The Right Product for Every Type of Hair

Everything you need to style your mane.
IMAGE Unsplash/ Joanna Nix

When you were a kid, great-looking hair meant little more than a bottle of shampoo and a dry towel. But now that you're a grown up, you've probably come to realize that proper hair care requires a bit more effort. And to compound that, what you use can change based on how long your hair is, what style you want it in, and what type of hair you have. Because the simple fact is, there is no magic bullet that will do all things for all hair types. From pomades to dry shampoos, here's everything you need to know about keeping your mane in check, no matter what. 


If you want to channel Donald Glover's recent look, you need to make sure your hair is seriously moisturized. Stylist Robin Capili of The Kin Room in NYC recommends a smoothing oil, like this one from R+Co., to keep everything under control. Tinsel smoothing oil by R+Co.



A lot of products today use the word "pomade" liberally. It's a catchall that's come to mean "hair styler," but a true pomade will give you medium-to-high hold and shine when applied to damp hair. It's perfect for short and medium styles, especially if you need a little old-school business pomp. Hair Pomade by Malin + Goetz

Dry Shampoo 

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It's not good to wash your hair every day; shampoo dries it out, stripping away the natural oils that also keep it healthy. As an alternative, use a dry shampoo in between washes to absorb excess oil at the root of your hair. Not only will it keep your hair from feeling greasy, it will also add a little volume. Perfect Hair Day dry shampoo by Living Proof


Apply wax to dry hair—shorter styles work best, though it's great for tousled medium looks, too. You'll get medium hold and low shine. V Rated Natural Wax by V76 by Vaughn



Don't get a drugstore gel unless you want your hair cemented to your head. There are lots of lighter-grade gels out there that don't suffocate your follicles but still provide maximum hold and high shine when applied to towel-dried hair. Sumogel by Bumble and Bumble


Cream is great for medium and longer styles. It gives you a light hold with little shine, and is best applied to towel-dried hair. It gives longer styles some light control and direction without locking it in place, and it keeps medium hair looking healthy and intentional—no messy bedheads here. Use a blowdryer for slightly firmer hold. Grooming Cream by Baxter of California



Fiber gives you high hold with a matte finish, and should be applied to clean, dry hair. It's ideal for textured, messy styles on guys with short and medium hair. Fiber by American Crew


Clay is a lot like fiber—you'll get a matte finish with plenty of texture and a medium, malleable hold. Apply it to clean, dry hair and then style it. Rough Rider by Kevin Murphy 



Paste is the most versatile styler. In wet hair, it gives you a medium hold with a matte finish, and in dry hair, it's perfect for messy, textured styles. Use a blow dryer on medium styles for a lightweight, durable result, and apply to the roots of long hair for enough hold without compromising your effortless cool. Mannequin styling paste by R+Co.

Sea Salt Spray 

This is the easiest styler out there. Spray it in damp or dry hair; the salt acts like a dry shampoo to absorb some grease, but you'll still get a little shine. The result is a devil-may-care textured look that you usually only get from a day at the beach. Perfect for medium and longer styles. Ocean Mist by Sachajuan

The Secret Weapon


This is a clay-wax hybrid that combines the silky, matte texture that a clay provides with the high, malleable hold of a wax. It's basically a Frankenstein of hair product and can tame even the unruliest of hair. Apply a nickel-sized amount to dry hair for a textured, semi-matte look, or to wet hair if you prefer a little more sheen. Claymation by Hanz de Fuko

This story originally appeared on Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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