Men probably won't admit it but they feel just as irritated on a bad hair day as women do. Product build-up, greasiness, thinning hair and breakage are some of the most common problems faced by most men on a regular basis. Then there's the need to make the mane look good every single morning! We've compiled a list of 10 dos and don'ts of hair care for men, addressing some of the most common problems faced by them.
Read on to discover the best hair care tips, which are easy to follow, economical and recommended by master stylists and hair experts:
1/ Fine and Thinning Hair
Use matte finish products. For most men, hair-thinning starts as soon as they hit their 30s or 40s. While a change in lifestyle can help to control the process, there is a very simple trick to prevent your mane from looking sparse. Matte-finish products such as deconstructing gum or hair fix putty help to build an appearance of volume and make your mane look fuller. These products are great light-absorbers and provide a visually thicker texture to the strands. In addition, they lend a good hold to the tresses, making any hairstyle stay put and look great for longer wear.
The same trick applies to men with fine hair texture too. Trade in your glossy hair products with matte-finish ones and see the difference they make to the overall look and feel of your hairstyle.
Go for shorter haircuts and messy hairstyles. Close cropped sides with slightly longer top hair creates the appearance of thick hair texture and volume and helps you take care of fine or thinning hair problems. Try out a military-style flat top haircut or a short pompadour. Lend a windswept effect to your mane and make it look fuller by styling small hair pieces in random directions.
Avoid steamy showers. Hot water dehydrates your hair and makes it fragile and easy to snap. It also robs your scalp of natural oils and makes your strands look dry and battered.
Avoid long hairstyles and comb overs. Choose your hairstyle carefully. If you have thinning or fine hair, avoid growing your hair out and go for short-cropped styles instead to make your mane look fuller.
2/ Dry Hair
Oil your hair regularly. Dryness triggers a host of other hair problems. Parched and itchy scalp, battered cuticles and split-ends are a common occurrence, especially in winters when the cold air dehydrates our strands and makes them look dull and damaged. Oiling your hair on a weekly basis helps to restore the moisture levels in your hair and hydrate and condition the strands, making them look soft, smooth and healthy from root to tip.
Use hydrating shampoo and conditioner. A good quality shampoo and conditioner specially formulated for dry hair help to restore the moisture balance in your hair and make your mane look supple and easy to manage.
Avoid hot showers. Any form of heat is bad for your hair. While slightly lukewarm water helps to open up the cuticles and allows the shampoo and conditioner to do their job, rinsing your hair with hot water post shampoo prevents the cuticles from closing. As a result, the nutrients and moisture from the products do not get sealed in. Therefore, while you might want to wash your hair with warm water during winters, rinse it off only with cold water to lock in moisture and shine and make your strands look healthy and glossy.
Avoid heat styling. Heat styling is dry hair's biggest enemy. It suctions out whatever little moisture your dry hair manages to retain and makes your strands look drier than ever before. Nip the problem in the bud by ditching your blow dryer and allowing your hair to air dry.
Avoid over shampooing. Excess of anything is bad and the same is true for shampooing dray hair too. Over-shampooing your hair is counterproductive. The more you shampoo your hair, the more you rob it of its natural oils and the drier it becomes. Limit hair washes to twice weekly and if your scalp feels dirty, spritz it with some dry shampoo to soak up all the excess oil.
Avoid using products that contain alcohol. All that hairspray that you use to set your blowback hairstyle is making your hair dryer. Go for gel-based products instead to style your hair without cutting out the moisture.
3/ Greasy Hair
Use the right shampoo. Using the right shampoo and conditioner is imperative if you want to make your hair look less greasy. Specially formulated hair wash products help to rinse out excess oil produced by the sebaceous glands in your scalp and make your mane look fresh and non-greasy.
Use conditioner sparingly. If you have an oily scalp, you don't really need to use conditioner after every shampoo. Limit your use of the product to once or twice a month and even when you do use it, choose an oil-free variety and apply it only on the ends of your hair and not on the scalp or roots.
Wash hair with lukewarm water. Lukewarm water is ideal for rinsing out oily hair. A slightly tepid temperature loosens up and breaks the fatty acid molecules with ease and leaves you with non-greasy hair. However, make sure the water is not too hot, as it will cause the sebaceous glands to produce more oil than required.
Brush your hair regularly. Regular brushing helps to avoid greasy-build-ups and distributes the natural oils throughout your mane, making it naturally shiny and healthy.
Avoid oiling your hair. If you have an oily scalp, there is no need to apply additional hair oil, as it would only make your hair look super-greasy and weighed down.
Avoid heat styling. Just like hot water, heat styling disrupts the functioning of the sebaceous glands, making them produce more oil than is required.
Avoid slick hairstyles. Slick hairstyles that involve the use of styling gels might not be ideal for you if you have an oily scalp. Avoid using gel-based, shine-inducing products, as they'll only make your hair look super greasy.
4/ Product Build-up
Apply shampoo on dry hair. If you are a big fan of hair styling products, especially waxes and pomades, you'd probably know what a struggle it is to get the greasy residue out of your hair. These deposits not only weigh your hair down but also make it impossible for the natural oils released from your scalp to travel along your hair shafts. The best way to get product build-up out of your mane is to apply shampoo directly on dry hair, massage it a bit and rinse it off. This shampooing method will help to break up the build-up and leave you with clean and fresh tresses.
Avoid random hair styling products. Avoid using products that do not contain hydrolyzed proteins. These proteins have very small molecules that are able to penetrate hair cuticles and make the strands look soft, smooth and well conditioned.
Avoid glossy styling gels. These high-shine inducing products will make your hair appear finer. If you're suffering from thinning hair problem, they'll draw attention to your scalp.
