Difference Between Hair Wax and Hair Clay
By Claire Miles - May 23, 2023

There are many kinds of hair-holding products on sale on any given day in stores and salons for men. Two important examples are Hair Wax and Hair Clay. However, there are differences between them to determine when each is appropriate.


Hair wax is a thick hairstyling product that contains wax and is used to help hold the hair in place. Hair wax retains pliability after application and is less likely to dry out.

Hair clay is a type of hair product that is used to keep hair in place. Using actual clays in hair clays distinguishes the product from other hair-holding products. Clays typically give the product a gritty feeling in the hand and make it thicker and heavier than other creams or pastes. Clay also softens the hair and aids in detangling.

Hair Wax vs. Hair Clay

The primary distinction between men’s hair clay and wax is that wax is oil-based, whereas clay is water-based. As a result, hair clay is typically easier to remove and can be done with a regular shampoo, whereas most oil-based products will require a cleansing shampoo to remove all product traces.

Men’s hair clay is applied differently than men’s hair wax. Clay is easier to scoop out of the tub and can be applied to your hair quickly. Wax is more challenging to work with, and you must warm it in your hands before applying it. When using wax, don’t linger because it hardens quickly.

Wax is ideal for neat and sleek styles because it adds definition and shines. Clay is suitable for adding texture and body to your hair because it has a low shine or matte finish. As regards usage, Professionals typically recommend clay for the day and casual looks and wax for the night because it is glossier.

Comparison Chart
  1. Oil-based hair product
Water-based hair product
  1. Adds definition and shine
Adds texture and body