– From pomades and hair waxes of generations past to modern muds and fibers of today, hair styling products have been around nearly as long as men have had hair. It's always been about the best look a man can achieve. What has changed, though, is that men now have a wider variety of options available for styling products, including those very pomades and waxes, plus much more.
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Hair styling products for men are formulated to help a man achieve just the right look, and then keep it in place. Until he wants to change it again. Or until his date decides that she just has to run her hands through his hair. Over the years, there have been many products that have met those requirements, and many of them are still in use. Tins of pomade helped the young would-be Valentinos get the attention of the flapper of his dreams; hair wax made the 1950s College Joe's flattop stand up, but today both have found new purpose in the casual, tousled look. Grooming spray long ago made the jump from women's hair spray and is still in use to lock in a look. Mousses, creams and gels give many sculptured and spiked styles a place in men's fashion. Even the extra-heavy mud and fiber products fill the requirements to achieve that disheveled look.
How to Choose a Styling Product
With so many types of styling products, how does a man choose the one that's right for him? Part of it comes down to what the product is supposed to achieve, but hair type also enters into the decision. Gels and hair sprays, for example, will leave a firm, fixed and protective hold to a hair style. Waxes and muds provide a strong, but flexible hold, leaving a matte finish. For the sleek and shiny look, nothing beats pomade which is a mixture of wax and oil. Modern styling creams are lighter than waxes and less shiny than pomades, but are still good choices for keeping even flyaway hair under discreet control. Applied lightly, a good cream will give the impression that a man isn't using any styling product at all.
Hair type also plays a part in the choice. The rule of thumb is that the finer the hair, the less control (and amount) should be used. Fine hair can easily become weighed down and overwhelmed by a heavy product. Extra-thick or curly hair, on the other hand, is the perfect platform for a good mud or wax. Still unsure of how to choose? Many men go to their regular barber or stylist - whoever provides their basic hair care advice - for guidance. Odds are, they've already been using that very product at the end of a styling session. Beyond that, experimentation is always a good way to go. Try out different products for different looks. After all, most men have one look for Saturday night and another for Monday morning, but want both to look equally good.