Men’s Hair Products Explained [Ultimate Guide]

A hairstyle is an essential part of every stylish man’s look. His hair can differentiate him from the average guy and make him stand out from the crowd. However, there’s a problem.

Most hairstyles need hair products, and there are so many types of them!

And if you don’t pick the correct one, it might ruin the look you’re striving to get. So if you’ve been struggling and confused, then don’t worry, I’ll explain everything to you. You’ll learn what each one does, and which suits you the best!

So without further ado, let’s get into it!

The basics of hair products

Before we go into detail about the different types of hair products, let’s talk about the basics first. Starting off, let’s explain the differences between pre-stylers and post-stylers.

The easiest way to describe pre-stylers is that you put these hair products on before you dry your hair. Those products can do three things:

  • Add texture to your hair – Gives your hair a textured look.
  • Add volume to your hair – It’s the secret that many stylish men use to create high-volume hairstyles.
  • Add thickness to your hair – This can be extremely useful for men with balding problems or thin hair.

So what do post-stylers do? Well, their main objective is to hold your hairstyle for an extended period. Additionally, depending on the product, they could make your hair shinier or matte.


Now that you understand the basics, let’s talk about the pre-stylers, shall we? Fortunately, there isn’t a lot of them, and most of them you can understand easily.

Sea Salt Spray

Starting up on our list is the sea salt spray. This pre-styler helps you with two things. It adds a bit of texture and gives you some extra volume. That is best used for guys who have thicker hair and mid to high-volume hairstyles.

How to use: Just apply a few sprays on your wet hair and rub it around. Then just dry your hair.

Brickell Men’s Texturizing Sea Salt Spray



Have you ever wondered how those Instagram models were able to get a hairstyle with such high volume? Well, that’s probably because they used this pre-styler. A mousse is a thick foam form that you put on your hair, giving your hair a lot of volume.

How to use:  First, shake the can, then get a small amount of mousse, and put it into your hair evenly. Then just dry with your hair blower.

Kenra Volume Mousse Extra 17


Thickening Lotion

As the name suggests, a thickening lotion helps your thin hair look thicker and better. But that’s not all of its uses. Additionally to the thickening effect, a thickening lotion will also add a bit more volume. So if you have thin hair, this is a must.

How to use: Put a pump or two of the lotion to your hair. Distribute it evenly and dry it off with your blow dryer.

Redken Thickening Lotion 06 | For Fine Hair


Hair Balm

And lastly, let’s talk about the Hair Balm. This has a smooth consistency that is similar to a hair cream (More on that later). It will give your hair a bit of a shine while moisturizing your scalp and strengthening your hair.

How to use: Apply the product evenly to your hair from root to the ends. Then just dry your hair with your trusty hair blower.

Hairstory Leave In Conditioning Balm


Hair Serum

Hair serum is another great pre-styler. It’s based on silicone. With it, you can add some shine, reduce frizz, or even straighten your hairstyle.

How to use: Add 1 to 2 drops of hair serum to your balm and then spread it around evenly. Then just blow dry them.

Biotin Hair Growth Serum Advanced Topical Formula



So you’ve applied your pre-styler, and now your hair is dry. Great, but before you go away from the mirror, let’s add a finishing product to keep your hair looking on point for the whole day. Here’s the list of the post-stylers:

Hair Gel

As the name suggests, this hair product has the consistency of a gel. A hair gel will usually give your hair a bit crispier look while giving you a high hold. You should also be careful as it could give you a high shine and your hair could look greasy.

The best hairstyles for the hair gel are more traditional and formal ones that need a shine.

Gentlemen Republic Refined Gel


Hair Wax

Next up on the list is hair wax. This hair product will still give you a shine, but not as much as the gel does. But what about the hold? That varies quite a lot on the product, but they are primarily in the mid to low range. Some have a higher hold, while others have a shallow one. So you’ll have to try them out yourself.

