Different hairstyles and textures require different products. Learn what the best hair products are to make your hair look great.
We receive a commission when you buy through affiliate links on this page.
Hair types and products
Your hair frames your face, which means the style you choose should highlight your facial structure.
Maintain your hairstyle by regularly getting haircuts and using the right hair products.
The first step to choosing the right product is to understand your hair type.
Your hair type plays a big role in the product you use because different hair types have different needs. The following are the four hair types:
- Straight: Grows straight without curving.
- Wavy: Grows with slight curves and makes an “S” shape.
- Coiled: A coil-like shape that can be compared to a corkscrew.
- Kinky: Commonly known as afro-textured hair with tight and small curls.
Once you’ve figured out what type of hair you have, you can choose the best hair styling product for you.
The following pairs the best products for styling based on your hair type:
- Straight: Wax, pomade, clay, and mousse.
- Wavy: Cream, wax, paste, and pomade.
- Coiled: Leave-in conditioner, cream, and pomade.
- Kinky: Leave-in conditioner, cream, and pomade.
Hold and shine
When it comes to hair products, hold and shine are two important terms to understand. They determine what your hair looks like after the product is applied.
Hold refers to the holding power of the product. It determines how flexible your hair is after applying it.
There are low, medium, and strong or high hold products. The one you choose depends on how you want your hair to look.
Low and medium-hold products are softer and look more natural, while strong and high-hold products are stiffer and stay in place.
Shine determines how glossy your hair looks after applying the product. There are low, medium, and high-shine products to choose from.
Medium to high-shine products will make your hair look glossy or wet, while low-shine products will have a matte effect.
Matte hair products look more natural because it’ll seem as if you don’t have any product in your hair.
The following are the best products organized by type:
Clay has a stronger hold than most products while being low-shine. The best part about clay is that it’ll last you a while because a little goes a long way.
You only need a dime-sized amount of clay and towel-tried hair to make it last all day.
Aveda Pure-Formance Grooming Clay
Buy Pure-Formance Grooming Clay from Aveda (opens in a new tab).
Layrite Cement Clay
Buy Layrite Cement Clay from Amazon (opens in a new tab).
Hair creams are soft and have a low hold. The purpose of this product is to make your hair feel and look healthier, so you’ll end up with a natural look.
American Crew Forming Cream
Buy American Crew Forming Cream from Amazon (opens in a new tab).
Bumble and Bumble Grooming Cream
Buy Bumble and Bumble Grooming Cream from Amazon (opens in a new tab).
Hair gel is one of the most common products that you’ve probably used at some point in your life.
When you’re buying gel, be careful and read the label. Most hair gels have ingredients that aren’t beneficial for your hair, such as alcohol.
TIGI Bed Head Power Play Firm Finish Gel
Buy TIGI Bed Head Gel from Walmart (opens in a new tab).
Aveda Pure Formance Firm Hold Gel
Buy Aveda Gel from Amazon (opens in a new tab).
After washing your hair, apply a leave-in conditioner and air or blow-dry your hair into the style you desire.
The conditioner offers a slight hold, texture, and a relaxed look.
Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk Original Leave-In Moisturizer
Buy Carol’s Daughter Leave-In Moisturizer from Amazon (opens in a new tab).
OUAI Leave-In Conditioner
Buy OUAI Leave-In Conditioner from Nordstrom (opens in a new tab).
Mousse works well with hairstyles that have more volume, such as the pompadour and quiff. It makes your hair look fuller.
Kenra Volume Mousse
Buy Kenra Volume Mousse from Ulta (opens in a new tab).
Design Essentials Natural Curl Enhancing Mousse
Buy Design Essentials Mousse from Amazon (opens in a new tab).
Hair paste is versatile and works for most hairstyles because of its medium-hold. It can be washed out easily since most pastes are water-based and don’t clump your hair together.
V76 Molding Paste
Buy V76 Molding Paste from Amazon (opens in a new tab).
American Crew Defining Paste
Buy American Crew Defining Paste from Amazon (opens in a new tab).
Pomade is a waxy substance that’s great for achieving a shiny and slick look. It comes in two forms, water or oil-based.
Water-based pomades are the best choice because you can restyle your hair throughout the day, and it’s easier to wash out than oil-based pomades.
Layrite Superhold Pomade
Buy Layrite Pomade from Amazon (opens in a new tab).
Suavecito Pomade Firme Hold
Buy Suavecito Pomade from Amazon (opens in a new tab).
Wax is similar to pomade, except it has a lighter hold. It’s considered a medium-hold product, which makes it great for shorter hairstyles.
Paul Mitchell Firm Style Dry Wax
Buy Paul Mitchell Wax from Amazon (opens in a new tab).
TIGI Bed Head Matte Separation Workable Wax
Buy TIGI Bed Head Wax from Amazon (opens in a new tab).
Choosing the best hair styling products depends on your hair type and how you want your hair to look.
Remember, your hair frames your face and can enhance how you look. Get haircuts regularly and use a product that makes you look great.
Featured photo by David Em/Next Level Gents.
About David Em
David Em is the founder of Next Level Gents, the ultimate destination for tips and advice about style, grooming, fitness, and success.