5/ Growing Out Your Hair
Care for your hair. Just because you are letting your hair grow out does not mean that you would stop worrying about it. Remember to keep your locks clean and well-groomed at all times to ensure that they stay healthy and look gorgeous. Regular shampoo, conditioning and oiling go a long way in making your mane your crowning glory.
Go for regular trims. When left untrimmed for a long time, our strands start to look battered and often develop split-ends, which in turn restrict hair growth. A half inch trim every 4-6 weeks will make sure the problem areas are out of the way and your hair continues to grow naturally. Plus, it will make your long hairstyle look shapely too. So, look out for those signs that tell you that a visit to the barber is due.
Avoid waiting too long between haircuts. As explained above, skipping haircuts might save you some money but it will cause a whole lot of problems for your hair in the long run.
Avoid wearing loose hairstyle in harsh weather. Loose hairstyles might look gorgeous but they expose your strands to harsh weather conditions. Tying your hair in a ponytail or a man bun will not only protect your tresses but will also make you look dapper.
6/ Choice of Hair Products
Choose hair care and styling products as per your hair type. Just because your favorite brand has launched a new range of hair care products in the market does not mean you need to try it out. Choose hair care and styling products as per your hair type, texture and styling needs to prevent causing any damage to your mane and save a lot of money too. For example, if you have curly hair, you do not need a strand smoother serum. Instead, you need a curl taming cream or an elastic curl mousse to define the structure and texture of your locks. Similarly, to add a wavy texture to your straight hair, you need deconstructing gum or a tousle waves hairspray.
Stay faithful to your chosen brands. Every brand uses its own set of ingredients to formulate its range of products. If a particular branded product suits you, stick to it. Changing brands too often might cause detrimental side effects and reactions.
Stop experimenting with your hair. Whether your hair is short, medium-length or long, straight, wavy or curly, dry, normal or oily – using wrong hair products will not only damage your tresses but also prevent you from getting your desired hairstyle. You'll only end up spending a lot of money. Embrace the natural texture of your hair and invest in products that will allow you to create the most natural men's hairstyles, with naturally healthy hair.
Stop overloading your hair with products. Too much product weighs your hairstyle down and makes it look unnatural. It also causes build-ups that ruin the health and texture of your hair and are tough to get rid of. Always start with a tiny amount of product and add more only if required.
7/ Heat Styling
Always use heat protectants. Love pompadours? Go for the high-rise hairstyle! However, before blow drying your hair, do mist it generously with a good quality heat protectant hairspray so that it remains shielded from the damages of heat styling.
Use cool dryer settings. A gust of warm air from the blow dryer whooshing through your hair feels quite good. However, if you want to avoid dryness and frizz but do not have the time to air dry your wet tresses, just switch your blow dryer to cool setting to dry your strands quickly and lock in added shine.
Avoid excessive heat styling. It goes without saying that excessive heat styling or very frequent use of blow dryers, curling irons or flat irons wreaks havoc on the strands. With repeated use, your hair becomes dry, frizzy, damaged and more prone to breakage, thinning and fall.
Go for natural hairstyles. Embrace the natural texture of your hair and go for hairstyles that do not require heat styling, but instead leverage the basic structure and character of your strands. Refer to our list of the top hairstyles for men this year to keep your mane protected while looking your stylish best.
8/ Drying Your Hair
Pat dry your wet hair. Wet hair is most prone to breakage. Rubbing it with a strong force or added pressure does not dry it up quickly. Instead, it creates friction between strands, damages the cuticles and causes your hair to fall. Pat drying your hair will prevent you from stressing your hair out and curb hair fall.
Avoid towel drying your hair. Towel drying is one of the major causes of hair damage and fall in men. The fabric rubs against the cuticles and inflicts a lot of pressure on them. As a result, the hair becomes frizzy and damaged. If you must towel-dry your hair, instead of rubbing your wet hair zealously, gently stroke it with the towel in a single direction (in which your hair grows) a couple of times to soak up the excess water and let your damp hair air dry.
9/ Brushing Your Hair
Use the right hairbrush. You need at least one wide-toothed comb to detangle your wet hair easily as well as a good quality hairbrush with natural bristles to create amazing brushed back hairstyles.
Brush your hair daily. Besides making you look well-groomed, daily brushing also helps with better blood circulation, spreading of natural oils produced in the scalp and prevention of knots and tangles.
Avoid using just about any hairbrush for all your styling needs. If not chosen carefully, a wrong hairbrush might not only prevent you from perfecting your desired hairstyle but might also detangle your strands and cause them to break.
Avoid brushing your hair forcefully. Be gentle while combing your hair. Besides causing hair damage and breakage, too much pulling and pressure might activate the sebaceous glands and cause them to produce excess oil and make your hair look greasy.
10/ Wearing Hats
Make sure the hat fits properly. If you're fond of wearing hats, especially in this cold season, make sure you choose one that fits you properly. A well-fitting fedora, trilby or newsboy will look super classy on you, but will neither impose pressure on your mane nor ruin your hairstyle.
Style your hair accordingly. There are many ways to style your hair under a hat, irrespective of whether you have short, medium-length or long tresses. Go for a hairstyle that is not only suited to your hair length, texture and type but also complements your headgear perfectly.
Avoid very tight hairstyles. Tight man buns, ponytails or braids put a lot of stress on the roots and cause them to break. In fact, they can also trigger a condition called 'traction alopecia', which causes the strands to get pulled out of the scalp and is the number one reason for thinning hair problem in men who love to wear hats.
Here's hoping that these tips will help you keep most hair problems at bay and give your mane the TLC that it so well deserves!