The Right Styling Product For You | Above The Collar

The Right Styling Product For You

Wax, Gel, Cream, Pomade, Paste, Clay. When it comes to men's styling hair products most of these products are misidentified and are often just lumped into the same category (0ften gel or wax). The truth is all these product variations have different qualities and add different values to your hair. Knowing about the different types of men's hair products will only add to your good hair day, making sure you're using the right hair product for your styling needs.

What to look for in a product

There are 2 variables to look for when choosing a styling product. Hold and Shine.

Hold: Hold is how little or lot your hair moves. If you want to lock your hairstyle in place you will want something with high hold, However, if you want that special someone to be able to glide their fingers through your hair then your probably going to want to opt for a low hold. 

Shine: Its pretty self explanatory, shine is how much your hair...well...shines. If you're going for a more natural-looking style then low shines for you. If however your on the opposite side of the spectrum and want your hair looking like freshly polished metal, then high shines the go.

Before we delve into each product, it's important to note that the info given is just a general consensus and depending on the brand and product can vary.


Hold: High 

Shine: High 

Probably the most recognisable styling product, men's hair gel has a bit of a bad reputation amongst barbers. The reason for this is due to the contents of alcohol and other holding chemicals that leave your hair flaky and dry. To avoid this, steer clear of chemist branded products and buy off reputable retailers.

Gel works to coat all strands of hair and then binds them together. This gives your hair a high shine and an extreme hold, removing the ability to re-style throughout the day.

Our Recommendation: American Crew Firm Hold Styling Gel 


Hold: Low 

Shine: High

Perfect for long and frizzy hair types, men's hair creams are presumably the least defined product type on this list. Giving you a softer hold and a polished look, creams are extremely versatile and provide the hair with moisture.

Our Recommendation: Schwarzkopf OSIS+ Mess Up Matt Gum



Hold: High  

Shine: Low

Waxes are the ideal option for a natural-looking style. Great for hairstyles that require a comb, like a pompadour or slick back, men's hair waxes will hold your hair in place while giving it that matte look. The downside to waxes are there oil-based, meaning they're much harder to wash out of your hair in comparison to a water-based product. 

Our Recommendation:  Tigi Bed Head For Men Matte Separation Wax



Hold: Low - Medium

Shine: High

Pomades have been around for the ages and if you're looking for a formal, classic look, they're definitely the way to go. With a glossy finish and room to re-style, hair pomades are perfect for short-medium length hair and are a great facilitator for comb formed styles (Pompadours, Ducktails, Slickbacks etc.). 

Beware though, there's two types of pomades Oil-based and Water-Based. We suggest opting for water-based, it's more prevalent and will be easier to wash out.

Our Recommendation: Layrite Original Pomade



Hold: Low-High 

Shine: Low 

Clay is similar to wax, in it gives you that natural look, However, the difference comes through its texture and volume. Very versatile and re-workable clays contain a natural ingredient called bentonite. Bentonite serves to add volume to your hair making this styling product perfect for people with weighed down hair.

Our Recommendation: Hanz De Fuko Claymation


Hold: Medium     

Shine: Medium

The perfect styling product for the neutral. fit for all hair lengths and styles, pastes are the most versatile hair styling option. Able to give you that matte look but also add a little shine, Pastes are very reliable and it's hard to go wrong with one. 

They're also water-based giving you the clarity of an easy wash. 

Our Recommendation:  KMS Hair Play Molding Paste

Quick Tip

Make sure you give your product a chance and are applying it correctly. Have a play with it, it's not enough to just put a dollop on your hand and run it through your hair. Make sure you lather the product correctly and really work it into your hands before transitioning it into your hair. Work the product through your hair until your satisfied, and try using a comb and a blow dryer to assist you. 

The Wrap 

As Aaron Marino puts it, when it comes to picking the right hair product for you it's all about "Trial by style". It might take a few wasted tubs of product before you find your haven. However, the more you experiment with different products the more your gonna learn about what suits you best. We hope this blog has saved you a few less wasted tubs and has guided you towards your ultimate hair styling weapon.