Best Hair Product for Men
October 25, 2009 8:02 PM   Subscribe

Men with short hair: what hair product do you use to style your hair on a daily basis, if any?

Also, I am looking for high quality hair product that has a decent hold and is as non-flaky and non-greasy as possible. Cost is not a concern. In the past, gel has worked for best for me but I am open to new ideas.
posted by jameslavelle3 to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (36 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
I've been happily using American Crew Fiber for a long time now.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 8:05 PM on October 25, 2009

Aveda Control Paste. It's not greasy, not too dry and not sticky. You can even run damp hands through it to "reactivate" it if you have to. Added benefit: my hair is wavy and full of cowlicks, and it mildly straightens it so I don't look like a character out of some Cohen brothers movie.
posted by littlerobothead at 8:08 PM on October 25, 2009

There are lots of options depending on your hair type, style and what sort of hold you want. How do you currently style your hair?

Without knowing this, the first alternative to gel would be paste, which does not flake, but does not have nearly as strong of a hold. If you want a slick look and have hair that is easily manageable, you could use pomade. Axe and American Crew make pretty good, inexpensive choices of both.
posted by AtomicBee at 8:09 PM on October 25, 2009

I use Gatsby Moving Rubber - it's a Japanese-made hair putty/wax. It's the only hair product that has ever worked for my hair, but I'm Asian, FWIW. I have no idea how well it works on different hair types, although my girlfriend (who is white) tried some once and mentioned it working well.

They offer different kinds based on how long your hair is and how you style it although I don't know if there's any actual difference (I use the purple one). You can usually buy it from various sellers on eBay or from this site if you're in the US.
posted by pravit at 8:12 PM on October 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

Redkin Rewind #6. Love it
posted by 4ster at 8:14 PM on October 25, 2009

Also, I've used Aveda, Kiehl's, Abba, and many other products. I always go back to Manipulator.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 8:16 PM on October 25, 2009

To my mind, the whole point of having short hair is that you don't need product. If I need product, my hair is getting too long and needs to be cut.
posted by kindall at 8:27 PM on October 25, 2009 [2 favorites]

I use Bumble & Bumble SumoTech. I think it's easier to use than Manipulator and less shiny, but Manipulator isn't bad overall.
posted by mullacc at 8:34 PM on October 25, 2009

I'm female and have short hair, and I agree with kindall. However, sometimes I really like using Rusk's being undressed [PDF], which does not have a really feminine scent but does smell nice. Other products in their "Being" line might interest you as well (being rubber, being clay, being shocked all seem like they might fit your description although I haven't tried them).

The key is to not use too much or else it can look greasy -- like, less than a pea sized amount. Maybe a half a pea. The plus side to this is that it lasts forever. I've had my container for two years and it still has a lot of life left in it.
posted by k8lin at 8:35 PM on October 25, 2009

I use Gillette hair wax (the precision putty I think). I have somewhat darker blond hair and this stuff seems to keep it more its natural color while gel makes it look darker. That may be because the Gillette wax has a matte finish.
posted by chndrcks at 8:49 PM on October 25, 2009

I've tried a bunch of stuff and the best for me is the MOP cream:

it's got pretty good hold and makes your hair easy to mold however you want it without being super strong and glue-like
posted by I like to eat meat at 8:52 PM on October 25, 2009

My hair is dead straight and dead strong. I have tried all numbers of hair products, and all but one have left me looking like wire boot brushes. Got2B Hair Glue. Link is to the first google search that came up with it. I love this stuff. It keeps the hair flat to my head when I want it, and all spiky and funky when I want that. It usually retails for btw 7 and 8 bucks a tube, but goes on sale regularly at the local drugstore. That's when I buy 10 of them. I'm sure Walmart would have it too.
posted by swimbikerun at 8:56 PM on October 25, 2009

I will also vote for the American Crew Fiber. It's served me well at all sorts of hair lengths.
posted by Doug Stewart at 9:11 PM on October 25, 2009

Another vote for American Crew - my boyfriend uses it. It looks good doesn't get stiff or flaky or oily. And it smells GREAT!
posted by troika at 9:20 PM on October 25, 2009

American Crew Fiber or the similar Styling Cream (Fiber is sort of a paste that dries to a crusty hold that frizzes when crunched, the cream dries to a looser but wetter hold that doesn't crunch.) are the products that I use most ... although these days I'm just usually smear some tea tree oil hair/body moisturizer in. It darkens my hair a bit and makes it less likely to frizz and has cut down on my dry scalp problems markedly.
posted by SpecialK at 9:22 PM on October 25, 2009

whoops forgot an "and" in there.
posted by troika at 9:23 PM on October 25, 2009

Oh, and there are lots of ways to use Fiber. When you mix it with a little water or add it to wet hair it will act more like gel; when you use it 'raw' it acts more like a wax.
posted by SpecialK at 9:24 PM on October 25, 2009

Nthing American Crew. I use their firm hold styling gel. As others have mentioned, it smells great, and a little goes a long way, IMO.
posted by mrhaydel at 9:32 PM on October 25, 2009

7th-ing the American Crew Fiber

It's awesomeness in a jar.
posted by kaseijin at 10:18 PM on October 25, 2009

2nd'ing Gatsby moving rubber for thicker (asian) hair. You can find it off Amazon vendors
posted by chalbe at 11:04 PM on October 25, 2009

Thirding Gatsby moving rubber. I see you're in NYC; You can also find it at Sunrise Mart in the East Village.
posted by suedehead at 12:33 AM on October 26, 2009

Like kindall, I wear my hair short so I don't have to screw around with it. I keep it clean and it's good to go. If I let it grow out I look like Brian May...
posted by rodgerd at 2:29 AM on October 26, 2009

Maneuver Wax by RedKen.

