Must-Have Grooming Waxes

When it comes to finishing a man’s style, the go-to product lately is a hair wax. The reason? The variety of different formulations of waxes—matte, high-shine, liquid, light-hold, strong-hold—is seemingly endless, allowing stylists and barbers to really customize each look. Here’s the scoop on the hottest waxes and the best ways to apply them.

Q How have grooming waxes changed over the years?  

A The biggest evolution in waxes has been in formulations, performance and ingredients. Obviously waxes started out petroleum based, which is terribly hard to get out of the hair, even after three washes. Today, many waxes are water soluble, and some are even shampoo soluble.GO24.7 has both.—Andrew Dale, Founder and CEO of UNITE and GO24.7


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Q How do you decide which type of wax you want to use on a client?

A Always keep in mind that wax is one of the most powerful controllers of frizz. I consider the amount of control the client needs according to the look we want, and factor in the hair’s density. For example, I would use a cream wax, like label.m Soufflé, on damp hair for loose definition and more of a natural look. But I’d use a stronger wax, like Max Wax, for a controlled shiny look that’s easy to rework and stays put all day.—Patrick Nadeau, label.m Professional Haircare Brand Ambassador 


Q How do you educate male clients about using a wax?

A Look at every client as an equation, with many factors playing into the product decision. Remember, some waxes are more forgiving, while others require perfect styling. Ask about their hair type, lifestyle and main hair concerns. Make smart product recommendations while also coaching the client, making sure they can reproduce the look at home.—Angel del Solar, 18.21 Man Made Managing Director & Co-Founder


Q How do you market hair waxes to your male clients? 

A First and foremost, you have to make the client look good. Using the right amount of product and application is key. If they look good, and feel good, and I’ve talked to them about the product and how to use it, my guests almost always buy it to create the look at home. A good cut and style are your best selling points.—Julian Perlingiero, John Paul Mitchell Systems International Trainer


Q What’s your favorite grooming wax tip? 

A Work the wax in your hands. Then start where the style needs the most control.—del Solar

• Lightly heat a firm wax with a hair dryer to make it easier to apply.—Nadeau

• Start with a small amount of wax. You can always apply more as needed.—Perlingiero

• The hair should be slightly damp, so the wax can be evenly worked into the hair.—Dale


GO24.7 Cream Wax goes on like a cream for even distribution, but finishes like a wax with hold and definition. 

18.21 Man Made Paste is a hybrid wax and grooming cream that delivers a satin finish and pliable medium hold.

American Crew Liquid Wax controls like a gel, but finishes like a wax with medium hold
and shine.

Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Grooming Pomade has a cool mint scent, creates a high shine and washes out easily. Max Wax has a natural gum feel, allowing it to control all hair types—even thick, wavy hair.

From the April issue, click here for the digital edition.