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High Hold/Low Shine Hair Styling Products – Five Plus One

Five Plus One is our weekly series of buyer’s guides. We pick a specific category and dig up five great options along with one that’s a little outside the norm.


Many want to have that perfect hair styling product for their morning routines, but there are so many out there these days. This one is a pomade, that one a gel, and what even is clay?! Truth be told, not all companies are good at publishing the actual ingredients in their products, and the lines that divide different types of hair products, while might be crisp by definition, but in practice are quite hazy. Today we’ll explore six great options for hair styling, all of which are designed to have a medium hold at least.

1) American Crew: Fiber

High-Hold-Low-Shine-Styling-Products---Five-Plus-One 1) American Crew: Fiber

First up is American Crew’s Fiber, which is the go to product for many of us–it’s cheap, widely available, and it works. It features a high hold with little to no shine: more shine when applied to damp hair and less when applied to dry hair. This water-based product is capable of being reworked throughout the day, although its strength will be lessened throughout the day if your hair comes in contact with too much water. As such, it is actually a much strong product when applied to dry rather than damp hair.

Available for $10 (3oz.) from Amazon.

2) Port Products: Texturizing Hair Putty

High-Hold-Low-Shine-Styling-Products---Five-Plus-One-2)-Port-Products-Texturizing-Hair-Putty

Port Products’ Texturizing Hair Putty is another great water-based hair product that offers a lot of hold without making your hair look shiny or greasy. Like most products with similar properties, this one can be applied to both dry or damp hair. As someone with hair that is thick but not coarse, this type of product is great for applying to dry hair, while those of you with thinner hair might find that applying to damp hair will result in a greater ability to style to your liking.

Available for $22 (2oz.) from Port Products.

3) Uppercut Deluxe: Matt Clay

High-Hold-Low-Shine-Styling-Products---Five-Plus-One-3)-Uppercut-Deluxe-Matte-Clay

Uppercut Deluxe’s products are getting more and more popular these days, and their Matt Clay is arguably the leader of the pack. Like many of the other products on this list, this product is designed with high hold, low shine, and all-day reworkability in mind. However, unlike the previous two products in this category this one is petroleum based. Although the other ingredients are clearly factors as well, petroleum products generally feature a bit more hold than water based.

Available for $20 (2.1oz.) from Uppercut Deluxe.

4) (Malin+Goetz): Hair Pomade

High-Hold-Low-Shine-Styling-Products---Five-Plus-One-4)-(Malin+Goetz)-Hair-Pomade

Generally speaking, Pomades feature a mid-weight hold with more than a little shine, but (Malin+Goetz) natural, beeswax pomade manages a high hold without leaving your hair unnaturally shiny or feeling oily. In addition to its beeswax base, this product contains M+G’s own formula of natural oils and fatty acids to deliver the perfect finish every time. They suggest applying this product while your hair is damp if you find your hair to be generally hard to manage.

Available for $24 (2oz.) from (Malin+Goetz).

5) Milworks: Dry Matte Clay

High-Hold-Low-Shine-Styling-Products---Five-Plus-One-5)-Milworks-Dry-Matte-Clay

Milworks Extreme Clay is another great option for those of us who want high hold without annoying shine, but that isn’t where this product stands out. While so many hair care companies claim their products to be scentless or feature a neutral scent, it’s rarely the case. And while some of these milder scents might be pleasant to some and offensive to others, there are no games with Milworks. Their product is lemon scented, plain and simple. There’s no guesswork as to what a “clean” or “natural” or “neutral” scent is, just lemon.

Available for $20 (3.4oz.) from Milworks.

Plus One – Wise Glacier: Clay Pomade

High-Hold-Low-Shine-Styling-Products---Five-Plus-One-Plus-One---Wise-Glacier-Clay-Pomade

While it should be the case that all “clay” hair products actually contain clay, that isn’t always true. Luckily for us Wise is quite open about what is in their products, so we know their Glacier Clay Pomade is made with actual clay from northern British Columbia. That, mixed with their formula of beeswax, shea and cocoa butter, various oils, and a host of other (listed) ingredients results in this memorable high hold/low shine styling product.

Available for $30 (2oz.) from Glasswing.