Engineer a brilliant barnet with our pick of the best hair waxes, pomades and pastes on the market
Hair wax is an important part of many a man’s daily routine: styling your hair can transform you from a scruffy bed-headed bloke into a smart and stylish chap who’s ready for life’s challenges. But you’ll only achieve this level of barnet-based transformation if you select and purchase the very best hair wax to suit your individual needs and style.
However, between high street shops and online retailers, there are countless options to choose from in this arena. Picking up the best hair wax for you isn’t all that easy, which is why we’ve put together this buyer’s guide to simplify the process and save you some effort on the path to perfect hair.
We’ve started our buying guide with some simple questions that should help you narrow the search for your ideal wax, which will offer a hair-raising experience in the best possible sense.
How to pick the best hair wax to buy
Rather than just picking up the first nice-looking tub of hair wax that you spot in the shop or online, think about your answers to these questions before progressing to the buying phase. It’ll help you know exactly what you’re looking for.
What sort of style do you want?
Before pulling the trigger on a purchase, consider what sort of hair style you’re planning to craft: will it be spikey or slick, wet look or dry? Also, do you want hair wax with a subtle feel or a classic crunchy texture? All of those options are valid, and our top picks will make it clear which hair wax is the best for each different sort of style.
How much versatility do you need?
Do you need a firm hold that will keep your look on lockdown all day long, or are you looking for a re-mouldable wax that can you rework during the day? If you want to swap from smart style to scuffed up cool on the way out of work, you’ll want to choose a suitable wax for the job.
Should you consider a subscription service?
Lots of retailers, including Amazon, have cottoned on to the fact that hair wax isn’t a once-in-a-lifetime purchase. If you know you’ll want a fresh delivery of the same hair wax every month, keep your eyes peeled for products with subscription options. Opting for this sort of purchase will save you the effort of remembering to buy a new tub of wax every time your supply runs dry.
How much should you spend on hair wax?
Budget options in the hair wax market are generally available at around the £7 mark, but fancier offerings have been known to retail closer to £30. Of course, most waxes also come in a variety of tub sizes; it’s always worth checking if you can get a better price on a larger tub of hair wax.
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The best hair wax to buy in 2023
1. Bed Head For Men: The best hair wax for reworking
Price when reviewed: £8.25 | Check price at Amazon
This matte separation wax from Bed Head is designed to be supremely reworkable, offering a natural and adaptable look without compromising on hold or texture. It’s suitable for use with wet or dry hair, and will provide a different style depending on which method you deploy: with wet hair, it will give you a noticeably shiny finish; with dry hair, it will provide the most natural style available.
The ingredients for this one include Beeswax, Cera Caranauba and a blend of polymers, which coalesce to deliver optimum humidity resistance as well as separation and hold. If you’re looking for a trustworthy wax to get you through the day and all of your reworking needs, this is a really impressive contender to consider.
Key specs – Weight: 85g
2. Fudge Matte Hed Extra Molding Wax: The best wax for hold
Price when reviewed: £17 | Check price at Amazon
The best thing about Fudge Matte Hed Extra Holding Wax is its incredibly strong hold. It’ll secure even the heftiest of hairdos in place, for as long as you need, without suffering from a greasy or crunchy look. It has an extra matte and dry finish, with an increased pliability that allows for a nice and easy application.
This wax isn’t just functional, either: it also has a high-quality pump dispenser and an energetic fruity fragrance. This means it’ll be easy to use and sweet-smelling, as well as offering top-notch hold that will lock your style firmly in place.
Key specs – Weight: 85g
3. Shu Uemura Art Of Hair Shape Paste: The best wax for shaping
Price when reviewed: £33 | Check price at FeelUnique
It may technically be a paste, rather than a wax, but the Air Of Hair Shape product from Shu Uemura is exactly what you need to buy if you want to rework your locks into a truly gravity-defying formation. It’s a sculpting putty with workable hold, which delivers lasting style memory, structure, mould-ability and definition to your hair.
Basically, this is the perfect product to pick up if you’re looking to accentuate, twist, shape and sculpt your hair. It also has powerful ingredients that aim to protect your perfectly arranged hairdo from heat, humidity, UV rays and other environmental aggressors. Just a small amount of this paste, which you can apply to damp or dry hair, will allow you to work your hair into stunning architectural wonders.
Key specs – Weight: 71g
4. Jack Black Wax Pomade: The best wax for a shiny finish
Price when reviewed: £20 | Check price at Amazon
If it’s a sleek and shiny style that you’re after, you’ll want to consider deploying a pomade instead of a normal wax. Jack Black’s Wax Pomade is exactly the sort of water-based offering that will allow you to smooth your hair into place and achieve a high-shine finish without falling prey of a greasy texture.
As well as polishing your hair, the Jack Black Wax Pomade is also ideal for controlling those pesky flyaways that fall out of line. This powerful pomade will give you a pliable and touchable hold, allowing to adapt your hairdo as you go about your day, whilst also keeping that shiny finish.
Key specs – Weight: 77g
5. Redken Maneuver Hair Styling Working Wax: The best light-feeling wax
Price when reviewed: £30 | Check price at Amazon
The Redken Maneuver Hair Styling Working Wax is an ideal option if you want a light-feeling wax that doesn’t feel heavy on your head or affect your barnet’s natural texture. This versatile wax will allow you to exert medium levels of control over your hair while maintaining a natural look and a light feel.
This wax also adds body and volume to hair, which makes it pretty much perfect for those of us with thin or thinning hair. The protein and malt infused in the ingredients will strengthen your hair intensively without adding unwanted weight, shine or grease. This is a great all-rounder, basically, especially if you favour a natural look over wild sculpting.
Key specs – Weight: 100g
6. Gatsby Moving Rubber Spiky Edge Hair Wax: The best wax for spiky hair
Price when reviewed: £9 | Check price at Amazon
The hardest wax in Gatsby’s Moving Rubber Series, this Spiky Edge Hair Wax is one of the very best products for getting that firmly-held spiky look. It has excellent holding power that will keep your hair locked in its perfect position all day long. It will enhance movement and sculpt a study look, even with very short hair.
Also, as an added benefit, this wax is completely Paraben free, meaning you can style your hair into shape without worrying about unethical or unhealthy ingredients. The Spiky Edge Hair Wax also has a mild green-apple fragrance, so you hair will smell great as well as looking spectacularly spiky.
Key specs – Weight: 85g
7. VO5 Matt Fibre: Best wax for fine hair
Price when reviewed: £4.99 | Check price at Superdrug
If you’re someone with fine hair, you’ll be looking for a product that can boost volume and improve definition. VO5’s Matt Fibre is the perfect solution to achieve this, and it doesn’t cost the earth, either. Designed for mid-cuts and fine hair, it’s an easy-to-work-in and wash-out wax that can be used sparingly to bring a long-lasting, fuller look to your hair.
Since using it as part of a routine, we’ve been impressed with its ability to maintain a solid hold throughout the day, while also adding some much-needed volume and height to the look. It’s pretty flexible for styling as well, so whether you’re going for a messy windswept look or a sharp side parting, the VO5 Matt Fibre has you covered.
Key specs – Weight: 72g