Aiming for a suave, James Dean look? The best high hold low shine hair product is the secret.
With all the gels, clays, pomades, and whatnots in the market, it can be difficult for us, guys, to find the product that suits our hair. I personally prefer high hold and low shine because it keeps the hairstyle intact without the excessive glossiness. Although the glossy pomade look still has its place in the styling world, guys nowadays opt for a more natural and touchable look.
The huge hair care market can be daunting, especially for guys who are unfamiliar with various styling products. With some advice from a stylist, I’ve reviewed here five of the best high hold, low shine products that you can sport even on a casual day.
Differentiating different men hair products
Before you look for the best high hold low shine hair product, I think it’s necessary to differentiate the type of hair products in the market. The following are the types I’ve used together with a brief description and ideal applications:
Gels are probably the most popular and widely available hair products for men. I remember buying this on small sachets on convenience stores back when I was in grade school. It’s affordable, and it gives a strong hold on a hairstyle. Its high hold and high shine give the ‘wet look’.
The trick in using gels for grown-up hairstyles is applying it to wet hair. This allows the sticky gel to spread evenly. You’ll also enjoy the freedom of styling as compared to using it on dry hair.
Waxes, on the other hand, have a high hold and medium shine. This is perfect for adding texture on your hair that’s around 2 to 3 inches long. I personally don’t recommend waxes on longer hair since it’s thicker. You may do better with clay or fiber if you have long hair.
Waxes can be used to style hair the way you’ll apply the gel. You can also use a small amount to tame unruly strands.
Creams are lighter than waxes and suitable for guys with longer locks. It has a low hold and medium shine. It’s doesn’t have the stiffness of gel nor the greasiness of wax. Creams give a natural look, especially for those with frizzy hair. It’s also a foolproof option for men with wispy and thinning hair. The good thing about hair creams is it’s infused with moisturizing ingredients, so it acts as a conditioner on the side.
Pastes are versatile products with a medium hold and medium shine. It’s usually water-based and can be restyled by damping the hair during the day. This is also easy to wash away than gels or waxes. Pastes are the best product to use for those who want to achieve the tousled yet attractive look. Pastes can be used on beards, too!
Clays have a sticky texture with a firm hold and medium to matte shine. This is used to add thickness to the hair for a fuller look. It’s also easier to apply since it absorbs well to the hair. The best thing about hair clays is it contains bentonite clay that draws out impurities from the hair without stripping the natural sebum of the scalp. If you have frizzy and unruly hair, clays are your friend.
Pomades have lived through the ‘50s, often associated with the rock and roll era (Elvis Presley!). Up to this day, pomade has been a staple of many manscaping kits. Pomades have a medium hold and high shine, which will give your hair a greasy look.
Pomades can either be oil or water-based. If you want the convenience of restyling your hair, a water-based pomade is the best option since it’s also easy to wash. I usually save this product for buttoned-up looks and formal occasions.
Balms aren’t massaged through the hair. It’s used to tame unruly strands from the surface. A little goes a long way for this product, so you should use it modestly. Balms have a high shine and medium hold, which can make your hair greasy and cakey if you overused it.
Hair putty, or mud, has a softer consistency that gives your hair a soft and touchable finish. It has a medium shine and low to medium hold. This is best for casual use if you want to sport a tousled look across hair lengths.
It’s easy to mistake fiber for putty, pomade, or paste, but it’s not all of these things. Fiber has a strong yet pliable hold that’s usually made of beeswax. It can be used for volume with a very low to no shine. It’s best to apply fiber when your hair is bone dry. It suits thick hair but not as comb-able as clays.
Best High Hold Low Shine Hair Product – Top 5 Picks!
OUR TOP PICK: Brickell Men’s Styling Clay Pomade
If you’re looking for the best high hold low shine hair product, I swear by Brickell Men’s Clay Pomade. It fused the characteristics of clay and pomade into one for high hold with a matte finish. This is also blended with hydrolyzed protein, argan oil, and green tea for added lift and moisture.
- What It Does: This clay pomade for men provides a high hold with a matte finish.
- Who It's For: Men of any age with any hair type who want a strong, yet pliable all...
- How It works: Bentonite clay gives this men's pomade a strong, pliable hold, while...
- Key Ingredients: Natural & Certified Organic ingredients, including hydrolyzed...
- Who We Are: Brickell creates skincare and grooming products for men using natural &...
Aside from that, it has bentonite clay that offers a pliable and strong hold. It results in a medium body without irritating the scalp. You can use it to tame frizzy hair or polish your hair with a natural look. I also like that this product is easy to wash with regular shampoo.
Overall, this gives an all-day hold. I also like its natural scent with hints of mint and essential oils. It’s also color-friendly, which is a big plus. For those with a sensitive scalp, the Brickell Clay Pomade is a safe choice because it’s free of sulfates, synthetic dyes, or parabens.
- Natural matte finish
- Adds volume
- Packed with moisturizing ingredients
- May not be suitable for very long hair
Hanz de Fuko Claymation
If you’re into clays, you’ll like Hanz de Fuko Claymation. This has a super high hold paired with a matte finish. It’s actually a hybrid of wax and clay in one product with hints if the gritty Quicksand. Based on my experience, this works on both straight and wavy hair. If you have thick hair, this product will disappoint.
- Limitless Styling Possibilities: Our best selling styling clay, Claymation has...
