American Crew Defining Paste: Is It For You? - AMR Hair & Beauty

American Crew Defining Paste: Is It For You?

Jan 30, 2022Scott Peers

When you place the American Crew defining paste among the many American Crew styling products, you can hardly tell the difference.

Unless you are well-versed in the graduation matrix between product hold and product shine on the style matrix, it can be tricky to know which styling product to choose. This guide will help you when shopping for a product that offers the perfect texture and consistency for your hair.

Let’s have a look at whether the American Crew defining paste is the right product for you. If not, we will look at some alternatives.

American Crew Defining Paste on the Style Matrix

Styling products can get confusing. There is wide variation in how brands name hair care lines. There is also inconsistency in the formulas used for products with similar names.

However, some general rules apply. At least for American Crew, it is good to know more about the defining paste compared to other styling products from the same brand.

There are nine products on the American Crew style matrix, distributed on a grid from low to high hold, and from low to high shine. The paste is a styling product with a medium hold and low-to-medium shine.

Such consistency makes it perfect for a hairstyle with a wet-like appearance that holds well and doesn’t look sticky and fixed. Luckily, there is only one American Crew styling product with the name 'paste'. (When it comes to American Crew creams such as American Crew Grooming Cream and pomades such as American Crew Pomade, things get more complicated.)


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You can refer to the American Crew style matrix to clarify the confusion.

The Defining Paste can be confused at a glance with the American Crew Matte clay or the Cream Pomade because of the similar packaging. 

Characteristics of the American Crew Paste

  • Hair length: all lengths from super-short to longer hair (> 2 inches).
  • Hold: medium, pliable hold that defines without creating a skeleton of your hair.
  • Texture: wax-like, easy to distribute, and less compact than the American Crew Fiber.
  • Shine: low to medium, not pomade-like.
  • Finish: Matte.
  • Definition: increases natural definition.

American Crew Defining Paste Ingredients

The three key natural ingredients in the defining paste are beeswax, lanolin, and glycerin. These staple ingredients are what make the paste what it is in terms of hold, consistency, and shine.


Wax styling products applied by a professional hairdresser bring all the magic to a great cut. Although you cannot always achieve the same at home, it is still good to be aware of beeswax benefits for your hair. Thanks to the beeswax you get the pliable hold that moves with you as the day goes.

Its natural origin makes it ideal for scalp and beards, too. Beeswax is an excellent moisturiser, calms frizz, is a breeze to style, and can even help your hair grow faster. Expect a smooth, non-greasy texture that doesn’t require reapplication. It is easy to wash out wax from your hair — if you are overly generous with the amount, use a cleansing shampoo such as American Crew Deep-cleansing shampoo.


Lanolin is a very common and very safe ingredient in cosmetics. It locks in moisture and prevents water loss, making the hair more manageable. Lanolin has anti-inflammatory properties and is beneficial for the scalp skin. It comes from sheep wool, so it is not vegan. Olive oil hair products are a good vegan alternative for hair care.


Glycerin creates the thick and full texture in the American Crew defining paste. Glycerin has an odourless, liquid consistency that makes it easy to add to hair and skin products. It acts as a humectant and a conditioner, pulling moisture out of the air and locking it in the hair, as well as preventing hair breakage.


American Crew Paste has a unique formula that suits all hair types — it is truly versatile.
  • Peptides in Salvia Hispanica (Chia) act as a cuticle sealer, preventing hair breakage before it occurs.
  • Tea Tree Leaf Oil soothes itchy scalp, and prevents flakiness and dandruff.
  • Nettle Extract makes hair shiny and soft and prevents hair loss.
  • Purple Coneflower Extract boosts circulation and strengthens hair follicles.
  • Irish Moss extract soothes the scalp and fortifies hair follicles.
  • White Tea Leaf Extract has anti-inflammatory and moisturising properties.
  • Elderflower Extract is astringent (removes excess oils) and softens hair.

It is important to apply styling paste properly, and more importantly, apply the right amount.

How to Apply Styling Paste

Do you ever wonder how barbers can perform a few handy tricks and make your haircut look perfect?

You, on the other hand, can stand in front of the mirror for ten minutes, keeping flyways in order, and still, the results will not please you as much.


Here is some advice to help you look charming and handsome, and it won’t take as long, too:

  1. Take a pea-sized amount from the American Crew defining paste (finger-size for longer hair)
  2. Apply it to your hands and rub your hands together
  3. Run your finger through your hair regardless of the hairstyle to ensure the best hold, style, and distribution
  4. Use the applied paste to style the hair as desired
  5. Don’t worry if you move in the opposite direction, it can be easily corrected
  6. Use a brush if the style requires order and control
  7. Re-apply the product if necessary to smooth out uneven areas and flyaways.

The best thing about the defining paste is that you can apply it to dry, slightly moist, and wet hair. If you applied it to wet hair, blow-dry it at the end.

Great Alternatives to American Crew Styling Paste

  1. Kevin Murphy Rough Rider Clay

With the Kevin Murphy Clay, you have a styling clay with a strong hold that gives your hair a matte look


  1. Inebrya Style-in Power Matt Paste

To create a long-lasting hairstyle with both texture and movement. It creates a more fibre-like texture.

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  1. HH Simonsen Styling Paste 

The perfect companion for raw, urban styles. HH Simonsen Styling Paste is formulated for definition, texture and hold with a matte finish. Free from parabens, this luxury styling paste is ideal for short to medium-length hair.

You can shop the full range of hair stylings products available from AMR.


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