Most guys don’t know what hair clay is, let alone how to use and apply it. Men’s hair styling products often consist of just pomades and waxes with little appreciation given to the fact that having the best hair clay in your arsenal of grooming tools can be potent, especially for fine hair. This is because, while most clay hair products offer a medium to strong hold, they give almost exclusively a natural matte finish and work into your hair just the same way a wax would. And with proper application, even the strongest hair clay can give your hair ample volume and control without weighing your strands down.
If you’re excited about wearing your hairstyle with the best hair clay for men, you may be left wondering which brands offer the highest-quality options. From styling clay that provides a high hold, matte finish to specific products for short, long, thick, fine or curly hair, we researched the top-rated choices to bring you this killer list. Factors that determined our decision include strength of hold, shine, scent, ease-of-use, ingredients, affordability, and customer reviews. We even made sure to add some hybrids, such as clay pomade.
Check out our guide below to find a good men’s hair clay for your hair length, type and texture!
Benefits of Hair Clay For Men
There are many benefits to styling men’s hair with clay products.
- Hair clay adds fullness to individual strands of hair, making for a thicker hairstyle that doesn’t fall flat.
- Most hair clay comes in a medium to strong hold formula, empowering guys to control their hair while molding the styles they want.
- Styling clay delivers a textured, matte finish that keeps your hairstyle looking natural.
- Most are made with beeswax, which helps your hair retain moisture and a non-greasy hold.
- Like pomade and wax, you can expect clay to last all day and keep your hair in place yet also give it some natural flow and movement.
Ultimately, best hair clay products are versatile and well-made, allowing guys to style a variety of haircuts. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that the top brands make their stuff with quality ingredients that actually condition your hair and scalp.
How To Use Hair Clay
There are numerous reputable hair clay brands to choose from. But before you find your favorite, you should learn the basics of styling with men’s clay products.
Follow these simple steps to use hair clay and style the best men’s hairstyles.
- A small amount goes a long way. Hair clay is very effective – you only need a tiny amount to get your hair trendy and ready for the day. Take a tiny pea-sized dollop and place it in between your palms.
- Turn up the heat. Rub the clay between your hands to warm the product up. Warming it makes it the right consistency to easily style and shape.
- Cover your entire head. You want to make sure to cover every strand of hair. If the product isn’t evenly distributed throughout your hair, you may see thick, noticeable streaks. Start by running your hands through your hair – root to tip. To produce volume, lift and push your hair back.
- Put on the finishing touches. Now that you’ve completely prepped your hair, start styling your final look. For a loose, textured hairstyle, use your hands and fingers. For a structure look like a side part, comb over or slick back, grab a comb. To keep your hairstyle looking perfect all day, consider blow drying on low-heat, applying hairspray or adding just a touch more product to the surface.
If you’re looking for a hair product that adds volume, thickens hair, works well with textured styles and nourishes your scalp, a quality clay should do the trick.
Best Men’s Hair Clay Product
Now that we’ve covered the basics of styling with clay hair products, let’s look at the top choices on the market. We made sure to include an option for every guy, regardless of your hair type, texture, and desired hairstyle. Check out our reviews of the best molding clays you can buy.
Baxter of California Hair Clay Pomade
When it comes to the best hair clay on the market, Baxter of California takes the crown. Generally known as a luxury men’s grooming brand, Baxter of California’s Clay Pomade has a strong hold on your hair that is unparalleled, and the low shine to matte finish provides a natural look you’ll love. If you aim to achieve massive volume with a lightweight feel, this product delivers.
The effect this styling product has on unruly hair is profound. Just a little bit of the clay will smooth out your hair, eliminate frizz, and hold your hairstyle in place all day. Furthermore, you should expect some serious volume, texture and definition when applying to damp hair and styling with a hair dryer.
With tantalizing scents of lemon and sage, this hybrid hair clay pomade is filled with natural ingredients. For example, you’ll find petroleum and beeswax on the ingredients list. While the petroleum may make it a little more difficult to wash out, fortunately, it isn’t sticky and there is no greasy finish. Plus, the beeswax moisturizes and conditions your hair to keep it healthy.
While it may be a bit pricier than other options that made our list, the strength of the formula means the container will last you a couple month, even if you are styling daily. In the end, this hair clay will definitely tame any hairstyle and smooth your strands, earning it the top spot.
Layrite Cement Matte Hair Clay
If you’re looking for the strongest hair clay on a budget, Layrite’s Cement Matte Hair Clay definitely fits the bill. This clay product sports an impressively powerful hold, but its versatility, ease of use and ability to quickly wash out in the shower make it great for novices and experienced stylists alike. Not super cheap, but still very affordable for a sizable container that will last months, Layrite was a very close second on our list.
The hold of this hair clay is meant to last and it will keep your hair styled hours after application. Although the strength of this styling product may not be well-suited for thinning hair, it is easy to work through all hair to add some incredible volume. The caveat is you may have a hard time spreading it on dry hair, which is why we recommend applying after a shower and on towel-dried, slightly damp locks.
