryer to retain the hold.

Recommended – The Best Hair Clay For Men

OSMO Clay Wax is easily affordable and the best hair clay for Male hairstyles. This clay is made from beeswax, which helps to create extra thickness. For a good firm hold, you cannot beat OSMO Clay Wax.

Baxter of California Clay Pomade provides fantastic hold and also comes in a nice expensive jar! Sure, it is a pomade/clay mix but the text is much more clay-like.

This product has a blend of natural clay and wax, and is a great option for all hair types. Make sure you dry your hair before applying this.

men-ü Clay is a great product for that surfer hair look, fantastic hold, and very long-lasting. This is a good option for short hair too.

Male Hair Guide – Using Texture Powder

Schwarzkopf OSiS Dust It - Mattifying Powder (0.35 oz) Pack Of Two

I have been using texture powder for years!

Not only is it great for women but it is also great for men, it gives you instant volume from the root, adding lightweight volume and texture, it is literally magic dust!

It adds great texture to thick hair and volume to finer hair.

To apply, ensure your hair is dry and lightly sprinkle on the roots. Flip your head upside down and BOOM there is your textured volume look!

You can use other products with this too, just apply either your pomade or wax through to the ends to complete your look.

Recommended – The Best Hair Texture Powder For Men

Schwarzkopf Professional OSiS Dust It is the magic dust I am talking about, and it the best hair texture powder for Men AND Women.

It provides light, natural control and is suitable for all hair types, providing a matte finish

Use Redken Powder Grip for a denser and fuller look, a great option for those nights out, due to its long-lasting effect. Your hair will feel healthy and easy to style!

Sexy Hair Big Sexy Hair Powder is great on fine limp hair because it creates extra body.

It is very easy to apply and can even act as a dry shampoo in-between washes. This makes it a great option for you guys who rock out at festivals!


Picking the right hair styling products for Women is a difficult task! We are used to it! But picking the right styling products for Men is an increasingly difficult task. This will only get worse as more money is pumped into the Male hair styling space.

You guys are getting more and more groomed everyday! Good work.

Speaking of getting you more groomed, take a look at our recommended heat protection if you are regularly heating your hair with straighteners or a dryer.

I hope this has helped you guys to decide which hair styling product you need to get the look you want.

If you have any comments or feedback it would be great to hear from you! So please leave a comment below or contact us.