The difference between pomade, clay, paste, wax, gel and more!

Het verschil tussen pomade, clay, paste, wax, gel en meer!

Life used to be manageable. Especially hairstyle technical. Not much choice in pastes to tame and style your head of hair. A compact assortment that we "did it with. Who does not know the jars of blue and yellow gel blubber at the supermarket.

A few used a jar of "grease" from the drugstore or hairdresser. It didn't get any more exotic. In recent years, due in part to the growing number of Barbers, many different hairstyling products have appeared on the scene. From ancient but unknown 'grease' to particularly artisanal and in small batches produced pomade, clay, styling powder and paste. Originating from various countries.

Each jar or bottle with unique properties. Can't see the wax or spray for the trees? We have put them, and their properties, on the counter for you. Handy because: you may have been putting the completely wrong butter in your curly hair for years. So high time for an AHA Erlebnis.

The difference between Pommade, paste, clay, wax, gel and more!

In the world of hair styling, a wide variety of products have been marketed over the years. From the well-known "soaking wet" fluorescent gel to "dry clay" for massaging into the hair and modeling tightly.

There are many product ranges with types for just about every hair type that it is now difficult to determine which product best suits your hair type. The Alphamen owe it to themselves to inform you in great detail which variants are available and what properties they have. On this basis, you can then make a proper choice which product best suits your hair type.


Grandfather was already a fan. This product comes in 3 compositions. Water, oil & clay. Since time immemorial, the oil version has been massaged into the hair. With the signature Slick Rick back to he 60-ties look. Jules Deelder like. Bright & shiny and with a large fan base. The version with petroleum (oil) as the main ingredient provides a solid hold although the firmness can vary from pomade to pomade.

The oil-based pomade is a greasy substance and hard(er) to wash out of the hair than the pomade with water as the foundation. The oil-based pomade is best washed out of the hair with a good shampoo and warm water. If any of it remains after washing, no problem because the substance nourishes the hair and you need to use less of it the next day. Another advantage is that you can model your hair all day long.

Water-based pomades generally become a little "harder" but are easier to wash out of your hair. Most pomades add a lot of shine to the hair. Water-based pomade has been very much on the rise in recent years. Many different types of these have also appeared on the market. There are also clay pomades with a higher hold but with a more matte finish. By the way, the slightly wetter pomades are again very suitable when you are blessed with curly hair.

ACE HIGH CO High Noon Pomade

View Top 10 Pomades


You might not say it right away but hair clay has been on a huge rise in recent years. Clay provides a high hold and makes it easy to get hair into a solid shape and keep it that way. Clay, as you would expect, usually has a matte finish. The popularity of clay with men is mainly due to the fact that it gives a lot of volume to the hair.

It is also suitable for men with thinner hair but use as little clay as possible. Rub it well warm. If you rub too much clay into thin hair it can become too rigid, sticky and tangle, resulting in difficulty in shaping the hair and the risk of pulling hair from the scalp. So be careful with this.

A paste could be a good alternative. Properly inserted clay does give more volume. If you have a thick head of hair clay is also a great product but it is a bit harder to apply than eg a paste. The advantage is that you can get voluminous, almost uncontrollable hair under control and in the desired model can model. There is always a clay that perfectly suits your hair type. The high hold & matte finish is therefore also very popular with plenty of men!

SHEAR REVIVAL American Gardens Clay Pomade

View Top 10 Clays


A styling paste is a very versatile product. It is a blend between a cream and clay but slightly wetter in design. It is comfortable to apply into the hair and available with low, medium or high hold in a glossy or matte finish. So very many options.

It is very suitable for men with a thick head of hair because this product is so smooth to apply into the hairstyle and is easy to restyle during the day because it does not dry in quickly. Paste is water-based so it has the advantage of being washed out of the hair effortlessly.

