The Best Hair Products for Men, According to Grooming Experts

A comprehensive list of hair products that will suit a wide style of hair types, design desires, and prices

December 5, 2023 12:00 pm
a collage of the best hair products for men on a pink background
From gels to treatments to shampoos, these are the best hair products for men.
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Let’s say that you’re a man and you have finally found a barber that’s able to give you a haircut that doesn’t make you look like a child. That’s great! But now, you’re faced with the task of figuring out what products are best to style your new ‘do. If you’ve spent any amount of time in a drugstore, then you know just how overwhelming this decision can be. And that stress isn’t unwarranted, with Adam Livermore, Oribe’s Global Artist, telling us that “Your hair is the one and only accessory you never take off. It’s worth finding the right products, and you want the best you can get.” 

Using insight from Livermore, as well as Tom Smith, Evo’s incredible International Colour Creative Director, and Patrick Kidd, the founder of Patricks, as well as some of our own testing, we created a comprehensive list of hair products that will suit a wide style of hair types, design desires, and prices. Additionally, our list reaches beyond styling products and also includes products that we think are valuable to the maintenance and care of a man’s hair.

Things to Consider

Style of product

There’s no shortage of product styles on the market.  Between creams, oils, waxes, pomades, and powders, Livermore tells us that “you could be getting hold, memory, shine, slip, definition, texture, grip, damage repair, heat protection, or humidity protection.” With this in mind, it’s important to really understand just what each option offers.

Smith helped to break down the categories for us, explaining that,

  • “Gel is great for a strong hold and high shine separation.
  • Wax is slightly less shiny but [offers] good separation and can be reworked easily thanks to its flexibility.
  • Pomade tends to have a softer hold and more nourishing quality, good for reducing fluff or frizz.
  • Clay usually has a more matte texture and a drier, more natural looking result.

Powders, like haze, are very matte and don’t show up in the hair as separation but gives lots of volume and hold at the roots.”

Hair Type

In addition to the look you are seeking, the type of hair that you have will impact what products you should choose. This can also be cost effective, with Kidd telling us that “You’ll look and feel better using products made specifically for your hair type! You’ll use less and get better results.” Livermore compares it to skin care, reminding us that “You wouldn’t put an oil on oily skin, and you wouldn’t put an astringent on dry skin. It’s the same with hair, you’ve got to consider both the material you’re working with, and what you’re trying to make it do.”

For people with thinning and lighter hair, Kidd suggests a product that is a lighter holding product with a matte finish to avoid weighing the hair down. For people with a thicker and more coarse head of hair, he recommends stronger products with a matte finish. 

According to Smith, you will want to “Determine what you want your hair to do more of, and what you want it to do less of. For example, if you don’t want your natural fine, flat, straight hair, then a powder and clay will be ideally suited to give volume, texture and hold. If you don’t want your natural dry, frizzy, coarse curls, then waxes, pomades and creams will help give nourishment definition and shine.” He adds “Polymers and acrylates are a great ingredient to look for when opting for strong hold, while oils, silicons and glycerin will give more conditioning and shine.”


Of course, when purchasing a from the list of the best hair products for men, you will have to account for the dollar sign in front of it. There’s no reason to break the bank as there are high quality options that are more affordably priced. At the same time, it can be worth spending more if you view it as an investment, with Livermore noting, “It’s worth finding the right products, and you want the best you can get. If you’ve ever invested in a high-end bag, watch, shoes, coat, jewelry, etc. because you wear it every day and it elevates your presence, think of your hair the same way.”

The Best Hair Products for Men

Best Firm Hold Wax: Oribe Rough Luxury Molding Wax

Pros: Strong hold, semi-matte finish, pleasant but not overwhelming scent 
Cons: Will leave a film on your hands

For the person seeking out texture and flexibility that doesn’t sacrifice a strong hold, our pick is Oribe’s Rough Luxury Molding Wax. If you don’t like a bone dry matte finish, this option is a good middle ground that has a semi-matte finish; it won’t make your hair look wet but it will still have a very subdued bit of shine to it. It offers all day hold, and it doesn’t require using all that much product to achieve this. Men with shorter hair will love being able to create a messy and textured look with this wax. PS, it also smells great!

Just be aware that after using this, you’ll definitely want to wash your hands thoroughly as it can stick and leave a residue.

Best for Thinning Hair: Patricks M1

Pros: Delightful scent, lightweight nature, works to improve hair
Cons: Not for people seeking maximum hold

If you aren’t looking for an overly goopy, sticky and high hold product, or you’re a man with thinner hair, Patricks’ M1 is made with you in mind. The matte finish product is specifically designed to swell the hair shaft, but without overly weighing it down. Plus, the vetiver cologne scent of this option is incredibly enticing without being overbearing like many other hair products. It also contains Patricks Recovery Compound (PRC) which works to reduce hair damage while also implementing protective technology.

Just be aware that this is pricier than other options that provide substantially more hold. If you’re a man who is looking for more hold, this one works great as a prestyler, but it won’t be suited to getting your ultimate desired look.

Best Matte Finish Wax: Hanz de Fuko Claymation

Pros: No perfume scent, strong hold, features moisturizers
Cons: Not the easiest to apply

A staple in the men’s styling community, Hanz de Fuko’s Claymation is the go-to for countless men who want superior hold with a matte finish. It combines the brand’s Quicksand with a clay-wax for a hold that is strong but pliable. While water soluble, this works best in dry hair. A real added bonus of Claymation is that it also features jojoba oil, which moisturizes, sunflower seed oil to lock moisture in, and castor seed oil to promote hair growth. Lastly, a more neutral scent is best for people who aren’t looking for anything perfumey. 

