Best Hair Clay
Hair clay is one of the fastest-emerging hair styling products on the market for men, and there are a number of reasons you should consider giving it a go.
The inclusion of a clay-based ingredient in the formula provides a natural, matte finish which washes out easily at the end of the day.
It’s just the kind of hair styling product for those looking to avoid a greasy or shiny look for their hair, and it offers a strong hold without compromising on flexibility, so you can mix your style up throughout the day.
Let’s dive into our top picks for men’s hair clay. Here they are…
👑 Our Pick for Best Overall
⭐ Our Other Picks for Best Hair Clay
- Best of the Best: Layrite Cement Clay
- Runner Up: Baxter of California Clay Pomade
- Best on a Budget: Old Spice Hair Styling Clay
Best Hair Clay Reviews
Layrite Cement Clay (👑 Best of the Best)
In our view, the best hair clay is the cement clay by Layrite which offers a high hold and matte finish for your hair.
This widely well-received hair clay from Layrite is a water soluble product which gives off a pleasant mild cream soda scent upon application. It’s the perfect hair clay for binding individual hairs together in order to create a coherent hairstyle and maintain that shape throughout the day. It’s also exceptionally easy to wash out at the end of the day, so you won’t have to worry about being stuck with it in longer than you’d like it to be.
The clay from Layrite is made up of 4 mineral, plant, and animal waxes, which were each chosen specifically for their ability to provide a firm hold that’s also flexible. If you’ve ever wondered if there was a way to style your hair without it looking like you’ve applied grease to your hair, then this cement clay proves there is. It provides a long-lasting high hold which won’t make your hair sticky or leave it stuck in place or too rigid to work with should you wish to mix things up. This allows you to freshen up your look whenever you fancy a change, since all you have to do is run your fingers through your hair to rework the shape.
While the product is great for all hair types, it works best for medium to thick hair that’s short or medium in length. It’s also a tried and tested formula, elaborated by a barber and used by barbers, so you know that it’s a reliable hair clay to test the waters with.
- Mild cream soda scent
- 4.25 oz
- Dairy free
- High hold
- Matte finish
- Water soluble
- Includes 4 mineral, plant, and animal waxes
- Works best for short and medium length hair
WHY WE CHOSE IT AS OUR TOP PICK
1. This is a hair clay formulated by barbers for barbers, which speaks volumes for its effectiveness and utility for short to medium length hair.
2. The clay offers a high hold, yet without giving up on flexibility, which allows you to reshape your hair throughout the day.
3. The natural-looking matte finish works great for shorter hair and provides an attractive alternative to the shiny finish of gels and other products.
4. Mild cream soda is an interesting scent which should keep you coming back for more.
Baxter of California Clay Pomade (🥈 Runner Up)
It’s hard to search for hair styling products without stumbling upon something produced by Baxter of California, and that’s because the popular brand delivers excellent quality as is the case with its clay pomade.
As one of the most recommended clay styling products for men out there, it would be remiss of us not to draw attention to the top brand’s well-rated clay pomade. This is a hair clay which offers up a strong hold and the natural matte finish you can expect from any clay product. This is one of those hair styling products that will never let you down, and providing you have straight, thick hair will open up many possibilities.
This clay pomade aims to separate, define, and mold hair into just about any style. As mentioned, it works best with straight and thick hair, which it can transform into a hairstyle which has a strong yet pliable hold. This is ensured as a result of the natural ingredients like clay and beeswax, which both texturise and add volume to men’s hair. As a paraben-free formula, you can rest assured that you won’t be adding anything to your hair which could cause it harm, and it’s easy to wash out at the end of the day.
As a testament to its quality as a hair styling product, Baxter of California’s clay pomade has been on the receiving end of 2 prestigious awards. The first, a Details Reader’s Choice award, and the second, a Men’s Health Grooming award.
- Offers firm hold
- Matte finish
- 2 fl oz
- Includes natural ingredients like clay and beeswax
- Awarded Details Reader’s Choice award and Men’s Health Grooming Award
- Best for thick, straight hair
Old Spice Hair Styling Clay (💸 Best on a Budget)
Old Spice is one of those brands which seems to have been around for a very long time, so it’s obviously doing something right. Its hair styling clay is a solid option to dip your feet into the world of clays, and it’s available at a very reasonable price too.
