Hair clay lets you style with ease but also leaves your hair nice and soft. It is perfect for anyone looking for voluminous and thick hair. Here is the ultimate guide to the best hair clays for men.
Men who know how to style their hair properly stand out in a crowd. It can set you apart and show off some of your personality. Hair clay lets you style your hair without the stiff and shiny effect of hair gel or a pomade. As a more natural product that’s incredibly versatile, it’s important to know which hair clay is the best for you.
So, we put together the ultimate guide to men’s hair clay so you can get the look you want:
|Top||Seven Potions Hair Clay||Best for Hold||See Price|
|Top||Layrite Cement Matte Hair Clay||Best Scent||See Price|
|Top||Aveda Grooming Clay||Best for Thin Hair||See Price|
|Top||Sebastian Craft Clay Remoldable Matte Texturizer||Best Petroleum Based||See Price|
|Top||Paul Mitchell Matterial Strong Hold Ultra Matte Styling Clay||Best for a Natural Look||See Price|
|Top||Woody’s Matte Finish Clay for Men||Best Matte Finish||See Price|
|Top||Uppercut Barber Supplies Matt Clay||Best for Short Hair||See Price|
|Top||American Crew Molding Clay||Best for Thick Hair||See Price|
|Top||BYRD Hair Matte Pomade||Best Water Based||See Price|
|Top||Hanz de Fuko Gravity Paste||Best for Giving Volume||See Price|
What Actually is Hair Clay?
Hair clay is used to hold your hair in the style you want throughout the day. It can tame unruly curls or give you that perfect side-swept look. It is really similar to hair wax but much smoother and more natural-looking.
Usually, it’s made of bentonite (clay), butter, oils, beeswax, and, depending on which one you choose, some perfumes and chemicals.
The biggest difference with hair clay compared to a gel or wax is that natural look. It doesn’t give you the stiff and super-glossy look, but instead a softer and more hydrated appearance. This also allows it to be more forgiving when applying as you can move it around more until you get your desired look.
Also, be mindful that with hair clay, you need to activate it by rubbing it between your palms until it’s soft enough to style with. As you saw from the reviews above, this is easier to do with some more than others.
Make sure you activate it properly to avoid clumps or flakes in your hair. You’ll notice if you apply on wet hair, you might see more streaks when it dries!
Who Should Use Hair Clay?
Anyone that is looking for a naturally stylish look. Hair clay tends to give a lot more volume than other styling products, though, so it’s best used in thinner or fine hair. That way, it will give you a nice volume, and not so much of a poof.
For anyone looking for a more natural product, hair clay is a great option. Most hair clays are made from natural ingredients, given the main one is clay itself. This is great for anyone looking to clean up their routine and use products that won’t clog up your hair follicles.
Best Hair Clays for Men – Detailed Review
1. Best for Hold – Seven Potions Hair Clay
- Seven Potions is a popular brand that holds up to its reputation. Its hair clay has a strong hold with a nice matte finish.
- You can apply it on damp or dry hair.
- It has a natural finish despite the long hold properties. This is what really sets it apart, as it’s one of the few that give a nice non-greasy finish.
- It’s water-based, so it doesn’t feel heavy when you wear it and it washes out easily.
- It has great natural ingredients.
2. Best Scent – Layrite Cement Matte Hair Clay
- The scent is amazing, a nice vanilla without being too strong.
- It is water-soluble, washing off easily and preventing flakes in your hair.
- You get a bang for your buck. It’s a large size for the same price as other clays.
- The texture is a bit hard to form, which is why it lost a star.
3. Best for Thin Hair – Aveda Grooming Clay
- Great for those with thin hair thanks to the lighter hold.
- It has a great matte finish when you apply it to dry hair.
- It lost 0.5 stars due to its claim that it is a strong hold, which isn’t the case.
- It works great but is more expensive than other hair clays.
4. Best Petroleum Based – Sebastian Craft Clay Remoldable Matte Texturizer
- Sebastian is a great brand that is established for both men’s and women’s products.
- It has a great hold that will last all day.
- The texture is great to style with and leaves a nice matte finish.
- You only need a bit to get the job done, so it lasts a long time.
- It loses 0.5 stars as it is difficult to wash out, but that comes with petroleum-based clay.
5. Best for a Natural Look – Paul Mitchell Matterial Strong Hold Ultra Matte Styling Clay
- Although it doesn’t give you a super firm hold, it will give you a style that lasts all day.
- The natural hold allows your hair to look soft without being stiff.
- It’s set at a great and affordable price point.
- Applies easily once you work it in your hand for a minute.
