A guy’s hair will look its best when it lands somewhere between the extremes of the wet and shiny look from the cast of Friends, and the dry and poofy look of Novak Djokovich. You want some texture and you want some hold. Anything more than that and you start to look either like a kid, or you just crawled out of O Brother Where art Thou. Here’s two widely available products that strike the right balance, with the pros and cons for each.
Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Shaping Cream – $14.50 for 3.5 oz
- Solid medium to firm hold.
- Emulsifies quickly.
- Has a terrific fresh, masculine, and not overpowering smell.
- Pretty dry to the touch. More solid than liquid.
- Inexpensive at around $4.00 / Oz
- If your hair is almost totally dry, it might give unwanted volume.
- Emulsifies quickly but leaves your hands very sticky
- Can get somewhat shiny if applied to damp hair.
Overall Grade: A – | A really good hair product for guys with short to medium short hair. If you hate the uni-directional hair movement that clippers can leave you with (see Djokovich), this stuff is perfect to give your hair texture and shape.
Alterna Modeling Clay – $16.40 for 2.0 oz
- Unbelievably light going in. Medium hold that seems to come out of nowhere
- Not really any kind of high glaze shine, even when applied damp.
- Doesn’t add too much extra body to hair when applied dry
- Stronger hold might require a bit more product than suggested
- Almost seems to evaporate when you rub your hands together. But… it’s there.
- More liquid than solid right out of the jar.
- Somewhat expensive at $8.20/oz
- Smells strongly of cucumbers. Fades after application… but still.
Overall Grade: B+ | I’d give it an A if it weren’t for the cucumber smell which is a bit distracting at first. If you’ve got medium to medium long hair, this product goes in so light you’ll think “How is this going to work?.” But it doesn’t disappoint. Leaves your hair with a matte finish that’s pliable, moves a touch, but still holds well.
What’s your go-to low shine & mid hold hair product? Leave any suggestions in the comments below…