Best Hair Cream for Men: The Best Lightweight Hair Creams for Natural Style

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 Hair Cream for Style Minimalists

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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

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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

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Baxter of California wave-defining cream

Baxter’s cream is one we recommend most often—to most hair types—but we find that it excels especially with wavy-haired folks. It helps define and reinforce that texture, while also staying untraceable to the passing eye. Touchable texture is the result, almost like a paste, but lighter.

The Best Hair Cream for Curly Hair

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OUIDAD curl-defining cream

“Featherlight” is the word OUIDAD uses to describe its cream, and it’s true to its word: Your curls will feel equally buoyant and carefree with this product, which provides a bevy of smoothness and hydration, but next to no hold. No frizz, no crunch, no stress. Let it air dry or use a diffuser—whichever you prefer.

The Best Hair Cream for Coiled Hair

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PATTERN defining hair cream for curls and coils

This curl- and coil-targeting cream packs shea and cocoa butters, alongside oils of coconut, castor, and sweet almond. Use it to nourish and define texture, whether you’re applying on the fly, or even starting with a curl-defining twist, braid, or knot. It minimizes frizz and shrinkage, and maximizes curl pattern, without ever weighing you down.

The Best Hair Cream for Thinning Hair

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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 

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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 Styling Cream for Growing Your Hair Out 

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If you’re growing your hair out and need a good cream to take you from medium to longer (and in turn, to avoid all those awkward hat-wearing months between), then stock up on Fellow’s styling cream. It’s terrific for all textures and keeps hair hydrated and healthy for the long haul, even as you work out the rookie kinks of this long journey.

The Best Styling CreamFor Added Texture

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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 long-length styles. It’s also perfect for guys with thinning hair who want to plump up what they do have, so as to maximize their potential without weighing anything down.

The Best Hair Cream For Curls

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Scotch Porter leave-in conditioning cream

If you have curls or coils, then you need to focus on moisture. There’s nothing better than a curl cream for this, which is best achieved with Scotch Porter’s leave-in conditioner. It keeps curls defined, hydrated, buoyant, and controlled.

The Best Styling Cream For Frizz and Flyaways

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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 Medium Hold and High Shine

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Hanz de Fuko styling cream

Unlike all the squeezable and pumpable picks from 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. Because “Scheme Cream” is quite similar to a hair paste, it delivers pliable, reworkable style.

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