Much softer and easier to use than the majority of waxes out there.
posted by jonnyploy at 5:53 AM on October 26, 2009

I also recommend American Crew products. "Fiber" is more readily available (sold in most drug store chains) but they also make a product called "De-Fi" that gives even a better hold, but, I have been able to find it only through my stylist.
posted by Hanuman1960 at 6:15 AM on October 26, 2009

I've tried about everything and Aquage transforming paste is the best hands down. Amazing stuff.
posted by Otis at 8:21 AM on October 26, 2009

I'm someone that has never gone for the the spiky look or the Ed Grimley-esque soft serve point in the front, and I use Rusk 'Wired'. It's thicker than a styling cream, but not waxy, and my medium-short hair doesn't feel sticky/waxy.

Plus, they sell it at the local shop-rite and target.
posted by exparrot at 9:21 AM on October 26, 2009

I've recently enjoyed Aveda's clay (currently sold as this, although mine is a bit older) and Unite Second Day, which is a texture and finishing cream but works to keep dryness and frizz at bay.

Generally I'll use Second Day on dry or almost-dry hair and then just a touch of clay to reorient any stubborn bits. Both have non-chemical scents— the Aveda is a bit herbal-spicy and the Second Day smells like brown sugar to me.
posted by a halcyon day at 11:46 AM on October 26, 2009

I switched from American Crew Fiber to American Crew Forming Cream, which is less sticky, less tacky, and less effort to use, but has similar hold.
posted by jabberjaw at 11:48 AM on October 26, 2009

My guy uses d:fi d:struct. His hair is really fine, and this doesn't make it greasy, doesn't weigh it down, and he likes the matte finish.
posted by thejanna at 1:19 PM on October 26, 2009

KMS Hair Play Molding Paste
posted by cwarmy at 4:28 PM on October 26, 2009

My semi-hippie friend kept insisting that not using any hair washing products was really great. No shampoo or soap type of things. I finally got curious enough and caved, and tried it for a week or two.

To my surprise, you don't need to use shampoo in any sort of way whatsoever, unless you've got dandruff problems. Be absolutely sure though that even if you don't use shampoo you still have to CLEAN the hair with warm water. Without shampoo, hair is actually just as clean, smells good, looks good, and here's the kicher: You don't need to put any products in it afterward.

Nonshampooed hair has a really nice fullness and sheen, like you've just put some secret and ancient hair pomade formula in it.

Consider perceiving styling products for hair as an artificial replacement for the natural oils and things. The stuff that nature has your scalp ooze out for the purpose of coating and protecting your hair. And that you're using the also quite unnecessary product "shampoo" to strip the oils from the hair - only to put factory-made ones back in, along with a hilarous artifical smell. Very funny, a good practical joke we play on ourselves.

This is not a hippie lecture though. Disclaimer: I currently use both shampoo and products. AVEDA produces my current choice of artificial hair lubricant. Knowing what I've described above only makes hair care a slightly more enlightened and absurd task, and gives me smug existential satisfaction as I apply the pomade.
posted by krilli at 5:55 PM on October 26, 2009

American Crew Fiber is indeed the bomb. It's particularly good for very short hair. If you need something a little less paste-y, or appropriate for slightly longer hair, try American Crew Matte or Artec Textureline Material.
posted by schoolgirl report at 8:19 PM on October 26, 2009

My boyfriend has super curly, super thick, short dark blond hair, and he has been using "Beyond the Zone Super Sexy Texturizing and Distorting Styling Sauce". It's a gel with a medium hold and minimal but clean scent, and does not gross me out when I give him scalp massages. We found it at Sally's Beauty Supply for around $8, and a tube lasts a good 6 months or so.
posted by Night_owl at 8:28 AM on October 27, 2009

I have short, straight, thick hair and I swear by American Crew Forming Cream. just a fingertip in damp hair will give great hold. Smells good, water soluble (you can "reactivatate" it with damp hands), no flakes, no crispiness. I use it to do fun random spikes in my hair. I've tried the wax, pomade and fiber, but prefer the Forming Cream. You can get two packs on Amazon with super saver shipping for about 25 bucks.
posted by ThaBombShelterSmith at 10:19 AM on October 27, 2009

Aveda 'Brilliant Anti-Humectant Pomade' is excellent for thicker hair prone to frizziness (this is the only one that works for me).... From the Aveda site: "This satiny pomade repels moisture from your hair, helping to prevent frizziness and flyaways. Tames curls to give hair a polished look. Excellent in humid weather. Work through hair before or after styling.
• Repels moisture
• Prevents frizziness
• Satin finish"

Friends have had good experiences with, conversely, 'Brilliant Humectant Pomade'.... "Humectant-rich pomade, with plant-derived aroma, enhances curl. Especially effective in dry climates, it activates and maintains wave in textured or treated hair.
• Defines
• Adds shine"
And, as mentioned above, 'Control Paste'.... "Loose and piece-y, or stand-up and messy-new Control Paste gives hair a high-textured, low-sheen look that's smooth, not sticky. Leaves hair pliable enough to play with."
• Dry hair styling
• Pliable hold
• All hair types"

Aveda claims to use mostly natural, environmentally friendly ingredients and packaging.

My grandfather has used plain (non-fragrance) soap his entire life, and his hair looks fantastic. I've been considering trying this method after my current shampoo & conditioner run out. A number of people have also extolled the no-product/ plain water method mentioned by Krilli, and this is worth I try-- though I'm a bit skeptical.

Thee choices presented in this thread seem overwhelming. I'd be curious to hear the one(s) you find best and eventually settle on.
posted by cotesdurhone at 1:42 PM on October 27, 2009

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