What is the difference between hair wax, hair clay and other hair products?

    What is the difference between hair wax, hair clay and other hair products?

    What Is The Difference Between Hair Wax, Clay, Putty And Gel?

    作者Zheelana Cottam


    The Men’s Hair Care industry is constantly growing and that’s because the modern man has come to accept a simple truth: It’s important to look after your hair. These days there is a hair product out there for everyone, but the real question is... what is the right hair styling product for you? This is a more complicated question than you think! 

    First you need to understand what type of hair you have - curly, straight, thick? - and what type of look you're trying to pull off. Secondly, you need to understand the differences between the types of hair products out there in the market today. Just what is the difference between a hair wax and putty? What is hair clay or gel and what makes it different from other hair products? 

    So to help you out a bit we have broken down the differences  between the most popular types of hair products for you Funky Fellas at home:



    NO GUNK Styling Funk natural hair wax for men - 2018 Beauty Global Award Winner


    Hair wax is the product you are most likely to find in your cupboard. It provides a medium to high hold which often depends on whether your product is water-based, oil-based or a mix of both. A water-based product feels quite creamy, is simple to apply and easy to remove but won’t hold as long as an oil-based product. Hair wax often feels quite dry when handling and is used to create texture as well as promote definition. It works well on a wide range of different hair types, such a straight, thick or curly, and lengths from short to medium-long, making it popular amongst most men. However, traditional hair waxes are best avoided for men with long hair, because of their harder texture, which makes them harder to apply. The finishing look will leave your hair shining.

    The Hair Wax We Recommend: 

    If this sounds like the product for you, check out our award-winning NO GUNK Styling Funk. A game-changing dual 100% natural hair wax and beard balm made with Organic Argan Oil, Beeswax and Shea Butter. It’s an oil-based natural hair wax, yet soft and easy to apply. The fragranced version gives the product a sweet, seductive, and alluring scent. Simply apply the product from root to tip on towel dried hair for a natural shine with a medium hold.



    NO GUNK Matte Lava Clay natural styling hair clay for men - 2019 Golden Beauty Award Highly Recommended


    Hair clay is a versatile product that can come in different consistencies from a thick paste to a buttery cream. In comparison to wax it offers a dryer look which is perfect for when you’re trying to achieve a style with a strong hold and matte finish. For a product to be a clay it must actually contain the ingredient clay in its formula. This product is best applied onto damp hair as clay activates when introduced to water and expands, creating volume and weight to the structure of the individual strands of hair. This the perfect product for thinner haired Fellas who are trying to create a look of thick, full hair. Styling Clay is great for styling short to medium length hair and is incredibly flexible – allowing you to pull off anything from a side part to a pompadour, or even a messier hairstyle.  

    The Hair Clay We Recommend: 

    If you feel like clay is something more up your alley, a great product to try is our award recommended Matte Lava Clay. A natural hair styling clay made with Shea Butter, Cactus Seed Oil and mineral-rich Moroccan Lava Clay. This hair product draws out dirt and impurities from the hair as well as nourishes the scalp and stimulates the hair shaft - which is an added bonus for you Fellas with sensitive skin!




    Non Brand Hair Styling Putty Texture For Men


    Putty is a particularly hard hair product to define. That's because hair brands often use the term putty interchangeably with either clay or wax. In lots of ways, it is like wax as it has a similar ingredients formulation and delivers that same medium to high hold. Unlike wax, hair putty does not deliver that finishing glossy shine. Instead, putty products tend to give a matte finish just like hair clay which allows the hair to appear denser. Some putty products even include clay in its formula! Similarly still, when applied to wet hair, the putty will add bulk and thicken up the hair, creating lift at the roots. Like magic this will give any Fella the illusion of a thick mane. It is a great product for men with dry or coarse hair as putty helps with hydration and volume. This is a great product choice for men with thin to thick hair types.




    Non Brand Hair Gel Hair Product For Men

    Credit: shutterstock


    Hair gel, the former go-to styling product for men for decades, is the most commonly known out of the variety of hair products listed; It's also usually the gateway product for most males. This is because it works for all types of hair textures, thicknesses, and lengths, and can be found in nearly any shop you come across. Gel is a wet product that can feel sticky. This product tends not to have a very high hold unless applied straight onto dry hair which makes it great for those signature spiky looks of the 90s. The finishing look will be high hold and high shine. 

    Unfortunately using gel can severely damage and irritate your hair as they are usually made with a mixture of alcohols and holding chemicals. Have you ever noticed after a night out that your skin breaks out and your hair gets dry, and you tend to feel generally awful? Well, that’s because drinking copious amounts of alcohol dehydrates you and damages your cells. In the same way, when applied to the hair and scalp alcohol causes excessive drying and breakage to your hair. Moisture is stripped from the hairs which can cause itchy scalps and dandruff. 

    If you have read this and still think gel is the product for you I would wholeheartedly recommend doing your research and investing in an alcohol-free product.


    How to properly apply your hair product (applies to hair wax, clay, putty & gel):


    • Use a small amount of hair product because you don't want your hair to be full of gunk - that's a BIG no-no. When we say a small amount we're talking pea sized. Don't worry if it turns out not to be enough because you can always add more BUT you can't take it away. 
    • When it comes to applying your hair product, start at the back of your hair and work your way to the front. This will stop your hair from appearing weighted or greasy.
    • Warm the hair product up well between your fingertips and not your palms. You usually work with your fingers so this is where the majority of the product needs to be. 
    • Apply products to the roots of your hair. This gives you better control of your hair and helps create texture. This applies to both long and short hair. But for long hair you can add some product  to the ends to help shape them.


    Zheelana Cottam
    Zheelana Cottam


    Zheelana is a writer based in Cardiff. She has a BA Honours in English and Creative Writing and is a certified TESOL teacher. When she isn’t out hiking in the lush Welsh countryside, she fills her days with reading, journaling, and going out for food.

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