Hairstyle products are used to change the hair’s texture or shape or hold a hairstyle in place. Hairstyling products have had a significant impact on creating various hairstyles and trends throughout history.

Hair gel is a hairstyle product used to stiffen hair into a particular hairstyle. The result is similar to but stronger than those of hair spray. Hair gel is most commonly used in men’s hairstyling, but it is not gender-specific. Hair gel can come in tubes, pots, small bags, or spray form. Hair wax is a thick hair styling product containing wax, which helps hold the hair in place. Unlike some products such as hair gel which leaves the hair hard in texture, hair wax leaves the hair pliable. Many manufacturers are now releasing different versions of hair wax, such as pomade, putty, glue, glypto, whip, and styling paste.

Hair mousse is a product added to hair for extra volume and shine. It is most commonly produced as foam but can also be found as a spray. Hair mousse adds volume without causing clumps or buildup. It is a lighter alternative to hair gel. Mousse is generally applied to the roots of damp hair before blow-drying or styling. For a beach-blown effect, one may also use mousse to define curls, texture, or hair.

Pomade is an oil-based or water-based product designed for slick and tight hairstyles. Unlike hair spray and hair gel, pomade does not dry and often takes several washes to remove. Grease-cutting shampoos and deep-cleansing conditioners can be used to quicken the removal process. Other removal methods include olive oil, dishwashing liquid, and lemon juice. Most oil-based pomades contain petroleum jelly (and petroleum jelly can be used alone as a pomade) and mineral oil, and many also include some sort of wax. They may also contain perfume and coloring agents. Many pomades are still in production today and vary in factors such as weight, shine, and scent.

Hair spray is a common household aqueous solution used to stiffen hair into a particular style. It was first developed and manufactured in 1948 by Chase Products, based in Broadview, Illinois. Weaker than hair gel or hair wax, it is sprayed directly onto the hair to hold styles for long periods. It sprays evenly over the hair using a pump or aerosol spray nozzle. The product may leave hair feeling ‘crunchy’ unless brushed out. Hair volumizers temporarily add volume, body and shine to thin or flat hair. Both men and women use hair volumizers. Men turn to hair volumizers to make their hair look denser. Volumizers come in many forms, such as shampoos, conditioners, sprays, pomades and lotions. Shampoo and conditioner forms of the volumizers are used just like ordinary shampoo.

Photo courtesy of Luc Gninyomo