Best Hair Gel for Men: Our Top Ten Picks

While most men do not like to admit it, their hair is a very important part of their overall look. And in today's day and age, using grooming products is becoming the norm. Everyone likes to look their best whenever they step out of the house. And making sure your hair does not look like you just stepped off the set of The Three Stooges, is a big thing. Women love a guy's hair, I know my fiance does. So making sure it looks great is very important. How can you do that? Hair gel. But not just any hair gel. There are so many products out there designed for men's unique hair, but also for many different types of hair. So to choose the best hair gel for men, means to understand what your hair will work best with and what style you are actually going for. Groomed, tousled, messy, and many more. 

After having messy hair for too long...Here is the Best Hair Gel for Men.

In the chart below, you will find our top ten rated best hair gel for men.  For a more in-depth review of each model, please click on "Read Review."

Product Image

Product Name

Rating

Review

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Aveda Mens Pure-Formance Grooming Clay

4.3 out of 5

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Pure Body Naturals Hair Gel for Men

4.1 out of 5

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ECOCO Eco Style Gel

4.3 out of 5

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Tea Tree Firm Hold Gel

4.2 out of 5

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Jovinno Natural Premium Hair Styling

Pomade/Hair Wax

4.3 out of 5

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American Crew Firm Hold Styling Gel

4.2 out of 5

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Hair Craft Co. Pomade

4.6 out of 5

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Gentlemen Republic Refined Molding Hair Gel

4.6 out of 5

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Smooth Viking Hair Styling Clay for Men

4.2 out of 5

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Giovanni L.A. Natural Styling Gel

4.3 out of 5

Top Ten Best Hair Gel for Men in 2018

  1. Aveda Mens Pure-Formance Grooming Clay
  2. Pure Body Naturals Hair Gel for Men
  3. ECOCO Eco Style Gel
  4. Tea Tree Firm Hold Gel
  5. Jovinno Natural Premium Hair Styling Pomade/Hair Wax
  6. American Crew Firm Hold Styling Gel
  7. Hair Craft Co. Pomade
  8. Gentlemen Republic Refined Molding Hair Gel
  9. Smooth Viking Hair Styling Clay for Men
  10. Giovanni L.A. Natural Styling Gel

What Is Hair Gel?

Hair gel is similar to hair spray, but provides more control. The best hair gel for men will allow you to make your hair look exactly the way you want it to. Whether you want your hair to stay in one place for the whole day, or have a natural wave and flow through it. Hair gel is the answer to that just out of bed hair that you just can not get down. No one want to show up at work with hair flying every which way, or worse, looking like Alfalfa with one stand sticking straight up. The way your hair looks is much more important than you may think. Now of course, if you have a buzz cut or a pony tail, hair gel means very little to you. But if you are like the majority of men out there who have those medium to longer cuts, hair gel should be part of your daily routine. 

Hair gel, depending on the ingredients, can also be beneficial to your head. Many hair grooming products are starting to include beneficial ingredients like vitamins and minerals that can benefit your scalp and even your hair. This means that you could actually be improving your hair and your head, while making yourself look awesome. But you have to be careful about what is in your product.

best hair gel for men


Types of Men's Hair Gel

Now, this is where the choice becomes a bit more complicated. There are a ton of different types of hair gels and choosing the best hair gel is very important. Each one is designed to give you a certain look and hold, while some also work better for certain hair types. In the list, you will find pomade, wax, gel, clay, paste, cream, mousse, balm, putty/mud, and fiber. Each will give you a specific look, a different type of hold, and will work differently depending on your hair type. So without further adieu, to help you find the best hair gel, let's dive in to all the different types there are to choose from. 

