A thing of beauty is a joy forever,’ someone said and we’re pretty certain that the poet was inspired by a crop of particularly bounteous, healthy, lustrous hair when he made that oft-quoted statement.
Come to think of it, no part of you can make a statement as immediate or as impactful as the hair on your head. What does this mean for you, you ask? Well, let’s just say that if you’re on a mission to make heads turn, taking great damn care of your hair is the number one way of making that happen! But cut to IRL situations like grease, thinning hair, scalp dryness, excess oil production etc., and that happy picture seems to start fading one hair’s breadth at a time, yeah? Not when we’re here for you though! Because if you or someone you know is going through that exact same dilemma right now we may have just found fifteen of THE. MOST. SIMPLE. HACKS. EVER. that will have you smacking your forehead in disbelief and wondering why you aren’t on them already!
Curious to know what they are? Then let’s get started, shall we?
Your Go-To Guide On Everything To Do With Your Hair (And Everything To Not)-
NOTE- For ease of understanding, this section is split into subsections that take you through a hair care routine as it should be followed on a day-to-day basis
It’s All In Your Scalp (Pre-Wash)
If you’re surprised at how a bunch of dead things on your scalp can be such a crucial make or break factor for you, trust us when we say that you’re not alone. But flashback to high school 101 and you’ll remember that though hair may be dead, the root that holds it is pretty much alive. And so, if you’re someone who’s dealing with hair fall, grease, dandruff or just about anything that’s connected to your roots, chances are your scalp failing you is a direct result of you failing it first. We could quote countless examples of men who try to fix the problem without fixing the ‘root’ of it only to be disappointed with the results. So, if you find yourself on that list here’s a quick rundown on everything you can do to start taking care of your scalp.
1. Oil your hair like there’s no tomorrow
Grease to beat more grease? You must think we’re out of our minds, we know. But fact remains that oil production from your sebaceous glands isn’t the same as the herbal oils that you should be applying to strengthen the roots of your hair and nourish them from within. And if you have dry hair and still skip this step, please for the love of all that’s good- stop. Or start. That is stop skipping this step and start oiling your hair pronto to see how it turns your life around.
Some common hair oils that you could try for the same as coconut oil, almond oil, jasmine oil (for those who’d prefer something lighter). For those with exceedingly dry/falling hair, Jamaican Black castor oil used pure or in conjunction with another oil is usually the best bet.
2. Don’t Forget That Oil In There
Oil is great and so we’ve established. But in your quest to attain Greek God-like hair status don’t leave all that oil in till the cows come home. Ideally, hair should be oiled the night before a scheduled wash and slept in overnight so that by the time you wake up in the morning, your roots have had time to absorb all the goodness and are ready to do away with the gunk. This is possible only with meticulous planning or pre-established wash days so make sure that you have a set hair care routine.
3. Say No To Poo
Now that we’re talking about shampoo-ing, it’s important to remember that most of your regular drugstore shampoos are packed to capacity with industrial strength sulphates and alcohols that are * news flash * bad news for your hair, especially if you’re a curly. They weigh hair down, contribute to excessive drying and strip your hair of its natural oils causing them to seem weak and lifeless.
But a simple way of overcoming this issue is to simply say goodbye to it! World over, men are now embracing a more natural, scalp-friendly method called the no-poo which basically involves switching your shampoo with conditioner and washing with conditioner instead. As out there as it may sound, this is a legit hair-care tip (it even has a name for internet legitimacy, co washing) that will put the bounce back in your hair care.
For those of you unsure of this far-spectrum method, however, we suggest you look for shampoos that do not contain sulphates or alcohols in their list. A simple way you can do this is by watching out for all products that list ‘-ate’ and ‘-ol’ in their ingredient list and chucking them off your shopping cart with due haste.
4. Don’t Skimp On The Conditioner
Whether you choose to wash your hair with conditioner or not, one thing you absolutely cannot afford to do is to miss out on your regular conditioning routine. Allow us to tell you why. When you oil your hair, your major focus is on nourishing the scalp with very little attention paid to the strands as such. Using a conditioner while washing your hair thus, removes this ambiguity as it locks the moisture in to your strand as you wash your hair leaving you with healthy, shiny hair that looks and feels stronger at the end of every wash.
Pro Tip- Always use the maximum part of your conditioner on the bottom most ends of your hair and work your way upwards.
5. Deep Conditioning Isn’t the Same As Conditioning, Don’t Skimp On That Either
Oh, if only we had a penny for each time people confused deep conditioning with regular conditioning or oiling! Let us tell you straight off the bat that it isn’t either. Deep conditioning, whether at a salon or from the comfort of your home, involves a concoction of ingredients that go deep into your scalp and nourish your strands from within. Eggs (for protein), Aloe Vera, Coffee, Glycerine etc., are a few of the commonly used kitchen items that are used in homemade, all-natural deep conditioners. Store-bought deep conditioning creams and packs may be used depending on your hair type, too. As for usage, deep conditioning once a week or once in two weeks (depending on your schedule) usually gives the best results.
