Hair gel has been a staple of male grooming for decades. From Hollywood stars in the ‘50s to football icons in the ’00s, perfectly quaffed hair has been a popular look that is achieved through a high-quality, firm hold gel.
However, the market is completely saturated with products that provide the same level of firm hold, but offer different aesthetic finishes.
Finding a product that works for you in terms of both hold and appearance can be a difficult task. This article has compiled a list of the best hair gel products for men on the market.
We have also included a helpful buyer’s guide to help you find the best product for your needs.
Best Hair Gel For Men
OUR TOP PICK
Jack Black has been around for over 20 years, manufacturing high-quality skin care and hair care products specifically designed for men.
The Body-building hair gel is one of the best products offered by the brand. Formulated with grapefruit which contains vitamin C, this helps to promote the production of collagen which is essential for maintaining healthy, strong hair.
Another ingredient in this product that can help to protect the health of your hair is glycerin.
Many hair gels and hair care products contain glycerin which helps to keep your hair moisturized and prevents your hair from drying out in hot weather.
One of the best things about Jack Black’s Body-building hair gel is that it is completely fragrance-free. This makes it the perfect option for everyone.
Products that contain fragrance can be off limits to some users because of scent preference or sensitivity of your scalp which can lead to reactions.
Additionally, unlike more traditional hair gel products the Jack Black hair gel does not contain alcohol that is designed to speed up the drying of the product.
The alcohol content of many hair gels allows it to set faster but also can lead to long-term hair damage.
- Alcohol-free formula
- Fragrance-free formula
- Contains vitamin c to promote collagen production
- Contains glycerin
- The slightly expensive price point
This product from Oribe may be one of the most expensive products on this list but the price is worth it when you realize just how much this gel can offer you.
This gel product is pretty unique in its ability to provide a firm hold without weighing down your hair.
This makes it the perfect option for anyone who has thinner hair that can become overwhelmed by many gel hair products and end up looking greasy more than styled.
Another great thing about this product that helps to justify the price is the effect it leaves on your hair.
The Oribe gel contains tiny flecks of gold that leave your hair looking shiny and sleek rather than wet which can be an off-putting factor of hair gel use.
One of the main benefits of this product is that you are getting a trusted brand that has a proven track record of creating high-quality hair products.
This hair gel serum will do exactly what you would expect it to do, the serum aspect of the formula means that the gel leaves your hair moisturized and shiny rather than crunchy and wet looking.
- Good for thinner hair
- Gold flecks create shine
- Non-crispy formula
- High-quality ingredients
- Not ideal for thick, long hair
Another well-known brand on this list is L’Oreal. The Studio Line offers high-quality hair products that cover every aspect of styling.
The Clear Minded Clean Gel is one such product, providing incredible hold for your hair without the nasty looking flakes that some hair gels produce.
One of the most impressive things about this particular hair gel product is the effect that you get with this gel alters depending on when you use it.
If you apply this gel to your hair when it is dry you will get a matte look that is very similar to a hair wax or pomade.
If you apply the gel when your hair is wet you will get a wet look that lasts all day, giving you the look of having just stepped out of the shower or the ocean.
One of the things that this particular hair gel does well is to provide definition to your style. This makes it the perfect product for those with curly hair.
Whether you have short curls that you want to hold in place or longer curls that you want to be defined and smoothed, this product can add the perfect finishing touch to your hairstyle.
- Affordable product
- Trustworthy brand
- Matte or wet-look
- Provides definition
- Can be heavy on your hair
American Crew Firm Hold gel is one of the gel products on this list that are perfect for thicker hair.
No matter how thick or long your hair is, the American Crew product can tame your locks and hold your style in place all day.
The best thing about this product is that it is formulated with absolutely no alcohol which means that it won’t dry out your hair or scalp.
This is a super important aspect of a product that has been designed to work well with thick or curly hair that has a tendency to be naturally drier than thinner or straight hair.
One of the best things about all American Crew hair products, including the firm hold gel, is the use of natural extracts in the formulas.
It is the natural extracts in the formula of this product that provide an incredible level of shine from the gel.
The shine makes your hair look healthy rather than wet, all the while holding your hair in place all day no matter how busy or active you are.
- Great for thick or curly hair
- A formula that won’t dry out hair or scalp
- Provides shine rather than a wet-look
- Contains natural ingredients
- Thick formula
Bumble & Bumble is one of the most popular hair care brands of recent times.
They have gained that popularity through producing a range of hair care and styling products that are incredibly high quality at reasonable prices.
The standout feature of this product is that it is significantly more flexible than traditional hair gels with the Give ‘Em Gel offering a medium hold.
This may not be the ideal product for you if you want your hair to stay exactly where you put it all day long.
However, if you want your hair to hold a style but still retain some natural movement, this is a great product to use.
Another great thing about this gel is that it is perfect for those of you who are very busy and don’t have a lot of time to style your hair in the morning.
You only have to use a very small amount of the product to get the best results.
Whether you have curly hair that you want to define and keep frizz-free, or you want to keep your hair looking perfectly quaffed all day before you rush out the door, this product gives you what you need.
When the product dries, it doesn’t leave your hair feeling crunchy, stiff, or sticky.
- Popular brand
- Flexible, medium hold
- Great for curly and straight hair
- Quick and fuss-free
- Strong perfume scent
The Johnny B Mode styling gel is one of the most vintage-feeling products on this list.
