There are plenty of guys ready to turn up their noses at hair creams, simply because they don’t offer a whole lot of hold.
But, that doesn’t mean it’s not a styling aid; it just doesn’t hold your hair in place the same way other products will.
What kind of hold do hair creams offer?
Hair creams provide a low, soft hold with just a touch of natural shine.
What types of styles benefit from hair creams?
You should think about bed hair styles when you think about hair creams. It’s the sort of product stylists would use on actors such as Adrian Grenier (Vincent Chase on Entourage) or Robert Pattinson (in just about anything he’s ever done).
In other words, styling cream is good for flexible, natural-looking hair.
Comb-overs (of the George Clooney variety, as opposed to the Homer Simpson type) work really well with styling cream. Though, remember, a comb is the other essential part of this equation and you will definitely need a hair dryer (take a look at the application tips below).
Hair creams are great at taming frizzies, fluffies, flyaways, and static. Additionally, they can be used as a pre-styling product as they’ll add some volume and separation.
From there, you can add more definition and hold with another product.
Alternatively, if you’re after a soft finish with a light shine, you may want to start with another product and add a little hair cream at the end.
What types of hair can make the most of styling creams?
Hair cream can be used with just about every type of hair. Well, almost. It’s really good for:
- Kinky hair - Hair creams will add moisture that tames the wiry strands on your head. It will also add some weight to keep it under control. Additionally, you can expect it to add a little shine to your dry locks.
- Wavy and curly hair - You’re going to love the definition hair cream adds to your style. It helps to separate larger curls and relax super tight ones. Plus, there’s always a nice natural shine with this cream.
- Long hair - Wow, is this a terrific product for fighting the flyaways you battle on a regular basis. Additionally, the moisture will add a gorgeous finish to the ends, which almost always seem to need a helping hand, right? However, if you’re long style needs additional hold, you will probably need a styling product with a lot more hold.
- Fine or thinning hair - Very few products will work to add volume to your hair the way styling cream will. Used sparingly, it can make your hair appear fuller than it really is. But, you really need to be careful not to apply too much; otherwise, you’re more likely to see scalp.
What types of hair may not find a hair cream works for them?
- Thick hair - Let’s face it, hair cream isn’t going to add nearly enough hold for your needs. On top of that, it’s likely to make your hair appear way too poofy and big. Sorry.
- Oily hair - Okay, you might be able to get away with a little bit of styling cream, but only if you use it with a hair dryer. But, it’s more likely to make your do appear even oilier.
It’s also important to note that short hair styles may or may not benefit from hair cream; it depends on the texture of the hair and the cut.
If your style doesn’t have a lot of layers and lays relatively flat, you’ll need more definition than a styling cream can add.
What sort of texture should you expect from a hair cream?
As you would expect, hair cream has a creamy texture. It’s much less sticky or stiff than gel or wax, though it's usually quite thick. Although creams often contain moisturizers, they shouldn’t feel greasy when applied to your hair.
What’s the deal with molding cream?
Molding creams fall under the category of hair creams as it has a cream base. But, molding creams also incorporate wax to provide a little more hold.
If you have fine or straight hair, you may want to reach for molding cream rather than a straight cream product. These are applied in exactly the same way, with damp hair as the base.
How is hair cream applied?
Towel dry freshly washed hair; creams work best on damp hair.
Take just a drop or two of product to the palms of your hands and rub together to distribute through your fingers and then run through your hair. Working from the back to the front offers the best results.
You can apply styling cream to wet hair, but it won’t add the same amount of volume and you may find yourself needing to restyle your hair a few hours later.
However, guys with curls may benefit from a wet hair application as it helps to tame wild waves.
Conversely, you’ll get a stronger hold when you apply styling cream to dry hair, but it won’t look as natural.
Cover all of your hair, using a comb if your hair is on the thicker side. You can always tousle your hair once you have the product distributed to get the definition you want.
The first couple of times you use hair cream, you may accidently miss back parts of your head. Don’t do it! It will be obvious to absolutely everyone that you’ve switched to a new styling product.
Once you’ve applied all the product you need, it’s not a bad idea to add a hair dryer to the mix for a softer – even more natural look (and perhaps even a little extra hold).
Run your fingers through your hair while drying to lift and add texture to your hair. When your hair is dry, be sure to use a comb or your fingers to complete the style.
Styling tips for hair creams
For a comb-over apply the product in the same way (from roots to tips and from back to front), then use a comb to create a part.
Aim for your natural part (following the direction of your cowlick – if it swirls clockwise, you’ll need a left side part) and drag the corner of a comb from the front of your hair to the crown of your head to separate your hair.
Hold your hair in place while using a hairdryer to lock the part in place.
Remember, you never need to work with a single styling product. You can always use hair cream to add definition and texture and then add another level of hold with a wax or a hair spray if you want.
Just a note about application - individual products offer their own suggestions and you may want to pay attention to them.
We should add, your barber or stylist can always provide you with the best tips for styling at home, especially for your hair type. And, you can always check out this video if you’re really battling to get it right.
Is it difficult to wash out styling cream?
No. It’s rather like a leave-in conditioner. You should be able to wash it out relatively easily. Molding creams are even easier to wash.
As long as you get your scalp clean, you probably don’t need to worry about buildup.
What counts in a styling cream? When should you turn away?
- Hold. These products should never be stiff, but too little hold renders a styling cream useless.
- Duration. You can’t expect a styling cream to remain firm all day; it’s designed for flexible styles that move. But you shouldn’t need to rework your hair within a few hours.
- Re-shapeable. That said, there is some variation on how easy it is to reshape your hair. If you want that feature, it’s important to consider those that are designed that way.
- Shine. Creams should generally look like you haven’t used any product at all. Your hair shouldn’t appear shiny, as much as healthy.
- Greasiness. If your girlfriend cannot run her fingers through your hair, a styling cream is no good. And while you can expect a little sticky or creamy feeling during application, it shouldn’t linger.
- Flakes. You can’t avoid these with some styling products, but a good cream doesn’t leave a snowy trace.
- Smell. If you don’t like the smell of a styling cream, move along. There are way too many out there to settle.
- Washability. Let’s be honest, a good cream should have a lot of water in it; if you can’t wash it out quickly… it’s not a good cream.