best hair styling products for men
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Different Hair Styling Products For Men

For a long time, guys were limited to a handful of hair styling products. But as of 2018, that’s all changed. Nowadays, men wear styles from pretty much every era of the last 200 years plus all the latest styles of today. So, what does that mean for men’s hair styling products? It means that there is more versatility now than there has ever been before to cater to the diverse needs of modern, rugged and stylish men everywhere.

Best hair styling products for men 2018

Hair Wax

Hair wax is one of the most versatile—and most necessary—hair styling products for men. It comes in many different degrees of hold (usually strong) and various finishes, but the general things that unite all hair wax for men are qualities like: pliability, great hold, separation ability and protection from destructive outside forces (like pollution, cigarette smoke, etc.). As a general rule of thumb, wax works best for short hair, but guys with medium hair can also get some use out of it too, depending on the look they want to achieve.

Top pick: TIGI Bed Head for Men

TIGI Bed Head for Men Matte Separation Workable Wax, 3 Ounce
4,251 Reviews
TIGI Bed Head for Men Matte Separation Workable Wax, 3 Ounce
  • This product is made of high quality material
  • For guys who want hold, style and a natural finish
  • Beeswax, cera caranauba and a blend of polymers provide separation
  • For guys who want hold, style and a natural finish
  • Pliable wax with matte definition

TIGI Bed Head for Men has a matte finish and is designed for both workability and a separation, making it a great choice for guys with short hair.

Fiber

Fiber is the, arguably, the ultimate men’s hairstyling product for short to medium length hair. It’s designed to give you effortlessly tousled, you-just-woke-up-like-this ultimate bedhead look. But it’s far more than that. While looking effortlessly natural, it also gives you medium to firm hold all while boosting your hair’s thickness and texture making it, once again, ideal for short to medium hair, which sometimes needs that extra bit of texture to stand out (in a good way).

Top pick: Smooth Viking Hydrating Fiber Cream

Hair Cream - Mens Hair Gel for Matte Finish & Medium Hold (2 Ounces) - Hydrating Hair Cream for Men - Styling Cream for Everyday Use
7,427 Reviews
Hair Cream - Mens Hair Gel for Matte Finish & Medium Hold (2 Ounces) - Hydrating Hair Cream for Men - Styling Cream for Everyday Use
Smooth Viking's Fiber is a medium-hold styling product loaded with natural ingredients to make sure you get the modern and effortless look you want. It's the easiest way to get a look you'll be proud of in front of your crew without any hassles or messes from other complicated men's styling products and tools.

Smooth Viking Hydrating Fiber Cream features medium hold and a matte to minimal finish for an extra natural result.

Hair Pomade

Pomade is the ultimate hair styling product for rockabilly guys, and frankly any other guys who want that old school look, whether a pompadour or a dapper, old-school movie star vibe. Also, it’s just a great styling tool for anyone wants a water soluble, more workable alternative to wax.

Top pick: Suavecito Pomade in Original Hold

Suavecito Pomade Original Hold - 4 oz
5,938 Reviews
Suavecito Pomade Original Hold - 4 oz
Suavecito Original Hold Pomade dries with a medium hardness without a crunchy finish. Get maximum styling flexibility that is perfect for both short hair and long hair. After a long day, touch up your style simply by adding water to reactive your do.

Suavecito Pomade in Original Hold is a truly classic pomade designed to bring out the best in both old school and new school hairstyles for men. It has a medium finish (as many pomades do), but Suavecito recommends adding some water for a wet look shine infusion.

Hair Gel

Gel is the perfect styling product choice for when you want maximum hold and a lot of shine. When you think of gel, you may think of past iterations that were akin to styling your hair with cement. Modern gels not only work better, but they feel and look better too. Make sure you go for a quality hair gel and not one of those cheap options from China.