  • Pomade- If you want more of a slick look and want your hair to look combed through, pomade is what you want. It will give you a high shine to your hair, and provides a medium hold. Pomade will not make your hair feel hard or crunchy and will allow you to restyle your hair throughout the day without issue. It has a creamy texture, which works very well with thick and curly hair, but can be used on any type of hair. 
  • Wax- This stuff will leave you with a medium hold and medium shine, though it will look more like a matte finish, than the pomade will. The texture will be much more tough, hence the name wax, mostly because it usually contains beeswax. It works best with straight, short to medium length hair, and may clump with wavy or curly hair. This stuff will still allow you to restyle during the day and works best on hair styles that require a comb. 
  • Gel- The most traditional of all the hair gels, but designed for a very specific type of hair style. It can be used on any type of hair and you will get the same result. High hold and high shine. It can be applied to dry hair, in fact you should only use it on dry hair. However, it does not give you the freedom to restyle during your time wearing it because it is designed not to move. It will leave your hair hard and crunchy to the touch, so if that is what you want, gel is what you are looking for. However, gels can contain alcohol which tend to dry out your hair and scalp. They can also strip the hair of its natural oils and moisture. So just be aware of that. 
  • Clay- Like the name suggests, it is made from clay and has a much firmer hold than pomade. It can add thickness and body to your hair, absorbs easily, it can draw out dirt and other impurities, helps to control and maintain frizzy hair, and can actually repair damaged hair. It is by far the most natural of all the hair gels. However, it does have a higher hold, with a low shine. Meaning it will be difficult to restyle after applying. 
  • Paste- One of the most versatile hair gels around, paste is good for basically any hair type. It provides you with a medium hold, medium shine and is much thicker than pomade. Paste can also give your hair separation and flexibility, while adding volume and texture. You can do any hair style with it, but works best with a "messy" style. It can also be washed out easily, due to the fact that it is water soluble.
  • Cream- These come with a variety of benefits, including giving your hair flexibility and strength while providing a low hold without stiffness or greasiness. This stuff will give you a medium, more natural shine, compared to other products, and is typically used as a pre-styling product because it adds shine, separation, and substance to hair. It works perfectly with medium to longer length hair because it gives it a natural shine and makes it look healthier. But it can be used with any hair type. If you have thinning or fine hair, a cream is exactly what you are looking for. Not to mention, they usually contain oils and amino acids, which can benefit the health of your hair. 
  • Mousse- One of the more lesser liked products, mousse has not been very popular since the '80s. This stuff will give your hair a tousled, hard look, which many people do not seem to be wanting in this day and age. However, if that is your style, go for it. It will give you volume and control, but not much room for restyling.
  • Balm- If you are looking for something to help your hair the most, balm is it. It supports the regeneration of hair, while helping it maintain its proper level of moisture. Balm will give your hair a nice bounce, thanks to its marshmallow consistency. It is best used for taming frizzy hair and allows you to style it any way you like. However, it may make your hair look a bit greasy and clumpy if you use it on a daily basis. So be sure to wash it out before reapplying it. You'll get a more matte finish and lower hold, so you have less control over what the wind and weather does to it. 
  • Putty/Mud- Ideal for getting the casual, messy look. Like you didn't work for an hour to get your hair looking like that. The beauty of mud/putty is that the more you use, the better your can make your hair look. However, the more you use, the more hold your hair will have and it may result in a sticky texture. 
  • Fiber- Thick, wavy, curly hair are the best types for fiber. It is a strong, yet pliable texture, that resembles dried out wax. It offers no finish and is meant to add more volume and control to your already thick hair. It will provide a very strong hold, and is best for those people who do not want their hair to budge an inch during the day. 

How to Choose the Best Hair Gel

Choosing the best hair gel can be difficult. There is a lot to consider and even more to look into once you figure out what type of hair your have and what style you are going for. Each hair grooming product is designed differently and will result in different styles. Some are more alike than you may expect, but they all work differently. However, there are a handful of things that you should figure out and keep in mind that can help you choose the best hair gel for you. ​​

Hair Type

Knowing what type of hair you have is the first step. You do not want to be spending money on a hair gel only to figure out that it doesn't quite turn out the way you expected. If you have fine or thinning hair, a paste or cream will be the best choice. For thick hair, fiber or pomade. Straight hair, grab yourself a wax. Figuring out your hair style is very important

Style

Deciding what hair style you want to go with is the next step. The best hair gel should allow you to style your hair exactly the way you want it to look. Some will provide a stronger hold than others. Certain ones give you more of a shine to your hair. If you want a slicked back look, go for a gel, pomade, or wax. A more messy look will require something with less of a hold like a paste or cream. Style is everything, and you can't get the same result with every hair gel. 

