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Hair gel served its purpose back in the 1980s, with its penchant for creating god-awful spikes and crisp, slicked hair. But you’re in the 2000s now, and gel should be as dead to you as Brylcream. If you have no clue what Brylcream is, you are certainly on the right track for keeping your hair looking cool with useful and effective products. Four of these products can work particularly well, especially because they are not gel, with its crusty, crummy consistency.

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Hair wax. Don’t fret, you’re not going to end up looking like a Madame Tussaud creation if you put a bit of wax in your hair. The lightweight styling aid is actually non-greasy and keeps your hair in place without hardening into a helmet. You can use it slick back short hair or add some control to a wild and lengthy mane. Some of the waxes smell kind of funky, so do perform a sniff test before you take the stuff home.

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Hair putty and paste. Hair putty and paste are similar, with the paste being less goopy and slime-like. Putty and paste work on short to medium hair for adding texture and control.  If you’re good with your hands, you may even be crafty enough to arrange your pasted hair to hide bald spots in the making. Some putty even stays pliable so you can change your style at will, sleeking it tidily back for a meeting with your boss than tousling it like a bad boy for your hot date.

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Hair grooming crème. Grooming crème functions similar to wax, but it usually doesn’t come with the threat of a funky smell. Like the wax, the crème adds a bit of shine and control without being greasy or overbearing. Unless, of course, you’re a freak and decide to pour on the whole tube. But if you use it in moderation, you can achieve control, volume, and a cool style without the rock-hard helmet that hair gel will give you.

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Hair spray (gasp!). Yes, guys can wear hairspray these days without bringing to mind the slathered-in-place comb-overs of the 1970s – or even the current comb-overs found on guys like Donald Trump. And even though it may have been a powerful tool for ‘80s hair bands, those dark days are thankfully behind us. Hair spray has evolved to new heights that give you a firm hold without looking like you dumped a fat can of shellac all over your mane. So go ahead and hop on that motorcycle without fearing you’ll end up with hair like Bozo the Clown after the wind has had its way with you!