You may not know it from spending time in my chair, but I'm a big product guy. I've just never been a big product pusher while doing hair. If someone has questions or asks for a recommendation I've always been happy to help, but I never wanted to feel like a salesman in the salon. I did telemarketing for MCI for a while in college and was so bad at it that I would wake up in the middle of the night with MCI nightmares. My supervisor liked me but he didn't like my numbers, so he transferred me to a team to call and "sell" MCI to people who had already wrote in and said they wanted it. I do know a lot more about hair than I do about MCI's "5 cent Sundays", so I thought I would talk about some of my favorite products right now.
For my shampoo I am using Eufora's complete shampoo. It's made from quality ingredients (so I'm told), but the only reason I'm using it is for the Eufora Pro Amino Peptide Complex that creates the optimal scalp enviroment for hair growth and inhibits alpha-5 reductase, the hormone responsible for premature hair growth. I use the Eufora Revitilizing Treatment as my conditioner for the same reason. It has the Pro Amino Peptite Complex as well along with menthol and campthor to stimulate and revitilize the scalp, improving blood circulation. There was a time where my hair was getting a little see through on top and I am fighting bad genetics. That is the reason that anytime something comes out that claims to promote hair growth, or slow down hair loss, I do a little research and try it.
My hair is fairly easy to style with the length it is at now. I'm still trying to get it longer and because of that I have a couple different products I rotate to style it, both don't have much hold, one adds moisture, the other adds protein. For anyone planning on growing out their hair for an extended period of time I would recommend them because a lack or moisture or protein can cause split ends, which can travel up the hair shaft resulting in breakage, hindering hair growth. For moisture I use Eufora's Nourish Leave-In Hydration Treatment. I use it right out of the shower, putting about a nickel size amount in my hands and working it into my hair. Then I brush it through for even coverage. With my length of hair I end up looking like ESPN's Barry Melrose for the next few hours until my curl comes back. For protein I use Eufora's Leave-In Repair Treatment from their Beautifying Elixers line. It's applied different since it isn't as thick as the leave in conditioner and it comes in a spray bottle. I just spray it all over my hair and then style the same way, brushing it all back, again resulting in the Barry Melrose look until it drys.
When I had shorter hair I liked to use a few different types of pomades. My two go to are Aveda's Grooming Clay, and Eufora's Traction. Both are great products, easy to use, are made out of quality ingredients, and have a medium hold. The big difference between them is the smell. The Grooming Clay has a strong musky smell while Traction is more of a light, somewhat citrus-like smell. Both are really concentrated, so it only takes about a dime-sized amount of each and can be used with or without a blow dryer in wet or dry hair. I also like Aveda's Control Paste for shorter hair. It is used the same as the Grooming Clay and Traction and has a little more shine. The consistency of the product feels like the Grooming Clay or Traction crossed with a wax. I really like Eufora's Texture Putty as well. It's a little drier than the Grooming Clay and Traction and has a very matte finish. It's really good for guys who want a lot of hold, but don't want it to look like they have anything in their hair. One thing all of these products have in common is that there's no petroleum in them. Some of the cheaper products use petroleum as a filler because it can lubricate and seal moisture within the hair shaft. It also adds softness to the hair. And it's cheap. The downsides to petroleum based products (and the reason I stay away from them) is that it can lead to scalp problems like dandruff, sluggish hair growth, and even hairloss over time.
For most guys I wouldn't recommend hairspray alone, but if you're finding you don't get enough hold, layering your products may be a good technique for you. To layer is to put a product on top of another product. For instance, when I needed a lot of hold, I would put a liquid gel in my hair right out of the shower, blow dry it into the shape I wanted, use a pomade to piece it out/mess it up a little, and then use a little hairspray, giving me three layers of product. Most guys can probably get away with two layers. Just do your normal routine with pomade or whatever styling product you like to use, and then hit it with a little hairspray. The layering also looks more natural than if you were to use a handful of pomade or half a can of hairspray to get a similar hold.
Have fun, experiment, and find out what's best for you!