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Whether or not you have a favorite pomade, gel, clay, or paste, we believe that every guy’s lineup should also include some of the best hair cream for men. A super lightweight, you-can-barely-tell-it’s-there styler. Why? Because many (most?) hairstyles don’t require heavier high-hold products. Because sometimes you just need some light follicular coating and not a full-on shellacking.
These lightweight hair creams are a lot like leave-in conditioners, but with the lightest touch of shine and sculptability. They’ll accentuate and control curls without compromising volume. They’ll tame the unruly long hairs that stray from the flock. They provide direction and definition but never leave it feeling firm or crusty. And if you’ve got thinning hair, some products can texturize without suffocating or weighing it down, and the best hair cream for men is also often packed with nourishing, fortifying ingredients. If you aren’t sure where to start, then peruse our favorite lightweight heavy hitters below.
The Best Lightweight Hair Creams, at a Glance
- The Best Hair Cream for Style Minimalists: Imperial hair cream, $24
- The Best Hair Cream for Straight Hair: Davines relaxing hair cream, $27
- The Best Hair Cream for Wavy Hair: Moroccanoil molding cream, $29
- The Best Hair Cream for Curly Hair: Miss Jessie’s “Multicultural Curls” cream, $19
- The Best Hair Cream for Coiled Hair: Mielle Organics pomegranate & honey sculpting custard, $15
- The Best Hair Cream for Thinning Hair: Living Proof thickening hair cream, $30
- The Best Hair Cream for Thick Hair: Jack Black texturizing hair cream, $16
- The Best Hair Cream for Short Hair: Malin + Goetz hair cream, $26
- The Best Calming Hair Cream: OUAI finishing cream, $26
- The Best Air-Dry Hair Cream: R+Co air dry cream, $34
- The Best Ultralight Hair Cream: Oribe styling cream, $42
- The Best Hair Cream for In-Between Stages: Aveda Men “Pure-formance” grooming cream, $32
- The Best Hair Creamfor Extra Texture: Rahua texturizing cream, $34
- The Best Hair Cream for Taming Flyaways: Living Proof anti-frizz cream, $42
- The Best Hair Cream for a Longer Hold: Hanz de Fuko styling cream, $25
The Best Hair Cream for Style Minimalists
This is one of the most straightforward, no frills styling creams out there. It rinses clean as if you never had it in your hair to begin with—not that you could feel it when it was in your mane. It’ll prevent you from looking windswept and maintain tidiness throughout the day while taming frizz and flyaways. But it won’t do much beyond that—and that’s exactly the point.
The Best Hair Cream for Straight Hair
Davines relaxing hair cream
Davines’ hair cream promises straightforward results—and if we’re being literal, straight down results. No frizz, no poofing. Only smooth relaxedness. Humidity has met its foe.
The Best Hair Cream for Wavy Hair
Moroccanoil molding cream
This nourishing molding cream is infused with silky argan oil which is great for taming frizz and strengthening hair at the root to prevent breakage and split ends. Apply a dollop for a flexible, medium-hold that delivers maximum shine.
The Best Hair Cream for Curly Hair
Miss Jessie’s “Multicultural Curls” cream
Not all curls are the same which is why you want a formula that enhances your curl pattern without making it unrecognizable. This curl lotion is packed with moisturizing oils that won’t leave you looking like greasy mess but will deliver a lightweight hold that’ll keep your curls nice and smooth–minus any weird crunchiness.
The Best Hair Cream for Coiled Hair
Mielle Organics Pomegranate & Honey Sculpting Custard
Coiled hair requires more moisture which this sculpting custard has plenty of thanks to a mix of antioxidant-rich extracts boosted by nourishing coconut oil. Great for wash and go’s or twist outs that actually turn out how you planned.
The Best Hair Cream for Thinning Hair
Living Proof thickening hair cream
This cream amps up your strands with tiny thickening molecules that, when applied across your entire dome, give volume and density to otherwise thin strands. It’s lightweight but texturizing all at the same time, and it also conditions strands simultaneously (for longterm strength).
The Best Hair Cream for Thick Hair
Jack Black texturizing hair cream
No matter your thick hair’s texture, this cream from Jack Black will add separation, body, definition, density—whichever other word you choose from that school of thought. It gives even the driest strands a healthy glow, and delivers day-long, touchable hold without any crunch or residue.
The Best Hair Cream for Short Hair
Most short-styled guys would probably overlook a cream, and instead opt for a choppy clay, paste, fiber, or wax. But keep a cream like M+G’s at the ready: It allows your strands to sit down, and to look intentionally styled, as opposed to ignored, frizzy, and poofy. It even delivers a healthy shine that won’t transfer to your hands as you run your fingers through the mane; that’s the kind of effortlessness it provides you—it works hard while barely being noticed.
The Best Calming Hair Cream
Some people use cream as the last step in their morning hair regimen—almost like a polishing, “finishing” step. OUAI’s cream is perfect for these users; it tames those last few flyaways and frizzies, but also works well as a standalone frizz fighter, should you opt for a minimal haircare day every so often.
The Best Air-Dry Hair Cream
Certain hair creams are definitely air creams, in that they’re meant to be air dried instead of blown dried. Now, don’t let that confuse you, because most hair creams can be left to air dry, or applied to barely wet strands—or even applied to dry strands as a finisher/tamer. But when you see an air-dry cream like R+Co’s, the name says it all: Apply this product to towel-dried hair, and then go about your business as it gives your hair lightweight and touchable control. It thwarts frizz, humidity, heat, and all the other headaches hurled your way in a day.
The Best Ultralight Styling Cream
Oribe’s styling cream moisturizes to keep your hair healthy without adding any weight—it’s a must-have for guys with even a slight hint of curl or wave. There’s a good reason you’ll find top-tier stylists stocking up on this stuff: “Crème for Style” gives a slightly higher hold than the other products here, making it perfect for teasing out a bit more texture, or tamping things down for a hard-parted slicked-back style.
The Best Hair Cream for In-Between Phases
Aveda Men “Pure-formance” grooming cream
If you’re in the middle of that awkward growth stage where it’s too short to really style but too long to leave completely untouched, you want a lightweight cream that won’t weigh your hair down but will give it some shape and body. This non-greasy formula has a spicy scent so you can look and smell good in one go.
The Best Hair Creamfor Extra Texture
Some cream stylers deliver volume and definition. That’s the case with Rahua’s texturizing lotion: One pump gives you some serious lift and separation, especially ideal in medium- and longer-length styles. It’s also perfect for guys with thinning hair who want to maximize their potential without weighing anything down.
The Best Hair Cream for Taming Flyaways
Living Proof anti-frizz cream
An anti-frizz cream can condition and tame the hair so that it doesn’t frizz, split, or poof. This dual styler and conditioner from Living Proof gives your hair a natural product-free texture while also delivering some stealth humidity defense.
The Best Hair Cream for a Longer Hold
Hanz de Fuko styling cream
Unlike all the squeezable and pumpable picks on this list, Hanz de Fuko’s styling cream comes in a small jar, particularly since it’s too dense to dispense. That extra mass delivers a medium hold (as opposed to light ones from most on this roster), but it still wears lightly in your hair. It promises a medium-to-high sheen, too. And because “Scheme Cream” is quite similar to a hai