This styling clay comes in the familiar red color of the reliable brand, and claims to provide a high hold and matte finish. What’s more, Old Spice invites you to create a ‘museum-worthy masterpiece’ with its hair clay, which sounds like an enticing challenge I’m sure you’ll agree. What sets this hair styling product apart from the competition is that it is infused with the moisturising and healing ingredient that is aloe. The inclusion of the natural ingredient should help to keep your hair looking healthy and hydrated.
As you might have come to expect from the iconic men’s brand, this hair clay offers up a powerful masculine scent too. The aroma is described as being akin to a tropical vacation with hints of both coconut and wood. So not only will you get a high hold to your hair which you can work and rework into any shape you want, but you’ll also give your hair some aromatherapy.
- High hold
- Matte finish
- Coconut and wood scent
- Infused with aloe
In order to get the right hair clay for your preferences, there’s a few things worth keeping in mind.
The most important factors to consider will be what length and type of hair you have, what strength hold you’re looking for, and what the main ingredients of the hair clay are.
But first we’re going to go over the basics when it comes to hair clay, which include how to use it, and why you might choose it over other hair styling products for men.
Hair clay is one of the newer hair styling products for men on the market, and as such, it might be one you’re relatively unfamiliar with.
The rising popularity of hair clay attests to its viability as a men’s styling product, and this is primarily due to the clay ingredient they contain.
These will often be bentonite or kaolin, so if you see either of them on the ingredient list, then you know you’re dealing with hair clay.
A hair clay can either be water or oil based too.
Who Is It For?
Generally-speaking, hair clay is best for men with short to medium length hair.
It can be used to add texture and volume, and provides a natural-looking matte finish often with a firm hold.
If you have shorter hair and you want a hair styling product that will give you a natural firm hold, yet also open up the possibility to reshape your hair on the fly, then hair clay is for you.
This makes it a fantastic alternative from those gels which seem to bind clumps of hair together to a crisp, which can feel uncomfortable and be very hard to wash out.
The messy just-got-out-of-bed hairstyle is easy to recreate with hair clay, so if that’s the look you want to go for, then it’s time to give hair clay a go.
How to Use It
In order to get the most out of hair clay, you should know a few things before you start to use it.
First, the amount you use will largely depend on the thickness and length of your hair, so it’s worth experimenting with different quantities to see what works best for you.
Start off with a tiny amount in the palm of your hand, and go from there.
Next, you want to make sure your hair is prepared to receive the hair clay.
In order to ensure this is the case, you want to have dry hair. This means either apply it at the start of the day before you shower, or blow dry your hair following a shower. In fact, a blow dryer can also be useful for setting your hair into place before you start working the clay in.
Now comes a key step in the process of applying hair clay – warm it up in your hands.
You want to spend 5 seconds or so rubbing your hands together with the clay between your palms so that it loses its rigid shape and covers both hands evenly. This allows for even distribution as you style and shape your hair.
If you’ve ever watched a barber apply a similar product to your hair, you’ll know that they start from the back and work their way to the front.
This helps apply texture everywhere, and it’s important that you get to the scalp so that the roots of the hair are covered. The last thing you want is for the product to sit on top of your hair and weigh it down.
Once the clay is in your hair, it’s all your to tinker around with.
Either have fun with it and go for the messy look, or carefully work it into your desired shape and style.
How Does Hair Clay Measure Up?
If you’ve made it this far, chances are you’re already sold on hair clay, nevertheless it’s important to make sure you’re using the right product for your hair.
With that in mind, we want to briefly go over some of the most popular men’s hair styling products, and compare them to clay, so have a clearer idea of what you can expect if you invest in clay.
Wax is undeniably one of the most popular hair styling products for men these days.
They litter the shelves of supermarkets and appear in mass on online retailers bestseller lists, so what makes them so popular?
Well for a start, waxes have been around for a very long time. Even perhaps as far back as Roman times.
They are often made from beeswax but other waxes are used too, and they will also have some natural oils too.
They provide shine and moisture to the hair, as well as strong scents. This is in contrast with the natural, matte finish provided by clay, so you’ have to decide which style you prefer.
It’s a versatile styling product and can be used with most hair styles.
The downside is that it can be tough to wash out.
Gel is arguably the other big competitor for hair clay, and it’s another styling product that’s been around for a long time.
Hair gel is best for wearing adventurous styles such as spiky hair and those which require a very firm hold.
