A man with black hair posing facing away from the camera

Hair Clay For Men: The Ultimate Guide

Explore the versatility of hair clay for men with our ultimate guide. Learn how to choose, apply, and style your hair for maximum effect.

Ah, hair clay for men. 

Once the secret weapon of those in-the-know, this product has swiftly taken the men's grooming world by storm, and for good reason. A bit of mystery, a bit of science, and a whole lot of style — that's what you get with hair clay. 

And this is it. 

Everything you could ever, and will ever, need to know about hair clay and using it for the best results. Think of this guide as your passport into the world of hair clay, helping you understand what it is, how it works, and how to use it like a pro. 

So, without further ado, let's dive right in.

An Introduction to Hair Clay for Men

A man posing on a chair outside in a jacket and styled hair

When we say 'hair clay for men', we're talking about a hairstyling product that has, you guessed it, clay! 

Clay for your hair can be broadly categorized into two types: water-based and oil-based. While both can work wonders, they have their unique pros and cons. Water-based clays are easy to wash out, but oil-based ones may offer a better hold. Experiment and see which one your hair favours.

Bentonite and kaolin are your key ingredients to spot. 

Bentonite, derived from volcanic ash, is a heavy hitter, offering strong hold and adding thickness and volume to your hair. 

On the other hand, kaolin clay is more gentle, providing a smoother texture and a lighter hold. Both will offer an excellent natural finish that looks the part, whatever you're up to in life!

Appropriate Hairstyles for Hair Clay

More often than not, hair clay for men is a wonder worker for short to medium-length hairstyles that crave texture or volume. It usually offers a medium to high hold with a matte or natural finish, keeping your hair styling efforts and texture looking impressively effortless.

However, it's so much more than that.

The great thing about hair clay is that it's reworkable, allowing you to easily run your fingers through your hair and change your look on the fly.

It's perfect for anyone who doesn't want a stiff or 'locked in' hairstyle or wants to ensure their hair stays precisely how it should look throughout the day, no matter what life is throwing your way. 

This also makes hair clay ideal for crops, textured quiffs, crew cuts, and really any shorter styles to medium-length messy hairstyles.

How Much Hair Clay for Men Should You Use?

The exact amount of clay you'll need will depend on factors like your hair thickness and type. A rough guide? Start with a small, pea-sized amount and build up if necessary. 

Remember, it's always easier to add more product than to take it away.

How to Use Hair Clay for Men to Get the Best Results

A man posing, making himself look good in front of the mirror

The first step is to prepare your hair.

Most hair clay for men is typically best applied to dry hair, so ensure your locks are towel-dried. If you aim for volume or texture, prep your hair with a hairdryer to shape it and add some lift.

Then it's time to add the clay.

Start Small: Start by scooping out a pea-sized amount of clay from the tub. If your hair is thicker or longer, you might need a little more, but always start small.

Warm it Up: Rub the clay between your palms for about 5-10 seconds. This warms the clay up, making it easier to apply and ensuring it spreads evenly.

Apply Evenly: Start from the back of your head and work your way towards the front, making sure to start at the roots and work your way up. This prevents the product from just coating the ends of your hair or clumping in one place.

Style Your Hair: Now, shape your hair into your desired style using your fingers, a brush, or a comb. If you're going for a textured, messy look, this should be a quick and easy process.

Add More if Needed: If you feel your hair still doesn't have the hold you need, feel free to add more product and repeat the steps.

And that's really all there is to it! 

Of course, you can get creative, whether you're simply fluffing your hair up and giving it some volume or you're opting for an actual style. It's really up to you to engage with the process and have some fun!

The Different Types of Hair Clay for Men

A well-groomed man reading with a magazine with beautifully waxed hair

Hair clays typically come in either water-based (aqua) or oil-based (petrolatum) formulations. 

Water-based clays are easy to wash out and typically provide a firm hold with a touch of shine, while oil-based clays offer extreme hold and a noticeable shine but can be more challenging to remove from your hair.

Again, Bentonite and kaolin are the star ingredients you want to see in your hair clay. 

These natural clays add thickness, volume, and structure to your hair while also helping to absorb excess oil and impurities from oily scalps, leaving your hair with a clean, matte finish and a firm hold.