Instead of coming in a convenient tube, the product comes in a twist lid tub which is great for ensuring that you can use all of the product rather than leaving traces in a squeezy packaging.
This product is available in both 16ox and 32oz tubs which is very generous and perfect for anyone who doesn’t like having to replace their products each month.
Much like the Bumble & Bumble product, this is a medium hold gel that allows your hair to retain a little bit of movement throughout the day.
For best results with this product, once you have applied it to your hair and are happy with the look, blow dry your hair briefly to act as a means of setting the product.
This will ensure that your style stays in place all day long. One of the best things about this product, aside from the medium hold, is the fact that it has been made entirely without alcohol.
This means that it is not going to dry out your hair or your scalp and will help to retain the moisture within your strands.
- Alcohol-free formula
- Medium hold allows natural movement
- Large, convenient tub packaging
- Slight blow drying can set the product better
- Strong smell
If you are big into hair care more than styling products but want to dip your toe into the world of styling, this is the product for you.
Out of all of the hair gel products on this list, this offering from R&Co is one of the best in terms of looking after your hair.
The Motorcycle flexible hold gel has been formulated with natural ingredients that provide an incredible amount of moisture to your hair while you wear it and beyond.
The creamy product helps to keep your hair in place and keeps your hair full and rich as opposed to crispy and dry.
R&Co Motorcycle flexible gel is also a great option for the ethical consumer.
Not only are all of their products, including this one, vegan, gluten-free, and cruelty-free, but the brand is also actively cutting down its carbon footprint.
R&Co makes all of its packaging with 55% post-consumer resource plastic. The product can be applied to hair either wet or dry and produces a slightly different effect for each.
On wet hair, the gel will provide a controlled hold, whereas, on dry hair, it can be used for specific hold and separation.
- Packaging made from 55% recycled material
- Vegan, cruelty-free, and gluten-free
- Made with natural ingredients
Another well-known brand on this list is Got2Be, if you are a connoisseur of hair styling products, you will be familiar with this brand and might even have used them before.
The best thing about the Got2Be Ultra Glued Invincible styling gel is that it is perfect for vertical styles such as mohawks.
This makes it stand out from many of the other products on this list which provide strong hold but do not claim to be able to successfully hold a vertical style all day.
Another benefit of this product is that it does not produce flakes in your hair as it dries throughout the day. This is an effect that most people want to avoid with their hair gel and other hair products.
Additionally, the Ultra Glued Invincible styling gel is super quick and easy to wash out of your hair.
Despite the incredible level of hold that this product provides, you won’t have to spend half an hour or more in the shower trying to remove it at the end of the day.
This also makes it better for the health of your hair in the long run.
- Great for vertical styles
- Incredible hold
- No flakes
- Washes out easily
Sexy Hair is a brand that you are likely to have heard of only if you are a long-time user of hair products. Although they may not be the most well-known brand, their products are still of exceptional quality.
The Style Hard Up gel from Sexy Hair is a great product for those who have thicker hair that is difficult to manage.
The pump bottle design of the packaging makes this an incredibly easy product to use with minimal mess and cleanup.
The hold of this gel is strong with a high quality of hold that can keep your style in place all day.
In addition to being able to hold your style no matter how thick your hair is, the Sexy Hair gel provides incredible shine to your hair, making it look healthy and conditioned.
Similarly, the product does not become flaky throughout the day, rather it keeps your hair moisturized and your scalp dry, but not dried out. As with all Sexy Hair products, this gel is 100% cruelty-free.
- Adds shine to your hair
- Strong hold
- Great for thicker hair
- Can leave a blue hue on your hair if you use a lot of the product.
Everyone wants something different from their hair gel. Some want indestructible hold while others prefer to keep some level of movement.
Some want added shine while others want a mattifying effect. Whatever you want from a hair gel, there are a few things that are worth considering before purchasing the first product that you see.
Strength Of Hold
One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a hair gel is the strength of the hold that it offers. For some, a medium to light hold will be enough for what they want to do.
If you have thinner hair for example, or just want to use a small amount of gel to tame flyaways, you don’t need a strong hold.
However, if you are looking to achieve more specific or complex hairstyles, or you have thicker hair that is harder to control, you will need a product that offers a high level of hold.
The strength of a hair gel will be clearly labeled on the packaging.
The packaging of the product is also something that is worth considering. There are many different options for this. You can purchase a squeezy tube of gel, a tub with a twist lid, or even a pump action bottle.
Each of these options has its own benefits and downsides. A squeezy tube for example is a convenient method of dispensing product, however, it does mean that some product will be left behind when it is empty.
A twist lid tub on the other hand is a little less convenient, but you are able to use 100% of the product inside.
Finish Of Formula
The finish of the hair gel is also something that is worth considering. For some people, the added shine that many hair gels offer can leave their hair looking much healthier than it might actually be.
For others, the added shine just leaves their hair looking wet, or worse, greasy. For some people, a mattifying finish can add to their chosen style, especially if they are going for a more undone or relaxed style.
However, for other people, a matte finish can make their hair look dry and damaged. It is important to check the finish of a product before purchasing it.
There are many different hair gels on the market that are not only suitable for men’s hair but are also specifically marketed toward them.
The products mentioned in this article are some of the best on the market and can be a great place to start exploring