Top pick: American Crew Firm Hold Styling Gel

Sale
Men's Hair Gel by American Crew, Firm Hold, Non-Flaking Styling Gel, 33.8 Fl Oz
6,732 Reviews
Men's Hair Gel by American Crew, Firm Hold, Non-Flaking Styling Gel, 33.8 Fl Oz
  • HAIR GEL: A moisture-rich gel that provides a defined look while taming hair leaving a high shine finish
  • HAIR GEL FOR MEN: Works well when a textured definition, frizz-free hair and a defined look is desired
  • KEY BENEFIT: High hold and high shine. Provides moisturizing and conditioning benefits while taming the hair for a...
  • HOW TO USE: Apply to towel-dried hair and style as desired
  • WHO WE ARE: American Crew is a leader in Men's Grooming for HAIR, BODY, SHAVE, STYLE, FRAGRANCE categories with products...

American Crew Firm Hold Styling Gel comes in a gigantic 33.8oz bottle for guys who can never have enough hair gel. The hold is extra firm and American Crew says it can be used on wet or dry hair, so it’s highly versatile to boot.

Hair Glue

Hair glue is like hair gel’s superhero alter ego. It’s got the texture and appearance of a good gel in hand, but when applied, it has a far stronger hold.

Top Pick: Got2b Ultra Glued Invincible Styling Gel

Sale
Got2b Ultra Glued Invincible Styling Hair Gel, 6 Ounces (Pack of 2)
28,924 Reviews
Got2b Ultra Glued Invincible Styling Hair Gel, 6 Ounces (Pack of 2)
  • Perfect for vertical hairstyles, this gel delivers ultimate control with a glue-like hold to keep your hair in place
  • Enjoy a high-tech hold without a sticky or flaky mess
  • Add texture and height with the strongest gel hold ever
  • Easily wash out with a little shampoo
  • Includes two 6-ounce tubes for a total of 12 ounces of styling gel

Got2b Ultra Glued Invincible Styling Gel features the feel of a hair gel, but with maximum/extreme hold, perfect for guys who like their hair spiky. Better still, Got2b Ultra Glued promises no flakes or stickiness; simply apply it to damp hair and style as desired.

Hair Paste

Hair paste is one of those hair styling product staples that are so versatile and beneficial for men with short to medium length hair that every guy who falls into that category should keep some at home. It has a medium hold, being far more workable and touchable than wax. If you apply it damp, you can boost the hold while still feeling like you have on less product than a wax, too. Paste is also one of the top texture and definition boosters too, so if you have thinning hair, that is just yet another reason to get some ASAP.

Top pick: American Crew Defining Paste

Sale
Men's Hair Paste by American Crew, Medium Hold Hair Gel, Low Shine, 3 Oz
5,719 Reviews
Men's Hair Paste by American Crew, Medium Hold Hair Gel, Low Shine, 3 Oz
  • HAIR PASTE: A moisture-rich hair paste that provides a texturized look while taming hair leaving a low shine finish
  • HAIR PASTE FOR MEN: Works well when a textured definition, frizz-free hair and a natural look is desired
  • KEY BENEFIT: Medium hold and low shine. Provides moisturizing and conditioning benefits while taming the hair for a...
  • HOW TO USE: Work a small amount evenly through dry or towel dried hair and style as desired.
  • WHO WE ARE: American Crew is a leader in Men's Grooming for HAIR, BODY, SHAVE, STYLE, FRAGRANCE categories with products...

American Crew Defining Paste provides the classic matte finish and medium hold that most guys look for in a good paste, with the addition of being able to touch up your style throughout the day without adding extra product.

Strong hold grooming/molding/styling clay

Strong hold clays that are designed for grooming, molding and/or styling all generally do the same thing: They are a clay-type hair styling product that is designed to allow you to shape and style your hair to look the way you want it while providing maximum hold in the process. (Remember, there are variations of this product type that have a light or medium hold if you prefer it.)

In general, clays are more flexible than styling cream for instance, but remember, once hair is styled, strong hold products pretty much lock your hair in place, so take that into consideration.

Top pick: Lamel’s Fine Grooming Clay

Best Molding Creme for Strong Hold Matte Finish - No Shine Hair Product For Textured Modern Hairstyles - Lamel Styling Clay for All...
285 Reviews
Best Molding Creme for Strong Hold Matte Finish - No Shine Hair Product For Textured Modern Hairstyles - Lamel Styling Clay for All...
Lamel's workable molding clay that provides excellent hold and stability to give any hair type unmatched shaping, sculpting, slickness and form. Why settle for dull and lifeless hair when you can enhance it?

