Hair styling products used to be quite limited, with only a few brands to choose from. One product that dominated the market was Brylcreem, and was pretty much a one size fits all hair wax. Early pomades like Brylcreem were very waxy and difficult to wash out. These problems led to the natural evolution to more pliable, water soluble products, that wouldn’t act like cement in the hair. Eventually, more and more brands were created with different intentions in mind, with a lot of chemistry involved. This included making hair products for different types of hair that achieve specific styles and looks. In the 21st century, there are hundreds of different hair products to choose from, all claiming to do different things. So how do you choose the right one for you and optimise your unique look?
First you have to understand what hair type you are. Yes, everyone is unique but hair types can arguably be placed into broad categories. These include thick hair, thin hair, wavy hair and coiled hair (for guys that shave their head, I think you're in the wrong place hahah).
Although hair varies from person to person, most hair types can be placed into four categories above. A quick google search about what you think your hair type is will also help you understand what category you’re in.
Next step is having to accept your hair type. If you refuse to believe you just have thick hair over wavy hair, you’ll end up buying the wrong product which will hinder the styling process. For example, an ultra-strong/wet pomade on thin hair will weigh it down, make it look very greasy and unwashed.
If you feel you have the right product for you hair type but you are finding styling difficult then perhaps you are in need of a haircut. Don’t be afraid to take a picture of the hairstyle you want to the barber and ask them what they can do. The more experience and knowledge the barber has, the closer they can get to your desired look. Professional barbers understand different textures, hair lines, head shapes and hair types and will tell you what haircut will suit your head. They will also recommend a styling product to suit you.
Hair products can also be categorised in a similar way to that of hair type. An article on Blacklapel.com by Compass summed up these categories perfectly:
Pomades are probably the hardest hair product to choose out of. They range from heavy hold, medium hold, light hold, high shine, medium shine. One thing to know is that most pomades will give you some sort of shine.
Hair types that suit pomades include:
- slightly thick
The thinner your hair, the less shine/hold you want as the pomade will weigh down the hair a lot, giving it an unusual style. Also, if you have thick oily hair, a pomade will make your hair look very greasy. I would recommend a pomade to those who have hair in the middle of the spectrum.
A matte clay/fiber/putty is perfect for those who have either:
- very thin hair
- very thick hair
It produces a natural, dry finish and is great to volume, texture and hold to otherwise boring and difficult hair. They also range from light to heavy hold. A matte product is perfect for those who do not want to make it seem they use product but need to use it because their hair is unmanageable.
Wax is a decent product to give hair a bit of life. It typically gives the hair a slick, shiny finish. For guys with thick hair (especially dark brown or black hair), a styling wax will make the follicles shine like you just walked out of a Wella commercial. However, if you have thin hair be warned, a gel pomade will add a lot of extra weight to the hair, reducing its volume making your hair look even thinner.
Wax also really comes into its own if you're going to cop a bit of rain. Being water proof, a wax will not sink or break down in your hair easily when it gets a bit wet.
Styling creams are relatively new to the hair product scene. They usually have a light to medium hold and a shiny finish. It is much more suited for those with longer hair rather than short hair. Styling creams feel like a soft waxy cream. Their texture is great for a very detailed and sophisticated look and are among easiest products to work through with a comb. Once it’s fully set it in, styling creams give the hair a soft and textured look. Use it if you have:
- Medium thickness with long hair follicles
- Wavy hair
Hair Styling Powder
Hair styling powder is one of the easiest, least messy hair products you can use. Typically these powders contain a non-toxic silica-based grit that adds texture and hold to the hair. It's best applied to lightly damp hair. If the hair is too wet it will not distribute easily. If it's too dry you might just need to take a little extra time to work it in.
This is a really good product for thin hair because it will add volume, giving the appearance of more hair. It is the most matte (least shiny) of all hair products so it's also great for an effortless, natural looking style. Perfect for:
- thin hair
- textured hair styles
- when you want to look o'natural
Our hair styling powder not only helps to texturise, volumise & add hold to the hair, it also contains collagen boosters for hair health. The smell is a delectable combination of caramel & vanilla.
Finishing product – hair spray
Hair spray should really only be applied after you have styled your hair. They are a great compliment to the hair product you have already used and pretty much sets in your style for the day without changing the shine, texture, or appearance of your hair when used correctly. Hair spray is especially great if you have long, thin, light hair and are using a medium hold hair product. If you experience flat hair by the middle of the day after applying product, use hair spray to keep the longevity going.
Hair products are like many other cosmetics and you don’t know what is best for yourself until you’ve tried and tested a lot of products. If you want a change up or not sure where to start, this article will point you in the right direction and you can start optimising your personal look and stand out from the crowd.