6. Best Matte Finish – Woody’s Matte Finish Clay for Men
- It uses unique ingredients like beeswax and mineral oils. This makes it a different kind of texture that is challenging to use at first, but once you work it between your hands it applies well.
- It’s very adaptable to hair types and can be used on longer or shorter hair.
- Gives great volume.
- The matte finish is amazing, giving you that classic hair clay look.
7. Best for Short Hair – Uppercut Barber Supplies Matt Clay
- It has a great peppermint scent that’s very fresh.
- It has a very strong hold, making it great for shorter hair. Longer hair should usually stick to a softer hold so it doesn’t stand up.
- There is no gloss to the finish, which holds up all day long.
- It does contain parabens, which isn’t great for your hair health.
8. Best for Thick Hair – American Crew Molding Clay
- American Crew is an all-time classic that is great for styling.
- The clay is nice and thick, so it can tame any hair texture.
- Contains natural oils that hydrate your hair.
- It has a bit of a shine to the finish, but nothing overwhelming.
9. Best Water Based – BYRD Hair Matte Pomade
- This product has a great medium hold and is water based, making it easy to wash out.
- You don’t need very much to get a great style, so use it sparingly.
- It has an amazing scent.
- The low sheen does just what it should, giving a great finish.
10. Best for Giving Volume – Hanz de Fuko Gravity Paste
- Just as the name suggests, this clay will give your hair volume and gravity.
- It has a long-lasting hold and the perfect amount of shine.
- Easy to use for long and short hairstyles.
- You have to rub it between your hands for it to activate, which can be a bit tricky.
Hair Clay Buying Guide
How to Choose the Right Hold?
On some level, choosing the right hold is preferable. If you like a stiffer look, go with a stronger hold. If you like it to be more natural, go with a medium or loose hold.
You also have to consider hair type. If you have thick and curly hair, you’ll need to have a strong hold to get the style you want, even if it is more natural-looking. A strong hold will help keep your hair in place.
If you have fine hair, go with a medium hold. If you try a stronger hold, it might cause your hair to look like it contains too much product.
Whatever the hold, when applying, always go with “less is more.” Start with less clay and work your way up until you get the look you’re going for. The less product you have in the hair, the more natural it will look. Avoiding too much product is also a good way to avoid buildup that can eventually lead to hair loss.
Is Water Based Better?
Water-based hair clays are great because they are easier to wash out, which avoids product buildup. Water based is also great for hydrating your hair. Moisture is really important for hair health, encouraging stronger elasticity and softer hair. Having more hydrated hair will also make it more manageable long term.
Although Petroleum based is great for hold, water based is a great choice for hair health.
Also, beware of any hidden parabens in your hair clay. Hair clay has a lot of great nourishing ingredients, but a lot of the most popular brands contain parabens. Although they aren the end of the world to use, I like to avoid them when I can to maintain the healthiest hair possible, especially when there are great options without them.
How to Use Hair Clay
The trick with hair clay is to start with less and work your way up. Try to go into it with an idea of the style that you want, and maybe even have a photo to go off of when sterling.
Once you choose the right hair clay for you, take some out of the container and start to massage it in the palms of your hands.
Then, apply it to your hair and start working it through your strands. The great thing about hair clay is that you can do this on damp hair or dry hair. This is great if you don’t want to damage your hair by blowdrying it but you’re in a rush.
If you’re looking for more volume, try to blowdry your hair first before applying the hair clay. That will give you the extra bit of height you’re looking for.
You want to evenly distribute the hair clay throughout your whole head. If you don’t do this, you’re going to have streaks of clay throughout, which isn’t a great look.
Once it is all over your hair, start styling it. For a loose style that’s more laid back, use your hands to add some texture. For a more put-together look, part your hair with a fine-tooth comb. If you want some extra hold, try adding some hair spray at the end so it will last all day long.
Use the hold of the clay to style your hair in the direction and to the volume you like. Once you’re done, it will hold all day.
Benefits of Hair Clay
Hair clay can do wonders for hold and styling. It adds a great amount of volume to the hair to create a thicker and more luscious look overall.
The finish is natural-looking, but it adds a great amount of texture, too. You don’t have to worry about the greasy look, but the beeswax that is often an ingredient acts as a great hyderater. Not only does it look natural, but also one of the most natural styling products that you will find on the market.
It is very versatile. You can use hair clay to style long, short, or medium hair at all different textures. Because it’s so malleable, you can get the perfect look without a lot of drawbacks. It allows you to go for a buttoned-up look or a more casual style.
Overall, hair clay is definitely a great choice for any man looking to style his hair. Those with really long hair are the only ones who should avoid hair clay, but other than that, it is a perfect option.
I hope this guide helped you choose the right hair clay for you. Let us know in the comments what you think.