Nothing quite calls for a short cut like the arrival of an Australian summer and the idyllic warmer months it brings, defined by sun-drenched days, beach-centric weekends and balmy evenings. A fresh fade or a crisp crew cut make for cathartic haircuts to do away with the year that has been and move forward afresh into the festive season and 2022.
Seasonality aside, a new look haircut can act as an up-anchor point and ignite momentum when you’re embarking on a significant stage of change in your life. This may take form in moving on from a breakup, assuming a new identity while on the run, commencing a new career or simply needing to eliminate the remnant evidence of a ‘What was I thinking?’ hair colour massacre. And to those who are time poor or grooming lethargic, short cuts are the surest of shortcuts when it comes to daily hair styling.
Light in length but abundant in hairstyle options, shorter cuts often call for strong hold products and/or textured hair styling products. The shorter length of the hairs ultimately makes them less naturally malleable than longer strands (which can be manipulated more readily) - depending on your hair type. There are exceptions to this strong hold rule though, mindful of how you style your short cut of choice. All of our hair product pages contain specific details on the respective looks the products achieve and how to apply them best.
In consultation with the MEN’S BIZ barber crew, scroll on to find some of the best hair product for men’s short haircuts. And don’t be afraid to play with your products, see how they fare after a swim at the beach or a head dunk under the shower between a day at work and a night out. You may be pleasantly surprised by the nonchalant texture your hair will adopt after a quick dip in the ocean, so there’s no need to be hair precious at the beach.
Best Texture Spray: Triumph & Disaster Karekare Tonic Natural Sea Salt Spray
Best suited to: All hair types and short hairstyles; particularly textured hair types when used alone without other styling products
Hold: Textured without excessive weight
Finish: ‘Just-from-the-sea’ appearance
Why it made the cut: Worshiped as sacrosanct by hair professionals the world over, sea salt spray is a dynamic and versatile product with a torrent of benefits. As its name insinuates, this oceanic-inspired product replicates the texture your hair assumes after submersion in the surf. Sea-salt spray is often used to protect and pre-style the hair before blow-drying, or as a styling product in its own right for hair that already has some natural texture.
How to apply: Shake the product before use. Spray into damp hair before blow-drying and/or using other styling products; or spray into dry hair and style as desired.
Best Wax-Clay Hybrid: Hanz de Fuko Claymation
Best suited to: All hair types and short hairstyles; particularly Side-Part Fades, Crew Cuts and other Top-Heavy Fade Cuts
Finish: Matte (or slicker when applied to damp hair)
Why it made the cut: Claymation combines the strong hold of wax with the pliability of clay – a winning combination (to that end, Claymation is Hanz de Fuko’s top selling hair product). And its naturally earthy fragrance is pleasant and unobtrusive.
How to apply: As with most clays, the product is best applied by first rubbing and flattening between your palms before styling into the hair. Apply to dry hair for a pliable and textured finish, or to slightly damp hair for a slicker sheen.
Notable achievements: GQ Grooming Awards Winner; 2017 Beauty Shortlist Award Winner for Best Styling Product; Hanz de Fuko’s best-selling hair product
Best Texture Powder: American Crew Boost Powder
Best suited to: All hair types (especially thinning hair) and short hairstyles; particularly Textured Crops, Spiky-Top Fades and other Nonchalantly Rugged Styles
Hold: Volume boosting
Finish: Textured matte
Why it made the cut: A powdery substance that gives lift and a boost of energy… what’s not to like? Boost powder does just that, adding thickness and grippy ‘dry’ texture with a natural matte finish. A saviour styling product for those with thinning hair and equally as powerful for those seeking a dramatic injection of volume into their short hairstyle of choice.
How to apply: Give the container a good tap and shake before unscrewing the top to loosen the powder. Pour a small amount into your hands and then sprinkle lightly and evenly onto dry hair, working into the roots for maximum lift and volume. Can be combined with other hair products for added volume and different styling looks.
Best Strong Hold Pomade: Patricks M3 Matte Strong Hold Pomade
Best suited to: All hair types (especially thick hair) and short to medium-length hairstyles; particularly Gravity-Defying Quiffs, Pompadours and Slicked-Back Styles
Finish: Natural matte (with added sheen when used in damp hair)
Why it made the cut: A clay and wax-based hair product, Patricks M3 Matte Strong Hold Pomade comes packaged in a super slick case that would look well at home in the Terminator’s weapon holster. Well suited to high volume quiffs and pompadours, this powerful pomade also utilises water and sweat resistant technology - ideal for surviving a hairstyle through a sweaty gym session.
How to apply: Warm a small amount of product between the palms of your hands and work evenly through dry or damp hair from root to tip and style as you see fit. Apply more product for greater strength.
Best Pomade Hybrid: Hanz de Fuko Quicksand
Best suited to: All hair types (especially thin or oily hair) and short hairstyles; particularly Textured Fades, Spiky-Top Crew Cuts and other Layered Short Styles
Finish: Dry matte
Why it made the cut: There’s something truly satisfying about rubbing this gritty product between your palms. The tactile formulation contains diatomaceous earth, a soft granular rock which adds unique volume and texture to the hair, while also doubling up as an excess oil absorbent. It essentially acts like a dry shampoo and can be applied to second-day hair.
How to apply: Rub a small scoop of product between your fingers and apply at the roots to dry or damp hair. Work the product deeply into the roots for oily or second day hair. Blow dry into place if desired for high volume hairstyles.
Notable achievements: GQ Grooming Awards Winner
Best Clay Pomade: Baxter of California Clay Pomade
Best suited to: All hair types and short hairstyles; particularly Short Quiff Fades, Textured Crew Cuts and other Short and Cropped Styles
Finish: Matte (or higher sheen when applied to wet hair)
Why it made the cut: Baxter of California’s award-winning Clay Pomade is a strong and pliable moulding product well suited to an array of short hairstyles. The clay can be used in differing volumes to create looks ranging from naturally subdued in aesthetic to super slick. The clay gives off a subtle earthy aroma.
How to apply: Rub a fingertip scoop of pomade into the palms of your hands to warm and emulsify the product. Apply to dry hair and mould into place for a matte finish. Apply to wet or damp hair for a slicker finish and when it is to be brushed or combed into place.
Notable achievements: Men’s Health Grooming Awards Winner for Best Styling Product; Details Reader’s Choice Award for Best Hair Wax; The Manual Grooming Award for Best Hair Clay
Best Hair Spray: Hanz de Fuko Style Lock Hair Spray
Best suited to: All hair types and short hairstyles; particularly high styled looks which risk annihilation by wind and humidity
Hold: Extreme (like strong hold, but mightier)
Finish: Dry matte
Why it made the cut: Most styled looks graduate into a more natural state as the day progresses, and this can work favourably for certain hairstyles and textured cuts. For more regimented quiffs, pompadours and highly styled cuts, locking your look in place is paramount. Hanz de Fuko’s Style Lock Hair Spray offers extreme long-lasting hold without the tell-tale high gloss of many other hairsprays.
How to apply: After styling your hair as desired, mist the hairspray roughly 30cm from your hair to lock your look into place. For primary use as a styling spray, spot-style as desired or use with a hair dryer to add body and volume.
For more headstrong hair product for men’s short haircuts: