Why is it that Men’s hair often takes a backseat in the hair care marketing world?
Although women make up the majority of the big ticket services in the hair salon, men actually tend to be the most frequent visitors requiring only 3 to 5 weeks in between the average visit. So why are we not educating our male clients on how to properly care for their hair?
Let’s go step by step, from shampooing and styling to coloring and cutting and lets tell the guys what stylists have been telling the girls for years!
How Often To Shampoo & What To Use
There are tons of shampoos on the market and one thing that is specifically marketed towards men is the multi-purpose body wash and shampoo. If you're wearing a crew cut you can make this work, otherwise, you should opt for a shampoo that targets the needs of your specific hair type (coarse or fine) as well as if you're looking to add volume or thickness.
You also need to take into consideration your scalp/skin type (remember that your scalp is skin and differs from person to person). Whether your scalp tends to be dry, oily, or flaky you can find a shampoo that contains ingredients to address those needs.
Additionally, if you color your hair, it is best to use shampoo for color treated hair which will be gentler on the strands and help prevent your color from fading which can happen when using too harsh of a shampoo.
As for how often you should shampoo your hair, if you're working in an environment that tends to be dirty, if you're working up a sweat, or using a heavy styling gel or paste, daily shampooing may be a necessity, otherwise you can skip a day or two in between. When it comes to shampooing we're trying to rid the scalp of dirt and oil without stripping essential oils from our hair. So, unless its necessary, the less the better!
Should You Use Conditioner?
If you're wearing a buzz cut or a very short haircut the oils from your scalp should be enough to condition your hair. Men that are wearing their hair 2” or longer may want to consider investing in a hair conditioner.
Much like shampoo, conditioners vary. The lightest conditioners are usually “daily” conditioners and, as the name suggests, can be used daily without beginning to feel greasy or heavy on the hair, these are best if you're shampooing frequently or have fine hair.
Look for conditioners containing Keratin or Argan Oil to help tame coarse or frizzy hair. There are also conditioners for color treated hair which help keep the color and counteract any damage the color may cause to the hair shaft.
Let the confusion begin! There are literally TONS of styling products available so let's help narrow down the categories for you.
If you're looking for extreme hold on short hair gel or a moulding paste are two things to try. Gel will usually give you great hold but a shiny, crunchy finish.
Pastes are available in shiny or matte finishes and hold well throughout the day without getting crunchy allowing for re-styling throughout the day, this is great for when you're wearing your hair more conservative for work and want to funk it up a bit for after hours.
If your hair is curly there are curling creams that will help you enhance the look of your curls without frizz making an appearance halfway through your day.
Hair spray is also available in pump or aerosol and a light spray over your finished style will help keep you looking sharp.
*Attention Men With Longer Hair*
If you've noticed, long hair on men has been making a comeback in recent years and requires more care and attention than short hair. Here are some tips in addition to the above shampooing and conditioning recommendations to help you keep your long hair looking its best.
If you are wearing your hair 5” or longer you would benefit from using a leave-in conditioner. Leave-in conditioner is usually very lightweight and provides extra protection against the elements and helps keep the hair from getting tangled.
For styling, longer haired men that are seeking to keep their locks under control should look for a smoothing cream. Use a styling cream with heat protection if blow drying or a cream made specifically for air drying your hair and maintaining control, you can also use a shine serum as the hair loses some of its natural sheen as it gets longer.
Keeping your hair neat when it's long can be a challenge. One good style to keep your long hair looking great all day is a ponytail or a bun.
If you're wearing your hair in a bun or ponytail you should invest in quality hair ties. (😉) Pulling your hair up into one of these styles puts a lot of stress on the strands and can result in breakage, which will then result in rough, frizzy looking hair.
Look for ponytail bands that are made of thick, soft material. Quality hair ties will not only hold your style in place better but will decrease the possibility of breaking your hair, this is especially important if this is your go-to hairstyle and you're wearing it on a regular basis.
How Often Should I Get My Hair Cut?
Men's haircutting normally requires frequent visits to the salon. The time frame for buzz cuts and very short hair is typically between 3-5 weeks, and there are some men that even need to be there sooner!
The shorter you wear your hair the more noticeable it is (think hairy neck!) when it grows out and you will find yourself in the barber or salon chair often.
If you're sporting a “basic men's haircut” (shorter on the sides, a little on top to style) which is normally cut with scissors you can spread your visits out to monthly and maybe up to about 6 weeks if you're good at controlling it with styling products.
Long-haired gents will need to be trimmed about every 6-8 weeks to get rid of split ends and keep the hair healthy.
If you're in the process of growing your hair out you will still need regular visits with a professional to ensure your hair has an actual shape as it grows out, consult your stylist for their suggestion depending on what your starting and ending styles are, they can help you develop a plan and give you an idea of what it will look like along the way.
Hair thinning is a common issue that actually has different causes (stress, medication, and changes in hormones are the most common) but there are things you can try to help rejuvenate your hair and promote new growth and/or thickness.
For thickness, there are cosmetic hair styling products you can use. Spray volumizers, mousse, and even a hair powder which comes in clear or colored varieties to camouflage thinning hair.
Hairpieces are available in human and synthetic versions and come in a wide range of styles and options.
If hair loss is the issue, products containing Minoxidil have been proven to help regrow hair from the follicle, there are also organic formulas to help stimulate growth without the chemical element.
You may also opt for cosmetic surgery where they implant hairs, this will require maintenance and comes with a higher price tag but may be just what you're looking for in terms of regaining the original look of your hair.
What About Hair Color?
While men coloring their hair has definitely become more socially acceptable throughout the years, hair color can be a sensitive topic with men.
Some men choose to embrace grey if it comes and others just loathe it and can be hesitant to consult a professional due to embarrassment, but professional coloring is the safest route to ensuring you don't end up regretting your decision to use color.
There are several different types of hair color available both over the counter or in the salon. Demi-permanent hair color is a great choice for men because although you don't get 100% coverage, it blends most of your grey away and still maintains a natural look.
Permanent hair color will give you more grey coverage but less of a natural look (natural hair has various colors throughout and this is designed to color each hair the same).
There are also semi-permanent colors which would be the safest if you're going to attempt your color yourself but does need to be applied more frequently. If you do start coloring your hair with permanent or demi prepare for it to be a monthly ritual.