The Different Hair Styling Products for Men (and What They Do)

What are the different men's hair products? We break it down. Learn how to use the right styling products to perfect your look and up your game.

mens hair styling products

Men's Hair Products: Types and When to Use

The world of men’s hair-styling products can be intimidating. The truth of the matter is that not many men bother to use hair styling products on a daily basis. They reserve them for special occasions, which is nice, but it also means that many men have no idea what they're getting into when they actually do use them.

Understanding men’s hair-styling products begins with understanding the options that are available to you. Since a full breakdown of every possible styling option would be equally intimidating, we’re going to instead focus on some of the most popular types of men’s hair-styling products that each offer different styling options.

Here are five of the most popular men’s hair-styling products and a brief explanation of what you can expect from each of them.

Hair Wax

Like many of the products on this list, hair wax is a general term that covers a variety of products that offer slightly different things. However, there are a few qualities that most hair waxes share.

Generally speaking, hair waxes are used by men who want a product that has a slightly stronger hold without making your hair too “shiny.” Waxes may be a little too heavy if you’re looking for more of a “breezy” look for your hair, but many men turn to them in order to achieve that “slicked back” look and even the “messy” look.

Waxes can also be used to tame wild hair, but they are also quite good for shorter haircuts that you want to ensure stay in place without looking unnatural. Overall, waxes are a great holding solution that won’t dominate your look.


Simply put, there’s a good chance that pomades are what you think of when you think of hair wax. Generally speaking, pomades are what you use when you want a heavier hold that gives your hair a lot of shine.

That certainly means that pomades are great for anyone who wants a strong slicked look that will last all day. You could certainly use pomades to achieve the Wall Street look or shiny and strong parts. Again, though, not all pomades are made the same. If you opt for a variation that isn’t quite as overpowering, you can still get the strong hold offered by pomade while still being able to see your individual hairs.

Generally speaking, though, you should use pomades if you want the strongest hold possible and are maybe even looking for a shinier look for your hair.

Styling Creams

Styling creams essentially the opposite of waxes and pomades. They offer relatively weak holds and almost no shine to speak of.

Instead, styling creams are a thick liquid that makes your hair look natural and manageable They’re best suited for anyone who has especially frizzy hair or men with curly hair. They’re great if you don’t want to abandon your natural hair look but do want to be able to style it slightly.

Not everyone can use styling creams effectively, but they’re the perfect solution for anyone whose hair is generally unmanageable.

Sea Salt Spray

There are a lot of hair sprays out there, but sea salt spray deserves its own entry.

This is the perfect styling solution for men who have thinning hair that need to add some life and volume to it. It’s a tremendous option for hairstyling for men that believe their thinning hair has eliminated styling options from their life.

Sea salt spray is a low-maintenance way to manage thinning hair without going out of your way to make it look thicker than it is.

Texture Powder

The final product type we’re going to look at is one that is too often overlooked.

Powder represents something of a middle-ground between most styling creams and waxes. They will help enhance the thickness of your hair by getting down into your roots and generally offer a very light hold that will help you keep a natural look.

That said, many opt to use powders in conjunction with heavier styling products. Whether or not that’s necessary is going to depend on your hair type and what kind of look you’re going for. Still, this is a versatile hair product to have available in case you ever need it.

Resources— GQ, Men's Journal, Beard Brand