Guide to Men’s Hair Styling Products

A Beginner’s Guide to Men’s Hair Styling Products

The myriad of men’s hair styling products lined up in supermarket shelves can get overwhelming for someone who doesn’t know the difference between styling gels and hair creams, waxes and pomades.  To make your next hair product shopping less daunting, we list down this quick guide so you know what product to use to achieve which style.


  • A thick product containing wax that usually includes some moisturizing ingredients.
  • It separates and defines each strand to give texture and hold so you can style and re-style.
  • Amount to use: A pea-sized amount is enough. Too much may weigh your hair down.
  • Perfect for creating a tousled or “bed head” look on short or medium-length hair.


  • Usually water or petroleum-based gels.
  • It gives hair a shiny, slick appearance, and does not dry it out.
  • It can be difficult to wash out and may take up to several washes to remove.
  • Amount to use: A pound coin-sized amount.
  • Ideal for retro hairstyles that require methodical combing such as quiffs, ducktails or pompadours.

Styling Gel

  • It is one of the oldest styling products around, and can be used to create styles that range from slicked-back to messy and spiky.
  • Its holding power varies from light hold to strong hold which can leave your hair stiff as a board and stay in place even if you go bungee jumping.
  • Amount to use: Apply a quarter-sized dollop to one palm, rub together with the other, and work into the hair.
  • With a lot of shine, hair gel is best for the wet, slicked-back look.


  • Similar to wax, but with a stronger hold.
  • It bonds to hair to give extra thickness when heated.
  • Amount to use: Rub a marble-sized blob into your palm, then apply.
  • Perfect for creating messy quiffs and “bed head” look. It’s also excellent for controlling longer, wavier hair.


  • Usually have a thin consistency.
  • It’s primarily a moisturizer with a light hold, but can be combined with waxes or pomades.
  • Amount to use: Start with a penny-sized scoop and add more depending on length of hair and style you are after.
  • It is versatile and can be used on almost any style to provide added shine and light hold.

Cream Paste

  • A combination of the cream and paste, provides medium hold and natural shine finish.
  • It spreads like a cream, texturizes like a paste, holds like a wax.
  • Amount to use: Apply a pea-sized amount in hands, rub together, and work into hair. Style as desired. Add product as necessary.
  • A versatile product that can be used to achieve different styles that require lift, texture and hold.

Achieving a flawless hairstyle all boils down to the hair styling product you use. Each formula serves a very different purpose and works differently. It’s up to you to choose wisely.

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