What are the Benefits of Hair Clay for Men?

Even with all this in mind, you may be wondering, why hair clay? Why not hair gel or putty? What's so special about clay? Well, there are lots of reasons and many benefits you can enjoy when using this premium product.

Adds Volume and Texture

Hair clay is the perfect tool for adding extra volume and rich texture to your hair, making it ideal for styling messy, tousled hairstyles. That said, you can still achieve a relaxed style or flexible hold if you simply set your hair in that way and apply the right amount of clay.

Offers a Natural Matte Finish

Unlike some gels or waxes that can leave your hair looking shiny or greasy, hair clay provides a natural matte finish that is subtle yet stylish. Of course, different brands will offer a different matte finish, so it's up to you to experience to see what kind of matte finish best suits you!

Provides Hair with Essential Nutrients

Bentonite clay, one of the primary ingredients in hair clay, is packed with minerals and nutrients like iron and potassium that can help to strengthen and nourish your hair while giving you a firm hold, whatever hair styling you're aiming for.

Absorbs Excess Oil and Impurities

Thanks to its absorbent properties, hair clay can help to soak up excess oil and impurities from your scalp, helping your hair to stay clean and fresh.

Choosing the Best Hair Clay For Men

Hands holding Salt Grooming's Hybrid Hair clay wax

Choosing the right hair product can be crucial for achieving your desired hairstyle and maintain it throughout the day. A fantastic choice available on the market today is the clay wax hybrid by Salt Grooming.

Salt Grooming's clay wax hybrid is a versatile men's hair product designed to deliver a robust yet flexible hold paired with a natural finish. As a unique blend of clay and wax, this product amalgamates the benefits of both.

Clay Component: The clay factor contributes to texture, volume, and a lightweight feel, which is often a crucial aspect of achieving voluminous hairstyles.

Wax Element: On the other hand, the wax component introduces pliability and definition to your look. It's great for giving your hair that extra edge of sharpness.

This balanced blend offers an easy-to-use product that allows effortless styling and reshaping throughout your day, making it fitting for a variety of hairstyles and hair types.

So whether you're aiming for a tousled, textured look or a more structured style, Salt Grooming's clay wax hybrid emerges as the go-to choice for modern men seeking a reliable and adaptable product for their hairstyling needs.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using Hair Clay for Men

When it comes to using a product like hair clay, it's important to make sure you're not just following the guidelines for the best results but are also avoiding the common mistakes that most people make that can prevent them from getting the look they're after.

Let's take a look at them now!

Applying Too Much Product at Once

Overloading your hair with product can lead to a greasy, heavy look. Remember, start with a small amount of your chosen brand, and add more if needed. If you have fine hair, then you'll need even less than usual. You may even want to look into different types of clay, such as medium hold clay or super strong hold, depending on your hair type.

Not Warming the Product Before Application

Neglecting to warm the clay before application can result in uneven distribution throughout your hair. Take a few extra seconds to rub the clay between your palms before applying.

Applying the Product to Wet Hair

Applying clay to wet hair can dilute the product, reducing its effectiveness. For best results, ensure your hair is dry before application.

Not Spreading the Product Evenly

Not thoroughly working the product through your hair can lead to clumps or sections of hair with too much product. Make sure to evenly spread the clay throughout your hair for the most natural-looking results.

Tips for Maintaining Your Hairstyle Throughout the Day

How to Refresh Your Look During the Day

Refreshing your look throughout the day can be achieved with a few simple steps, especially if you're using a reworkable product such as hair clay. Here's how to do it:

Check your hair condition: Throughout the day, your hair can lose its shape due to various factors such as weather conditions, physical activity, or even from wearing head accessories like hats or headphones. Therefore, the first step in refreshing your look is to assess your hair's condition.

Reactivate your hair clays: One of the main advantages of using a professional hair clay is its reworkable nature. To refresh your look, lightly dampen your hands with water and run them through your hair. The moisture helps to reactivate the clay, allowing you to reshape your hairstyle without adding more product.

Rework your style: Using your fingers, gently reshape your hairstyle. Remember that less is more when it comes to restyling your hair. Too much manipulation can cause your hair to lose its natural volume and become flat. Also, experiment with how much you use if you want or don't want a matte finish.

