- For the average hair type (rating 7.2/10), it is a reasonable performer. I think for the average hair style it offers a strong reliable hold, but at the cost of ease of application. For shorter hairstyles it will still offer easy and consistently reliable results, but it begins to fall short on longer or more complex hairstyles.
- If you’re on a budget (good value rating 7.6/10) and just need a product to cover the essentials the Hard Muk Clay Pomade could be a reasonably priced and simply reliable product for you. If you’re not worried so much about ingredients and hair benefits, then this could quite easily be a daily driver. It’s pre and post styling capabilities deliver good styling convenience and consistency. It delivers premium hold at a mid range price.
- If price isn’t an obstacle and you’re opinion of value is just the products quality (you’re expected value is 7.1/10), then this may not be an essential for you. Based on the ingredients and difficulty of use, you could pay more for similar results and more hair benefits. While the styling potential is good, it is a fairly cheap looking and smelling product.
WHAT IS IT?
The Hard Muk Styling Mud is a low sheen (matte finish) clay pomade with a very strong hold (if you can apply enough of it). The styling mud has versatile styling capabilities which works as a great stand along product for short textured hair styles. It leaves a strong flexible low sheen finish capable of surviving the day if reworking is kept to a minimum. It is a fairly uncomplicated product that packs a punch and would likely deliver reliable results for uncomplicated hair styles.
WHO IS THIS PRODUCT FOR
It is definitely more ideal for shorter hair and, if you’re lucky, thicker medium length hair too. It gives you control leaving you with a softer finish by the end of the day. For medium hair lengths, I’d recommend a light light mist of hair spray to keep the style locked in all day. It works for all hair colors as it’s matte finish usually looks non greasy when applied to clean hair. Application can be sticky with a lot of tug which makes it almost unusable in longer hair styles and thinning/very fine hair.
It comes in 2 sizes a small (50g) and a large (100g) offering more purchase flexibility and a lower cost option. The 50g tin usually can be found for around 12 AUD (9 GBP), and the 100g tin is usually price upwards of $20. It’s is probably more a mid range price. and the brutal hold requires small sized amounts per use, so you do get longer lasting value out of it.
The clay pomade offers a strong textured hold, which is reworkable if you don’t mind a bit of tough while the clay softens throughout the day. The high hold is at the cost of an easy application, so unless you have short or thick have that high you may struggle to make good use of the hold. It is a reworkable hold, but looses it’s tack and starts to fall apart the more you rework it.
When used in short hair and left untouched, I don’t have much trouble getting the style to last through the day, so long as I can get it right to begin with. Though it performs well in shorter and simpler hairstyles, it’s brutal hold and rough application limits it’s styling versatility, making it harder to get more creative and for use in longer hair.
It can also be a bit unpredictable when cock-tailed with other styling products, so I would recommend using on its own as both a pre and post styler. I always get varied results when I use it with other products, and the hold systems to disappear when I use something else as a post styler.
To get the best results with this I would only ever apply it to clean hair.
The application can get very rough if you have fine hair and involves a lot of tugging which can make it hard to style and apply evenly. The hold doesn’t seem to have enough body to support the weight of long hair, so I think is you only use this product on shorter hair, you could get away with this product being your daily driver.
If you’re worried about breaking or pulling out hair, this product isn’t for you.
It has a very strong chemically citrus smell ins’t very pleasant and smells like at toilet cleaning agent.
The styling mud hold ups as well as, if not better than, many wax clay pomades. While the hold softens throughout the day, hard muk delivers a long lasting hold that can get you through the day if you have shorter hair. It is fairly light weight after a couple hours in the hair, so I found it to be a lot more durable with short hair than long hair, as it couldn’t support the weight of longer hair.
This works reasonably well in humid and warmer climates, however becomes dryer and harder to use in cold weather.
Is it lifeproof? Only with short hair.
Water/Aqua, Petrolatum, Kaolin, Cera Alba (Beeswax), PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Oleth-5, Cera Carnauba (Copernicia Cerifera Wax), Mineral Oil (Paraffinum Liquidum), Fragrance/Parfum, Sodium Acetate, FD & C BIue No.1 (CI 42090), FD & C Yellow No.5 (CI 19140), D & C Red No.33 (CI 17200), Citronellol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Limonene, Linalool, Citral.
Overall, Hard Muk looks like its formulated to deliver styling results and while it doesn’t seem bad for you hair, it doesn’t really offer any health benefits.
Being partially water-based, and it comes out with a standard shampoo. Just make sure you wash out all the oils, otherwise, it can look a bit greasy on second day hair.
If used right, it usually has a matte finish, however, if used in dirty hair or with with wrong product, it can appear a bit greasy. Like most products with a high wax content it also tends to change from a matte finish to a natural finish after you rework it a few times. Most of the time in clean hair it delivers a good long lasting finished look.
Its a not so premium feeling product with premium styling results. It delivers good hold that is suitable for all hair types when at a shorter but the application get a bit rough for finer and longer hair. It can be used as a prestyler and poststyler to deliver a bit more body and shape. However, given the strength earthy colour of the product, it is probably better for people with darker hair colours than blonde, because when used as a post styler it affects the lighter transparent tones in light hair colours to make the hair look a bit dirty/greasier than it actually is.
WOULD I BUY IT AGAIN?
Yes, but only for short hair.
Is it right for you?
Follow the steps below First, identify whether you have fine, normal, or thick (coarse) hair, and focus on that part of the table. Second, do you have short, medium length, or long hair? Third, consider whether the price matters to you, such as;
- If you’re on a tight budget, the value to you is in the Budget row
- If you’re just the regular guy and want to invest in some quality hair products, the value to you is in the Normal Pricing row.
- If the price doesn’t matter and you just want the best products, the value to you is in the Price isn’t an issue.
Match your hair type to your price preference, to see a rating tailored to your requirements of a product. Note: Value Ratings are out of 10
Not what you are looking for?
Since Hard Muk has a rough application and is recommended for shorter hair, here are some suggestions of what to consider next:
If you want easy to apply hair styling product with a firm matte finish, be sure to check our my review of Arcadian Grooming’s Clay Pomade
If you’re after another affordable clay with a good textured matte finish, check out Matrix Biolage Matte Beach Clay