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6 Hair Products You Should Know

Updated: Jan 28, 2022

January 19, 2009

Generally you hair is either thick, thin (fine), curly, wavy curly or balding.

And generally hair grooming products have looks (shiny/wet, matte/dry, textured).

And generally hair grooming products have strengths (soft, medium or strong).

Here in no particular order are general guidelines about matching your hair type with a hair grooming product.


Like whisky, gel is making a comeback.

Us it on damp (not wet) or dry hair. Use your fingers to style, but after it dries, try not to touch it because you’ll break the hold or cause it to flake. Gel is best for thicker hair, cut at short or medium lengths.


The Chairman of the Board.

It’s classic, smells great and has a variety of hold strengths.

Your dad used pomade; so did your grandad.

You know why?

Because damn it, they were real handsome men.

Pomade is either greasy (softer hold) or waxy (stronger hold); from light to high shine. Why choose pomade instead of gel? Because pomade achieves the same wet look as gel, but it can be restyled and it won’t flake. If your hair is oily it will be oiler with pomade; best for thinner hair and wavy to tight-curly hair.


Waxes are considered a “matte” (read, no shine) finish. If you need or want a strong hold, or have oily hair, go with wax. However, wax can clump your hair, so warm it up and spread it evenly on your palms before you use it. Apply wax to wet or dry hair, but wet is much easier. As with any grooming product, start from the back and move forward. Use your fingers to style your hair. Wax is best for thick hair cut at medium lengths.

Matte Products

I’ve used a matte clay (putty, paste and fiber are all “matte’ products) for years. Serves me well. I still recommend this product for the “I-don’t-give-a-crap-about-my-looks-yet-I-look-this-damn-good” look. The singular feature of matte products: a dry or “matte” finish. This is a real no shine look. Use on damp or almost dry hair. Matte products are best for the messy, disheveled, tousled hair styles; thin to thick, or wavy and most hair lengths.

Styling Creams

Creams are the least known product. In short, creams are similar to a softer wax and so it won’t clump and is a softer hold. It’ll serve you well when you look and feel like crap after a long night of — whatever you did. Use this product on dry hair. Creams are best for thin, thick, wavy/curly hair cut at most lengths.


Remember the hair of 80s glam rockers? Yes? That’s mousse. The only reason to use mousse now is because you have thin — real thin — hair and wish to add some volume. Mouse has a strong hold. You apply it to dry hair and then use a blow dryer to style your hair. Or you can get a stylish modern haircut for men with thin hair and the world will be a better place.

And we’ll respect you for it.

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