Fast Forward: Quick Product and Style Tips for Guys

Feeling pressure to get more done in less time, but still want to maintain a stylish look? Well, take note. With a little bit of product and the right technique, you can get a great look done fast.

Pick the right product

Whether you want a little hold or a lot, no shine or very shiny, picking the right product is just a matter of reading the label. Today’s hair products for men typically have descriptive labels that tell you whether it has light, strong or medium hold, and how much shine it will provide—from maximum gloss to matte (shine free).


The other important factor is when you use product: do you generally style your hair while it’s wet or do you dry it first? When styling damp, towel-dried hair, water-based products like pomade and lotions are typically the most effective. To style dry hair, it’s best to use a paste, clay, or wax.

Smartstyle male hair model

Prep time

No matter the styling product, short hair applications typically work best by heating a small amount of the product (about an almond size) up in your hands and then working the product into hair from scalp to ends. Bonus: Many paste, clay, or wax products today are flexible and don’t harden or get crisp, allowing you to style one way in the morning, then quickly and easily change it up later without adding more product.


Application action

Product alone won’t make your hair great, it’s how you apply it that matters. Create a casual look by simply using your fingers to spread product and arrange your hair. Get a smooth, flat, or more formal look by combing or brushing product in place.


Perfect texture

Starting with nearly dry hair, work a small amount of a clay like MITCH Matterial or a paste like Amercian Crew Defining Paste between hands, then apply it from roots to ends. Use your fingers to arrange the sides and back, then scrunch the top section to create a messier, textured look.


Go classic

To achieve a classic look, use your fingers to blow dry your hair into a shape you like—this works great with a pompadour or classic side part. Then starting at the roots and moving toward the ends, apply a small amount of a pomade like American Crew Pomade for shine or a clay like Redken Rough Paste 12 for a matte finish. Polish the look by using a comb or boar bristle brush to smooth it all into place.


A basic get-out-the-door

For a fast, there's-no-time look, apply a small amount of light-hold gel, American Crew Light Hold Gel works great, or cream (Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Shaping Cream is a good choice) to towel-dried hair with your fingers or a comb. Style it to your liking, then go—letting it air dry while you travel to your destination. By the time you arrive, your hair should be mostly dry. Soften the product’s hold by tousling your hair with your fingers, and you are ready to get on with your day.


For more quick-style ideas, or suggestions for styles that will look great on you, ask your SmartStyle stylist.

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