The best hairstyling products for men, from wax to clay

The best hairstyling products for men, from wax to clay

    (Men's hair product clippings)

(Men’s hair product clippings)

The vast world of men’s hair products is daunting, from wax to pomade, sea salt spray to hair spray, the list is endless.

All products essentially do the same thing – keep your hair in the right position for as long as you want.

When digging through the myriad options, the main factors you need to consider are hold, shine, texture and volume, in addition to the type of hair you have.

If you want to add thickness and texture to your short back and sides without adding shine, a hair clay is the best option for you. Or if you want to achieve a slicked-back look worthy of Elvis (looking at you Austin Butler), then look no further than a pomade.

There are side products too. A hair oil can tame frizz while nourishing your hair, and a hairspray is a great addition for longer-lasting hold.

An added layer of confusion is that some products are meant to be applied to dry hair, while others are meant for freshly towel-dried damp locks. Be sure to take notes, otherwise the result may end up far from the desired look.

Take a look at our guide below to help you find the product that’s right for you.


Best for: The perfect all-rounder for versatile style

Clay products add texture, volume and cut to your hair with a matte finish. The medium hold means it won’t be as reworkable as paste, and your style should stay in place all day without much maintenance.

Hanz De Fuko Claymation

This clay-wax hybrid has a higher hold than your average clay while maintaining a matte finish. Apply a small amount to dry hair for a textured look or apply to wet hair for added shine. Even better, it’s packed with nutrients, so it also adds nutrition to your hair.

Buy now £18.00, Amazon

Larry King clay with velvet texture

This clay adds body to any hair type. The matte, non-greasy finish adds hold without creating that unwanted build-up of heavy product. Perfect for adding texture to short hair and a dirtier ’90s cut for medium lengths.

Buy Now £22.00, Cult Beauty

Leonor Greyl Baume Bois de Rose Balm Modeler and Sculptor

Although called a balm, this product is more clay-like in that it has a medium hold with a matte finish. Adds volume and texture, without stiffening, while nourishing and protecting hair. The rosewood fragrance is a great finishing touch.

Buy Now £39.00, Selfridges

sea ​​salt spray

Best for: Volume, texture and definition

If you want an effortlessly beachy look, then sea salt spray is the best product for you. Great for those with medium length wavy hair to achieve a surfer style and to add volume to fine hair. For best results, spray damp hair before blow-drying and use clay on top for added hold.

Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray

With kelp and seaweed extracts, this salt spray is a beach in a bottle. Adds texture and waves to all hair types, even thick or curly hair.

Buy now £10.00,lookfantastic

Toni & Guy Sea Salt Texturizing Spray

The best option if you’re on a budget, this spray will give you a tousled look without breaking the bank. Toni & Guy’s formula gives you a smooth lift without any stickiness and can be added to dry hair throughout the day.

Buy now £5.50, Boots

Davines This is a sea salt spray

This planet-friendly sea salt spray is made from natural ingredients using renewable energy and adds volume (and nourishment) to lifeless hair. You’ll end up with a full-bodied look with a matte finish.

Buy Now £19.50, Cult Beauty

cream for curls

Best for: Define and control waves and curls, plus added moisture and nutrients

As you can imagine, curl cream is best for those who have curls. To keep waves and curls defined, you need to keep them hydrated and nourished, which means these creams are packed with protein and oils, while providing buoyancy and control over any frizz.

Malin + Goetz Sage Styling Cream

This styling cream synthesizes sage extract and absorbent fatty acids to add shine, definition and texture to hair. It gently conditions and adds flexible hold for easy styling without leaving residue or weighing hair down.

Buy now £8.00, Selfridges

Killer Curls Kevin Murphy Cream

One for thick hair, Kevin Murphy’s lightweight, fast-absorbing formula will deliver a sleeker, frizz-free finish. Creating a fuller body, the leave-in product offers a solution to tame and texturize hair.

Buy now £34.00, Harrods

hair balm

Best for: Heavier hold for short curly or wavy styles

Another one that is great for curly hair, hair balm will give your curls and waves a heavier hold and added shine. It tends to be great for men as it’s best for shorter, curlier styles and can even double up as a beard balm.

Aesop Violet Leaf Hair Balm

This balm is enriched with nourishing butters and hydrating nut oil extracts that condition, smooth and shape difficult-to-style hair. Use on damp hair for styling or on dry hair to tame flyaways.

Buy now £23.00,lookfantastic

Rahua Soothing Hair Balm

Smoothing frizz and flyaways isn’t the only way Rahua’s hair balm can improve your locks – it also nourishes, strengthens and enhances the shine and color of each strand. It locks in moisture, conditions the scalp and even prevents UV damage.

Buy now £25.00, Net-a-porter


Best for: medium to strong hold on shorter styles or for taming flyaways

The best product to use if you’re growing a haircut, the wax controls the texture of very short hair where a clay or paste couldn’t, and offers strong hold on shorter styles. For strands 1-2 inches long, apply it to the root or it will be too heavy for your hair.

Johnny’s Chop Shop Dragon Wax

Providing medium hold, shine and longevity, this wax offers high definition and shape with a lightly polished finish. Great to use on shorter hair, just be sure to use it sparingly to avoid a greasy looking finish.

Buy now £7.00, Amazon

Daimon Barber Remedy Wax

Vegan and made with natural vegetable wax, Daimon Barber’s Remedy Wax adds texture, control and shine when used on wet hair. Contains soy wax, carnauba wax and argan oil that penetrates deep into the hair, repairing dry and damaged hair, improving elasticity and strength. It is also great for styling dry, thick or dry hair.

Buy Now £22.00, Humanity


Best for: the slicked-back Elvis-style look. Good to book for special occasions.

Perhaps one of the most difficult products to master, the pomade will give you medium to high hold and high shine, perfect for a ’50s-inspired pompadour or pompadour. Apply to wet hair for a high shine look or dry hair for texture. more defined. You’ll look like Danny Zuko in no time.

Triumph & Disaster Ponsonby Ointment

This nutrient-dense water-based pomade is a medium hold styling tool with a high-shine finish, and its non-greasy texture treats split ends and promotes hair growth thanks to a dose of argan oil. Good for short to medium hair lengths and with a personalized T&D fragrance, it’s like a moisturizer that lets you style easily while protecting strands from further damage.

Buy now £19.95,look fantastic

Murdock London Vintage Ointment

Murdock’s pomade gives a classic, ultra-slick finish with a strong hold. Perfect for tufts and tufts, it is water soluble, which means it is easily washed off, unlike oil-based pomades. The brand recommends using a comb when combing for a defined finish.

Buy now £14.00,lookfantastic

hair oil

Best for: Adding shine, taming frizz and nourishing hair

A great addition to other styling products, hair oil adds a healthy glow while nourishing your hair and scalp. Mix a drop with your clay, cream, or after using sea salt spray, for a fuller, textured look. Particularly good if you suffer from dry hair, and be sure to get an oil specifically targeted to your hair type or concern for best results.

Tabitha James Kraan Scented Organic Hair Oil

With a blend of hawthorn, safflower, rosehip, goji berry and argan oil, as well as rose, neroli and lemon essential oils, this hair oil has the best ingredients to strengthen and protect your hair. It’s all-natural and has an addictive aroma that will keep you coming back for more.

Buy Now £43.00, Wolf and Badger

Bread Beauty Supply Hair Oil Every Day

This oil is designed to increase shine without leaving a sticky residue. A multi-purpose, silicone-free formula enriched with Kakadu plum that aims to smooth, smooth and moisturize hair. It also contains safflower oil which helps strengthen the hair follicle to prevent hair from breaking and falling out.

Buy Now £22.00, Browns Fashion


Best for: Keeping your style in place, especially when it’s hot

If you want your hair to stay in place, hairspray is a necessary addition to your routine. For those with a messy style, a light hold spray will prevent stray strands and add enough control so you don’t have to touch your hair all day, especially if it’s hot and humid. If you had a more rigid style, a high hold would work better.

John Frieda Volume Lift Light Hairspray

For long-lasting hold and fullness, this ultra-fine mist holds volume in place without feeling heavy or crunchy. For an affordable price, buy one for your bathroom cabinet, your gym bag, and your travel bag.

Buy Now £5.99, Boots

Lacquer Clay Hawkins & Brimble Effect

This hairspray can be used alone as a styling product to provide functional texture, lightweight definition and long-lasting hold. The formula will keep your style perfectly combed all day long.

Buy now £9.60, Hawkins & Brimble

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