Lamel’s Fine Grooming Clay has a strong hold and matte, shine-free finish, which allows you to do some nifty advanced styling without all the buildup that other products that aren’t designed for this purpose can bring.

Strong hold hair balm

Strong hold hair balm is like the shiny finish cousin of a matte styling paste. It’s designed to give you the hold of pastes and waxes but with a shinier, frizz-free finish.

Top pick: V76 by Vaughn Strong Hold Control Balm

V76 by Vaughn Control Balm Strong Hold Formula for Men, 5 oz
95 Reviews
V76 by Vaughn Control Balm Strong Hold Formula for Men, 5 oz
  • Beauty LaunchPad Reader's Choice Award Winner
  • For long-lasting men's hair styles with shine.
  • This styling balm provides long-lasting strong hold with shine.
  • Provides long-lasting strong hold with shine
  • Strong hold sculpting balm keeps hair where you want it

V76 by Vaughn Strong Hold Control Balm is infused with soy protein for stronger, healthier hair, and features shine-boosting ingredients like honey and shea butter. Meanwhile, argan oil gets rid of frizz. With this balm, you get the power and hold of a tough wax with the added bonus of moisturizing shine.

Hair Putty

Hair putty is an ideal alternative to styling clay for men with short hair, though it can also be used on medium hair too. Putty has high hold and a matte to low shine finish, depending on the product.

Top pick: Redken for Men

No products found.

Redken for Men Outplay Texture Putty is purpose-designed to bring out that disheveled look in your hair. It can be applied to damp or dry hair and features a strong hold with matte finish.

Styling cream

Styling cream is one of the lightest hold men’s styling products out there, and features a hold even lighter than the closely related shaping cream. Styling cream is perfect for men with longer hair who won’t get any benefit out of a heavier styling product, which would only weigh their hair down. Likewise, it’s a light, effortless alternative for men with medium length hair. Most guys find styling cream works best when it’s lightly applied to towel-dried hair. The more heat you apply afterward, the firmer the hold will become, so air-dry if you want to maintain the ultra-light hold that styling creams afford.

Top pick: Woody’s Flexible Styling Cream for Men

Sale
Woody's Styling Cream for Men, Flexible Styling Cream, Controls Curly and Wavy Hair, Water-Soluble with a Healthy Shine Finish, Adds...
350 Reviews
Woody's Styling Cream for Men, Flexible Styling Cream, Controls Curly and Wavy Hair, Water-Soluble with a Healthy Shine Finish, Adds...
  • Flexible Hold for Curly Hair: Woody’s Styling Cream offers a soft hold and shine finish ideal for controlling unruly...
  • With Hair Care Ingredients: Blended with Ginger, Hemp Seed Oil, Palmetto, and Rosemary to control hair and keep it...
  • Suitable for Wavy Locks: Transform your troubled wavy hair as your trademark with Woody’s styling cream. Developed to...
  • Perfect for travel: Packaged in a compact and easy-to-carry container that goes handy anywhere you’d need a touch-up....
  • Quality Grooming for Men: Woody's was created for the man who wants a simple regimen with basic, no-frill products and...

Woody’s Flexible Styling Cream for Men comes in a convenient pot and is super easy to use. Woody’s recommends it for normal hair (meaning normal thickness and texture); it provides a light and flexible hold, well-suited to longer hair.

Molding/shaping cream

Molding cream, also called shaping cream, is heavier duty than the other hair styling creams out there. It features a far thicker hold than styling cream, because it’s designed to literally allow you to shape your hair the way you want it, which makes it great for those guys with intensive styling needs.