Final touch-ups: If you notice any stray hairs or if your hair doesn't maintain its shape, you can apply a small amount of hair clay to specific areas that need extra hold. Make sure to distribute the product evenly to avoid clumps.

How to Handle Different Weather Conditions

Hair clay is known for its strong hold and resistance to humidity and wind. However, when dealing with extreme weather conditions, you might need to tweak your hair care routine:

In humid conditions: Humidity can make hair frizz and lose its shape. Hair clay, however, is known for its humidity resistance. Should your hair lose its form in very humid conditions, use a small amount of clay to reshape and hold your hair in place.

In windy conditions: Wind can mess up your hairstyle and cause your hair to tangle. You can combat this by using a bit more hair clay than usual to give your hair a stronger hold.

In dry conditions: Dry weather can make your hair brittle and susceptible to damage. In such conditions, consider applying a moisturizing conditioner or a leave-in treatment before applying hair clay. This helps to protect your hair and keep it hydrated.

How to Wash Out Hair Clay for Men

Washing out hair clay is a straightforward process. Here are the steps to do so:

Wet your hair: Thoroughly wet your hair with warm water. The warmth of the water will help loosen the clay in your hair. Ensure you have damp hair, and simply keep washing until the clay is gone.

Apply shampoo: Use a generous amount of good-quality shampoo and massage it into your hair and scalp. Ensure to work the shampoo through your hair strands to dissolve the hair clay.

Rinse thoroughly: Rinse your hair thoroughly to ensure all the shampoo and clay are washed out. You might need to rinse longer than usual to make sure all the clay is removed.

Repeat if necessary: If you feel that there's still some clay left in your hair, repeat the process.

Best Practices for Removing Hair Clay

To ensure that all the hair clay is removed from your hair, consider these best practices:

Use a clarifying shampoo: A clarifying shampoo is designed to remove build-up from hair products and can be very effective at removing hair clay.

Double cleanse: If your hair feels heavy or looks dull after one wash, it might mean that some clay is still left in your hair. In such cases, consider shampooing twice to clean your hair thoroughly.

Use a brush or comb: While your hair is lathered with shampoo, gently use a brush or comb to help remove the clay. This can be particularly useful for those with thick or long hair.


Importance of Using a Good Quality Shampoo and Conditioner

Black and white bottles of Salt Grooming Thickening Shampoo

Source - Black and white bottles of Salt Grooming Thickening Shampoo

Using a quality shampoo and conditioner is crucial in hair care, especially if you regularly use products like hair clay:

Shampoo: A good shampoo will not only clean your hair but will also help remove any build-up of hair products, oils, and dirt. Choose a shampoo that suits your hair type and needs.

Conditioner: A conditioner is essential to keep your hair moisturized and healthy. It helps restore your hair's natural oils, which hair products and shampooing can strip away. It also helps to detangle hair and make it smoother, reducing the risk of breakage when combing or brushing.

Product build-up: Regular use of hair products like clay can lead to product build-up, making your hair look dull and lifeless. This build-up can also clog your hair follicles, leading to scalp issues. Using a quality shampoo and conditioner helps to prevent this.

Hair health: Quality shampoo and conditioner contain essential nutrients and oils that nourish your hair, keeping it healthy and vibrant. Regular use can lead to softer, shinier, and stronger hair.


So, you're all set! 

You're now a bona fide expert on the art of using hair clay for men, ready to transform your hairstyle from 'meh' to 'wow' with a flick of the wrist. But remember, like the world's greatest sculptures, your masterpiece doesn't spring to life overnight - it takes practice, patience, and a pinch of daring!

And what's the secret sauce, you ask?

It's time to bring in the big guns - Salt Grooming hair care products. Crafted with love and loaded with natural goodness, these magical elixirs are your trusty allies in your grooming adventure.

So why wait?

Dive into the world of Salt Grooming today, and embark on an exciting journey of style, texture, and unparalleled volume. Unleash your inner hair artist and give your hair the love it deserves. With Salt Grooming, every day is a good hair day!

Let's go, start experimenting and transform your look one strand at a time!