Hair Wax: How to Use It & Which Best To Buy

How to use hair wax and which are the best to buy

Hair wax is an interesting hairstyling product that, unlike the name hints, is not made out of wax; rather, hair wax’s visual manifestation resembles melted wax, hence its name. Hair wax also goes by other names such as putty, glue, styling paste or molding gum.

What is hair wax for?

Hair wax is great for holding gravity-defying hairstyles, just like hair gel; however, hair wax doesn’t dry as much as hair gel, yet the former retains the same pliable (i.e. molding) property of the latter. Furthermore, hair wax provides shine, which, together with its pliability and less potential to dry makes hair wax an excellent choice for men who prefer a less drier look than that offered by hair gel. In fact, the same ability of hair wax to mold one’s hair into shapes is also why hair wax as a hairstyling product for men is simply referred to as “wax”.

Consistency of Gatsby hair wax as a men's hair product

Consistency of hair wax

How to use hair wax

To use hair wax, simply scoop out some with the fingertip of your index finger and then rub this very amount on your palms, ensuring to coat your fingers. Proceed to coat your hair with the hair wax, ensuring that you don’t get this hairstyling product on your scalp; hair wax is notoriously annoying to remove from the scalp, so aiming to coat ¾ of your hair’s length (i.e. all the length except that closest to the scalp) will ensure that you don’t get any on the scalp. Because of this particular residue-leaving issue with hair wax, try to use as little wax as possible to style the hair: one fingertip amount will usually do for short hair and even medium-length hair.

Short and medium-length straight and wavy hair benefit the most from hair wax since both hair types are easy to shape into hairstyles. Hair wax can also be of somewhat benefit to coiled and kinky hair although it is better you use pomade rather than hair wax if you’re looking for sleep hair that is held in position.

Best hair wax for men

There is a good range of hair waxes in the market, with some resonably-popular names such as Gatsby hair wax and Dax hair wax. Unfotunately, most hair waxes are either garbage or leave too much residue on the hair, and, many times, you have to trade the hair wax’s ability to mold the hair for its ability to not leave behind gruesome residue on the hair that is hard to remove after. Thus, the best hair wax for men will have a good balance of hair molding and light-residue depositing.

The following are some of the best hair waxes that we currently have:

All in all, hair wax is an excellent men’s hair product that allows a male to mold his hair into all sorts of shapes while providing pliability and shine, which is precisely the reverse of what you’d expect if hair wax were made of candle wax! Grab yourself some of the hair waxes posted above, follow these hair wax tutorial and get on practicing some cool hairstyles to show off with!

For your male grooming needs, visit the Barbershop Forums, the mens style and fashion community with some epic male grooming stuff thrown in!

5 comments for “Hair Wax: How to Use It & Which Best To Buy

  1. Gil
    November 11, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    In your book you say that its best to use these hair styling products on damp hair. But I’ve read from others that sometimes it styles better on dry hair. For example, Gatsby’s site says this:

    “To create a desired hair style, it’s best to avoid putting wax on wet hair. Instead, you should dry hair while shaping it into your desired look to create the basic form of your style”

    Other products seem to suggest the same thing. And from experience, it just doesn’t seem to come out right when I put it on damp hair. Or perhaps I should put a little less water. Is it okay to use it on dry hair then?

    • January 13, 2015 at 8:52 pm

      Hi Gil,

      Apologies for not replying earlier. I hadn’t seen your comment.

      By dampening the hair, you’re creating an even more-regular surface to style your hair, which cannot be achieved with dry hair; having damp hair also helps with better distribution of the hairstyling product, especially for men with the curly texture (wavy, coiled and kinky). However, with dry hair, the product works immediately, which is what most manufacturers want: that you see results immediately. The issue is that, by using the hair product on dry hair, you end up having to use more product and take longer to style, which is not a good thing (for you) over the long term (but which makes manufacturers more money as you have to buy the product more frequently).

      The above why I recommend dampening the hair a little before product application in order to style the hair. As you have read in my book, I’m big on looking at the long term and on carefully blending hair grooming with hair care. You can, however, apply the product on dry hair, especially the newer hair waxes and styling rubbers such as those by Gatsby. As extra advice, do remember that, if you want a wet-look effect, you will need to have your hair damp.

      Hope that helped!



  2. Sid
    November 6, 2016 at 8:15 am

    My hair is very light, thin and dry. I can’t style it into anything. Please suggest some hairstyles for me. I also want to buy some hair spray. Is hair spray a good product to style men’s hair with?

  3. Anonymous
    February 6, 2017 at 7:14 pm

    Does hair wax spoil or damage men’s hair?

    • February 7, 2017 at 8:32 pm

      No, although some hair-styling waxes can be tricky to wash off one’s hair.

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