A modern gentleman isn’t worthy of the G-word until he’s turned the mop on his head into something stylish. A handful of rockstars can roll out of bed and look like hotshots, but for the rest of us civilians, effort is required.
With so many products on offer, and so much conflicting advice available at your finger tips, it’s hard to know where a healthy men’s hair care routine begins. Below we’ve gathered 8 of the best tips to optimize the look of your precious locks. The Magic 8 Ball predicts more good hair days in your immediate future.
Thou shalt learn your hair type.
You can’t start this journey by Googling “David Beckham hairstyles” and choosing your favourite. What looks suave on Becks may leave you looking like Leo in The Revenant. Before making any big decisions for your strands, take your hair type into account. Is it thick? Is it thin? Is it fine? Is it course? Is it straight? Is it wavy? Is it tightly curled? How about balding? Choosing a hair product or style without understanding your type is like buying a suit without knowing your measurements. You might get lucky, but why take the risk? Evaluate your hair type then choose a cut and styling products that work best for your individual needs.
Thou shalt find your optimal washing frequency.
Let’s go back to that suit. If money were no object, you would never buy off the rack. Why? Because no two bodies are exactly alike, and going bespoke allows you to get a perfect, one-of-a-kind fit. The same is true of your scalp. Some men find that washing their hair daily is best, while others prefer to leave a day or two in between. There is no right or wrong, just personal taste and trial and error. Experiment until you find a harmonious balance between your natural oils (which are healthy for your hair, as long as they’re not built up) and removing them.
Thou shalt use the right products.
Once you’ve determined your hair type, you can purchase styling products accordingly. The sheer number of options available may seem like scam, and occasionally companies play fast and loose with proper terminology, but for the most part, there are so many products because they actually do different things. Learn the differences between spray, wax, pomade, cream, mousse, and gel. Each one serves a unique purpose and is better suited to address the needs of a specific type of hair.
Thou shalt perform regular maintenance.
Men’s hair care 101: how often does it need to be cut? A visit to your barber once a month is easy to remember and should keep your locks looking suitably fresh. But again, the exact frequency depends on your hair type and style. Shorter looks need more regular maintenance, while longer looks can last 5-6 weeks between cuts. Don’t make the rookie mistake of thinking that growing your hair out means it never needs to see scissors. Regular trims are essential to avoiding split ends, which are unhealthy for hair growth.
Thou shalt seek balance.
Balance is essential in all areas of your life and your hairstyle is no exception. If you have features that are prominent, you most likely want to attract away from that feature in order to create equilibrium on your face. For instance, if your ears are large and pronounced, opt for a hairstyle that’s longer on the sides. If your forehead is especially large, you may want to skip slicked-back hair or the ever-so-trendy man bun.
Thou shalt sculpt your sideburns carefully.
Your sideburns are an important, though oft ignored, part of your facial anatomy. They’re also frustratingly temperamental. Sideburns can easily suffer from egregious growth or be crudely curtailed by overzealous clippers. Do you best Goldilocks impression and aim for just right. Let your hairstyle lead the way – a shorter cut requires ‘burns that are close to the face, while a longer cut can tolerate longer, thicker sides. Consider your hair type, your face shape, and the density of your facial hair – work with, not against, what your DNA gave you.
Thou shalt look beyond the barber.
World class hair care is about more than regular trims and using the right products. Although those things are important, there’s a deeper level to keeping your strands in A1 shape. Your overall health has an impact on the health of your hair, so exercise regularly, stay hydrated, and eat well. A body that doesn’t get enough protein, vitamins, and minerals cannot sustain hair growth.
Thou shalt embrace balding gracefully.
The time may come when your hair goes into retirement. Don’t fight destiny if you find yourself on your way to Willis status. While there are treatments and transplants available, the simplest and coolest way to deal with hair loss is to embrace it. Opt for a razor-short style or go full-on bald. Jason Statham, Vin Diesel, and Sir Patrick Stewart are just a few of the famous guys who prove bald is definitely beautiful.