Top pick: Billy Jealousy Headlock Molding Cream

Billy Jealousy Headlock Hair Molding Cream, 3 oz
452 Reviews
Billy Jealousy Headlock Hair Molding Cream, 3 oz
  • Sea Buckthorn Seed Oil: Moisturizes and protects
  • Panthenol: Provitamin conditioner
  • Swertia: Natural hair volumizer

Billy Jealousy Headlock Molding Cream has a matte finish and strong hold that is tough enough to tame any hair type. Better yet, it adds texture to your look and can be used on damp or dry hair, depending on the look you want.

Hair mousse

Sometimes referred to as foam, hair mousse is a go-to product for when you need some volume in your hair. Today’s mousse isn’t the mousse your mom or your sister used in the ‘80s. It’s soft and not crunchy, while providing the lightweight, volumizing hold you need. Plus, there are guy-oriented and unisex mousses out there now too.

Top pick: Alterna Hemp Natural Strength Volumizing Spray Mousse

Alterna Hemp Natural Strength Volumizing Spray Mousse 7.4 oz
23 Reviews
Alterna Hemp Natural Strength Volumizing Spray Mousse 7.4 oz
  • Alterna Hemp Natural Strength Volumizing Spray Mousse 7.4 oz

Alterna Hemp Natural Strength Volumizing Spray Mousse is a unisex mousse that’s popular with men and women alike. The botanicals it’s made of are certified organic and it provides long lasting volume from the root on down the hair shaft.

Hairspray

Hair spray is a classic hair styling product you’ve probably used before at some point of your life. If you haven’t done the hairspray thing yet, it’s important to know that a good modern hairspray is so much better than the stuff that women used in the ‘80s and ‘90s to make their hair poof up. Today’s hairspray for men boasts many touchable and non-stiff varieties to suit the needs of the modern man.

Top pick: Consort Hair Spray for Men

No products found.

Consort Hair Spray for Men yields a firm hold designed to last all day without stiffness, for a more natural look. Additionally, it’s unscented so it’s guaranteed not to conflict with your favorite cologne—or give you a scent if you’re doing the whole anti-scent thing.

Texture spray

Texture spray is a lighter weight, hairspray like version of paste, essentially. What it does is it gives your hair texture without adding the weight that paste sometimes can, which makes it ideal for guys with fine or thinning hair.

Top pick: Thickening Texture Spray for Men

American Crew Texture Thickening Texture Spray, 6.76-Ounce
3 Reviews
American Crew Texture Thickening Texture Spray, 6.76-Ounce
  • It is a styling mist that adds thickness and fullness to fine hair
  • Formulated with sea salt, american crew liquid texture, gives hair texture and flexibility
  • Can be used on wet or dry hair liquid texture provides a medium hold with no shine

Thickening Texture Spray for Men by American Crew gives you that lightweight texturizing power with the addition of a volume boost.

Dry shampoo

Dry shampoo is such a versatile and useful hair styling product that it should be a staple for every man (and woman, for that matter), because it’s just that good. There are two main reasons it’s so awesome: 1.) it absorbs oil and greasiness that build up between shampoos to create clean-looking hair until your next shower; 2.) it can easily add lightweight texture and volume to any hairstyle.

Top pick: Dry Hair Shampoo for Men by The Well Groomed Guy

The Well Groomed Guy Mens Dry Shampoo - Dry Shampoo For Men - Natural Formula for Hair Oil Removal – Great for Styling Dull Hair -...
225 Reviews
The Well Groomed Guy Mens Dry Shampoo - Dry Shampoo For Men - Natural Formula for Hair Oil Removal – Great for Styling Dull Hair -...
If you too are a busy man who is searching to perfectly style even second-day washed hair, we have the solution: the Well Groomed Guy dry shampoo is a powdered mix of natural ingredients that will provide with volume, allowing you enjoy perfectly groomed hair at all times.

Dry Hair Shampoo for Men by The Well Groomed Guy is a dry shampoo designed with the needs of men in mind. It’s made from kaolin clay and horsetail powder, among others, which are some of the best ingredients when it comes to a quality, natural dry shampoo. Its ingredients are also super conditioning, so it functions as a leave-in conditioner as well.

Dry shampoo paste

Dry shampoo paste is a hybrid product. On the one hand, you have the restorative and oil-absorbing ability of dry shampoo; on the other, you have the styling power and hold of a paste. It’s a win/win for the multitasking man.