Ingredients

Many hair products contain many chemical ingredients and stuff that may even cause damage to your hair. Stuff like alcohol, or other chemical ingredients can dry out your hair and scalp, among other issues as well. The best hair gel will leave your hair looking better or as good as it looked before you used the product. If it looks worse for wear, it may be a good idea to get a new product. 

Experiment

In order to find the best hair gel for you, you are going to have to experiment with a few different types. It is really the only way to figure out which brand and which type of hair grooming product you like. Narrow down your search using the steps and information we have given you and go from there. Test out a bunch of different products until you have found exactly the style and hold, etc. you have been looking for. 

Ingredients to Avoid in Hair Gel

Like nearly all hair care products, many brands will include various chemical ingredients in their products. And while most hair gel products will be chemical or at least artificial based, there are still some ingredients that you absolutely want to avoid. Sulfates are a big issue when it comes to the human body, especially with hair. This chemical is often used to make hair products foam up, but can actually end up stripping the hair of its natural oils. This can result in dry and brittle hair, and even hair loss, which no man wants. Just because something does not foam, does not mean it isn't working. 

Phthalates are an ingredient that is common in many body products. These are also included in synthetic fragrances and can have a huge impact on your hormones after enough exposure. If you have enough exposure to phthalates, it can result in issues like infertility. Unfortunately, the majority of these chemicals can negatively affect your hormones and chemical balance in the body. Parabens are usually included in ingredients like ""fragrance" or "parfum". These parabens can actually disrupt the natural chemical balance in your body. In women, it can effect their estrogen, in men it can effect their sperm count. Lower sperm count means less chance of one day having kids. So whenever you see the ingredient "fragrance/parfum" or anything with the word paraben in it, definitely avoid. Triclosan is the last ingredient that you will want to avoid. This is another endocrine disruptor, meaning it can interfere with important hormone functions, which can directly affect your brain, immune system, and reproductive system. These can often be included in products that have antibacterial properties. Thankfully, the US has started to ban Triclosan from many products. However, it is still commonly found in many body care products including hair gels and even toothpaste

Common Features of the Best Hair Gel for Men

When you are out looking for the best hair gel for you, it should have a few key features. Anything without these, should be moved aside. 

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    Style. The best hair gel will give you the exact style, or as close as possible, you are looking for.  
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    Beneficial. Having a hair gel that leaves your hair dry and brittle is no good. You want a product that will leave your hair looking as good or even better than it was before. 
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    Fits your taste. If a hair gel you chose has a smell you don't like, don't just settle with it because it makes your hair look great. Find the best hair gel that fits your specific tastes. 

Recommended Bestsellers

SaleBestseller No. 1
American Crew Firm Hold Styling Gel, 33.8-Ounce...
  • These items are great for personal use but may not be great...
  • This product is easy to use
  • This is high quality product, made of high quality material
SaleBestseller No. 2
Johnny B Mode Styling Gel (16 ounce)
  • 6/10 hold for a medium, yet flexible style
  • Intensely thick formula to hold hair in place
  • Alcohol-free gel to preserve moisture in your hair
SaleBestseller No. 3
American Crew Forming Cream, 3.0 oz
  • Style any hair type, texture, or length with this versatile...
  • Provides medium control with pliable hold and natural shine
  • Hydrates and conditions while locking in style for all day...

Conclusion

The best hair gel for men is out there and can be a bit hard to find. However, knowing exactly what you are looking for and understanding the differences between all of the different types is a big help in narrowing your search. The best hair gel will give you all that you need and hopefully more. But not all are equal, everyone's hair is different and unique. So you need to find the one that fits your hair perfectly. 

For more information on how to stay happy, healthy and green, check out the rest that Green and Growing has to offer. And of course, stay tuned for the individual reviews of our top 10 best hair gel products for men. 

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