Best Hair Clays For Men: Flawless Style (All Hair Types)

Finding the perfect hair clay to match your hair type and style is tough.

A good hair clay should not only have an adequate hold to tame unruly hair but should also provide a matte finish, be composed of quality and natural ingredients that won’t dry out your hair or scalp, all while giving you the confidence you need in order to look your best.

In today’s review and guide, we not only go over some of the most popular hair clay brands that can work with any hair type, but we also explore a few things you should think about when buying hair clay.

Let’s get started:

TL;DR – Here’s The Best Hair Clays

RankHair ClayBest For
1Baxter of California Clay PomadeGeneral Use
2Layrite Cement ClayThick Hair
3American Crew Molding ClayBest Scent
4Krieger + Söhne Styling ClayTravel
5Woody’s Matte Finish Clay for MenInexpensive
6V76 by Vaughn Texture ClayLong Hair
7MITCH Matterial Styling Hair ClayStrong Hold
8Jack Black Clay PomadeNatural Base
9Redken Brews ClayFine Hair
1018.21 Man Made Hair ClayMade In USA
11Smooth Viking Hair Styling ClayMost Popular

4 Tips for Buying Hair Clay

1. Hair Length & Style

Whether you have short, medium, or long hair, a hair clay should be able to compliment your hair length without looking greasy.  If you are looking to have a hairstyle that is a bit looser or casual, the matte and natural look of clay is perfect for styling.

Additionally, if you are starting to exhibit the classic signs of male pattern baldness, hair clay is the perfect styling product for men with thin or fine hair, as it can add volume.

2. Hold

Hair clays can come in a variety of holds. A hair clay with a strong hold should be suitable for all-day use.  A hair clay with a light to medium hold will give your hair enough structure without feeling too rigid.  We found that most hair clays tend to have a medium hold.

3. Ingredients

Many hair clays often rely on bentonite clay as the primary ingredient that provides the structure or hold. Used as a binding ingredient in various applications, bentonite is sourced from clay or volcanic ash.

Other ingredients used in hair clay can include beeswax, paraffin, carrier oils, essential oils, and lanolin.  These natural ingredients keep the cuticles on your hair soft and strong while also helping to moisturize and nourish both hair and scalp.

4. Brands

When researching all the varieties of hair clays available to men, you will find that brands can generally be categorized into three primary buckets:

  • Standard: Often made from startup brands, these hair clays often contain a mixture of both synthetic and natural ingredients.  Due to the inclusion of artificial ingredients, standard brands may cause flaking if the hair clay is layered on too heavily.
  • Designer or Salon:  Brands like American Crew, Aveda, Bumble and bumble, etc. are often found in barbershops.  Great for both daily and special occasions, they usually command a much higher price point than others.  Like a standard hair clay, they too will often contain some synthetic ingredients.
  • Premium: Brands such as Jack Black, Baxter of California, V76, and Kiehl’s are specially formulated with unique ingredients such as Moroccan lava clay, which can shape and texturize hair.  Mixed with other natural essential oils such as cedarwood or sandalwood, they smell great as well.

The Best Hair Clays for Men

1. Best Overall: Baxter of California Clay Pomade

Baxter of California Clay Pomade | Firm Hold -...

Relying on a mixture of beeswax, bentonite, kaolin, and a variety of natural oils, the Baxter of California Clay Pomade is among the best.

There is a lot to love about this hair clay, which includes the following:

  • High concentration of natural ingredients
  • Natural matte finish
  • Compatible with most hair types and styles

Here’s a quick look at each:

High Concentration of Natural Ingredients

While the inclusion of ‘pomade’ in its name may infer a slick, shiny, and unnatural look, it is actually quite the opposite.

Baxter of California Clay Pomade relies on a mixture of kaolin clay, bentonite, and beeswax, to get the job done.

The result is a hair product that not only retains its structure throughout the day but one that will clean out easily and not clump.

The paraben-free formula won’t flake and should work to both hydrate and nourish your scalp and hair.

Containing various oils, including castor seed oil, sage oil, and others, should leave your hair looking healthy and not greasy.

