Your Ultimate Guide to Hair Care Products and Which Work Best for Your Hair

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Ever look at one of your friends and get annoyed by how easy their hair must be to style? First thing in the morning, middle of the night, they always seem to have great hair. At Hair Dough, we don’t believe you should be envious at all. Why? Because there’s a product and a style out there for you…you’ve just got to find it.


How do you do this? Don’t worry, you aren’t alone because we’ve got the ultimate guide for you right here. After explaining a couple of pointers, we’ll briefly describe the main types of products and then finish on specific advice for each type of hair. We weren’t joking, this really is the ULTIMATE guide!


Hold v Shine


Before we launch into different men’s hair products, you’ll see the words ‘hold’ and ‘shine’ lots throughout this guide because it’s almost what good products are measured on. With hold, this describes how flexible your hair will be after the product has been applied. Will it be stiff and locked in place or will you be able to adjust it over the course of the day?


With shine, this is more about appearance. While a matte finish will be natural-looking (almost as if you haven’t used anything at all!), other products leave a glossy look and this fits with the pompadour and other similar styles.




  1. Men’s Hair Products


To prevent you getting lost in various essays about the different types of hair products, we’re going to keep it simple. What’s the difference between a wax and a cream? Will a pomade suit your needs? Let’s take a look!


Wax - Although sometimes wrongly used to describe all sorts of styling creams, clays, and even pastes, hair wax is actually an individual product and offers medium shine and medium hold. If you’ve got short, straight hair, wax will probably be your best option.


Paste - As a versatile product, pastes are similar to wax in that they offer medium shine and medium hold. With most being water-based products, they’re easy to wash once in the hair, they tend to be thicker than other products, and they can add volume.


Mousse - Immediately, your mind might jump back to the 1970s or 1980s (if you’re old enough, of course!). French for ‘foam’, you’ll be surprised by how far a little mousse will go so you have to be careful not to use too much. Used mainly for the bigger styles, mousse can provide both control and volume because the polymer chemical compounds add to the ‘full’ appearance.


Balm - If you’re looking for a product that styles as well as regenerates, you need balm. Different to pomade, the consistency is often compared to marshmallow and this provides somewhat of a bounce (while also taming frizzy hair).


Texture Powder - Many haven’t heard of texture powder, but this is a dry solution for when you’re on the go. Although the hold is light, you can add volume thanks to the friction that the powder causes. What’s more, moisture will also be absorbed, and this can further add to volume.




Fiber - Again, people often put fiber under the ‘wax’ umbrella because they share similar ingredients, but this would be unfair. With the brilliant Hair Dough Styling Fiber, for example, you’ll get a matte finish and a hold that lasts through the day.


Pomade - From a matte finish to a slick appearance, we come to pomade and one of the best products for those who want a shine. Your hair won’t go hard and dry, and the creamy mixture means that it works nicely into thick hair. These days, water-based pomade has replaced the thicker (and impossible to clean!) oil-based products.


Sea Salt Spray - As the name suggests, these products use a clever salt formula to absorb the natural oils; this results in texture and volume. There are a number of reasons why some men are turning to sea salt spray including the fact it comes as a spray, it works with most hair types, and it suits those who spend lots of time by the sea (it’s perfect for those long summer days).


Gel - Especially popular with the younger audience, hair gel is a no-frills solution that we should all try at one point…if it didn’t have so many problems. Sure, it can be applied to wet hair and it has great hold and even better shine. However, gels contain alcohols, there’s little opportunity to restyle, and it can flake when you run fingers through.


Clay - Made from clay (no surprise there!), it offers better hold than pomade, it adds thickness, it heals damaged hair, and it can attract dirt from deep in the roots without destroying natural oils. This time, we have a strong hold and low shine.


Cream - With a low hold, medium shine, and a healthy boost to any head of hair, creams work with all styles and can be a great solution with hair that’s hard to manage. Additionally, we should note that cream is a great alternative to wax and pomade for those with fine hair.


Hairspray - Back in the day, everybody loved hairspray and it would be used by men and women without fail. Now, it has almost drifted away from the male market; very few use it for styling alone although it does add volume and help when humidity is high. Generally speaking, people use it to lock the hair in place after applying pomade and paste.


Mud/Putty - Sometimes confused with paste, mud and hair putty can be restyled during the day and it offers somewhat of a messy look. This being said, some are able to achieve a slicked back look with enough applied.




  1. Hair Care Products


Ever wondered what shampoo and conditioner actually do? We have the answers!


Shampoo - In truth, there are hundreds of different shampoos on the shelves and all seem to offer different ingredients. As long as you avoid harsh ingredients, you’ll have a product that removes dirt, excess sebum, and hair products. Shampoo is the magic product that prevents your hair from getting greasy because it takes all the nasty stuff away.


Conditioner - Go in any bathroom around the country and the vast majority will have shampoo and conditioner side by side, but why has this become the norm? After shampoo cleanses, the role of conditioner is to seal in moisture, smooth the hair shaft, and protect the hair from pollution, UV rays, and other external dangers.


Others - Elsewhere, you may also come across leave-in conditioner (which stays in the hair between washes), heat protectant (which can be applied before using a flat iron), and detanglers (which are, you guessed it, products that aim to remove tangles and those annoying knots).


Even after this, you’ll find hair serum, dry shampoo, hair oil, and more. If you have specific hair requirements, you’ll find a product for it.


  1. Advice for Different Hair Types


As promised, we’re going to finish on some advice for all the different hair types. Locate your own and get some tips for hair styling!




Thin Hair - Sometimes, having thin hair can feel like watching a party from outside the window. Of course, the aim should be on adding texture and volume. Since they aren’t too heavy, we recommend looking for water-based products. For example, this includes creams, gels, and mousse.


Straight Hair - On the other hand, those with straight hair are luckier because almost all products work. If your hair can look flat or thin at times, look to add volume. From here, it’s all about whether you want a matte finish or a wet look.


Thick Hair - Ok, you won the lottery. Not only do you have great hair now, you’re more likely to keep it longer too. For you, we recommend clays, waxes, and pomades because you need that extra attention on hold. Also, both texture and hold can come from sea salt spray.


Curly Hair - Or maybe you won the lottery? For some with curly hair, they don’t even need products to look good. This being said, we recommend items that allow hold without taking away moisture; creams and pomades will do this.


Short Hair - For those who like to get their hair cut on a regular basis and maintain a short style, hold isn’t so important so look for texture. In truth, all products will provide the style so you can concentrate on the additional features.


Wavy Hair - Finally, creams and pomades will provide you with moisture while also leaving a wet finish. High-moisture hairspray will always lead to great results, but the opposite can be said of clays, gels, and waxes.


  1. Summary


We realize you’ve had to take in lots of information throughout this guide, so feel free to bookmark it to your browser. Also, check out our brilliant products at Hair Dough. If ordered early enough, we provide same-day shipping and we also offer a 30-day money-back guarantee (no questions asked). Not only do we make products that help you to look great, we consider hair health too!



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