With gel you can essentially manipulate your hair into just about anything you want it to be.
The tradeoff though is that it can be very hard to wash out and can make your hair feel hard and crispy.
This is the stark opposite of what a clay product does.
While clay will make your hair look as if there’s no product in it at all, gel provides an almost artificial look to it with a shiny finish.
As you can see, hair clay provides an interesting alternative to the other popular styling products such as gel and wax.
Whereas wax and gel provide a shiny look, clay makes the argument that a natural-looking matte finish is best.
Whether you agree or not will likely depend on what hairstyles you admire and what you want for your own hair.
If you have short to medium length hair and you want to add texture or volume, then clay is a great option.
In terms of styles, if you want that messy look which is becoming increasingly popular these days, then clay is perhaps your best option.
If on the other hand you’re looking to create a bold hairstyle or make your hair stand up, then you’d be best served with a gel or wax.
When it comes to the product itself, there are some ingredients you should be pleased to see in a hair clay, and others which you should try to avoid if possible.
Generally-speaking, natural is the way to go, so anytime you see natural ingredients you’re on the right track.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that just because a product has natural ingredients it’s good for you though, there are some marketing tricks brands use which you’ll need to know to make the best decision.
Both carrier and essential oils have their place in hair clays, as they can add both moisture and scent to the hair.
Essential oils can provide a pleasant aroma which is a much better option than an artificially-created fragrance which could potentially cause you problems.
Carrier oils are always great because they work with the natural oils in the hair to great effect.
- Natural Ingredients
Natural ingredients such as aloe can add extra moisture to the hair and keep it looking healthy throughout the day.
For the most part, any natural ingredient you see on the label of a hair clay is another reason to invest in it, since its inclusion likely means extra benefits for your hair.
Hands-down one of the worst ingredients to see on a product label is ‘fragrance’.
This is a marketing trick used by brands, since by simply stating the word ‘fragrance’ you can be fooled into thinking it’s naturally-sourced.
However the truth is that all sorts of artificial chemicals could have been used to fabricate the scent of the product.
While in some sense the jury is out on parabens, it’s best to avoid this artificial ingredient if possible.
It’s wide usage in skincare products doesn’t mean it’s entirely safe or without risks.
Free Checklist: 10 Must-have Clothing Items for the Modern Man 🕶️
Frequently Asked Questions About Hair Clay
Is clay healthy for hair?
In short, yes, clay can be healthy for your hair.
The inclusion of clay in this hair styling product, oftentimes the naturally-occuring bentonite which comes from volcanic ash, can add volume to your hair and provide structure throughout the day.
It can also draw away dirt and other unwanted substances from the hair, and do so while leaving all the natural oils intact.
Plus, hair clay can stimulate the hair shafts and promote the healthy growth of hair follicles on the scalp.
Is clay or wax better for your hair?
While wax is the far more common hair styling product for men, clay is increasing in popularity – and for good reason.
Wax can provide a medium strength hold for your hair and is versatile enough to work well with just about any type of hair.
Clay on the other hand will work to give you plenty of volume in your hair, as well as providing a more natural finish in contrast with the shine left behind by wax-based hair products.
Waxes tend to be more affordable, while the newer clay products are generally more expensive, so at the end of the day it all boils down to personal preference and what you think will work best for your hair.
Does hair clay wash out easily?
While it’s true that many clay hair styling products rely on contact with water in order to provide the volume they’re known for, they are generally easy to wash out.
A hair clay product isn’t like some gels in that it shouldn’t stay in your hair following a shower.
Besides, hair clay provides a very natural look for your hair, which means that you might find yourself wanting to keep it in unlike other products which stiffen your hair and make you want to wash them out.
Can I use hair clay everyday?
Yes, it’s perfectly fine to use hair clay everyday, and even recommended if you want to maintain a certain hairstyle on a daily basis.
The best thing you can do to ensure your hair stays healthy and unaffected by the regular use of a hair styling product like clay is to invest in one with natural ingredients.
If you’re only putting natural ingredients in your hair that can be washed out, then you shouldn’t have anything to fear.
A Final Word From The Trending Man
Hair clay is a fast-emerging styling product for men which opens up a plethora of possibilities for how you wear your hair.
If you take the time to consider what exactly you need from a hair clay, then you can settle on one that perfectly suits your preferences and provides exactly what you’re looking for.