Natural matte finish

Men who want their hairstyle to look effortless and kempt love the finish when using this clay. Able to give your hair both structure and a subtle sheen, it will make your hair look naturally healthy.

Compatible With Most Hair Types And Styles

Whether you have fine or medium-to-thick hair, Baxter of California Clay Pomade adds volume – which can be great for men who might be showing the early signs of male pattern baldness.

If there were any areas that this clay came up short, it would have been for men with really thick hair.

Should you want your thicker hair to stand straight up for hours, then this hair clay probably won’t be the right choice for you.


  • Works with most hairstyles
  • Gives a natural textured look
  • One of the best clays available


  • Expensive

What You Need To Know

Overall, this hair product by Baxter of California is nearly a perfect hair clay for men of any hair type. With the high reliance on many natural ingredients, it provides a medium hold and delivers a nice and natural finish.

2. Best For Thick Hair: Layrite Cement Clay

Layrite Cement Hair Clay, 4.25 Oz

The Layrite Cement Clay is a perfect pick for those men with medium to thick hair.  By relying on four plant, mineral, and animal waxes, you are in complete command when styling your hair daily.

Some noteworthy features of this clay include the following:

  • Holding strength
  • Versatility
  • Made in the USA

Holding Strength

This is the ideal clay when looking for a strong hold and no shine. The versatile, unisex clay will work with ease on even the thickest hair creating a neat style with great strength.

Considered the best for thick hair, it will keep a hold all day long.


The beauty of Layrite is its ease of application and pliability without the sticky, heavy-weight feeling of a hair gel.

With the matte and natural-looking finish, this hair product works with you instead of against you.

Therefore, if you want to have a presentable look or one that is a bit more effortless, expect this clay to bend to your needs.

Made in the USA

For men who like to support their local countrymen rather than some faraway country will be happy to learn that Layrite Cement Clay is designed and crafted right here in the USA.

Founded in 1999 by barbers, Layrite is based out of Costa Mesa, California (source).


Traveling with hair products can be tough. With strict TSA-enforced size restrictions, you always have to make sure you have to keep things small.

Layrite is packaged in a 4.25oz tub making it tough to travel in your toiletry bag as it excess the TSA limit – so plan accordingly.


  • Provides a long lasting hold
  • Made in the USA
  • Great styling versatility


  • Large size isn’t travel friendly.

What You Need To Know

If you have thick hair or need to look presentable for the entire day, then this hair clay by Layrite is the perfect pick. With a strong hold, you don’t have to worry about your hair ever looking bad.

3. Best Smelling: American Crew Molding Clay

Men's Hair Molding Clay by American Crew, Perfect...

We all know the American Crew name by now because their popular products are found in many barbershops and department stores.

Just like their other products, their molding clay is one of the best on the market.

The formula is made from beeswax and bentonite which makes for a medium to strong hold on normal hair types. The scent is a manly blend of oils like orange, lime, peppermint, and spearmint that give a cool, clean scent with a citrus touch.

The 3.0oz bottle is fairly hearty for clay and the price is quite fair for such a popular, highly rated product.


  • Smells great
  • Gives a natural finish
  • Ingredients act as a natural conditioner


  • Washing out may be though
  • Not water based

What You Need To Know

Packed with a variety of natural ingredients, this salon-quality clay smells amazing upon application. When the scent does subside, expect to get a medium to firm hold that provides a natural finish to your hair. It’s a great hairstyling clay from a trusted brand.

4. Krieger + Söhne Styling Clay

Premium Styling Clay For Men - K+S Salon Quality...

Krieger + Sohne’s Styling Clay is a thick blend of rich hair clay that boasts to be “warrior grade” for its lasting holds and sleek styling. The product is infused with beeswax and clay creating a non-greasy clay that goes in easy, molds and holds, and won’t leave you with embarrassing flakes.

You won’t need heaps of this clay as the nutrient-rich formula can create solid holds with little product and won’t be too heavy either.

