Thursday, September 15, 2011

Battle of the Hair Putty: Axe v. American Crew v. Monkey Brains

I have been looking for a styling product that holds all day, but doesn't leave my hair feeling like it has Elmer's glue in it and I need some kind of special cement remover to get it out at night.  Pliability is also important to me. No one wants to stab themselves in the hand if they touch their hair during the day!  I chose to test out 3 different affordable men's hair products that can be purchased at drugstores and superstores like Target. I spent a week testing these three hair products and found a clear winner!   

Men’s Hair Styling Products
Ease of Application
Effectively Holds Style
Long Wearing
Flakes Over Time
Dries Pliable or Hard
Axe  - Putty
J. Crew - Fiber
Monkey Brains – Psycho Sticky Hair Glue
Flaked badly
On a scale of 1-5 (1 being poor performance, 5 being great). 0 means it did not do this at all.

More Details:

American Crew - Fiber
Honestly I was a little disappointed in this product. This product was supposed to be able to handle holding a style all day. If any of you are like me, unless I use something that has MEGA EXTREME HOLD in the title it starts failing after a few hours. This product did just that.

Right off the bat this product was hard to get out of the container. It is a hard, off-white putty and it required digging to scoop out. The directions said to rub it between your hands, then spread evenly through your hair. I did this, but still had to work on getting the big white clumps of putty out of my hair after. It held fairly well for about an hour. After an hour my hair looked like I rolled out of bed a few hours earlier, and not in an intentionally messy way. I tried this product for two days with the same results in both wet and dry hair. I even tried it on both of my sons to see if it was just me and they had the same results. Personally, I feel like this product is an epic fail, aside from the fact that it does have low shine like the label states. Sorry, American Crew.

Paid: $13

Monkey Brains - Psycho Sticky Hair Glue
My first thought when I used this was that it had a very coconut/tropical scent, which isn't a problem if you don't mind that smell. I didn't find it overly unpleasant.

This comes in a squeeze tub instead of a jar, which was a bit more convenient.  I tried this product with moist hair and dry hair. In dry hair it worked well, however, it was little difficult to spread through my hair, but it held for about 5 or 6 hours. The problem was, it left the spikes in my hair very hard, unlike American Crew which left them pliable.  The second time I tried applying it with really wet hands (but dry hair). This made spreading the product evenly much easier. However, the end result was the same--it lasted 5 to 6 hours, was very hard, and left my hair with that wet-all-day-look. This was a step up as far as how long it lasted, but it still didn't meet my perfect hair putty requirements.

Paid: $3.99

Axe - Charged Spiked Up Look Putty
The first time I used this I tried it with damp hair and it was very easy to spread evenly. I literally followed the picture directions on the inside lid7 hours later my hair looked the same as when first I put it in!

Once in your hair it does dry, but doesn't leave a super hard shell over your styled hair like the Monkey Brains Hair Blue. There was a very slight hardness to my hair, but it's not bad and there is no flaking later in the day. The putty itself wasn't a hard block like the American Crew or a glue-like putty like the Monkey Brains product. This product is more like a thick cream with some tackiness. The putty is scented and I was unable to place the actual scent, but it wasn't horrible or unpleasant and the scent didn't stay in my hair after it was applied. The only downside I could see concerning this product is that if the jar tips over, the putty ends up all over the lid when you open it, making it slightly messy. For me, this was the winner of the three products since it met all my needs as far as a hair putty goes. 

1.  Doesn't leave you with super hard hair.
2.  Doesn't leave you with the wet hair look all day.
3.  Doesn't flake after wearing it for over a few hours.

Paid: $7.99

Have you tried any of these? What's your favorite "drugstore" hair styling product?


  1. You should try American Crew's Forming Cream instead of fiber. It has a high hold and low shine and is a more comparable product in consistency and ease of use to Axe's Spiked Up Look Putty.

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  3. For anyone interested in American Crew's Forming Cream here's a link:

    According to American Crew's site it's a medium hold, medium shine product. That's why I didn't originally buy it, but after receiving a tweet from American Crew saying exactly what the comment above said (possibly the same person?), it's possible that the description isn't accurate and it may be a better product to consider. Feel free to post if you've tried it!

  4. Ive used both the fiber and the forming cream, im a definite fan of the cream. I dont go for too extreme of a style, but it is quite easy to use and holds for a good 5-6 hours, i dont really mess with it too much :D

  5. I haven't tried the forming cream yet since I can never seem to find it in the stores around me but I would like to once I can get my hands on some.

    1. Beware buying American Crew products at places other than salons tho!! Non-guaranteed retailers can be selling you anything inside that puck! It can be super expired (80% of drugstore products are anyhow), or sometimes it's an entirely different product placed in copycat packaging!! PLUS it's cheaper to buy in salons!!

  6. The best use of White Cement Putty has been perfectly renovate here to establish the accurate plan and give the smoothing surface area by any point of view..

  7. Dunnhea2 has a good point. Axe Spiked Up Putty and American Crew Fiber is an inequivalent comparison. Axe Putty and American Crew Forming Cream have a similar effect. I've used both extensively and I find them both good. Forming Cream stays pliable longer into the day but Spiked Putty holds well for a long time as well. The major difference is that you can sometimes do emergency tweaking on your hair late in the day with no reapplication with Forming Cream whereas Axe tends to dry out. On the other hand Spiked Putty is half the price. That's why I tend to use it for every day use instead of the Forming Cream. They're both excellent products for the wild look. I get my American Crew off Amazon, BTW.


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