Wax, Gel, Pomade — Which One Do You Really Need?

by Anjelina Tongco

You can brush and comb and shape your hair all day but without the right styling product, all your efforts come down to nothing. There are tons of styling products out in the market, from the classic pomade to the newer and more innovative hair clay. Just like women, men often get overwhelmed with their options too. 

Should you use pomade because you saw your dad using it while you were growing up? Or should you stick to gel which your friends in high school taught you about? Maybe you should try something new like wax or clay? 

If you’re torn and are unsure about which styling product you really need, read this. 


Pomade is great for beginners. This versatile hair styling product can either be water-based or oil-based. Water-based pomade is easier to rinse out so it’s great if you’re looking for something temporary and don’t need your hairstyle to stay on all day. Oil-based pomade, on the other hand, is a lot harder to get out of your hair. It provides a better and longer hold so it’s perfect if you need to have your hair “on fleek” all day. 

Good quality pomade offers flexibility for your hair. This means it won’t make your hair stiff after it has set so you can restyle it throughout the day. Pomade is best used if you want your hair to look naturally well put together. 

Product recommendations: 

American Crew Pomade 

Redken Brews Wax Pomade

Loma Cream Pomade

Find the best hair wax for men and women (yes, women use these too!) at hairsense.ca or click here. 

Hair Styling Gel

Another common hair styling product that everyone knows about is hair gel. It’s the goopy, jelly-looking thing that either comes in a tub or a squeeze bottle. If you’re looking for exceptional hold and a look that won’t budge all day, hair gel is one of your best bets. Once gel sets, there’s very little room for restyling so make sure you’re happy with how your hair looks before it dries out! 

What’s great about gel is that it’s relatively easier to wash out. It’s also a lot more accessible and there are tons of great brands out there that offer a full line of hair gels ranging from soft hold to extreme hold. Gel will often leave you with a fresh, “just got out of the shower” look as the shine tends to stay even after the product has set and dried. 

Product Recommendations

Alter Ego Hasty Too Modelling Gel 

Sebastian Professional Gel Forte Strong Hold Gel

Eco Styler Gel 

Hair Wax 

Hair wax offers medium hold with medium shine. It’s great for achieving that bedhead look that used to be so popular in the early 2000s (though if you can still rock the look today, we won’t judge you). 

Hair wax can be made from different kinds of waxes, from beeswax and lanolin to carnauba and candelilla. Some types of beeswax offer more benefits for your hair than others. Unlike styling gel, however, hair wax usually contains little to no alcohol which means it won’t be as drying for your hair. It also doesn’t leave your hair stiff when the product has set, so you can restyle it whenever you want. 

One thing to watch out for when using hair wax is buildup. Hair wax is hard to wash off and not being able to get it off your hair properly at the end of the day can result in overly greasy hair and other scalp issues. 

Product recommendations

Lakmé K.Style Water-Touch Flexible Gel Wax

KMS Hair Play Liquid Wax

Keune 1922 By JM Keune World-Class Wax