Choose The Right Hair Styling Product

Find Your Hair Type

Before you can even consider a hair product, you need to know your hair type. You can’t get too gung-ho and google “Brad Pitt Fury Haircut” and just throw it together. That also applies to searching for the “Best Hair Wax” or just grabbing a product a buddy with great hair recommended. To guarantee you have great hair you have to first learn about your hair, and that starts with your hair type. First, take a look in a mirror or run your hands through your hair. That should tell you at least what major hair type you have. If you have a question about major hair types, refer to our fancy graphic here. Now that you’ve figured out at some level what kind of hair you’re growing, lets talk products.



Hair Styling Products

Have you ever actually searched for hair products? I’m guessing the first thing that jumped out at you was a bunch of terms you might not know. Before we take a look at some products lets clear up some terms, that way you can identify exactly what you are getting in a product. This will help when you find that certain manufacturers call products different names and things get confusing. We have three categories and a few terms in them.

Term Category Meaning
Shine/Wet Appearance Leaves hair with a shine/wet look
Matte/Dry Appearance Leaves hair looking dry
Texture Appearance Ability to layer hair
Hold Strength How well a product will hold your hair in place
Pliability Mobility How well you can re-mold your hair




Ah, hair gel. The old classic that I feel like everyone uses before they find out about the wide world of hair products. Gel is typically a product that gives a wet/shiny look and can range in hold from light to maximum. Its a fairly versatile product and can be used in quite a few hair styles. Typically it works with thick hair, as well as short to medium length hair. Here are a few recommendations for some solid hair gels.  American Crew Styling Gel, K&S Styling Gel


Wax and pomades, whats the difference? The simple answer is wax tends to have a stronger hold and typically is more of a matte finish. There are a few things you need to know about using wax products. First, wax needs to be warmed up a little before use (rub it between your hands). Second, waxes generally do not contain oils like pomades, so they are good for guys with oily hair. Waxes are great for thick hair and medium length, and it usually helps to apply then to damp hair. One warning with some wax based products – they can be very tough to get worked into your hair and also to wash out.  Here are a couple waxes to try out: Smooth Viking Hair Wax, TIGI Bed Head Wax



Pomade is the sister product to wax. Pomades are usually both oil and wax based, so if you have naturally oily hair its best to avoid them. It gives a shiny, wet and slick look to hair and can have a varying level of hold. Many of you have probably heard of the old classic, Murray’s. Things have come a long way since that time, to the point where pomades have been mislabeled at times by manufacturers as waxes or pastes. Remember, a true pomade will give a shine with medium to strong hold (when applied to damp hair). Pomade is good for short and medium hair lengths and all hair types. I personally use Suavecito and Layrite pomades (firm hold) and they are fantastic.

Other Products

There is a variety of other products out there that don’t necessarily fall under the previous categories, such as clays, pastes, creams, and even hairspray. Pastes and Creams are medium to sometimes high hold and will give a matte finish. Fiber is an immensely popular product and works extremely well. Paste is a little more versatile, it can be applied to damp or dry hair, and it will provide a medium hold with a matte finish. Uppercut makes a very underrated paste. Lastly we have hairspray, yes I said hairspray, for men. Hairspray should be used after a light to medium hold product has dried. Typically after applying your initial hair styling product, you should blow dry it and then use hairspray on dry hair. American Crew makes a man specific hairspray that’s a great choice.


Hopefully you learned a little about basic hair products today, and ideally have found a new one to try out!

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