Men’s Hair Clay Vs Wax: Here’s The Difference

25th July 2022

At Cutters Yard we love a good hair product, but as a quick glance at any retailer’s hair care section will tell you, the choices are mind-bogglingly endless. Men’s hair clay vs wax? Gel vs pomade? Hairspray vs styling paste? Having choices in life is great…but how do you know which is the right choice?! 

We’ve broken down the differences between men’s hair wax and men’s hair clay. Let’s get to it.

Men’s Hair Clay vs Wax: What’s The Difference?

First of all, what is the difference between men’s hair clay and wax? 

The main difference between men’s hair clay and wax is that hair wax is oil-based and hair clay is water-based. Hair clay, therefore, is usually easier to wash out and can be done so with a regular shampoo, while most oil-based products will require a cleansing shampoo to get rid of all traces of the product.

As with all hair styling products, applying them properly is key if you want a finish that says slicked back and stylish as opposed to ‘my hair desperately needs a wash!’ 

Application is slightly different for men’s hair clay versus wax. Clay is easier to scoop out of the tub and can be applied to your hair with a minimum of fuss. Wax is a little harder to work with and you’ll need to warm it in your hands before applying it. Don’t hang around either when using wax as it sets quickly. 

Should You Use Clay or Wax For Hair?

As mentioned, this depends on the finished look you want to achieve. Wax is great for styles that are neat and sleek as it adds definition and shine. 

Clay generally has a low shine or matte finish and is ideal for adding texture and body to your hair. 

As a very general rule of thumb, if you’re wondering whether to choose hair wax or hair clay, we suggest clay for the day and for casual looks, and wax for night as it’s glossier.

Your hair type will also affect your choice of product, as hair clays and waxes work differently on different textures. For example, if you’re wondering whether to opt for clay or wax for thin hair, clay is normally your best bet although you don’t have to rule out wax completely.

Let’s break it down.

  •   Thin Hair

When it comes to deciding between clay or wax for thin hair, clay is normally better as it adds body, helping to give thin, fine, or limp hair a textured boost.

However, if you want the high gloss finish that wax gives you, we suggest using a pre-styling treatment beforehand to prep your hair and lessen the likelihood of your scalp showing through slicked down hair.

  • Thick hair

Clay is good for adding definition to thick hair and will help to tame unruly locks. You can use wax if you prefer as this is also good at managing thicker hair but you need to be careful that you are distributing it evenly so that it doesn’t clump. 

  • Curly Hair

Curly hair comes with its own set of rules and taking care of curls can require a little bit of effort. The good news is, both clay and wax work on curly hair, although most people opt for clay to add matte, rather than shiny, definition to their curls. 

To sum it up, we say there are no hard or fast rules when it comes to men’s hair clay versus wax and which you choose really depends more on the look that you’re going for.

Men’s Hair Styling Products For The Best Results

If you’re looking for a hair clay for men that will allow you to create any style you want, while also adding texture, we think Aveda’s Men Pure-formance™ Grooming Clay with its matte finish is hard to beat. The lightweight formula and strong yet pliable hold make it ideal for all hair types, lengths and styles. 

We also love Aveda’s Men Pure-formance™ Pomade from the same range which, like clay, is water-based, making it easier to wash out than a wax, but comes with the high shine and definition that wax provides. It’s great for short to medium length hair. 

For the ultimate in hold, definition and shine, the Men Pure-formance™ Firm Hold Gel is your best bet. With UVA protectors to help prevent sun damage to your hair, the gel doesn’t create unwanted build-up either, which is something that you do have to watch out for with most waxes.

Hair Grooming and Styling at Cutters Yard London

At Cutters Yard we pride ourselves on delivering great service, great haircuts, and great products. 

We offer a full range of barber services from cutting and styling to head and beard shaving as well as grooming services such as facials and waxing.

If you’re looking for a barber in London Bridge or Southwark, it’s time to get in touch. Book your appointment today and we’ll look forward to seeing you soon.