Choosing the right hair products is essential, both for keeping our hair and scalp healthy and our hairstyle looking its best. And with such a breadth of quality shampoos, pomades and pastes available today, there’s never been more choice for the consumer – which is exciting, but it can also be very confusing.
To help you sort the wheat from the chaff, we’ve rounded up the very best men’s hair products on the market today.
Pomade: Reuzel Grease Heavy Hold
One of four products in the Reuzel family, Grease Heavy Hold is a wax- and oil-based pomade which produces a smooth, medium shine with a strong hold.
Its consistency is thick and sticky – perfect for creating dramatic styles like the pompadour and quiff – and offers enough hold to whip even unruly hair types into shape.
It’s also easily worked through the hair and doesn’t leave it too wet or greasy, while its sweet bubble gum scent eases off once applied – meaning you needn’t worry about smelling like a teenage girl’s bedroom when in the boardroom.
Available on eBay, priced from £7.50.
Paste: Kevin Murphy Night Rider
For me, this is the perfect styling paste. It comes beautifully packaged, you get loads of it for your money, it has a great fresh citrus scent and it works on pretty much every hair type from fine and flyaway to thick and coarse.
Don’t be fooled by its remarkably soft consistency and ease of application, Night Rider gives a tough matte hold for short or textured hairstyles (just ensure you work it through your hands well before applying) that remains firm without ever ‘setting’, making it easy to restyle hair as required throughout the day.
Available at kevinmurphystore.com, priced £20.
Wax: Bumble & Bumble Sumowax
This traditional hard wax can be deceiving: it comes in a small glass jar but, trust me, a little bit of this goes a long way.
Adding a satin sheen to all hair types, it’s surprisingly versatile, working just as well for defined, sculpted styles as it does softer, tousled bed-head looks.
What’s more, it is – in my experience – much easier to wash out of hair than similar products.
Available at Lookfantastic, priced £22.
Clay: Evo Cassius Cushy
This low-shine clay has got to be one of the best styling products on the market. Firstly, it smells so good that I wish I could wear it as a fragrance. Secondly, just a little of it worked into the roots of dry hair guarantees both a strong hold and great texture, keeping your style looking its best all day.
But that’s not all; Cassius doesn’t set on the hair, so it’s easy to run your hands through to rework your look. It’s also water-soluble, making it a breeze to wash out.
Available at Mankind, priced £17.
Gel: American Crew Firm Hold Gel
This classic hair gel is still one of the bestselling American Crew products in the US. Particularly versatile, it can be used on wet or dry hair and doesn’t tend to flake like many of its competitors.
As well as an end-stage styling gel, it can also be blow-dried into hair as a primer to control volume and help support your hairstyle.
Available at Lookfantastic, priced £8.40.
Shampoo: Triumph & Disaster Shampoo
Triumph & Disaster have nailed it with this shampoo, which is suitable for all hair types.
Created using 100 per cent naturally derived ingredients, it’s paraben- and sulphate-free, meaning you’ll spare yourself from these chemicals’ adverse effects including dehydration and irritation of the scalp, and even hair loss.
It will also help add volume, repair damaged hair, remove residual products and prevent the build-up of excess oils. Plus, its punchy peppermint scent is guaranteed to wake you up in the morning,
Available at thebrotique.co.uk, priced £20.
Conditioner: American Crew Daily Conditioner
Ideal for everyday use, this lightweight conditioner also boasts a fresh peppermint scent which leaves your scalp feeling revitalised. The trick with this one is not to be too heavy-handed – squirt a little into your hands and massage well through your hair and scalp.
It’s suitable for all hair types but, if your hair’s on the dryer side, it’s worth leaving this product to work its magic for a few minutes before washing out.
Available at Mankind, priced £7.95.
Sea Salt Spray: Kevin Murphy Hair Resort Spray
Available in two forms – gel and spray – Hair Resort is one of my all-time favourite products. This spray version offers volume and enhances texture while also making the hair more pliable.
It’s perfect for creating surf-inspired, unkempt styles and can be left to dry naturally once sprayed on, or blasted with a hair dryer. Alternatively, use it as a base for moistening and loosening hair up before applying other finishing products.
Available at Amazon, priced from £25.99.
Hairspray: Fudge Membrane Gas
The hairspray to rule them all. Membrane Gas provides a strong but flexible hold that makes hair mouldable; it’s a bit like a hairspray and styling paste in one.
Offering a low-shine finish, it’s also a breeze to either brush or shampoo out. Definitely not one to be missed if you have short- to medium-length hair.
Available at Amazon, priced £12.05.
Dry Shampoo: Evo Water Killer
Not just a summer festival essential, dry shampoo offers plenty of year-round benefits. For example, if your scalp is particularly greasy, over-shampooing and scrubbing it could actually result in the production of more oils.
Dry shampoo offers an easily applied alternative that does a good job of soaking up excess oil (sebum) without causing your scalp to produce even more. It’s also a great timesaver and comes in handy at the gym or when travelling.
This one from Evo is particularly great as it won’t leave a white powder residue on your hair and doubles as a texturising spray too.
Available at Lookfantastic, priced £15.50.
All Rounder: Fudge Elevate Styling Powder
Whether you’re looking to create more volume or build a strong support for a statement style like a pompadour, this product is the magic powder you’re looking for.
Remember to always apply into the roots of your hair and really work it in to get maximum hold and volume. As an added bonus, this product will help mattify (i.e. dry) your hair if it tends to get greasy quickly.
Available at Lookfantastic, priced £7.47.
With so many top-notch products now readily available, there’s no excuse for your barnet to look subpar. Remember that many products have a ‘best before’ date on them once they’ve been opened, so check the packaging of your lotions and potions before use.
And don’t forget that your skin and hair changes over time too, which means a product that has been right for the last few years might not be as much of a benefit to you now. So, it pays to mix it up – and there’s no better place to start than with this list of game changers.
Do you have a favourite hair product we haven’t included here?
Let us know below.