A Review Guide to the Best Hair Gel for Men


Sep 29
best hair gel for men

So you're trying to find the best hair gel for men? To find out, we carried out a series of tests on various types of hair to find out which were considered the top 3, by both the people using the gel and the opinion of what the results looked like to others. The Top 3 that we have selected all have different features as we covered a wide range of products. Therefore, if you prefer a softer control to your gel, you may prefer the product we have in second place to that which we have chosen in first.

The Best 3 Hair Gels for Men

The criteria that we set for this review was that the product had to be easy to apply, effective, long-lasting and then easy to remove. Some of the products that we tested performed well in one or two areas but then failed in others. The final selection passes and excels at all the set requirements. We considered what men have said that they don't like about gels - the fact that they cause white flakes in their hair, being difficult to wash out, difficult to apply, and rejected products that we found with these negative features. The three products that appear in our top 3 recommendations have none of these unwanted elements.


American Crew Forming Cream, 3 Ounce

( 4.5 out of 5.0 )

  • Holds hair in place with a light natural look
  • Washes out with water
  • Not very effective with long hair 


Style Sexy Hair Hard Up Gel - Shine 9 / Hold 10, 16.9 Ounce Pump Bottle

( 4.8 out of 5.0 )

  • Strong hold - 10
  • High shine - 9
  • Dries quickly with no flaking
  • Washes out with water
  • Nozzle can clog if not used regularly


TIGI Bed Head B for Men Matte Separation Workable Wax, 3 Ounces

( 4.4 out of 5.0 )

  • Matte finish for natural look
  • High humidity resistance
  • Can be shipped in different packaging which confuses some buyers
  • With the alternative packaging the volume is less - 2.65 oz. instead of the advertised 3 oz.

A Bit of History on Hair Gel

Hair gels are not a new phenomenon, Egyptian mummies have been found with a fat based gel, which was used to make sure that their hair kept the same style in life and in death. One of the bodies recovered from a peat bog and dated to over 2,200 years ago used a resin from pine trees to style his hair.

In 1929, Brylcreem was invented and became the leading hair styling product for the next several decades. The many hair gels that we have today can trace their origin to the 1960s and the development of 'Dep'. 

Why Buy Hair Gel?

People buy hair gel for a variety of reasons. Some want to have a natural look and use the gel just to keep their hair in place. Others want a more 'creative' look. 

  • Must be easy to apply
  • Have some resistance to rain and high humidity
  • Easy to wash out
  • Must not 'flake' when in your hair

All of our top 3 Best Hair Gels for Men meet and exceed these basic requirements.

What to Look Out for When Buying Hair Gel

There are probably hundreds of different hair gels for men available in the market today. Many offer different levels of hold, are designed to suit different holds, but which one is best for you? Possibly different type of gel for a different occasion - one product for work and a different product for play - and some for boys haircuts while others for men's haircuts.

  • ?The product should be the 'right' consistency. If it is too thick it will be difficult to apply to all your hair easily. If it's too thin, it won't stick to your hair.
  • Have the 'look' that you want. If you want a natural look you need a matte finish to the gel, but if you want a shine to your hair you need a gel with a high shine factor.
  • You need a gel that will maintain the hold if your hair should get damp with light rain or high humidity.
  • It is important that the gel does not dry out and start to flake

How to Apply and Dress Your Hair when using Gel for Men

Although this video is for one particular type of hair gel, the principles used in application can be used for the three gels that we have selected in our top 3.

Detailed Reviews of the Best Hair Gel for Men

Why have we chosen the particular gels that we have? Read the detailed reviews and see what we liked about each gel, and what we thought could make it even better.

Style Sexy Hair Hard Up Gel - Shine 9 / Hold 10, 16.9 Ounce Pump Bottle

Style Sexy Hair Hard Up Gel - Shine 9 / Hold 10, 16.9 Ounce Pump Bottle, is quite thick when first dispensed but is easily applied to your hair. The gel quickly dries and provides all day hold to even the most spiked hair. The gel is resistant to light rain but is quick to wash out with shampoo and water.


  • Easy to dispense from pump bottle
  • Quick to apply to hair
  • Dries very rapidly
  • Provides all day hold
  • Very good value for money

What's Good About It?