Be mindful that when applying Claymation to dry hair, you will need to use rigorous application or else it will really get stuck in just one section of your hair.

Best Drug Store Wax: Axe Styling Matte Wax

Pros: Affordably priced, good texture, limited shine
Cons: May not hold as long as more pricey options

There’s no need to break the bank to make your hair look great, and Axe’s Styling Matte Wax proves that. A fraction of the cost of competitors, this option uses beeswax to enable people with short to medium length hair to get texture, and definition in their hair, without any shine. The best part? It doesn’t create a crunchy or hard feel that other more affordable options can cause.

Just be aware that some people found it didn’t hold as long for them as they would have wanted.

Best Styling Cream: Oribe Creme for Style

Pros: Moisturized look without greasiness, works for long and short hair, softens hair
Cons: Doesn’t offer the hold that other products do

If you don’t like the texture of a waxy product, and you’re looking for high shine and styling ability, Oribe’s Creme for Style is our pick. In addition to being useful for both shorter and longer hairstyles, this option also conditions and softens hair. People with dry hair tend to like that it prevents frizz when blow drying, and that it’s able to create a moisturized look without greasiness. It also stays light and flexible long after application.

Just be aware that this option doesn’t offer the hold that other choices on our list do. While it makes for a great accompanying product to mix with stronger holding products, it won’t necessarily get the job done on its own.

Best Pomade: American Crew Pomade

Pros: High shine, alternative to gel, pleasant scent
Cons: Not as much hold as some people want

If you prefer the old world style of a slicked back or well combed, high-shine, head of hair, American Crew’s Pomade is designed with you in mind. A wonderful alternative to gel, this option works great for people with curly hair as well, offering medium-hold with high shine. It has a pleasant scent to it, and it also washes out easily.

Do be aware with this choice that the medium-hold just isn’t enough to keep things locked in place.

Best for Beach Hair: Evo Salty Dog Salt Spray

Pros: Glycerin to avoid drying out, pleasant smell, gluten free
Cons: Not suited for people seeking hold

We all know the feeling, you finish a long day at the beach and somehow your hair has a texture that looks better than any amount of styling could create. For the surfers and beach enthusiasts alike, Evo’s Salty Dog Salt Spray works to create that elusive texture and feel of hair that’s been on the beach all day, resulting in a matte finish in the process. The best part? You won’t be pulling sand out of your ears after using it. While it uses salt, we appreciate that glycerin is included to offer moisture to prevent your hair from drying out and that the scent is also pleasant.

Be mindful that this product isn’t designed to offer hold as much as it is to create texture.

Best Gel: göt2b Ultra Glued Invincible Styling Hair Gel 

Pros: Great for flyaways, superior hold, non-sticky
Cons: Not great for people who sweat a lot

Sometimes waxes, pomades and powders just won’t cut it. That’s where a great gel comes in, specifically göt2b’s Ultra Glued Invincible Styling Hair Gel. This non-sticky option will provide some of the strongest hold you can find. If you’re someone who is constantly combating flyaways, this is your answer. Additionally, compared to other gels, this one proved to be pretty easy to wash out.

Just be mindful that sweat may lower this option’s ability to maintain a durable hold.

Best Powder: Evo Haze Styling Powder

Pros: Absorbs oil, good for fine hair, pump distribution
Cons: If you’re not careful the pump can put out too much powder

If you hate the feeling of a cream, gel, or wax, in your palms, then this styling power from Evo is a great pick for you. It offers texture and volume, absorbing excess oil in the process, leaving you with a matte finish. Our favorite part? It comes with a pump to enable localized application and even distribution. 

This is geared toward all hair types, but people with limp and fine hair may really find it to be ideal for them. Just be mindful that if you’re not careful with the spray feature, you can end up wasting it and spraying your face in the process.

Best Thickening Shampoo: Patricks SH1 Daily Thickening Shampoo

Pros: Uses both natural and scientific ingredients, removes oil, pleasant scent
Cons: Expensive

For the man who is trying to prevent hair loss, we like Patrick’s SH1 Daily Thickening Shampoo. It features mild cleaning products to remove excess oil, while strengthening proteins work to promote density. We like that this option uses both plant-based and scientifically engineered ingredients to get the best of both worlds. It’s also paraben, phthalate and sulfate free and is also suitable for daily use. A pleasant vetiver scent to boot also doesn’t hurt.

One drawback is that this is expensive compared to other thickening shampoos on the market.

Best Drugstore Shampoo: Head and Shoulders 2 in 1 Classic Clean

Pros: Affordable, pleasant smell, combats dandruff
Cons: Contains sulfates

For convenience, price, and effectiveness, it’s hard to beat the 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner from Head and Shoulders. The active ingredient is designed to combat dandruff, and it also comes in a variety of different smells, though we like the original plenty. In addition to the dandruff protection, this product, as mentioned above, will do the work of both shampoo and conditioner, cleaning and conditioning your hair while also freeing up your shower space from having too many bottles.

Just be mindful that this does contain sulfates, which some people prefer to stay away from.

Best Treatment: Moroccanoil Treatment Original

Pros: Conditions hair, nourishes, wonderful smell
Cons: Pricey

If you’re looking to give your hair some extra love out of the shower, we recommend Moroccanoil’s Original Treatment. In addition to its intoxicatingly pleasant aroma, it works to detangle, condition, and add shine to your hair. It uses argan oil, which is rich in Vitamin E, to nourish the hair, while linseed extract works to improve the hair’s health.

While we love the feel and smell of this option, it is certainly pricier. Fortunately, it doesn’t need to be used every day and a bottle will go a long way, especially if you don’t have particularly long hair.

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