Gel versus pomade versus wax versus hair cream versus hair tonic versus clay


Probably the most confusing factor about modern hair products is the multiplicity: there’s just lots of them! How will you possibly tell which fits your needs? Hair is an integral part of the general appearance, and styling goods are costly, so it’s worth making the effort to find the correct one.

Most styling products for males could be sorted into broad groups, but they’re not thick and fast. Lots of ingredients are shared among pomades and waxes, for example, usually, we discover these groups work nicely.

So, choose the hair do that you would like, after which work backwards to obtain the product that’s best for you!



What hair do could it be great for? Slicked-back, traditional 1950s pompadours (think greasers)

For several guys, pomades are the initial factor they consider once they imagine traditional styling products. Pomades were especially popular about 50 to 60 years back, plus they perform a couple of things very well. Before we dive into what that’s, it’s vital that you separate pomades into two groups: oil-based, and water-based.

Oil-based pomades: a mature style, this provides great hold along with a unique, shiny look, but could take lots of effort to clean from hair. Some recommend using dish soap or perhaps coca cola to get rid of. Can exacerbate acne and stain pillows.

Water-based pomades: newer plus much more ubiquitous, water-based pomades tight on hold, but they are easily removed having a quick shower.

Pomade Pros:

  • Flexible: Affect dry hair for any matte finish, in order to moist/wet hair for any clever look
  • Durable: Can’t be sweated out
  • Hold: Medium to high
  • Shine: Medium to high

Pomade Cons:

  • Can exacerbate acne
  • Can be difficult to get rid of if oil-based

Brands: Baxter of California, Dapper Dan, Geo F. Trumper, Morgan’s 


What hair do could it be great for? Most hairstyles having a wetter look, especially great for spikes or anything requiring really strong hold

Whenever we consider gel, we consider the ‘90s. That guy in senior high school whose hair was as hard like a helmet? He was using gel (and a lot of it). Gel is a very flexible product, so when put on moist hair it makes a wet look that’s very in. However, it may harden and then leave white-colored flakes inside your hair.

Gel pros:

  • Most powerful hold
  • Flexible: Great for various hairstyles
  • Wet look
  • Washes out easily

Gel Cons:

  • Can leave hair hard like a rock
  • Vulnerable to white-colored flakes because it hardens

Brands: Clubman, The Legends London

Wax and Clay (Paste, Glue, Putty)


What hair do could it be great for? Roll up out of bed, mussed look, slightly less tight traditional hair do

Waxes have grown to be extremely popular within the last couple of years because in lots of ways they’re a pleasant middle ground. It’s a particularly untidy category, though, plus they broadly include things also known as pastes or putties. They are able to provide a very solid hold, they’re flexible, and they’re simple to use. They’re especially great for untidy looks that you simply see everywhere now.

Clays really are a newer hybrid product for matte disheveled looks with many different texture and definition. They have a tendency to provide more volume than wax, having a similar medium hold.


  • Doesn’t harden like gel
  • Restyleable throughout the day
  • Great for different hair lengths
  • Can be used as untidy look or even more professional appearance
  • Matte appearance


  • Less strong hold than another products

Brands: Baxter of California, Dapper Dan, Jack Dean, men-u



What hair do could it be great for? Great for helping with curly, longer, or dry hair to provide a relaxed, natural style

Hair creams aren’t as common as gels and waxes, however they their very own specific purpose. The hold is generally minimal, but exactly what it does is help manage hair. For those who have curly or wild hair, creams might help add shine and defrizz. Since the hold is really minimal, it is also layered or coupled with styling products.


  • Gives hair a proper, shiny look


  • Low hold

Brands: Baxter of California, Geo F. Trumper, John Allan’s

Hair Tonic


What hair do could it be great for? Shiny, clever businessman cuts

We weren’t confident that we would have liked to incorporate hair tonics within the list because they’re a mature style, but you’ve seen a reasonably large resurgence within the last couple of years using the barbershop revival. Hair tonics were prevalent during the 1950s and ‘60s, and extremely helped set up a specific type of style. Like Don Draper, hair tonics provide your hair a higher shine and it this way.

A hair tonic is basically a liquid pomade. The hold isn’t around gel but it’s ideal for men with fine hair since the tonic might help moisturize your locks. Put it on when you are mostly dry, and spend 1 minute massaging the tonic to your remaining hair head. An excessive amount of can be displayed greasy, but the correct quantity will give you a shiny, stylish look.


  • Existed for hundreds of years
  • Gives hair a shiny, classic look
  • Might help moisturize fine hair
  • Less greasy than oil pomade


  • Less strong hold
  • Old-fashioned
  • Toxic to consume

Brands: Clubman, Jack Dean, Lucky Tiger

Conclusion: We all know it may appear complicated, but in fact lots of hairstyles is possible with many different styles. Don Draper’s look might be pomade, tonic, or gel. Most fall-out-of-bed styles are most likely a wax or clay, however they may also you need to be the effect of a damaged noisy alarms. It’s worth experimentation to obtain the look that’s best for you. And when everything else fails, consider using a buzz cut!



Pomade vs. Putty: What's the difference?


Syed Tauheed: Do you usually use Tiege Hanley Brock?

Syed Tauheed: +The Modest Man Ok sure 

si udin: The Modest Man nice dude

LostCauseIsland _: Im not a fan of the clean cut look if its too clean cut. I feel like a church boy. The best way to do any hair style is to mix messy and clean together. Too clean and you look like a cookie cutter good boy who has no style bone in the body and too messy and you could come across as lazy. Thats why so many men have high tops. Oh and great video as always. I feel like many other style channels are looking for content and are losing ideas. This channel does not have that. Alpha m as much as i love him his channel is starting to repeat himself. RMRS is starting to make content thats not that helpful. Same with TMF. But your videos still hold useful! Its the detailed videos that you are doing that are clearly separating yourself from the others.

The Modest Man: Thanks man! I appreciate that. Yeah, I don't like the too clean look. Usually my hair looks real clean right after styling, but it gets messier throughout the day. Always look better a few hours after a shower.

Hassham Habib: LostCauseIsland _ yeah

krollic: I'm usually not so concerned what hair product I use as long as it alleviates that dry/frizy almost pubeish look that can occur when dry and by itself lol

The Modest Man: +krollic yeah my hair looks crazy if I just let it dry too.

linkinparkdrift: You look like an older version of TJ Hunt lol

mikakami93: pomade too smudged and sticky

The Modest Man: The putty did end up a little smoother, partly because it has quite a bit more hold.

TheFujiwuji: they look the same. :-)

The Modest Man: +TheFujiwuji they are very similar…

Abdullah Shabir: Why not try to do a different hairstyle? Is good to mix it up

The Modest Man: Abdullah Shabir I'm growing it out as we speak!

Shock City: Hey man I love your videos, got any ideas how to style hair for those with a larger forehead? What I try to do is try to get some over it but it just looks kinda messy haha

Kennyboard: Does hair product make you go bald? People have been saying that to me, but some say otherwise.

Kennyboard: The Modest Man Thanks!

Justin Towers: no its doesn't its DHT that does that to your hair. if you leave any product in your hair long enough without washing it out it could damage the hair somewhat. but if you wash your hair every other day and condition you'll be fine.

seth153 4: i am also a big fan of putty and i also use putty everyday