Hair clay is a relatively new addition to the hair styling product category.
But it has exploded in popularity over the last few years, with the resurgence of more natural looking, textured and voluminous hairstyles for men.
So what is a mens clay, how do you use it and what is the best clay for you?
The ultimate definition of a clay hair product is that it contains a "clay" ingredient as one of the key ingredients (the ingredients first on the list).
Hair clays will likely either be water based (aqua) or oil based (petrolatum). The ingredients you're looking for to be high up on the list are bentonite or kaolin. If it doesn't contain one of these then it probably isn't really a "clay".
They are great for short to medium length hairstyles that require texture or volume.
A clay normally has a medium hold and a matte finish, so you want to use it on styles that you want to keep looking fairly natural.
They are also normally reworkable and make it easy to run your fingers through your hair, making hair clay great for those of you that don't want a stiff and "locked in" hairstyle.
Crops, textured quiffs and crew cuts. It's is great for almost any of the short to medium length messier hairstyles that we're seeing being popular in 2018.
The amount of clay that you should use will vary from product to product and will also be dependent on things like your hair thickness or hair type.
We'd always say with a hair clay, and any other product for that matter, to start with a small pea sized amount and add more if you feel you need it. It's a lot easier to add product than it is to remove it, so start small!
To use a hair clay follow the following steps:
1. It's typically best applied to dry hair. Prep the hair beforehand with a hair dryer, pre styling product or whatever you use for your desired style. For a lot of the best styles for a clay hair product, a hair dryer is best used to get your hair into shape and help add volume or texture to the hair. Use the hair dryer on a medium heat and give a cold blast at the end to set the hair in place. If you do this correctly, your hair should look semi in style before even using product (it will take some practice).
2. Take a pea sized amount of clay from the tub. The thicker and longer your hair is, the more product you'll probably need, but start small and you can always apply more later!
3. Warm the clay thoroughly in the hands. You want to spend around 5-10 seconds rubbing the hair clay into the hands to warm it properly and spread evenly throughout the hand.
4. Get the product through the hair, starting from the back and working through to the front. You want to also start at the roots and work upwards. This ensures that you don't just have product coating the ends of the hair or loads of product at the front for that There's Something About Mary look. Don't worry too much about the style at this stage, just get the product evenly throughout the hair.
5. Fix and finish the hair. Now start to work the hair into the shape that you want it to be in. If you're going for a textured, messy look this should be really quick and easy, you don't want to go over the top with it. You can also apply that last bit of product left on the hands to coat the hair one final time.
6. *Optional* If you still feel like your hair doesn't have the hold you need it to, then apply more product and repeat steps 2 to 5.
As with any hair product, the best hair clay is going to be the one that's best for you. So it may be a process of trial and error to try to find which one you like best for your desired style and hair type. Read reviews and watch videos to find people with your hair type and style to find the best hair clay for you. Also speak to your barber, and see if they can give any recommendations on products.
And obviously we hope that you'd like the Regal Gentleman Matte Clay, we've spent over a year and a half formulating this product with the Regal Gentleman community and our team of barbers, and wouldn't have launched it if we didn't believe it was a truly great clay hair product for you to achieve your desired style.
Launches at the end of August (the hairstyle pictures earlier in the post were all styled with the Regal Gentleman Matte Clay).