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Wax Vs Pomade Vs Clay Vs Gel - Choosing The Right Product For Your Hair

Over the years, it seems as though men have put more importance on their hair and personal grooming. Men’s hairstyles have changed in popularity and there has been an increasing amount of men who seek out the best grooming products, including those for their hair. Hair product manufacturers have been paying attention to the demand and have created more and more products geared towards men.

The issue is that there are so many men’s hair products on the market today. How do you know which one is best for you?

Let's break down the 4 major types of men's styling products and what they are used for.


The most common hair products on the market today are wax and pomade. They do have some similarities, which is why many get them confused. Pomade is the oldest of the products and has been around for decades. Depending on the type of pomade, it can have more shine than wax. It also has a lightweight feel to it with medium to strong holding power. 

There are two types of pomade, oil-based and the newer, water-based pomade. Oil-based pomade is the original and has been around for a long time. The issue with oil-based pomades is that they are very difficult to wash out. Similar to wax, oil-based pomades give the hair a shinier appearance. But unlike wax, pomade is best used for those with dry hair because it can make oily hair appear greasier. The Suavesmith Classic Pomade is a water-based product that is great for pompadours and slicked back styles. 

Hair Wax

Hair wax is different from pomade in how it is conditioning for the hair, has a stronger hold, and eventually dries after some time. With water-based Pomades, they can be restyled throughout the day when reactivated with a splash of water. Depending on your hairstyle and what you would like to achieve with a hair product, having a product that dries may or may not be a good thing. Hair waxes such as the Suavesmith Matte Wax are great for hairstyles that need more hold. 

Hair Gel

Another common product for men is hair gel. Hair gel has lost popularity over the years with wax and pomade being the favored products. If you are looking for a hair product with the strongest hold, hair gel is best for you. It gives the hair a wet-look; gets stiff and hard, and can have the tendency to flake if too much product is used. Gel is also very drying for the hair because of the high alcohol content. Gel is best used for styles like spikes because it can defy gravity.

Hair Clay

The newest product on the market is called clay. The texture of hair clay is thick and creamy, and creates a “velvet” finish. The main ingredient is a natural type of clay called “bentonite”, and provides a light hold. It is best used for textured styles that do not require much holding power. It gives a matte to semi-matte appearance to the hair and is very natural looking.

When it comes down to the most versatile product for the most popular men’s hairstyles, wax or pomade is your best bet. The undercut, the side shave, comma fringe, and textured fringe, would all best be styled with a hair wax. Pompadours and slicked backed styles would be best styled with pomades. Men's grooming globally is huge right now so there is no shortage of quality hair products. Just make sure to pick the best product for the style you are after.

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