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Over the last few years, the market for men’s hairstyling products has really expanded and there are now many new products available, in addition to a wide selection of brands to choose from. Trying to choose the right hairstyling product can be overwhelming if you don’t know what you’re looking for and can also end in a lot of frustration if you buy products you wind up not liking. Here’s a breakdown of the different styling products available and what types of hair and hairstyles they work best for.

GEL

One of the most commonly used hairstyling products is gel. A gel provides maximum hold and a very high shine. Although gel is one of the most well-known and used products, it probably shouldn’t be. Gel tends to flake and leave a residue when touched. However, if you are aiming for a wet and sleek look that will last throughout the day, a gel is probably the best option for you. If you decide you want to use a gel as your styling product, it is important to buy a higher quality gel than the drug store brands, as these are usually the gels that are going to break and flake most easily.

POMADE

Pomades are a classic men’s styling product that is a mix of oil and wax. They are best for a slick and wet look that you will still be able to restyle throughout the day. Pomades work similar to gel and offer a medium hold with high shine, but are more pliable and don’t have the disadvantages of breaking and flaking throughout the day. Pomade is a great product for a hairstyle that is achieved using a comb. Oil-based pomades are generally less expensive and offer a stronger hold than water-based pomades, but water-based pomades can be healthier for your hair and are easier to wash out.

WAX

Wax hair styling products are also similar to pomades, as they are great for hairstyles that require a comb and will provide a medium hold that is pliable and will still be able to be restyled throughout the day. The fundamental difference between wax and pomade is that wax products will leave a low to medium shine. Wax hair styling products can be used for a variety of men’s hairstyles, but it works best for those with straight or slightly wavy hair and disheveled hairstyles.

CREAM

Creams are the hairstyling product to use if you want it to look like you haven’t used any hairstyling products. Creams will leave your hair with its most natural look as they are lightweight, have a low hold, and have a low shine. They are also one of the healthiest hairstyling products, as they typically contain a conditioning and moisturizing element.

PASTE

Paste hairstyling products are the most versatile styling products, as they provide medium hold and a medium shine. A paste is thicker than pomade and gives your hair texture without compromising the hair flexibility or creating build-up.

CLAY & FIBER

Clay and Fiber hairstyling products are very similar. Both Clay and Fiber hair styling products have a high hold and low shine. Clay products are healthy for your hair because they draw out impurities and nourish the scalp. Clay products also control frizzy hair and are a good choice for men with curly or longer hair. Fiber hair styling products are made from keratin, which is the same natural protein that is found in your actual hair. You can achieve a thicker look with the help of Fiber. Fiber products are a splendid choice for men with short or medium-length hairstyles that are textured and give off the “bedhead” look.  

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