Using a single styling product might well do a fine job of holding your hair in place, but hey, everyone’s hair is different, and maybe you need a little something extra. If you want to achieve the pinnacle of good looks, a mastery of charisma and anything else that involves having the best darn noggin mop on the block, you should summon your inner chemist and combine those gels, pomades and other gelatinous goos to create a concoction that will do your head justice. So, haul your computer, phone — whatever you have this article pulled up on — to the bathroom, crack open your product cabinet and follow along as our very own Jacob Sainz, a styling product savant, guides us through a product mixing bootcamp.
Before jumping into the brewing process, Sainz says, “There are two things that you need to know about styling products: Hold and shine. Hold lets you know what to expect when it comes to how pliable your hair will be after using the product — a product with a lower hold, for instance, will be more pliable throughout the day, whereas a higher hold product will be more stiff. Shine, meanwhile, is all about the actual appearance of your hair — a high shine product will look more wet and glossy, whereas a low or matte shine product will look more natural.” Understanding these two categories will be extremely helpful when it comes to mixing and matching.
Speaking of which, if you really want to find the right combination for you and your hair, Sainz recommends taking some time to mess around with your favorite products. “You should probably experiment with your favorite product and one other product,” he says. “You need to experiment to find the perfect combination for you.” That being said, he does have several recommended mixtures to get you started…
Clays and Creams
Clays tend to have a high hold, but if you want something in between a high hold and a medium hold, Sainz says, “You can lighten clays up with a little cream.” He does add, however, that you should apply the cream first so that you can style your hair as you see fit, and then lock your hair into place with the clay. You can use this guide (which will be helpful for all of your concoctions) to figure out how much of each product you should use, depending on your hair length.
Fibers and Creams
Our hair fiber here at Dollar Shave Club provides a medium hold with a matte finish, which Sainz says “is great for short-haired men.” But if you want a shinier look without having to use something as heavy and stiff as, say, a gel, he explains that “mixing in a little cream should help you get there.”
Creams and Pomades
“Creams are great for adding texture to thin hair,” Sainz explains, but he adds that they tend to have a relatively low hold. “If you add a little pomade to your creams, then you can get more hold from the product while still getting that texture.” In other words, while pomade might normally weigh down your hair, especially if you only have so many strands, the addition of cream provides a little more flexibility.
Pastes and Gels
“Gels are known for being high hold and high shine, and can sometimes have some drawbacks, like excessive drying, not much flexibility, increased dandruff and an itchy scalp,” Sainz explains. “So, to help with the stiffness and drying, add a little paste to lighten up the gel while still achieving the look that you’re looking for.”
Now just make sure to wash all of that goop off of your hands before scrolling through every other extremely helpful article on our website.