LOCKHART'S Anti-Gravity Matte Paste Pomade

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Hairwax is a very versatile and easy to massage in product. Over the years it has become everyone's friend among hairstyling products. Available in water and oil base. Some wax variants have a structure made up of both basic ingredients. A mixture of water and oil.

Due to its composition, wax is a dry and harder product than a clay, for example. There are also quite a few variants that provide a high gloss finish or a matte look. Of course, a wax with oil as its base is more challenging to wash out of the hair. By the way, wax is not so much for men with long hair.

HANZ DE FUKO Hybridized Wax

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Hair gel is still most similar to a pomade. Although it is the poor man' s version. Gel is an (even) wetter product that dries harder than pomade. It gives a rather low hold because it falls apart more easily. Gel contains, how could it be otherwise, water as a base and the cheaper variants contain quite a lot of chemical components which has the property of 'flaking' in the hair. However, it is easily washed out of the hair with warm water. Gel is best suited for short hair and not for men with long hair.

BAXTER OF CALIFORNIA Thickening Styling Gel

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Creams come in different varieties, wet in cut and intended to give hair a robust, boisterous or casual look. Not so much to create a sleek cut. These hair creams come in low, medium and high hold but usually have the properties of a medium hold.

FORTE SERIES Styling Cream

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Hair Styling Powder

Hair styling powder, also known as volume powder, is gaining ground in the Benelux. It is already very popular in several other countries and more and more men are discovering the benefits of this (pre)hairstyling product. Styling powder is applied at the roots in dry hair. Or you massage it into the hair itself and thus achieve that 't hair gets more volume.

You construct with this styling pulver a full forest with a matte finish. Of course it is possible to use another styling product afterwards, but it is certainly not always necessary.

BULLFROG Texturising Matt Effect Powder

View our Styling Powders

Styling Spray (Hairspray, Grooming Spray & Sea Salt Spray)

In the past, you wouldn't see a man using a spray can. Traditionally, styling hair with a spray was more in the feminine corner. But like many things that are subject to change, hair spray for men has now become an indispensable tool and part of their hair care arsenal.

Sprays, of course, come in many varieties. But for the sake of completeness, let's take a look at the characteristics of the most commonly used types;

Byrd Sea Salt Surfspray

View Top 10 Styling Spray


A hairspray is not used to style your hair but more to keep it in shape. So for the finishing touch. A hairspray is a real afterstyling product. You use it after blow-drying. Or after styling the hair with a wax or pomade to fix the hair afterwards.

Grooming Spray

There are grooming sprays that you can apply to the hair after styling but in general, most grooming sprays are a pre-styling product. Most types give a stronger hold than hairspray. It is a true blow-dry spray. The most distinguished properties of a grooming spray? They provide protection from the heat of the blow dryer and add volume and shine to the hair.

Sea Salt Spray

A Sea Salt spray also falls under pre-stylers, and is becoming increasingly popular. A Sea Salt spray or sea salt spray does have different properties than a hairspray or other hair sprays. This product is literally a water-based spray with added sea salt.

Benefit: Sea salt opens the shafts of the hair follicles and removes accumulated dirt and dead skin cells which makes the hair less stiff. It gives your hair a natural hold without being stuck on your head. This type of spray does not give super strong hold but is great to combine with a pomade, for example.

In addition to giving volume, hair tends to curl more when using a sea salt spray. Apply the spray to wet hair after showering and style it with your fingers. The hair will get a nice curl this way.

So if you want more wavy hair then you might consider a sea salt spray. This type of hairstyler also gives your hairstyle a healthy beach look. Good to know: there are also "Sea Salt" sprays on the market with artificial ingredients. And these are not actually Sea Salt products.

View Top 10 Sea Salt Spray

Hopefully, based on our text and explanation, you can now make a better choice of which product best suits your hairstyle! And if you still have doubts or questions, please let us know. You can also ask your barber for advice. That he gives with pleasure. Do we have some great brands in our digital boutique? But of course!

Anyway, ENJOY!

Your friends, The Alpha Men.