- Matte Styling Masterpiece: Claymation provides super high hold, with a shine-free...
- Moisturizes Hair, Prevents Hair Loss, Stops Oil Buildup & Promotes New Follicle...
- Easy to Apply. Lasts All Day. Rinses out Clean.
- Rich in Natural Botanical Ingredients to Strengthen Hair.
What I like the most about Claymation is its natural ingredients. It has jojoba seed oil, lemon peel extracts, castor seed oil, and mallow flower extracts to keep the scalp nourished. Overall, this formula has the right balance of style and care.
This can get tricky to use, though, because of its super high hold. The good thing is you can restyle your hair without losing the hold of the product. From comb overs, tousled look, and quiffs, Claymation produces excellent results that last for the whole day. Your hair will still be touchable despite the strong hold.
- Hybrid of wax and clay
- All-natural ingredients
- Can be restyled
- The super strong hold
Mister Pompadour Natural Beeswax Paste
If you’re looking for a nice hair paste, consider the Mister Pompadour. It’s made of natural beeswax with a strong hold and matte finish. It has no shine, so you don’t have to worry about the greasy or wet look.
This product is free from any parabens, sodium chloride, and alcohol. Although it has a strong hold, it will not make your hair flaky or scalp dry.
Aside from beeswax, this has lanolin wax to keep your hair soft as well as soy protein to repair hair fibers. I really like that this is water-based that allows me to restyle my hair anytime. It’s also easy to wash even without using shampoo.
Remember that a little goes a long way with this paste. Also, you should warm it up first by rubbing it with your finger to prevent the product from clumping.
The cherry on top of this product is its mild vanilla scent.
- Made of natural beeswax
- Water-based, can be restyled
- Mild vanilla scent
- Not for very fine hair
If you want to enjoy paste, cream, and pomade characteristics, you should try the TowelDry Mid-Styler. This is a versatile product that you can mold with different textures. Despite its strong hold, it has a matte finish, so your hair remains touchable and restylable during the day.
Aside from that, this mid-styler is easy to spread all over the hair for this mid-length locks. It has a slightly thinner than clay finish with a little gooey texture.
- 💪 Firm all day pliable hold for limitless styles, re-wet to freshen up style and...
- 🙌 Ultra-matte finish for natural no shine looks. Flexible texture and pliable...
- 🎈Adds volume without weight add lift to styles without adding weight.
- 💦 Hydrates hair styles and rinses out easy and clean, re-wet to freshen up style...
- 🌿 Choice ingredients and modern formulating. Free of dyes, gluten and parabens.
This product doesn’t make the hair look greasy or too stiff. It’s made for thick hair, though, so those with fine or wispy hair should look elsewhere. It also has a grainy texture, which gives the hair a nice, salty feel without drying the scalp.
Another thing that I like about this product is it doesn’t make the hair flaky. You can also use this on dry hair, but it includes a lot of pulling.
- Paste, cream, & pomade in one
- Water-based, restylable
- Matte, non-greasy finish
- Not ideal for very thin hair
Suavecito Pomade Firme
For those who are looking for a classic pomade, the Suavecito Pomade Firme will not disappoint. It has a strong hold and a moderate shine for the modern man. It has a creamy consistency that’s easy to apply on the hair.
This has a sturdy grip, but the good part is it’s water-based. You can reactivate the pomade by damping your hair at any time of the day. It also washes away easily with regular shampoo. It also has a fresh scent that really lives up to its brand name: suavecito.
- Super deal 3-pack!
- Works like a wax
- Washes out quickly and easily
- Extra hold!
- Made 100% in the U.S.A.
This has a unisex finish, which allows ladies to use it as well to control voluminous hair.
Regardless if you’re going to work, going out casually, or attending parties, this hair product is a must-have on your manscaping kit. This comes in a bundle of three so you can save money from purchasing the jars individually.
- Water-based, restylable
- Moderate shine
- Unisex finish
- Not suitable for very long hair
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What hairstyles are pomade used for?
A: Pomade is a classic styling product that’s used for comb-overs, slicked-backs, and quiff. It’s also the classic styling product for the legendary pompadour. Pomades come in different holds and shine to suit specific hairstyles.
Q: Is pomade much better than gel for styling?
A: Both pomades and gels have specific uses for styling. Pomades keep your hair soft and touchable so you can revive your system anytime in the day. Gels are known for a strong hold, which other guys prefer. It all boils down to your personal preference.
Q: Can I leave pomade on my hair overnight?
A: It’s not advisable to leave pomade, or any styling products for that matter, on your hair overnight. The pomade will rub on your pillowcase, and it will transfer to your face. That will cause acne because the oils of the product will block your pores. It’s best to rinse your hair before hopping to bed.
Q: Can I use hair gels every day?
A: Like any product, hair gels shouldn’t be used too often. It’s best to give your hair a break so as to prevent product build-up on your scalp. It’s essential to thoroughly wash your hair after each application to remove the used up product that traps dirt.
Q: Are set well gels good for the hair?
A: Set well gels can mess with your hair’s moisture levels and ruin your scalp if overused. It blocks the production of enough sebum, which can lead to dryness. Over time, your hair will become brittle and break. You should use this product sparingly and carefully.
The best high hold low shine hair product will let you style your hair without the greasy look. The best part is that most of these products are restylable by spraying a small amount of water into your hair. It’s versatile and a must-have for every modern guy who wants to look good and feel good about this hairstyle.