Top pick: R+Co Dry Shampoo Paste

R+Co Dry Shampoo Paste is a unisex product that is gentle on the hair and big on benefits. Made with guy-friendly ingredients like volcanic ash and coconut oil, it nourishes hair while boosting texture while also working as a light hold styling paste. In other words, it gives you effortless bedhead.

Sea salt spray

Sea salt spray is the ideal hair styling product when you want texture with a subtle beachy wave to it that you can normally only get from a swim in the ocean. What makes it different than spraying your hair with saltwater is additional style benefiting ingredients that make hair more manageable. One of the great things about it is that it works for almost any hair length, so if you rock the man bun, this is definitely a product to keep in mind.

Top pick: Sachajuan Ocean Mist

SACHAJUAN Ocean Mist, 5.1 Fl Oz
474 Reviews
SACHAJUAN Ocean Mist, 5.1 Fl Oz
  • Leave-in mist with ocean silk technology offers volume, body, and texture for a "beach" look and feel
  • Use in clean, wet or dry hair to add texture, volume, and twist
  • Quick styling product can be used with or without a blow dryer
  • Created with exclusive algae-based extracts that offer valuable proteins and minerals to build strength
  • Manufactured in Sweden exclusively for Sachajuan; created by Sachajuan founders Sacha Mitic and Juan Rosalind

Sachajuan Ocean Mist is a lightweight unisex sea salt spray that surf-inspired texture and can be used with or without a blow dryer.

Softening cream

Hair softening cream can be thought of as a hybrid between styling cream and hair lotion. It provides light to medium hold with an organically healthy-looking low shine finish—perfect for casual hairstyling.

Top pick: AXE Natural Look Hair Cream

AXE Natural Look Hair Cream, Softening, is explicitly designed to give your hair a naturally soft look while providing medium hold.

Hair lotion

There are generally two different varieties of hair lotion: conditioning lotion and grooming lotion, but often they are one in the same. In general, hair lotion works as a lightweight cream to manage fine or frizzy hair before applying other styling products.

Top pick: Baxter of California Grooming Lotion

Baxter of California Grooming Cream for Men | Light Hold | Natural Finish | Hair Styler | 3.4 oz
603 Reviews
Baxter of California Grooming Cream for Men | Light Hold | Natural Finish | Hair Styler | 3.4 oz
  • Adds a weightless Hold
  • Tames frizz and provides shine
  • It is ideal for all hair types

Baxter of California Grooming Lotion has a lightweight hold thanks to grapeseed oil, which is one of the lightest weight oils available, which doesn’t make your hair greasy or clog pores. Additionally, it’s suited to all hair types and features a natural finish for an effortless look. It can be applied to damp or dry hair, based on your specific needs.

Hair Oil

There are a variety of hair oils ranging from the greasy greaser kind from the first half of the twentieth century to the modern, hair health-inducing kind to tame your crazy mane. Unless you’re going for that anachronistic look, the latter is better.

Top pick: Hydration Remedy Hair + Beard Oil for Men

RUGGED & DAPPER Beard and Hair Oil for Men, 2 Oz
102 Reviews
RUGGED & DAPPER Beard and Hair Oil for Men, 2 Oz
  • No More Greasy Beard Oils: Get a Smooth, Hydrated, Fresh-Smelling Beard without a Greasy Residue.
  • A Smoother, Softer, Better-Looking Beard: Manage your Beard Growth like a Viking, Tame your Awesome Hair with our...
  • Natural & Organic Ingredients: Hazelnut, Jojoba, Argan, Coconut, Grapeseed, Castor Seed and Rosehip Seed Oils, Vitamin E...
  • Grow A Strong, Healthy Beard: These carefully selected super ingredients provide a plethora of essential vitamins,...

Hydration Remedy Hair + Beard Oil for Men by Dapper & Rugged is a two-in-one hair and beard product that hydrates your hair while it manages frizz and damage for easier styling.

Written by Derek O'Neil

Fashion is my life. My gifts include writing and giving out fashion tips to other men.

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