Going to the store and staring at an endless wall of clay and pomades while having no idea what the hell the differences are can be pretty damn terrifying. Even worse, your innocent quest for handsome perfection could end with a clueless version of yourself staring at the mirror while aimlessly slapping globs of goopy pomade in your hair. Next thing you know, you look like Chewbacca had a fight with a giant glue stick and now you’re $25 poorer.

Unfortunately there isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” approach to styling your hair with pomade or clay, but there are a few helpful hints about the differences between styling clay and pomade and what each one is good for.

Let’s start off with pomade. Pomade perfect if you want a fresh, sleek look with a little sheen. Think Leonardo DiCaprio in The Great Gatsby. Pomade is great if you want a hold that is moldable throughout the day. With pomade, it is wise to start off with just enough to spread through your hair (maybe a dime size). Using too much will weigh your hair down and have you looking like a ball of grease. If your hair is on the dry side, buy a pomade that tends to have more sheen. An example of this one would be one similar to Crew’s pomade. If you hair doesn’t need all that extra sheen for the hot and sweaty summer months ahead, which probably applies to everyone, Brooklyn Soap’s is a great go-to. It allows for a re-workable hold without giving your hair too much shine.

Grooming Clay is the go-to if you have more of a textured hairstyle. This is what you use to look like these new-wave babe magnets with messy, undone hairstyles. Grooming Clay has more of an intense hold and gives your hair a matte finish. Depending on how much you apply, it tends to have more of a natural look. Clay adds volume and separation and will last throughout the day. So if you’re looking for the I-just-got-out-of-bed-but-I’m-still-hella-sexy look, then this is where its at.

Basically if you want the preppy and super fresh dapper look that will make the ladies pee their panties, reach for the pomade. If you want the bad boy look that will have the girls begging to run their hands in your hair, then clay is just what you need.