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How To Use Hair Paste For Men

Learning how to use hair paste is a great stepping stone into men’s styling. Pastes are so universal in the hair care industry – you’ll find lots of options for your specific hair type, and lots of professionals who are eager to give paste styling tips.

Table of Contents

What Is Hair Paste And What Does It Do To Your Hair?

Hair paste holds your hair in place. It’s very similar to hair putty, pomade, and wax, but unlike those three, it doesn’t have an exact definition in the hair styling industry. There are lots of brands that create hair pastes, and every paste is a little bit different.

Most have a medium to firm hold, a matte (not shiny) or just barely shiny finish, and they add texture and volume to your hair. 

It’s really important to read the bottle label when you buy hair paste. The label should tell you whether it’s made for thick or thin hair, and whether the paste is shiny or matte. Use a lighter hair paste if you have thin or short hair, and a heavier hair paste if you have thick or long hair. 

How To Use Hair Paste For Men

If you’ve used a styling product before, you probably have a good idea of how to use hair paste. Follow these steps for maximum success:

  1. Typically, you’ll want to start with damp hair before you apply hair paste. Damp hair is workable and easiest to style. It absorbs the paste so that your hair stays in shape longer.
  2. Take a pea-sized dab of paste from the bottle and rub it between your hands to warm it up. You shouldn’t be able to see it on your hands after a few seconds of rubbing. It will form a thin, invisible layer.
  3. Run your hands through your hair to apply the paste in a thin, even layer.
  4. You can use your hands to shape your hair, or use a comb to style it.
  5. Voila! Your hair should hold its shape as it dries.
  6. Be sure to shampoo out the paste at the end of the day. Don’t leave the residue in your hair, or it will irritate your scalp.

Some common mistakes to avoid:

• Don’t use too much paste, especially if it’s a strong-hold paste. Light pastes usually do a great job. You only need a thin layer.

• Once your hair is dry, you can’t restyle it. Paste has a medium to firm hold, so expect to keep the same hairstyle all day.

• Make sure to evenly distribute the paste. If you focus on one section of your hair for too long, it may start to clump.

Wash your hair at the end of the day!!!

How To Use Hair Paste On Short Hair

Lots of guys with short hair appreciate how hair paste lets them control the direction their hair faces, while giving it some texture and holding it in place all day long.

For best results, try these:

• Use a fine-tooth comb with the paste for full control over your hairstyle. The comb will also help you avoid any clumping.

• Don’t use too much paste. Less than a pea-sized amount will cover your whole head if you have short hair.

• Try parting your hair, sweeping it back, or combing it forward to get a feel for the versatility of the paste. You might discover a new favorite style.

• Scrub, scrub, scrub with shampoo at the end of the day when you’re done with the hairstyle. With short hair, it’s easy to get paste build-up on your scalp and roots, which can dry out your skin and cause dandruff.

How To Use Hair Paste On Medium Hair

Paste on medium length hair can achieve some cool shapes and effects. Some pointers to consider:

• If your hair is just slightly too heavy for the paste alone to hold it up, try using some invisible bobby pins with the hair paste. Bobby pins can hold your hair in shape, so you don’t have to go overboard with the paste.

• Style with your hands for a more casual, messy look. Use a comb to achieve something more slick and thoughtful.

• You can use paste before braiding your hair or putting it up in a man bun. The paste adds texture and volume, so your updo will look fuller.

• Don’t forget to wash out the paste at the end of the day.

How To Use Hair Paste On Long Hair

Hair paste works on long hair, you just have to have some patience. Quick tips for using paste on long hair:

• Start with a small amount (like our directions say above) and add as needed. Lots of guys with long hair accidentally go overboard with hair paste, making your hair heavy and too crunchy. Add pea-sized amounts at a time.

• Think about the direction you want your hair to fall beforehand. When you apply the paste, apply it in that direction.

• It’s easier to use your hands than a comb when you apply paste to long hair.

• Try using paste on dry hair instead of damp hair. For guys with long hair, paste is sometimes easier to manage on dry hair, so give it a go and see which you prefer.

• If you don’t need to apply paste to your roots, then don’t apply paste to your roots. It’s healthier for your scalp.

• Be very thorough when you wash out the paste at night. The ends of your hair need special attention with conditioner.

How To Use Hair Paste For Texture

Hair paste naturally adds a lot of texture to your hair. You don’t need to do anything special. Just follow the normal steps for applying the paste, then watch it work its magic.

For more texture, be sure to use the paste while your hair is damp. That allows the product to fully absorb, giving you extra volume.

Should You Use Hair Paste On Wet Or Dry Hair?

You can use paste on wet or dry hair, but for best results, try using it on damp hair.

Damp hair is more workable. It hasn’t quite picked up a shape yet, so it’ll work with you on how you want to style it. Sopping wet and perfectly dry hair are harder to work with, and that goes for almost any hair product, not just hair paste.

When you use paste on damp hair, it adds volume to your hair as it dries, making it look thicker and fuller. So use paste on slightly wet hair. You can towel dry it, or use a blow dryer to wick away water, if you’ve just stepped out of the shower. Alternatively, use a spray bottle to wet your hair down, then apply the paste.

How Do You Wash Out Hair Paste?

Shampoo washes out hair paste. Just be sure to use it nightly, scrub thoroughly, and let it sit in your hair for a bit to dissolve the paste.

Usually, the type of shampoo doesn’t matter. You could use the best smelling shampoo for men or one of your favorite luxury shampoos. But if you find that it doesn’t feel like you’re getting all of the paste out of your hair, start using a clarifying shampoo once a week. They contain extra cleaning agents to help your scalp.

And don’t skip out on conditioner. It doesn’t clean the paste from your hair, but it does fix any of the dryness that you might be feeling because of the paste.

Is Using Hair Paste Everyday Bad?

Using hair paste everyday can dehydrate your hair. Most guys won’t notice many side effects besides some dryness, but some men suffer from hair breakage, hair loss, scalp irritation and dandruff.

It’s a good idea to wash out the paste nightly, and use a clarifying shampoo weekly to break down any buildup. (Try the best shampoo for oily hair for extra cleaning power.)

Think of hair paste as a styling tool for the days that you need to look on-point, and give your scalp a break on days when you can get away with a casual look.

Frank Edwards is a men's grooming & style expert who is "internet famous" for being able to simplify complicated grooming routines into easy, yet effective rituals any man can do. As a professional analyst, he has spent years researching the biggest brands, products, experts, best practices, and breaking news in the space. He takes this analysis, tests it out on himself, and then documents everything in his writing. As a result, his experience-based articles are considered by some to be the gold standard in men's grooming and men's style.