Moreover, as one of the thicker clays on the market, it will bring a textured natural finish that never flakes. The downside is that you’ll need to rub it between your hands to soften it up.
Lastly, the light vanilla smell sets it apart from the usual earth-scented choices. Created by barbers, this hair clay is high hold, low shine, washes out surprisingly easy, and can control any unruly thick or curly hair.
K+S Styling Clay For Men
Krieger + Söhne is one of the most reputable men’s care companies in the industry today. Guys looking for a hair clay that offers solid hold without any greasiness have to check out K+S Styling Clay. This hair product is perfect for men just getting the hang of styling their hair with clay and need something for daily use. Infused with beeswax for moisture and a flake-free, non-greasy finish, K+S works beautifully with most hairstyles.
It’s important to start with the fact that this clay is paraben-free and made with natural ingredients that don’t stiffen like some gels and pomades. As such, we’d rate the hold on this product somewhere between medium and strong. Great for controlling and styling your hair, especially when you want some natural movement and flow, you can expect this clay to hold up for up to 12 hours.
These characteristics result in K+S Styling Clay providing ample volume to flat, lifeless hair. Its lightweight finish makes it ideal for short haircuts that need a textured finish or medium-length to long hairstyles where you want a natural look. However, men who need strong clay for their very thick hair may need a more powerful product like Baxter of California or Layrite.
Nonetheless, the matte look combined with an easy application makes this hair clay an all-around winner. And as a product that easily washes out of your hair, and off your hands, cleanup is a breeze. If you’re searching for an awesome brand that is versatile enough to handle most looks, invest in a jar of Krieger + Söhne.
Smooth Viking Hair Clay
Smooth Viking is a small but growing company that is making a name for itself as a quality manufacturer of men’s grooming and styling products. Originally started to focus on the beard care, Smooth Viking’s Hair Clay is just another example of good ingredients that perform, resulting in stellar customer reviews.
This clay is labeled a strong hold product that maximizes texture and supplies a matte finish, bringing fullness and body to your hairstyle. While we agree that the product offer texture and thickness, our opinion is that the strength of this clay is closer to medium. Like K+S, it isn’t a super-hold option but that’s OK – not every sexy hairstyle requires it. Sometimes guys with short, thick hair or medium-length styles want control but not firmness.
Another benefit is that there is no scent, meaning no extra chemicals. While some users have mentioned a smell, most agree it is very neutral.
If you aim to add texture to your locks while keeping your style intact without worry, you need a product you can count on. As a water-based, fragrance-free product that provides shine-free coverage and washes out effortlessly, Smooth Viking deserves your consideration.
Woody’s Matte Finish Clay
Men that want their hair to appear naturally tame and styled should turn to Woody’s Matte Finish Clay. This hair product is made to control any type of look or texture, making it a staple to any guy’s styling routine. Aside from its obvious versatility, Woody’s Matte Clay gives your hair luscious volume and a highly-desirable natural finish.
With a delicious but subtle vanilla scent, a little of it goes a long way. Just a dollop of this no-shine product will keep your hairstyle in place all day. The company states it works for “normal hair”, but we’re not sure what that means. We found it to be a good choice for guys with fine, thinning, and coarse hair types. Maybe it’s the good but not overpowering hold, or the fact that you can wash it out easily.
Moreover, this clay contains a unique set of ingredients, including beeswax, mineral oil, and Cannabis Sativa seed oil, so you know your hair will stay styled, conditioned and healthy. As one of the easiest hair clays to use, Woody’s warrants the investment.
Aveda Hair Grooming Clay
Aveda is a luxury hair products company that targets upscale customers. Aveda’s Hair Grooming Clay continues the brand’s tradition of excellence with a high-quality men’s styling product that delivers a solid medium hold, awesome natural finish, and smells incredible. As one of the better clays for men with thin hair, it adds volume and texture to the coolest hairstyles. It’s also suitable for normal or thick hair, but some guys find the hold not powerful enough.
While not cheap by any means, it is a premium brand and product. Best applied to clean, towel-dried, slightly damp hair, it is super easy to use and gives your hair movement and body. This product actually makes each hair strand appear thicker, so you know your hairstyle will never fall flat. To corroborate this, we even found some women using it because of the volume creation.
Aveda’s Grooming Clay is anything but ordinary and deserves to make this list. The biggest drawback here is the price; otherwise, any guy who wants a modern hairstyle without compromising the health of their hair or the convenience of their styling routine will be impressed.
Choosing The Best Clay Hair Product
A top-notch hair clay, like a goodand pomade, can change the way you approach textured hairstyles. From thin hair to luscious curls, the right choice will add class and sophistication to your look. While Baxter of California and Layrite may be vying for the title of strongest clay, all of the options above will meet your needs. Find one that looks good for you and try it out – it’s the only way you’ll ever know for certain!
Best Hair Clay For Men 2018