Of course, if you are looking for a little extra holding strength, you can simply add some more clay without the fear of having it flake or look greasy.

Krieger + Sohne comes as one of the best clays out there and, as such, they back their trusted product with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Despite its German name, Krieger + Sohne is made in the USA.


  • Water based formula easy to wash out
  • Works with all hair styles
  • Nice textured look


  • May lose hold by end of day

What You Need To Know

If you are looking for a salon-quality styling clay, then this one by K+S is worth considering. The lightweight formula goes on easily and works thin or fine hair really well. Easy to clean out at the end of the day, it’s a perfect general use hair clay.

5. Affordable: Woody’s Matte Finish Clay for Men

Woody's Clay for Men, Matte Finish with Firm and...

Woody’s Matte Finish Clay is a great clay for men with normal hair types because it gives a very strong hold and is made from great natural products like Hemp Seed Oil and Beeswax.

Men with fine hair should be cautious with this one because it tends to be somewhat oily on lighter, fine styles (it is suggested to use a very small amount and work it into the palms if you are going to use this clay on fine hair).

Outside of that, it creates a fantastic hold without giving you a helmet head or leaving the hair feeling crunchy.

The 3.4oz bottle is big and priced modestly for such a large jar.


  • Incredibly affordable given the size
  • Does provide some natural shine
  • Works with most hairstyles


  • Not suited for men with long hair

What You Need To Know

If you are looking for affordable hair clay, then Woody’s delivers the best value out there. Able to work with shorter hair types, applying this clay does result in some added volume.

6. Best For Long Hair: V76 by Vaughn Texture Clay

V76 by Vaughn TEXTURE CLAY Medium Hold Formula for...

V76 by Vaughn Texture Clay is sought after for its versatility and ability to deliver a strong hold to the most active men. By relying on key ingredients including beeswax, bentonite, and lanolin to name a few – expect to get a picture-perfect hairstyle every single time you apply it.

Able to work on both short and long hair, it doesn’t weigh you down.

Additionally, V76 by Vaughn Texture Clay won’t alter the color of grey hair like some products. The hold is based on water so it works in easy, keeps a dry, low-shine finish, and can withstand a dousing of sweat from your evening jog.

The 1.7oz jar is travel-friendly and one of the best-reviewed clays out there.

Beyond the travel-friendly nature, men with long hair loved this clay as it didn’t clump nor feel heavy after application.


  • Great for men with long hair
  • Strong hold keeps hair looking great all day long
  • Low shine finish looks natural


  • Needs frequent restocking

What You Need To Know

If you have longer hair or simply want strong control in your hair clay, then this product by V76 is a great choice. The strong hold will keep your hair looking great with the low shine finish.

7. MITCH Matterial Styling Hair Clay

Paul Mitchell MITCH Matterial Styling Clay for...

MITCH Matterial Styling Hair Clay is a luxury clay that has reviews glowing just like your hair will be. The water-based clay provides a matte finish that is ideal for even thicker hair types and it shouldn’t flake. The formula is a bit heavier than most and so it gets in your hair for awesome shaping, polished off with a really pleasant scent.

Because of the rich texture, the clay will lock in a long-lasting hold for the perfect hairstyle.

While the price of this clay is a little higher (it is a larger jar at 3oz so it’ll last a while), you pay for quality as this is one of the highest-rated, best clays available.

Lastly, the clay is travel-friendly.


  • Natural matte finish
  • Nice smell
  • Provides texture
  • Easy to apply


  • Light hold

What You Need To Know

If you are looking to try something new that doesn’t flake and is great for thicker hair types, then MITCH Matterial Styling Hair Clay is for you. The nice smell coupled with the textured look performs well.

8. Jack Black Clay Pomade

Jack Black - Clay Pomade, 2.75 oz - PureScience...

Jack Black is back with a clay pomade that is packed with ingredients for healthy hair and a super clean hold. This clay gives a light to medium hold that carries a really fresh scent because it is developed with a cornucopia of essential oils and is alcohol-free.

