hair cream men
Hair creams are much more lightweight in consistency and can still have a medium hold to lock in styles. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Slathering hair gel on a warm day is enough of a deterrent to style one's locks altogether. You want to keep the frizz and the flyaways at bay, but anything that's going to create a hard cast is going to be a hard pass. To survive the summer, you'll need a lightweight formula that will give your mane an effortlessly natural look.

Hair creams are the secret to locks falling softly in just the right places. After all, some of the best hairstyles appear a little dishevelled on purpose, and that's only achievable with a hair product that allows movement.

Unlike gel and pomade, our men's grooming expert says cream is lighter, softer and creates a more natural finish. "It's lighter than pomade, which can weigh the hair down, and, unlike gel, cream doesn't create a crunchy texture. It reduces frizz, adds volume to the hair and also provides a low to medium hold," said Ghassan Harrih, better known by the alias Ghaz, who is a managing partner at Akin Barber & Shop in Dubai.

Hair cream is for anyone wanting a daily styling product for relaxed 'dos. But, framing the locks is not the only thing creams can do for you. "Many creams offer nourishment and hydration for the hair - they'll have beneficial ingredients, such as natural oils and antioxidants," added Harrih.

men's hairstyle
If you're tired of crunchy strands and flaky product buildup, it's time to switch to a hair cream. Image Credit: Pexels/Pavel Danilyuk

As with most hair products, choosing the best formula differs from texture to type. Harrih says it's important to consider the sebum levels of your scalp - a dry scalp, for instance, could benefit from a heavier, creamier formula. It's also a matter of picking creams that suit curls or fine hair types.

"Avoid harsh chemicals in the ingredients, like alcohol, which is often found in gels. And go for a hair cream that complements your natural hair texture and helps you embrace it," advised Harrih.

Make sure you're applying the cream correctly to get the most out of your product. Harrih says to start with a small amount on dry or damp hair and, then, comb the locks from root to tip, after which you can style as desired. For extra volume, apply a little cream after blow-drying the hair.

Harrih shares what could be your daily hair care routine: "To towel-dried hair, apply sea salt spray and diffuse the hair on a warm setting - this gives the hair volume and texture. You can lock the style in with hair cream."

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Below, we've gathered some of the best styling creams for men, featuring our expert's picks. Sign up for Prime to get free, fast delivery, and check out discounts on personal care products during Super Saver Week.

1. Best Overall: Byrd Hairdo Products The Matte Pomade, 70ml

Although a pomade, this creamy water-based hair product by Byrd is highly recommended by Harrih. He finds it healthy and nourishing for the hair, and notes how it has a matte finish. Because its first ingredient is water, you can expect easy rinse-off on wash days. The matte pomade is meant to be an everyday product that suits people with all hair types, who want a medium hold, as well as natural-looking, tousled locks. Reviewers attest to the soft hairstyles they've managed to create, calling their hair malleable with some staying power. The key, they add, is to use very little product.

2. Best for Curls: Davines OI All-in-One Milk

For those with wavy hair and curls, Harrih picks Davines' OI All-in-One Milk spray as a solid purchase. Its anti-frizz properties smoothe any flyaways, while the milky formula helps soften, detangle and protect the hair. Ingredients such as roucou oil, which is rich in beta-carotene for hair growth, and antioxidants, define your natural hair texture without altering it. The best part is that you're safe to use any heat styling right after, since it doubles as a heat protectant, as well. All happy reviewers mention how soft and healthy their hair looks after, making it easier to comb their curls.

3. Best for Shine: American Crew Forming Cream (2-Pack)

Like the Byrd pick, the American Crew Forming Cream offers medium hold, but it does leave the hair with a bit of natural shine. This styling cream is also water-based for zero buildup in the hair, and uses glycerin to swell the hair shaft for a fuller appearance. Users of over 10 years return to purchase refills of the tub, noting the flexibility they get with short hair, too. The hold lasts throughout the day without being noticeable or leaving any chalky residue.

4. Best for Light Hold: Jack Black Sleek Finish Texture Cream

For extra nourishment, consider Jack Black's Sleek Finish Texture Cream. Packed with chock-full of goodness for the hair, the lightweight cream is ideal for dry-to-normal coarse, thick and wavy hair types. Enjoy the benefits of silk amino acids, pro-vitamin B5, geranium oil, olive oil and beetroot, all meant to add shine and moisture, and protect the locks. Do note that compared to others in the list, this cream has a light hold, so it may not work for those looking to lock in a style. Rather, it's better suited for men with long hair who want to tame frizz and keep the look natural, per reviews.

5. Best Budget: Layrite Natural Matte Cream Mild Cream Soda

Matte finish, medium hold and flexible styling, the Layrite shaping cream is an excellent budget find. Create casual 'dos on fine to medium thick hair - it even provides definition to curls for a frizz-free look. The water-based formula contains kaolin clay, which absorbs excess oil, and waxes derived from Brazilian palm tree leaves. Reviewers love that it goes on wet and dry hair easily, and can be reworked quickly throughout the day without water. Unlike Jack Black's styling cream, this product's scent is much more appealing to a wider audience, too. 

Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.