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The Best Hair Products for Men: Gel, Pomade, Wax, and Mousse

There's something here for everyone.

No two types of hair are identical. But two men with very similar hair can look wildly different if one takes time to style it properly with the right product. That is to say, how a man styles his hair — and which gel, pomade, cream, mousse, or wax he chooses — makes all the difference. That’s why it’s important to know the best hair products for men: Find the right product for your particular hair and you’ll see a big difference.

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Now, there are a lot of choices out there. Creams. Waxes. Mousses. Sprays. Gels. Powders. Products that promise to give you perfectly tousled bed head. Products that promise to give you perfectly tousled beach hair. Products that promise to give you a pompadour so high you’ll whack it against doorways. It’s staggering. But to weed through the options, there are the bigger questions you must answer: Do you want something for serious hold or that gives your hair some hold but also freedom? What kind of look do you want? What kind of product is best for your hair?

So, what are the best hair products for men, and which is the best for you? It all depends on your particular hair and what look you’re trying to achieve. To offer some assistance, we’ve researched the latest to find some of the best hair products for men. From gel and mousse to pomade and wax, there’s something here for every type of guy — and hair.

Best Hair Products For Men: Hair Gel

Hair gel is probably best remembered as the product that makes hair look crispy and crunchy. That’s because most old-school hair gels had alcohol as a main ingredient. This sucked moisture from hair; the rest of the ingredients held it in place and made spiked or slicked back locks seem less like hairstyles and more like an evolutionary defense mechanism. Today, however, gels are lighter in weight, contain less alcohol, and provide stability and shine to hair without making it shell-like. It’s ideal for coarse or curly hair as well as for taming cow-licks and smoothing down strays.

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No helmet hair here. This styling gel provides a flexible hold, works on all hair types, and has medium shine to it. It's formulated to stay flexible, so you never wind up looking like someone who really wanted to be a member of Smash Mouth.

This gel-cream is for anyone who wants the solid hold of gel without the candy-coated feel. It sets quickly, tames wild hair, and keeps everything stable-yet-soft. It’s made without parabens or sodium chloride and doesn’t flake, either. It’s an excellent product. Is it pricey? Yes. But considering you need to use no more than a dime-sized amount, it’ll last a long time.

Have fine hair? This brushable, non-flaking gel adds thickness and body to all hair types. It provides a strong, flexible hold without weighing hair down or making it feel crunchy.

Another good option for taming stubborn hair. We love that it's alcohol-free and a bit thicker than similar products, the latter of which provides a bit more control. It's best for medium to thick hair.

Best Hair Products For Men: Hair Pomade

Pomade has been around since the early 20th century, and for good reason: The right one can take an average hairstyle and give it hold and high-shine. Traditional pomade was made of natural waxes and oils. These are still around. But more modern pomades made from cream and fiber are widely available, too. It depends on what you want. But if you only have one styling product, pomade is a great option to have on hand.

Thanks to such ingredients as sea kelp and algae extract as well as coconut oil and shea butter, this pomade smells fantastic, keeps hair moist and protected, and provides a substantial but not stymying hold. If texture and separation are what you’re interested in, this is an excellent choice. However, it may be too lightweight for some.

This clay-based pomade creates a natural, matte finish. It also produces a subtle shine, which may feel more appropriate than a glossy pomade if you plan on using it before heading into the office. Good to note: The clay base is considerably drier and not as malleable as a basic pomade. You may find that it requires more patience to use.

This water-based pomade is infused with hops, which creates a stronger hold and actually helps prevent dandruff. It has a subtle tonka-berry scent and provides a lasting hold without making your hair feel stiff.

Best Hair Products For Men: Hair Wax

Hair wax is a great option for guys who want to achieve a more easygoing look. It gives you a medium hold, but it still allows you to reshape your hair as the day goes on. Most hair waxes don’t contain any alcohol in the ingredient list, so your hair will stay moisturized.

V76 by Vaughn prides themselves on their natural ingredient list and the V Rated Natural Wax is no exception. It’s infused with soybean wax, which helps soften hair, as well as wild geranium extract, which helps balance oil on the scalp, provide nourishment, and protects the hair. Designed for guys who want a little natural movement in their style, this wax provides a light shine and medium hold. Note that it smells strongly of scotch, which might not appeal to some.

Like its pomade counterpart, Blind Barber 60 Proof Wax is infused with hops, which helps defend against dandruff while providing a great look. This is a very solid option.

This unique wax is great for those who want serious hold, without committing to the same style all day. Customers love it for its ability to create a more tamed style without the intense hold. This means you can re-work your style throughout the day. It can, however, be too dry and heavy for those with thicker hair.

Best Hair Products For Men: Hair mousse

Mousse is a solid option for guys with longer hair who prefer to spend as little time on their hairstyle as possible. The foaming cream is easy to work through long locks and can be worked into the hair right out of the shower. Expect little hold, since mousse is mainly to smooth over longer styles while adding a bit of body.

This thickening gel mousse helps smooth and hydrate the hair while adding body and a slight shine. It provides a long-lasting hold without unsightly build up or flaking. It also washes out easily, so you don’t have to worry about scrubbing your locks for longer than you need to.

Packed with certified organic botanicals, the Giovanni Hair Styling Foam nourishes the hair just as much as it styles it. The texture and volume-increasing ingredients ensure you’ll have a smoothed-down look, without having to worry about your hair looking too flat or weighted.

Ideal for fine hair, this lightweight mousse provides all-day volume without collapsing or becoming stiff and unwieldy. It helps otherwise flat hair feel as thick and bouncy as possible.

Every product on Fatherly is independently selected by our editors, writers, and experts. If you click a link on our site and buy something, we may earn an affiliate commission.