When it comes to styling your hair, men have a variety of products that are readily available, including waxes, pomades, clays, sprays, and of course, the classic hair gel.

However, classic as it may be, hair gel has been making a comeback in recent years.

Not only are the formulas getting better, but men today have a lot to consider when selecting the perfect hair gel for them.

From the different textures, scents, the strength of hold, and more, finding the perfect hair gel should balance all of these points perfectly – like the Jack Black Body Building Hair Gel.

In this guide, we not only review all the most popular and highly-rated hair gels on the market, but you will understand what sets them apart from the rest.

Best Hair Gels for Men Reviewed

1. Best Overall: Jack Black Body Building Hair Gel

There’s a lot to like in this Body Building Hair Gel from Jack Black.

Relying on an alcohol-free ingredient profile, this hair gel gives you the natural and healthy-looking style without the flakes or that “crunchy feeling”.

For the men that are turned off by the strong odor chemicals found in many of the cheaper hair gels, you will be happy to learn that this hair gel is fragrance-free.

When it comes to the strength of hold, we found it to be in the light-to-medium strength range.

As is true with many Jack Black products, this hair gel is also absent of colorants and parabens.

For the men who currently use clay or traditional hair cream, you will likely find this hair gel exceptionally good as it provides similar results.

Lastly, the size.

Jack Black smartly designed this bottle to adhere to the strict TSA standards.  Should you have a vacation planned, you can pack this one without having to worry about throwing it out at the airport.

Pros

  • Provides a natural looking and flake-free hold
  • No nasty chemical smell after being applied
  • Alcohol-free
  • Contains several organic ingredients

Cons

  • May not have a strong enough hold for some men
  • Expensive compared to others

What You Need To Know

Overall, you can’t go wrong with this hair gel from Jack Black.  Its highly natural ingredient profile coupled with an alcohol-free formula will leave your hair looking and feeling great.

2. Best For Thin Hair: REVITA Styling Gel

According to the American Hair Loss Association, 85% of men will start to show signs of hair loss by the age of 50 (source).  If you are a man that has started to show the signs of hair loss or simply come from a family where this is prevalent, you may want to consider this truly unique hair gel by DS Laboratories.

Mixing both their award-winning REVITA hair-stimulating formula along with a medium strength styling gel – you have a product that will be a staple in men’s medicine cabinets everywhere.

Relying on their proprietary Nansome Delivery System, the REVITA Styling Gel encapsulates the active ingredients within the gel and penetrates both the hair follicle and scalp deeper and more effectively.  This translates to a hair gel that won’t flake, provides a reliable hold, along with adding volume to your hair.

While this styling gel is priced a bit higher than others on our list – we think it’s definitely worth the investment.  Not only do you get a hair styling gel, but also a hair loss treatment as well.

Backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, should you be disappointed in the results.

Pros

  • Unique formula
  • Nice medium hold
  • Promotes hair growth

Cons

  • Expensive

What You Need To Know

A revolutionary product by all measures, the REVITA Styling Gel is perfect for men who want a nice hold to their hair while they are also beginning to show the signs of hair loss. If you fall into this category of men, then you should definitely try this styling gel.

3. The Classic Pick: American Crew Men’s Superglue Hold

If American Crew isn’t making top-of-the-line shampoos or conditioners, they are making hair styling products like their wildly popular Crew Fiber and Crew Pomade.

Simply put, American Crew knows a thing or two when it comes to styling products.

This styling gel by American Crew checks the boxes for many men out there.  First and foremost, the formula is absent of any alcohol – therefore, prolonged or daily use shouldn’t be a problem for you.

Given that there is no alcohol within the American Crew gel, you shouldn’t have to worry about dried-out or frizzy hair follicles either, allowing you to look your very best.

This gel delivers a pleasant shine along with a rather strong hold.

Like the Jack Black gel we also reviewed, this one is also great for travel.

Pros

  • Traditional hair gel that provides a great shine
  • Alcohol-free formula is non-greasy
  • Widely available in barber shops everywhere

Cons

  • Some men may not like the high shine
  • The strong hold is only good for certain hairstyles

What You Need To Know

Overall, this is the quintessential hair gel for men.  It provides that trademark shine coupled with a strong hold.  The alcohol-free formula will not only prevent irritation on your scalp but also reduce the chance of embarrassing flakes.

