It’s daunting, staring down an aisle of lotions and potions and tubes and lubes. Hair products shouldn’t have to be so complicated, so we’re uncomplicating them. No matter what your hair type, we’ve sussed out the products you need to manicure the mop on your head into a culturally acceptable shape. Better hair days lie ahead on the following pages.
Hair type: Short to medium length, fine to medium texture What you need: Wax/Paste/Clay/Glue/Molding Crème. I'm going to let you in on a secret, gentleman: Same shit, different tin. Sure, there may be varying levels of hold, but the end result is always a textured, well-anchored style with a matte finish. Try R & Co Conformist Hair Paste ($27).
Hair type: Short to medium length, fine to medium texture—plus a desire to live in 1955. What you need: Pomade. You want that Greased Lightning shine? This is the goo for you. Pomade provides solid hold like your waxes, but it really amps things up in the shine department. If you're one of the flannel-clad fellas flocking to the barber to get that faded undercut, pomade is your product. Try Blind Barber 90-Proof Pomade ($18).
Hair type: Short to medium length, curly to unruly texture What you need: Oils and serums. These are perfect for taming natural textures. Not only do they control frizz and protect from humidity, but they condition and add major shine. Double up and use the product as beard oil for a well-rounded style. Try Moroccanoil Treatment ($15).
Hair type: Short length, medium to coarse texture What you need: Gel. It gets a bad wrap, but if you have short but thick hair, opt for a gel for all-day hold. Life hack: Stop meticulously sculpting your tips to look like a stupid wave breaking on the stupid shore. Stop spiking them up like some weird forehead visor. It’s not 1998. While you're at it, throw that puka shell necklace in the garbage. Try V76 by Vaughn Conditioning Gel ($20).
Hair type: Medium to long length, wavy to curly texture What you need: Arguably the most underrated hair product, styling creams offer a soft, manageable and polished finish. Guys with waves or curls or longer hair will find that styling creams smooth and define the hair without making it sticky, gloopy or crunchy like other products. Try Malin & Goetz Sage Styling Cream ($22).