The best hairstyles are still the more traditional ones; however, you could use them for almost any other hairstyle like the modern ones.

Hanz de Fuko Sponge-Wax



Want to give your hairstyle a slick finish? Well, then a Pomade is for you. This hair product has a higher hold than wax, making it perfect for higher volume hairstyles like the classical pompadour.

AMERICAN CREW Smooth Control with High Shine Pomade


Hair cream

Next up on our list is hair cream. As the name suggests, this product has a smooth texture. However, this product isn’t for everybody. The hair cream will only give your hair low to medium shine and hold

So these are best used for shorter hairstyles with lower volume.

American Crew Forming Cream



Next up, I will talk about three hair products at once – Hair Pastes, Putties, and Gums. Why? Well, because they are basically the same.

They all have a bit more solid texture from the previous ones on the list and will generally give you a low to medium shine. However, the hold varies, so you’ll have to try them out.

Thanks to the shine, these products could be used for almost every hairstyle. The only hairstyles that don’t work are the more formal ones.

Fatboy Hair Perfect Putty


Hair Fiber/Fibre

These hair products are pretty similar to the previous ones. So what is the difference between them?

Well, the consistency of the product is a bit more different. Additionally, these hair products usually have a higher hold. So they make perfect for those high-volume hairstyles like a pompadour or a Quiff.

BOLDIFY Hair Fibers for Thinning Hair


Hair Clay

The hold isn’t enough? Well, then you might want to look for a hair clay. These products have the thickest consistency on the list, which also gives your hair the highest hold. Most men don’t need it, but if you’re looking for a high-volume look, then this is for you. Also, this gives you that great matte look.

Layrite Layrite Cement Clay


Men’s Hair Products Explained: Other styling products.

And now we want to talk about two more unique hair products that most men don’t use! These are post-stylers called Hair spray and Hair Powder. Also, you use them a bit differently from the ones mentioned above.

Hair Spray

First, let’s talk about hair spray. There are two different ones out there: locking spray and flexible spray. A locking spray does what it says; it locks your hair in place. But once you start moving it, it will lose its strength and won’t hold as well anymore. And flexible one has a lower hold, but you could move it around.

How to use: Once you’ve dried your hair and styled it to your liking, you can spray some hair spray around your hair from a distance. However, don’t overdo it. Your hair might look too dry if you do.

Consort Hair Spray for Men


Hair Powder

Hair powder is another type of post-styler out there, but instead of the usual wax or water-based styling products, this has a powdery texture. With it, you’ll get a high hold while keeping that matte look.

How to use: First, make sure that you have dry hair and you’ve styled it to your liking. Then just add some hair powder onto your balm and evenly disperse it around your hair. And then you’re done.

Slick Gorilla Hair Styling Texturizing Powder



And these are the many hair products and their differences. I hope you found it helpful and now know what product to pick. But if you have any more questions, don’t be afraid to write them down in our comments!


How do I choose a men’s hair product?

A: Your choice depends on two things. What hair and hairstyle do you have? Answer the question, and then just pick the one that works the best. For example, if you have thin hair and want a pompadour, you might choose a thickening lotion and hair clay.

How do I start to use hair products men?

A: To start using hair products, you must first learn which products work for you. Then, just start applying your chosen hair products.

How do I find the right hair gel for men?

A: The best way to find a suitable hair gel is to always check out reviews on the online retailer or YouTube. With them, you’ll learn the pros and cons.

How can I make my hair look wet all day without gel?

A: While a hair gel is the best, you could also use a pomade and a hair balm.

Should you apply product to wet or dry hair?

A: That all depends on the product. If you’re applying a pre-styler to your hair, then your hair should be wet. But when you’re using a post-styler, your hair should be dry.

How do you style men’s hair?

A: First, start with wet hair. Then damp it with a cloth, and add your pre-styler. Once applied, just style it with a comb and a blow drier until your hair is dry. Once dried, take your post-styler and finish it.

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