What Are the Different Types of Thick Hair Products for Men?

Judith Smith Sullivan

There are many different types of thick hair products for men. They basically fall into four categories: shampoos, conditioners, hold products, and texture products. There are literally hundreds of brands that make all types of thick hair products for men, some of which can be purchased at a drugstore or department store and others which can only be bought through a professional hair stylist.

Men with thick hair might use a gel holding product.
Men with thick hair might use a gel holding product.

Shampoos all serve one purpose: to cleanse hair of impurities. Even so, many shampoos are formulated to create other desired characteristics. Shampoos may have agents that supposedly increase volume or thickness in hair or reduce and reverse hair thinning. Others are made specifically for thick hair, usually designed to improve shine, eliminate oiliness, and reduce frizz. Curly haired individuals also have specific shampoos which typically claim to separate and define the locks of hair into shiny curls.

Shampoos all serve one purpose: to cleanse hair of impurities.
Shampoos all serve one purpose: to cleanse hair of impurities.

Conditioners are another type of thick hair products for men. They all moisturize hair, but many also claim to have additional benefits. Any of the types of conditioner may claim to leave hair thicker or increase thick hair's shine and body. The difference depends on the brand and the formula. There are three types: wash out, leave-in, and deep conditioning.

Wash out conditioner is used directly after shampooing and is rinsed out after one to five minutes. Leave-in conditioner is usually found in a liquid spray form. Sometimes it doubles as a detangler, which makes brushing hair easier. Deep conditioners are thick creams which are applied and left on the hair for several minutes to a half hour before rinsing out. These are only for very dry hair.

Holding products come in sprays, gels, creams, and mousses. These products are typically designed for increased strength, since thick hair is heavier and often does not retain style as well as other types of hair. Hair sprays are a very common type of holding product as they can provide anything from a light hold to an extremely durable hold, depending on the formula and number of applications. They also allow the hair to move naturally and look clean and dry.

Gels provide the strongest hold of all products. They are typically used in hairstyles which elevate the hair, like spiked hair and mohawks. Usually, they leave the hair looking wet, long, and extremely stiff.

Creams and mousses provide a medium amount of hold. They are excellent for hairstyles that need more definition and body to look the best. Many formulas for thick hair also incorporate volumizers to keep hair from weighing itself down as well as non-oily formulas to control the hair's natural oils. Usually, mousses can also make hair look full and thicker even if the hair is naturally thin.

Texture products also come in sprays, gels, creams, and mousses. There are many formulas which are created specifically for thick hair. Typically, increasing shine, adding a "piecey" texture, or improving volume are the characteristics of texturizing thick hair products for men. Like holding products and conditioners, one important feature of texturizing products is a non-oily formula that doesn't weigh down the hair.

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