4. Medium Strength: Johnny B. Mode Styling Gel

From the onset, you might initially think of Johnny Bravo – I mean come on, not only did that guy have amazing hair, but the logo emblazoned on the side of this Johnny B. Mode styling gel bears an uncanny, yet dapper, resemblance.

But alas – as epic as Johnny Bravo was, so too is this gel from Johnny B.

Coming in a sky-blue color, this no-flake and no-buildup gel will provide a medium hold that will make your hair look and feel great.

With the alcohol-free design, it won’t be an astringent on your hair cuticles or scalp further ensuring that this gel will be comfortable with continued use.

Given its water-soluble composition, when you decide to take a shower in the evening or simply after hitting the gym, this product will rinse out with ease.

It’s the perfect styling gel for men looking for a medium hold.

Pros

  • Provides a flexible medium hold
  • Alcohol-free will prevent flakes
  • Made in the USA
  • Available in a variety of sizes

Cons

  • Hard to find at brick-and-mortar shops

What You Need To Know

Overall, this is a great hair gel that a lot of men love.  No matter the online shop, you can typically find it among the highest reviewed gels out there.  If you want a product that provides great value, check this one out — you won’t be disappointed.

5. MITCH Steady Grip Hair Gel

There are very few products in the men’s haircare world that carry Paul Mitchell’s prestige.  But with such a high mark for admiration, there is also a lot of pressure in living up to that label.

When it comes to hair gels, Paul Mitchell delivers.  Their Steady Grip hair gel is perfect for many reasons.

First and foremost, its compact tube size is great for easily accessing the required amount of hair gel with very little in the way of waste.

Unlike some other containers that may be over 10 ounces, the MITCH gel is a stout 5.1-ounce design.

While the side of the label on this Steady Grip gel may claim to be a firm hold, most men when using this product regularly find that it’s just a bit looser than firm.

Like the Jack Black Hair Gel we reviewed, this gel by MITCH will give you a more natural look to your hair, making it perfect for men who like the convenience of gel but not the crunchy or spiky look.

Pros

  • Medium-to-firm hold that delivers a natural shine
  • Designer name that is trusted by barbers everywhere
  • Alcohol-free formula resists flaking

Cons

  • It’s expensive

What You Need To Know

Overall, for men who like barbershop quality products, then this hair gel by MITCH is for you.  The excellent balance of hold and shine will leave your hair looking and feeling great.

6. Clubman Styling Gel by Ed Pinaud for Men

Primarily known for their wide array of shaving products, including both aftershave splashes and lotions, Clubman also offers this extremely bright green styling gel.

The Clubman Styling Gel is perfect for men out there of any age looking for an extremely strong hold on their unruly hair follicles.

Men love this product given its versatility.  If you want an extremely hard hold, simply apply with your hands and leave it in your hair.  However, if you want a slightly more flowy hold, apply it to your hair and then use your favorite comb or brush to thin out the formula, leaving a much lighter and more even coating.

While our reviews of hair gels normally concentrate on the company and product performance, we would be remiss if we didn’t at least acknowledge the manly, yet light, scent that this gives off.

Next to boiling your first pot of coffee in the morning, applying the Clubman Styling Gel will be the second most intoxicating scent that you smell in the morning.

Lastly, we need to cover the value.

The Clubman Styling Gel absolutely delivers a knockout punch when it comes to value.  It has an incredibly low price tag for the size of the tub.

Pros

  • Super strong hold
  • Terrific manly scent is invigorating
  • Extremely affordable

Cons

  • This is your traditional hair gel

What You Need To Know

Overall, this manly hair gel from Pinaud Clubman is the perfect hair gel in a traditional sense.  It provides a strong hold, has a terrific scent, and contains no alcohol, gum, or wax.  It’s a classic.

7. Gentleman Republic Refined Molding Gel

This hard hold and hard shine molding gel by Gentleman Republic is the perfect gel for those men that want a no-nonsense product.

This 24-hour shine and hold professional formula (alcohol-free) will ensure that your hair doesn’t falter under pressure.

Available in either an 8-ounce or 16-ounce container, you should get plenty of use out of this gel before you even think of clicking that re-order button.

Beyond providing a strong hold, this styling gel will work great for men who live in hot and humid climates where keeping their hair in place is a problem given that the formula naturally resists humidity.

After application, expect this hair gel to leave a nice and pleasant shine.

