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What is Hair Wax?

By Jessica Hobby
Updated May 21, 2024
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Hair wax is a hair styling product that is used to define hair into textured pieces or chunks and manipulate hair into multiple hairstyles. This product, which is very thick and contains some wax, has many names depending on the distributor. Some products go by the names of whip, glue or paste, while others are called putty or pomade. Regardless of the name of the product, they are all texturizers that contain wax and can be considered wax-based hair styling products.

Wax based products are different from water based products like gel and mousse because they don’t “dry.” They can create the same styles and give the same shine as a gel or mousse, but the hair will remain pliable, unlike gels or mousses which cause the hair to be stiff. The flexibility of wax-based hair styling products allows users to fix and restyle their hair throughout the day by just running their fingers through their hair. Because these products don’t have water in them, they don’t wash out easily. Regular users should be reminded to use a good quality clarifying shampoo to get their hair completely clean.

It is best to work with hair wax products on clean hair. These products may be applied on wet or dry hair; however, they work better on dry hair. It is important to not add too much product to the hair at once, because the wax will not come out of the hair without washing it. To define waves and maximize peaks in hair, it is better to add a little at a time until the desired look is reached. The application of the product will differ based on its thickness and packaging. Some hair wax products can be sprayed on, but most are applied with fingertips.

When applying hair wax, hair should be separated into sections with no more than a thumb-size dollop of wax rubbed into each piece of the hair. For a spiky look, the wax must be applied on the strands of the hair one small section at a time. It is also important to remember that different kinds of hair will require different amounts and different types of wax. Hair wax is not recommended to be used on thin or fine hair because it can leave the hair looking greasy and heavy. Textured hairstyles, on both men and women, will work much better with hair wax products.

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Discussion Comments

By anon114224 — On Sep 27, 2010

wonderful. explained it nicely.

By CopperPipe — On Aug 17, 2010

@littleman -- The only thing I know to tell you about hair wax removal is to just keep washing it.

It may take a few times, especially if you put too much on, but as far as I know, there's no other "home remedy" for getting the wax out of your hair.

Oh, and I don't think that there's that much of a difference between men's hair wax and women's hair wax.

By LittleMan — On Aug 17, 2010

Can anybody tell me some good tips to remove hair wax -- I know the article said to get a clarifying shampoo, but what if the wax doesn't come off all the way even after that?

It's a male hair wax, by the way. I don't know if that makes a difference.

Is there something else I can put on my hair to get this goop off?

By googlefanz — On Aug 17, 2010

It's really important to remember that a little bit of hair wax goes a long way. I see so many men who just pour on the hair gel and wax, and it makes you wonder if their hair would just snap off if you touched it.

So remember guys, moderation. A little wax for your hair is good, a mountain of wax for your hair is very, very bad.

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