Close this search box.

Sign in/Register

Hair Products For Men: How To Choose


Men's hairstyling and haircuts
The sheer number of creams and pomades and gels can make it confusing to get the hair style you want. Here's what to look for, according to an expert.

Getting the most out of your hair depends on the right haircare products to keep your strands looking and feeling great.

By choosing shampoo, conditioner and the occasional treatment you can get that part nailed. Then, it’s about regularly getting a great cut and learning how to style it well.

Admittedly, there are so many different hair products out there, it can be hard to know what each of them is designed for. Mixing things up further, there are a number of products specifically designed for men, or those with short hair styles.

To clear things up and help with selection, we asked American Crew All-Star and barber Gary McKenzie from Meddlers Hair Salon for some advice on deciphering the roles of different hair products out there.

With over 35 years of cutting and barbering experience, McKenzie is an expert at coaxing different hair types into shape by selecting between hair gel, wax, pomade and more.

Here are McKenzie’s tips for selecting hair products that suit:


Pomade stands as a timeless styling essential for men, renowned for delivering a strong, sleek finish. Suitable for all hair types, pomades act as a more flexible alternative to styling gels for a highly manicured look. Gary recommends opting for a heavy hold pomade when aiming for elevated styles like the pompadour that needs extra height and lift, while a standard pomade is ideal for taming and defining coils in curly hair.


Gary regards hair clay as the ultimate tool for enhancing texture and fullness. Ideal for fine hair, clay styling products like the matte clay and molding clay pucks create a strong, pliable hold and matt finish. Clay products are most effective on short to medium-length hair and on styles that need sharp layers like a textured crop. To create extra volume and thickness without weighing the hair down, he suggests applying the product to the roots to build texture.

best Men's hair styling products 2024

L-R: American Crew Pomade; American Crew Forming Cream; Baxter of California Thickening Style Gel; Baxter of California Large Comb


Creams offer a light hold and medium shine, making them perfect for individuals seeking a fuller appearance and a more natural finish. If you dislike the greasy or waxy feeling of other products, Gary suggests experimenting with cream-based styling pucks like the American Crew Forming Cream or Cream Pomade, especially if you have medium to long hair. These easy-to-use creams manage flyaways while maintaining hair flexibility, making them ideal for bouncy bro flow styles or beachy waves.


A key component of Gary’s styling arsenal, a premium paste product is an essential addition to any bathroom cabinet. Pastes are highly versatile as they can be combined with other products to provide additional texture. Offering a medium hold and subtle shine, a paste creates definition across different hair lengths for spiky looks or to add height to quiff hairstyles. Gary recommends using a paste in small amounts and applying it to wet hair for the best results.


A classic product, hairstyling gels have come a long way from the crunchy 90s formulas. For those with short, thick hair, Gary suggests giving gels another go. Formulated with hydrating ingredients gel products provide a strong hold for greater volume and a high-shine finish. This makes gels the perfect product for styling crew cuts or side parts as it locks hair into place for maximum height.


Print Recipe


Let us keep you up to date with our weekly MiNDFOOD e-newsletters which include the weekly menu plan, health and news updates or tempt your taste buds with the MiNDFOOD Daily Recipe.