During The Wash
It may come as a surprise to you but most men are blissfully unaware of the correct shampooing techniques and the thus scrip the doom of their own hair. Given below are a few tips you absolutely must keep in mind every time you stand under a shower.
6. Wash Your Fingers, Not the Tips
In an effort to get grime out of their hair, many-a-men use the tips of their fingers when shampooing and tbh, a more destructive technique than that we could not find you even if we looked everywhere with a lamp. Your hair is at its weakest when wet and so, even the slightest friction is prone to cause breakage. Using your nails to wash your hair not only harms your follicles but also causes hair to become brittle and fall out. Use the pads of your fingers in slow, circular motions instead and we guarantee you, you will see the difference in hair fall within the same wash.
7. Don’t Overwash
A habit peculiar to men, most guys we know wash their hair all day, every day. And if you’re one of those sagely agreeing with us as we write this- stop.
Washing hair everyday strips your hair of its natural oils, causing it to become excessively dry and leads to conditions such as an itchy scalp and dandruff. You might only be looking to keep your hair clean, sure, but as the adage goes, anything done in excess is usually bad. Such is the case here too. For best results, we suggest you restrict your hair wash routines to twice a week alongside the oiling-conditioning-deep conditioning routine.
8. Don’t Rub Your Hair Like There’s No Tomorrow, Pat ‘Em Dry Instead
Excessive friction whether when washing your hair or drying it after with a towel can cause hair breakage – another addition to your list of things you’d rather avoid besides your cheating ex. We’d recommend you either let your hair air-dry or at the most pat them dry depending on schedules and incumbent weather conditions.
III. After Washing
Styling is a huge part of attaining your desired look but did you know that certain (wrong) style techniques you may be following are actually making your hair worse instead of better? Here’s our quick rundown on them-
9. Set The Temperature On Cool
Each time you blow dry, it is imperative that you avoid blasting your hair with heat that’s straight out of a nuclear reactor. While we recommend air-drying at all costs, if the weather in the area you live in demands a blow-dryer, we suggest that you switch to the ‘cool’ setting to dry your hair instead of frying them to kingdom come.
10. Use Pre-styling products
Most styling products are heavy on the chemicals no matter how dermatologically-tested and skin-and-hair friendly they claim to be. To provide a better interface to your hair as it deals with chemically-loaded styling products, use serums, sprays or other light pre-styling products to protect your hair even as you add finishing touches to your style, in style.
11. Avoid Over-Doing Your Product
Trying to achieve a natural look artificially is no child’s play and the number one thing to remember here is that the less you over-do it, the more you actually get it right. Using too much product can clog your pores making your hair look greasy and weighed down. A better technique instead would be to apply whatever product you use sparingly and keep it as close to natural as possible.
Pro Tip- Run a wet comb through styled hair instead of applying more product to re-activate the styling products used previously in the day.
12. Get the Right Cut
It’s human nature to covet. But hey, just coz a particular look suited Chris Evans doesn’t mean it’d suit Ryan Reynolds, too, now would it? The right hair style takes into account many factors – from hair type, to the shape of your face to the weather conditions in the place you live in. Speaking to your barber and communicating to him about the style you want versus the style you can have is thus, imperative towards your goal of nailing the perfect look.
13. Avoid Over-Combing
The last time hundred-strokes brushing sounded good was in the 1800s and even then in bedtime stories told by grandmothers to their children. Combing your hair too much and too often can cause hair breakage and must be restricted to just once or twice in a day.
14. Style According to Gravity
If you’ve noticed a certain lock of your hair constantly falling on the same side, chances are that’s just how it’s oriented. Trying myriad ways to set it another way then is just an exercise in futility. Ask your barber instead to work with your hair the way it falls naturally. This tip can help keep your style in place for ages and can save you the hassle of hunting around for your styling products within mere hours of application.
15. Avoid Tight Styles
Tight hair styles (if you have long hair) like cornrows and tight ponytails, and restrictive accessories like hats and caps can restrict blood flow to the scalp and cause hair-pulling which often leads to damage and breakage. Switch instead to looser hair styles and fashion accessories that can up your style quotient without your hair having to pay the price for it.
With that we come to an end of our how-to guide for men’s hair care. We hope you found what you were looking for in the lines above. If yes, show us some love in the comments below; if no, let us know anyway so we can bring you something even better next time!
Till then, love and light
Table of Content
- It’s All In Your Scalp (Pre-Wash)
- During The Wash
- III. After Washing