Lastly, living up to the name, this hair gel does emit a nice manly scent.

Pros

  • Has a strong hold and shine that should last 24 hours
  • Naturally resists humidity
  • Alcohol-free
  • Made in the USA

Cons

  • Contains alcohol, so take a break every few days

What You Need To Know

Overall, this is a great everyday hair gel.  Without the reliance on alcohol, you won’t have to worry about flakes happening when using it for a week straight.  The large 16-ounce container provides excellent value as well.

8. Got 2B Glued Ultra Styling Gel

From Got 2B comes the Glued Ultra Styling Gel.  These guys basically defined the entire hair gel market as we know it today.  From their vast lineup of gels at differing strengths, this is going to be the one that keeps your hair intact whether you are at the office or doing heavy cardio.

It fully lives up to the ‘Glued’ name – it’s that strong.

But beyond the incredible strength, you will also find that the Got 2B gel will go on without feeling sticky.

So, if you absolutely loathe that feeling when you apply a hair product and it just sticks between your fingers for all the morning hours, the water-soluble design of this product will make removal a breeze.

If there is a single catch to this product, it would have to be with the ingredients.

One of the core ingredients of this product is denatured alcohol.

So, while this product may dry quickly, it may lead to irritation with prolonged use.

Pros

  • One of the strongest holds out there
  • Great for active men who want their hair to always look great
  • Extremely affordable

Cons

  • Contains alcohol
  • Not for everyone

What You Need To Know

Overall, men who do use this gel absolutely love it as illustrated in the extremely high peer review score that is only bested by a few others on this list of best hair gels.

9. TIGI Bed Head Men Power Play Gel

As a replacement to their highly touted Power Trip hair gel, TIGI re-enters the hair gel vertical by offering up their Power Play gel.

The Power Play gel, when compared to their previous Power Trip and other hair gels on the market, is similar in nature and composition. It is a worthy product that belongs on your bathroom counter.

Packed in a sizeable 6.76-ounce tube (note: not travel safe), you should get many days’ use out of it.

While providing a bit ‘wetter’ of a look on your locks, it’s going to be perfect for men with short-to-medium length hair.  Men with overly long hair may not like the ‘wet’ appearance.

But beyond the styling hold and appearance, the Power Play gel is also great for those men looking for an alcohol-free alternative.

With its flake-free design, you shouldn’t have any little white flakes appearing on your shoulders at the end of the workday.

Pros

  • Great for men with medium-to-short hair
  • Trusted brand that is a leader in the hair care space
  • Gives you a wetter look
  • Alcohol-free

Cons

  • Limited size options

What You Need To Know

Overall, this is a great hair gel for those who want that wet look.  Backed by a strong hold, your hair will look great all day long.

10. Woody’s Mega Firm Hair Gel for Men

One of the relatively new upshots in the men’s grooming world is going to be Woody’s.

While we have clamored about their shampoo and hair clay, Woody’s hair gel is no exception and easily makes the list as a top-notch hair gel.

Its incredible price, coupled with an incredibly well-made product, makes it obvious why their product is quickly becoming ever more popular.

Relying on ingredients, such as aloe vera, ginger root extract, rosemary leaf extract, and many more, Woody’s Mega Firm Hair Gel will be a natural anti-fungal that will help to ward off the prevalence of dandruff on your scalp.

But beyond all the great things about the product, you have come here to learn about the styling abilities.

First and foremost, this styling gel by Woody’s will provide a firm hold that is suitable for any hair type and hair length.  So, no matter if you have thick, thin, short, or long hair, this product should work in seamlessly.

As far as shine goes, there is a slight shine that will be evident after application.

The alcohol and paraben-free design of this product will ensure that your hair won’t feel flaky with prolonged use.

Pros

  • Smells amazing and works well
  • Only a small amount for great results
  • Won’t cause flakes after several days of using

Cons

  • Might be a bit too strong of a hold for some

What You Need To Know

Overall, this is a great gel for those men who want total control over their hair.  The largely natural formula will help your hair look even better.

Shawn Burns

Shawn Burns is the founder and senior editor of Tools of Men. He started this site with the goal of teaching men proper grooming habits and sensible style. Shawn's expertise includes in-depth product reviews and how-to articles. Shawn was recently featured in the Wall Street Journal for his expertise.

Published: July 21, 2021

Last Updated: October 12, 2021