The Real Differences between Hair Products
If you’ve been reading the blog, you’re probably going to see a lot of what’s written here that has already been said in this blog post. I decided that section should have a dedicated post, so I did just that. But I’m also going to be adding to this post – adding other types like: paste and styling cream.
They’re are tons of hair products out there but which ones should you buy? The worst thing is getting a product that does not work for your hair and money that is wasted to basically try out a product.
So what types are there?
These are the most popular categories of products. Once you invest time into researching, you will notice there are different types of pomades, waxes and clays. But what are the big differences between each product?
Gel – Mans first styling product (at least for some)
And I mean first styling product because most of us who were introduced to anything hairstyling related has come across Gel. This product took mens hairstyling to another level. If you wanted a product that held your hair, this was it. It’s easy, wet application and strong hold attracted people going for a spiked or slicked back look.
The problem with gel was that once it hardened, it was as tough as a rock. If you tried to run your hands through your hair you risked pulling strands out and hurting your hair. It gave a crispy texture to your hair while also giving it a wet greasy look.
Gel is accessible everywhere for a relatively cheap price. So who could blame us when we picked up a bottle of gel. In today’s current hair world, we see a push away from gel because of all the great products that are emerging. But is gel really that bad for your hair?
Wax – The most variance, there’s so many waxes out there.
Wax was not too far behind gel. Wax provided structure that did not harden up like gel. Instead when applied it gave a strong hold but with pliability, meaning you could run your hands through naturally to reshape your style.
Wax came in a creamy or pasty form and finished the hair with a matte look. If you were searching for some that made your hair look natural instead of greasy, this was your product. But there are some wax products that provide a medium shine as well.
Companies soon started making wax their staple as they saw how popular it was getting.
Wax is more suitable for straight or slightly wavy hair. However, with curly or thick hair it is considerably lighter in terms of hold.
Original Styling Meraki – Light, firm hold. Great for pre-styling and for some, a great post-styler as well.
One of the biggest wax brands is far from unknown and a leading example for waxes.
Pomades – Shiny finish, oil and petroleum based. Greasers.
Pomades started off being oil based. Meaning they could hold any style but be the most difficult to wash out. Pomades were for those greasers looking to slick their hair back or for the pompadour style.
Combs were highly associated with pomades as people could create really sharp and clean hairstyles with them.
Today, we see tons of variation from pomades. For example, Unorthodox water based pomades were basically the characteristics of a oil based, but the main ingredient is water. Meaning it was easier to wash out.
Orthodox water based pomades were essentially the mix of hair gel and oil based pomades. This meant they were water soluble and since they had a bit of gel properties built in, it would harden up the hair.
While oil based can really last in your hair all day, it is very difficult to wash out. Compared to water based, which is quite similar to the oil based partner but is easier to wash out and that may mean the hold of the product might be sacrificed.
That’s not to say that water based pomades are not strong, but for some who are loyal fans of the oil based may not believe that water based pomades can hold their hair.
So which should you choose, water based or oil based? That’s entirely up to you and your lifestyle. Thin or thick, there are different holds to pomade that can work for a variety of hair types.
Clay – Strong Matte finish
While some wanted a shiny greasy finish, others wanted a natural matte finish. Comparing clay to pomade, we find that clay products tend to have a strong hold just like pomades. However, the biggest difference tends to be the application and what it does to your hair as an end result.
Clays worked great at achieving volume while not weighing down your hair. Unlike pomades, clay had properties that allowed it to be a product that could be applied to your hair without the feeling of heaviness that pomades tend to do.
Clay also came in different textures, some were more creamy than others. And it was built that way for application and possibly for different hair types. Generally a cream type product would be more suitable for thinner hair. Whereas, a thicker type clay would benefit someone who had thicker hair.
Cavalier Heavy Hold – Thicker clay, great for thick hair. More tug, harder to wash out than Hybrid.
Hybrid Cream Clay – Amazing light weight but firm hold. Giving great texture to any hairstyle.
The name speaks for itself. It usually is a lighter product meant to style and add a bit of weight to your hair. Being a cream makes it a lighter easier application product. However where it lacks is in the hold.
It’s great at taming flyaways! the ease and virtually no tug product has got a hold that will help with flyaways and strays. It also provides a more natural shine to your hair, nothing overly shiny.
Got frizz? Styling creams are essentially there to help with things like frizz without making your hair feel greasy and heavy.
Regarded as a versatile product. One of those products that kind of work with everything. Maybe you’re going for a neat slick back or textured quiff, using a paste will be able to help you achieve that.
What’s great about a paste is the hair types and textures it can work for. If you have thinner hair, pastes will be quite strong on its on and even more so with some pre-styling. However with thicker hair, you’re probably needing to add a scoop or two more compared to those with thinner hair.
A hair paste usually gives your hair a medium to very intensifying hold the more you add. It can leave your hair with a natural matte finish or a touch of natural shine.