If you’ve read my previous review of Axe products, you know I often find it hard to get past the cheesy “use Axe, get girls” marketing campaign. That said, as a middle-aged guy, I’m really not their target audience either. The marketing campaign seems to be working as lots of guys are buying the stuff. As a professional, I really hate to admit the Axe folks actually make some unique and effective products.
Such is the case with the new Axe Hold+Touch line of styling products.
These products fill the gap between hard, crunchy gels and thick, gooey pastes and pomades. The line is made up of three products — one each for fine, normal, and thick hair and theory is that the Axe Hold+Touch products will provide “stronghold combined with an irresistible touch that girls love.” Not my words — that’s a quote directly from their website.
So, do the products live up to their claims? Yes and no.
First, I really do like Hold+Touch as styling products. I’ve been using the version for fine hair and I really like the hold and texture it allows me to create. Unfortunately, not one woman has rushed up to run her fingers through my hair (although a fly did become temporarily lodged in my coif). I’m a fairly decent looking guy, so it’s gotta be the product right? Maybe I need the spray too? I digress.
Each of the three products performed quite well from a hold standpoint. I tested the fine hair version on myself and the normal and thick hair versions on my clients and really did get solid results. I did find the products get a little stickily fairly quickly after you start working the product in the hair, so you’ve got to work fast.
To apply the product (as you would work with any pomade or wax), simply rub a pea-sized amount around in the palm of your hands until they start to get warm. Work the product through damp hair from crown forward and style (quickly) as you like.
Because of the “sticky factor,” I’ve found the Hold+Touch products to be most appropriate for the casual, textured styles that are still quite popular these days and also did a great job of providing separation in wavy and curly hair.
The products do have a pleasant smell, but the fragrance may clash if you wear a cologne or after-shave, so be aware of that aspect of the product. Each of the products provides a semi-matte finish and, once dry, the hair will be somewhat “crispy” but not hard and you will notice separation in the hair. Product lesson of the day: Separation is when individual strands of hair stick together and form groups of strands — it’s okay, you want that (unless you’re going for the ultra-natural “no product” look).
Now, let’s talk about the touchability factor. Where is my buzzer? So, yes, when using Axe Hold+Touch, your hair isn’t going to have the hard, flaky feel that traditional supermarket gel provides. It’s also not going to feel greasy as if you were using wax or pomade. With the product in your hair, you (or the hordes of women who are supposed to be chasing you around because you’re using the stuff) will, in fact, be able to touch your hair. The feeling? Slightly crispy and kinda soft. It doesn’t feel greasy and it won’t flake like cheap gel does. Is it an “irresistible touch” as the marketing campaign implies? Well, I guess if you like soft and crispy, then sure. I will never claim to understand women, so they may actually like soft and crispy and the attractive woman on the Axe website sure looks like she’s enjoying herself. Maybe it is irresistible. I did find that I got a little stuck when trying to run fingers through my own hair. That said, the hold is definitely there.
Bottom line. The Axe Hold+Touch line are actually good products. They’re fairly easy to use, the product is concentrated, they’re well priced (around $8), and they deliver the promised hold. Unless you’re highly attractive and/or have that certain swagger, these products probably won’t have women flocking to run their fingers through your hair. Of course, a nicely styled head of hair won’t hurt.