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Pomade vs. Gel vs. Wax Vs. Clay-Which is Best for Your Hairstyle?

Hairs are the most important feature of one’s appearance. Using proper products and styling can complement our whole look. Hairstyling products and being confusing sometimes. The reason for styling hair and taking care of appearance has been around for centuries. In old times people used to use oils to style their hairs. Hair products have been here for a very long time but they have gone through a lot of changes throughout the years.

Also read: Top 10 Beard Straighteners For Men to Buy in 2021

Just like women, men too these days take care of their looks and appearances. They are spending a nice amount of money to achieve their best look. They are investing time and making an effort to look their best. Hairstyling products are the most attention receiving product in the male-makeup product market.

TBH, nobody wants to have a bad hair day. And now it is not even difficult to achieve any look you want for your office, for a party, for some getaway with your buddies. There are so many products out there to fix your hairs and to easily make your bad hair day turn into your great hair day.

Depending upon the style you want to go for, you can try different products to see what works best for you and your hairs. To find the best hair styling product for you completely depends on whether you want a medium or firm hold, shiny or matte look.

To pick the right product for your hair and what exactly it does- Read till the end to know the answers to your questions.


Pomade is a hair styling product that provides a flake-free texture. They are essentially designed to showcase your hair in a slick and neat manner while providing a high shine finish. They work really well with the hairstyles that are formed with the comb. They are made with mineral oil. Pomades do not make your hair dry hard or crispy. Hence, you can restyle your hair throughout the day.  

Pomades come in two categories- 

Oil-based Pomades– Oil-based Pomades are a little greasier. This is because it contains beeswax, petroleum, and lanolin. They are water-insoluble so they do not wash out easily.

 It offers lustrous lift and shine and is ideally used by the men who like slick side part hairs, ponytails, and greased back hairstyles. They make hair look oily so it is a great choice for those who have dried up hair. 

Water-based Pomades– Water-based pomades are user-friendly and wash out pretty easily when coming in contact with water. They are light-weight and soft in texture. Water-based pomades don’t dry out easily and get super stiff, so you can free restyle your hairs. 

Oil-based pomades give shines and a better hold to your hairs. On the other hand, water-based pomades don’t hold as firm as oil-based pomades but maintain flexibility, can be restyled and unlike oil-based, they are not prone to acne.

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Gel For Men

Gel is also a hair styling product that helps in keeping your hair in place for a longer time. They are the most commonly used hair styling product. They are alcohol-based and may include isopropyl alcohol which is not good for hairs. It can result in dry, frizzy, and dull hairs if used over a long period. 

Gel is surely a great product if you want firm and stiff hairs or a shiny and glossy look. It works well with thick hairs, long hairs, and textures to sculpt your hairs in place. Gel holds hair strands and binds them in a place and makes them non-moveable. But they do contain harmful chemicals and harsh alcohol and could damage your hair if you use them every single day. Gels can help you in achieving different looks. When applied to wet hair it will give you a long-lasting wet look. Gels can make your hair hard rock so sometimes it becomes uncomfortable. 

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Hair Wax For Men

Hair wax is used for messy hairstyles to more structured looks. Wax can have a shiny or matte finish and can be used to create spikes and hair down well-groomed look. You cannot use it for curly hairs. They work best for straight and light wavy hairs.  They do not make your hairs hard like gel thus hairs can be style again n again during the day.

Men with naturally oily or wild hair, wax offers a more suited solution. It can dry out after a couple of hours and can be reapplied easily. Unlike gel, wax doesn’t stiffen your hair at all. Rather it is smooth, thicker than gel, and doesn’t feel sticky to the touch. It provides a more matte finish than shiny. 

Wax is ideal for normal to oily hair, short to medium length. It can also absorb the extra grease from oily hairs. It is by far the best product for men’s hairstyling. It also works on thin hair if you want more volume then the wax is your product. 

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Clay for Men’s Hair

Clay is undoubtedly the most versatile product. It is a great option and excellent for people with thick and thin, curly, wavy, or straight, no matter what your hair type is, Clay will suit you.

They are packed with minerals and moisturizing oils that leave hairs smoother after washing them out. If you have oily hair it will absorb that extra oil too. They come in a variety of hold-strengths so you can modify the specific hairstyle you aim for. It gives a more matte finish.  

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Once you have the knowledge of men’s hair styling products then it won’t be difficult for you to choose the right product for you to achieve the desired look. Whether it is wax, gel, clay, or pomade, there are ways that each of these products can make your mane up top look great.

With pomades, you can create any hairstyle you want without worrying about hair type and length. For a wet look or some style that doesn’t work with pomade, but with gel and for more natural looks wax is right there for you.

To summarise again: pomade is sleek and shiny, wax is for firm hold and gel is equivalent to glue.

If you are still unsure what product to use then experimenting is always a great option. It will help you to know better which suits best your scalp and hair or to its texture.

All products recommended on StyleInMood are independently selected by our editorial team. If you make a purchase through any of these links, we may receive a commission. Learn more about our product selection process here.

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