How to Use Hair Clay: Little-Known Secrets of Styling

You’ve heard a lot about hair gel, but do you know how to use hair clay? Hair clay styles look more natural and are easier to use, so they are gradually growing more popular. However, hair clay for men is still not as popular as products like mousse, creams, and gels.

how to use hair clay

This article will change how you view men’s hair clay. Besides learning how to apply hair clay, you will also find out what makes hair clay different, and who it is best for. 

If you’ve been looking to ditch rigid hair gel-based hairstyles, this article will show you how to use styling clay and recommend clay products for hair. So let’s get started!

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Hair Clay: An Intro

hair clay styles

Before I start, let’s take a quick look at what hair clay really is. What is hair clay used for? I first thought natural hair clay was some sort of cleansing product, used to detox the scalp and deal with flakes and lots of greases.

In reality, hair clay is a styling product, meant for more textured, natural-looking hair. It has a medium hold when set, and you can still run your fingers through your hair, unlike hair styled with gel.

Hair masks can have different functions, but they have one major function. Hair molding clay is used to style hair in a more tousled, messy-looking hair that looks more relaxed. Sculpting clay hair can be used to create stiffer, more coiffed looks too.

If you look up ‘men’s messy hair tutorial’ online, chances are many newer tutorials and guides will include some kind of hair clay.

What makes hair clay different? For starters, this product uses some kind of clay (like bentonite, kaolin, rhassoul, or Fuller’s Earth) as the key ingredient. This clay will be mentioned at the very beginning of the ingredient lists.

They can be either water or oil-based, but what you should be looking for is the position of the clay among the ingredients.

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Who Should Use Hair Clay?

Texture clay hair isn’t the best option for everyone. Many people prefer the shiny appearance and stiff appearance of gelled hair.

But hair clay is worth looking into if you:

  • Want a product with a decent hold that leaves your hair moveable
  • Prefer a matte finish in your hair
  • Wish to avoid products high in waxes and drying alcohols
  • Are interested in styling products that will treat your scalp and roots

Best Hair Clays for Styling

men hair clay

With so many different hair clay products out there, you may be wondering which one is the best choice for you. These are some of the best hair clays that you can’t go wrong with:

BluMaan Cavalier Men’s Hair Clay:

This product will work with all kinds of hair types: from coarse to fine and thin. When set, the hair will look matte, with just a natural shine. A small amount is enough for medium hold, and it is packed with nutrient-rich oils, proteins, and amino acids.

Moroccanoil Texture Clay:

With shea butter, argan oil, and bentonite clay, this hair clay is best for creating easy, textured styles. As a result, it nourishes hair, preventing the scalp from getting flaky, and can smooth frizzy, rough locks without weighing them down.

Uppercut Deluxe Matte Clay Hair Pomade:

If you want something closer to a pomade with that greasy sheen, this wax and the clay-based product is for you. It has great hold and will give your hair a nice shine. Best of all, it won’t get messed up during strenuous activity, when you’re caught in windy weather, or even if you have wild hair.

Hair Craft Co. Hair Clay:

A combination of kaolinite clay and bentonite results in a totally matte finish with no shine, making it the top pick for those with greasy hair. It is easy to smooth into hair and gives it lots of texture, while the essential oils nourish the roots.

VO5 Matt Clay:

If you have short or medium hair and want a textured, yet sculpted look, this is an affordable and effective choice. It adds definition with a matte finish and has a strong hold, so a little bit of product goes a long way.

How to Use Molding Hair Clay 

These steps will show you how to use hair clay for quick and easy styled hair. Regardless of the kind of clay used in your product, the method is the same. These steps are best suited for short and medium styles, although you may be able to adapt them for longer hair.

Start with wet hair:

For the best results, use clay on dry, clean hair. If your hair is freshly washed, use a dryer to quickly remove all traces of water from your locks. You can even use hair clay on second-day hair with great results.

Scoop out a tiny bit of hair clay from the tub:

It’s always easier to start small and apply more later, so begin with a pea-sized amount of clay. If you have thicker and longer hair, you can add more eventually.

Prep the clay:

Warm the clay between your fingers for a good 10 seconds to make it easier to work with.

Apply the clay through your hair:

Smooth the clay through your hair, beginning from the back and gradually working your way to the front. At the same time apply from the root and work your way to the ends. At this stage, you may need to add more. Make sure the clay evenly coats the whole length of hair.

Style and set your hair:

Use a comb, hairbrush, or even your fingers to get your hair into the desired style. Less is more when you want a relaxed and textured look, so just give your hair a quick ruffle and you’re ready to go.


Below you’ll find answers to questions often asked about using hair clay.

01. Is Clay Bad for My Hair?

Clay is actually good for hair. It absorbs excess oil, keeping your hair looking cleaner for longer. Clay products are also used to soothe and calm skin, reduce inflammation, and stimulate hair growth, so it is actually great for the scalp!

02. How Does Hair Clay Do?

Ever seen a clay mask for skin? Hair clay looks similar but has a more whipped texture. It is used to hold the hair in place without making it stiff and helmet-like. In other words, it styles hair for a more natural look.

03. Can I Use Hair Clay Every Day?

You can use hair clay daily, but you don’t have to. Because the clay doesn’t set hard, you can rework it into your hair the next day to style it.

04. Which Hair Product Should I Use for Comb Over Styles?

Pomades and medium-hold gels are a good choice if you favor comb over hairstyles. However, you can also use hair clay for a smoother, more relaxed comb-over.

05. How to Create a Messy Look on Men’s Hair?

Here is how you can get a natural, just-rolled-out-of bed hairstyle:

  1. Make sure your hair is clean and towel-dried until damp.
  2. Use a dryer on high to tousle hair for a messy, slightly windswept look.
  3. Take a pea-sized amount of pomade or hair clay and work it into your hair from the roots to the end. Don’t overdo the styling or amount of product as the style will look too rigid.

Final Say

Hair clay may seem obscure now, but it is rapidly growing in popularity. Once you know how to use hair clay, you can ditch pomades, heavy waxes, and sticky gels. 

Best of all, your hair will look natural even when styled. All the while, the hair clay will stimulate your follicles and treat your roots and scalp.

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