The Two Hair Products Every Man Needs

Gettyimages 675996910 12e1a1ac 5fd4 4eab ae92 cb1a4d00738f
Getty Images

Naive men will try to nail every look with a single hair product; most of us, though, realize that’s a vain pursuit. But that doesn’t mean you need a medicine cabinet full of bottles, jars, and tubes! Whether you’re going for the natural daytime look or a slicker evening style, a gel and a clay are all you need. Known mainly for their skincare products, Kiehl’s has launched a gel and a clay that has us taking notice.

Kiehl’s Grooming Solutions Texturizing Clay ($18) is the stuff you need when you want to go low-key and natural. The matte finish comes from the product’s Moroccan lava clay base, which absorbs excess shine. The clay provides a flexible, medium hold that will take you through your work day. It scores extra points with us for its woodsy scent: Made with a blend of sandalwood and cedarwood (which is known for its oil-absorbing properties), and eucalyptus essential oil (which soothes the scalp), the product adds a fresh — not chemically — scent to your hair.

You can use the clay on damp or dry strands, rubbing a dime-size amount between your palms until it is soft, then running your hands through your hair to create the look you want. Tip: You’ll get more volume and texture if you work the clay into your hair from back to front. For a stronger hold, apply while hair is wet and repeat as desired.

Grooming Solutions Clean Hold Styling Gel ($18) is another new addition to Kiehl’s men’s line that really delivers. We’d call it an evening-out styling aid but if you’re a smooth kind of guy, don’t let us stop you from making this your daily go to. Like the Texturizing Clay, it also blends of cedarwood, sandalwood and eucalyptus. It also includes pracaxi oil, a seed-derived ointment that replenishes oil in your strands, giving it a healthy shine.

Work up a dime-size amount in your hands, then apply to either wet or dry hair with your fingers or a comb. Tip: For the slicked-back Rat Pack look, apply after showering and use a comb.

For more than 25 years, Men’s Journal has been the expert in all things gear — from mountain bikes to fitness trackers, blenders to watches, and drones to cars. We take pride in a rigorous review process that includes testing and torturing. While our standards remain high as ever, our site now includes affiliate links, which means that if you buy something using these links, we may receive a commission.

For access to exclusive gear videos, celebrity interviews, and more, subscribe on YouTube!