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How to Choose the Right Styling Product for Your Hair

  • Back in the day, there were only two options for men to style their hair with, either you used a hair spray, which sometimes gave a mustard-gassed look, or you would have to use a gel. Most men opted for the gel as it was superior, and really all that there was, until about a decade ago, when there was an explosion of men’s hair products, and the market became far bigger with a much wider variety. Pomades came back after 50 years in hibernation and companies introduced pastes, clays, creams, sprays, and powders that are all designed to hold hair in certain ways.

    Your choice of hair product will largely depend on a lot of factors, including the type of hair you have, the haircut you are sporting, and of course, personal preference. Let us look at some of the main factors to consider when choosing a hair product:

    Shine: This refers to how much light the product reflects and makes your hair look shiny or wet.

    Matte: This is the opposite of shine. Instead of reflecting light, a matte product will absorb light and make your hair look like it does not have product in it at all.

    Hold: This means how well the product holds your hair in place. Products with a strong hold will keep your hair in place for longer but may make it look stiff and obviously styled.

    Malleability: Malleability is how much you can modify your hair after you have styled it. A product can have good holding power but be more or less malleable. For example, gel has a high hold, but is not malleable.

    Types of hair products and when/why you use them

    Petroleum based pomade: These are the classic, old-school pomades that your grandpa used. They will use oil as their base, which gives your hair a wet look and a lot of shine. When you think of petroleum-based pomades, think “greasers” or “Fonzi”. Petroleum-based pomades offer plenty of shine and hold, which might make your hair greasy, and stay in your hair for a long time.

    Water-based pomade: Water-based pomades offer you the same hold and shine of oil-based pomades, but without the greasiness. They dry and set more in your hair while at the same time, they also wash out easily with water.

    Wax-based pomade: Wax hair products offer a lot of hold and malleability, without the greasiness of petroleum-based products. Wax will stay in your hair even after dunking it in the ocean. “You are able to hit the waves, come out, run a comb through your hair, and boom! It looks perfect.” Californians always say. The only downside is the fact that it might take 2 or 3 washes to get the product out of your hair.

    Now that you have a little bit of a better understanding of the different kinds of products and what they offer, it is up to you to go to your salon and explore the hair products for men that they have in South Africa!

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