A quick pump to the dispenser gives sufficient for relatively short hair. When first dispensed the gel feel quite thick but when rubbed between the palms before applying it seems to thin a little. The gel covers all the hair without too much effort and any styling immediately stays in place. The gel dries rapidly and once dry will keep even the most elaborate style in place throughout the day (or night), even through light rain. After application the gel washes easily off your hands. The gel gives the hair a high gloss appearance. to remove the gel just wash out with shampoo and water. In addition the 16.9 oz. pump container is very good value for money.

What Could Be Improved?

The only drawback is that the gel can dry in the spout of the dispenser making it hard to dispense. Someone suggested cleaning the spout with a toothpick which seemed to work.

American Crew Forming Cream, 3 Ounce

American Crew Forming Cream, 3 Ounce, works well for short hair if you want a light hold with no shine. A few drops rubbed into the palms of your hands then applied to either toweled dried hair or dry hair. It works into your hair without too much effort. Then comb or brush your hair in the style you want and that is it. 


  • Holds hair in place all day with a light hold
  • Natural matte look - no shine
  • Uses only a small amount of gel for effective hold
  • Does not clump the hair when applied

What's Good About It?

Whereas Style Sexy Hair Hard Up Gel - Shine 9 / Hold 10, 16.9 Ounce Pump Bottle, is ideal if you want a sculptured look to your hair, if you prefer a more natural look with a light-hold, then American Crew Forming Cream, 3 Ounce is the product for you. The gel is easy to apply, on either toweled or dry hair. The gel cleans off your hands easily after application. The Forming Cream hold hair as effectively as lacquer but still retains a flexibility that you don't get with lacquer. It is a great product for adding extra body to your hair. Washes out easily with shampoo and water.

What Could Be Improved?

Although it was not a problem for us, some users have commented that the container has been known to leak sometimes - something to be aware of if you are packing it to travel with.

TIGI Bed Head B for Men Matte Separation Workable Wax, 3 Ounces

TIGI Bed Head B for Men Matte Separation Workable Wax, 3 Ounces is a little like American Crew Forming Cream, 3 Ounce but with a slightly firmer hold. So while it is nowhere as stiff as Style Sexy Hair Hard Up Gel - Shine 9 / Hold 10, 16.9 Ounce Pump Bottle, it does give a little more freedom to have some more elaborate hairstyles. when you have applied the gel to your hair, the residue on you hands washes off very easily. Like the American Crew Forming Cream, it has a matte finish, giving a hair a more natural look. 


  • Natural matte look
  • Firm hold while still keeping a bit of flexibility
  • Apply to slightly damp hair for best results

What's Good About It?

TIGI Bed Head B for Men Matte Separation Workable Wax, 3 Ounces, is a well regarded effective product. It is probably best suited to those who want a little more elaborate styles than can be achieved using the American Crew Forming Cream, but not quite as rigid or shiny as the results given by the Style Sexy Hair Hard Up Gel - Shine 9 / Hold 10.Only a small amount is needed for each application, so one container lasts quite a while. This gel works best when applied to slightly damp hair. After use can be quickly washed out with shampoo and water.

What Could Be Improved?

This product sometimes is delivered in a different container to that shown in the advertisement. This has led to some confusion with buyers as to whether they are getting the correct product. The alternative black container used also states that it holds 2.65 oz. rather that the 3 oz. advertised.

Final Verdict on Best Hair Gel for Men

We went with the Style Sexy Hair Hard Up Gel - Shine 9 / Hold 10, 16.9 Ounce Pump Bottle in our first place because it is such an effective product. It lives up to all expectations that can be gained from the product description. If you like a really firm hold and a high shine to your hair this is definitely the product for you to try. Although not a major consideration in deciding the final positions, the 16.9 oz. pump bottle is very good value for money.

In second position, we chose the American Crew Forming Cream, 3 Ounce as it offers an almost complete opposite to the Style Sexy Hair Hard Up Gel, in that it controls and hold your hair but in a very natural, invisible way. 

We selected TIGI Bed Head B for Men Matte Separation Workable Wax, 3 Ounces in third. It is a bit of a hybrid between our first and second choice, although for those who prefer a slightly more elaborate hairstyle than can be had with the American Crew Forming Cream without going to the extreme of Style Sexy Hair Hard Up Gel, this would be a good choice for you. The inconsistency with the packaging and the volume contained, although it in no way detracts from the effectiveness of the product, is a little concerning.

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