Is “having a bad hair day” par for your grooming course? Chances are you just haven’t found the right men’s hair product yet, especially if you don’t know a salt spray from a hairspray and are yet to treat your follicles to the wonders of a dry shampoo. You see, when it comes to getting your styling, hold and volume spot on, a fistful of Brylcreem probably isn’t going to cut it any more.
So long as you know the best hair product for your barnet and how to apply it, you’ll be all set. Honestly, it really is that simple a process. The real challenge? Finding what actually works in the first place. Whether you want to tame a shaggy mane or just perfect your quiff, our pick of the best hair products for men will explain what works for you and what to buy.
If we had to recommend a basic hair product for most men, then a decent clay would be our shout. Anyone who sticks to the time-honoured short-back-and-sides haircut will see the benefit, as it offers a hold that lasts throughout the day and treats you to some added thickness. Plus, you avoid the overly shiny look that can come with other pastes and gels, in favour of a more natural, matte aesthetic. Any time you see a Hollywood celeb with a perfect quiff – think Ryans of the Gosling and Reynolds variety – they’re likely using a clay or paste.
Paste is a lot like clay in that it’s a versatile hair product that’s hard to go wrong with. In other words, you should probably have a pot of the stuff in your travel bag. The trick to getting the best out of any paste? Apply it to your hair when it’s wet for a longer hold, plenty of shine and significantly more styling potential, especially if you have a comb and hairdryer to hand. Better still, if your follicles are on the wane, a paste will fool the world into thinking you have more volume going on.
Chances are you haven’t used a pomade before, and that’s probably a wise choice. Why? This hair product takes a bit of know-how to apply correctly and have you looking as resplendent as Don Draper or the King Of Rock’N’Roll. As such, that slicked-back look is best reserved for special black-tie occasions. When it hits the mark, a pomade-based coiffure really is a sight to behold. The key here is to be sparing with your application and opt for a water-based pomade, which is easier to wash out than an oil-based alternative.
If you’re someone who wants to put some effort into your hair without, you know, actually looking like you have, a salt spray should be your first port of call. Best suited for anyone with a good amount of curly hair – around shoulder length or slightly shorter – this product will have you looking like a Venice Beach lifeguard in minutes. Well, minus the tan and six-pack. It works by absorbing the oils in your hair to give improved definition and volume, and only requires a quick spritz to see you right.
If your barnet just about qualifies for a scissor cut, then getting your hands on a good wax is very much the way forward. It’ll give your hair shine and texture, but it’s a much more manageable product to use and wash out than a pomade, especially since you can use it to pick out stray hairs and set them into line.
Dream of having your music video on MTV and owning a car with a built-in telephone? Then you’ll want to get yourself a good foam. Actually, that’s a tad harsh on what is an unabashed hair product for chaps with big hair. Most of us don’t have the sheer gumption to pull this one off, but those who do can rely on a foam or mousse to deliver both volume and control where other alternatives fall flat. So go on, embrace your inner eighties icon.
As any former schoolboy knows, gel has the power to turn your hair into concrete in seconds. That’s why you probably don’t need to bother with it as an adult, unless you really need a product that’ll hold things in place while delivering a dazzling shine all day. Then, look no further…
Once you’ve locked down your hair product of choice, hairspray can act as a final defence to protect your careful styling from wind, rain or humidity. Cheap out and you run the risk of flakiness and hair so hard you can crack a single follicle in two; get it right and you’ll never have to rush to the loos to tweak a stray again.