Besides a fresh scent, the essential oils have great benefits to your scalp; Tea Tree reduces itch and dryness, Sage Leaf fights bacteria, and Lavender Oil softens brittle ends for a great styling finish.

Jack Black’s Clay Pomade is not cheap, but it is one of the best for its neat styling and awesome hair health benefits.


  • Packed with natural oils
  • Matte finish
  • Strong and natural looking hold


  • Expensive
  • Technically not a clay

What You Need To Know

Like most Jack Black products, the ingredients within this clay pomade are uncompromising. Expect this clay to sculpt your hair into place effortlessly. The formula is both alcohol-free and fragrance-free.

9. Redken Brews Clay

Redken Brews Clay Pomade For Men, High Hold, For...

Designed specifically for fine or thinning hair, the Redken Brews Clay is a great way to get full control over your hair while adding a nice bit of volume.

By relying on a water-based formula in combination with kaolin clay, this hair clay is easy to apply and equally easy to wash out.  As for the texture, you can expect to get a nice matte finish that looks completely natural.

Additionally, Redken notes that this does have a strong hold that will keep your hair locked in place throughout the day.

Lastly, the small 3.4oz container size makes this a TSA-compliant travel companion.


  • Designed for thin hair
  • Adds volume
  • Nice gritty texture finish


  • Not the cleanest ingredient label

What You Need To Know

If you are looking for a hair clay that can add a bit of volume to thin or fine hair, then you need to add this to the top of your consideration list. 

10. 18.21 Man Made Hair Clay

18.21 Man Made Hair Clay Pomade with Matte Finish...

Designed, developed, and made in the USA (Texas), 18.21 should be a top consideration if you are looking for a styling clay that has unmatched quality craftsmanship.

Being that 18.21 makes their product here in the USA, you can rest assured that it adheres to the more stringent manufacturing and labeling requirements when compared to other countries.  Therefore, you never have to worry if the product your applying to your hair is actually safe to use.

Additionally, when inspecting the contents of this styling clay, you will find that 18.21 relies on a blend of several natural ingredients as its base including beeswax, bentonite, and candelilla. 

When worked into your hair, you can expect it to provide a medium to strong hold without weighing your hair down.

As far as texture, you can expect this styling product to give you a matte finish.

Perhaps the most notable feature of this clay is the scent.  Drawing on an old sweet tobacco scent, this styling clay provides an intoxicating scent that you won’t be able to get enough of.


  • Made in the USA
  • Perfect hold
  • Awesome scent


  • It’s pricey (but worth it)

What You Need To Know

If you require a well-made product and like to support your local countrymen, then you can’t go wrong with the 18.21 Man Made Hair Clay that has been meticulously crafted right here in the USA. 

11. Smooth Viking Hair Styling Clay

Hair Clay For Men | Smooth Viking Clay Pomade for...

One of the most popular styling clays is also among the best – Smooth Viking Hair Styling Clay.  

By providing a strong hold and a matte finish, this styling product allows you to have picture-perfect hair every single time.

Smooth Viking is able to achieve this reliable and good texture through the reliance on several all-natural and safe ingredients including tocopherol, bentonite, carrot seed oil, lanolin wax, and castor seed oil to just name a few.

Safe to use on all hair types, this mineral oil-free clay won’t make your hair look greasy and will be easy to wash out after a long day of work.

Priced aggressively, it is easy to see why this styling product is so popular among men.

If there were any drawbacks it would be the size.  At 2oz, it will require frequent refills – so double up when ordering.


  • Provides a nice, strong hold
  • Matte finish
  • Competitively priced


  • Small size

What You Need To Know

It’s easy to see why this hair clay is so popular among men.  It’s cheap, well made, and it gives you great-looking hair.

Adam Williams

As the lead editor of Tools of Men, Adam loves men's grooming products. Particularly of interest is managing facial hair and perfecting the art of the modern man's skincare routine. His work has been featured or quoted in several publications, including New York Magazine, Vice, Sharpologist, MIC, Elite Daily, and more. When Adam isn't working, he enjoys spending time with his two little kids who keep him both on his toes and young at heart.

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