Take Three: matte finish hair products

Written by Jonathon Carlan

From high street to salon quality, a hair product with a matte finish is the perfect tool to create the standout looks of today. Matte products have become increasingly popular in previous years, ranging through clays, putties, pastes, muds and fibres.

Photo: Jonathon Carlan

VO5 Extreme Style Matt Clay (RRP £3.89)

VO5 has established a name as being one of the high streets most affordable solutions to styling problems. They offer a wide selection of decent products at great prices and you can often find them on offer too.

The clay has a sweet and very appealing scent to it, the fragrance doesn’t remain too poignant after it has been applied to the hair.

The consistency is noticeably solid so the product has to be worked well between your fingers to warm it up before being applied to your hair. If the product is applied before doing so it becomes difficult to manage and can leave a large amount of residue.

If it is applied correctly (it works well with slightly damp hair) the result is very good. I felt the overall finish was much more satisfying than other products priced greater and marketed as higher end.

Unfortunately, as is common with many of these products, the textured effect did start to wear off after a few hours, so it may be best combined with a decent hairspray, however this may lessen the desired matte finish.

Rating: 7/10 – A great result especially considering the price, however the created effect doesn’t last long.

Toni & Guy Men’s Styling Fibre 75ml (RRP £6.39)

Toni & Guy boast a well-respected name on the high street with both their salons across the UK as well as their hair products. In response to the ever growing metrosexual generation Toni & Guy rebranded their somewhat feminine looking hair products and launched the men’s collection alongside it.

The fibre has a faint scent to it, fragranced to smell masculine however this feels weakened by the fibrous agent.

As a fibre the texture feels stickier than the other products featured (clays) which, depending on personal preference, may not sit will with all users. It’s density means that the product spreads a long way, by layering small amounts on top of each other you can create a good textured look and only having used a very small amount in total.

This product may be better suited for defining certain points of your hair though, when used to style my hair all over it did leave a small amount of residue and left my hair looking slightly greasy.

It’s lack of durability is extremely off putting, after a mere few hours I could see my hair starting to look limp and losing the textured effect the fibre had created.

Rating: 6/10 – A disappointing result from a brand with such influence as Toni & Guy, the products lack of durability and binding really set this product back.

Matrix Quick + Dirty Matte Clay 50ml (RRP 10.95)

The third and final product being reviewed is part of the Design Pulse range by salon-quality ‘Matrix’. Not as easily available on the high street, this product carries a signature price tag in comparison to the previous products.

But with the salon price tag comes the salon quality. Without a doubt ‘Quick and Dirty’ offers the highest degree of long lasting hold. A lot of products can wear thin and lose style throughout the day however even after battling the elements hair is left looking shapeful and textured.

The clay is easily malleable and works well in hair to create an effortless style. A very gentle helping covers hair well.

The biggest downside to this product is the smell; following customer reports that they changed the formula recently it now carries an almost clinical smell. However, it is only noticeable when rubbing the product between your fingers.

Rating: 9/10 – For slightly more than your salon-inspired high street alternatives, this product really is second to none.

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