Whether you’re looking to switch things up, or want to find a manageable and less frizzy alternative to wavy, unruly hair, straightening, and styling are staple techniques that every man should know. Styling is typically a three-part process no matter the hair, and involves washing and drying the hair, preparing and styling the hair, and maintaining that style. If you have a buzz cut, then you are the exception to the rule!
Below is a step-by-step guide on how to straighten and style your hair, with tips on how to get the most from your looks. If you have a specific style in mind, or can’t seem to get to grips with your hair type, then leave a comment below and let us know. We will feature that style with personalized tips for your hair type, so you can get on with your day knowing your hair is exactly where it should be – in place!
1. Washing Your Hair
The first step to styling or straightening your hair is to wash it. You might be tempted to re-cycle yesterday’s look, which can work out really well for surfer or bedhead styles, but know that product has a pretty low lifespan. Most hair products only last a few hours, some a full day, and should be washed out to stop the hair from becoming greasy and limp. Use a deep cleansing shampoo and conditioner if you use products on a day-to-day basis.
To wash the hair, make sure you stimulate the scalp, remove the product residue, and build up. This can clog your scalp, and looks like dandruff when dry. Use your fingertips, not your nails to massage the scalp for at least thirty seconds. Depending on how long or dry your hair is, use a small amount of conditioner, and leave it in for at least two minutes. Most men don’t wash these out properly, so keep under cool or cold water for another two minutes.
Tip: Cold water sets the conditioner and revives hair follicles, making them shinier.
Once you’ve washed your hair, leave to air until it’s almost dry to the touch. During this time, you can add products such as heat protectants, shine serum or frizz serum, and comb through with a wide-tooth comb. Adjust this amount depending on your needs and hair length. You should avoid adding these products to the roots and scalp, and focus instead on the hair ends.
2. Drying the Hair
Drying the hair is a critical phase during the styling process. Using too much heat can dry out and damage hair, and not using enough will not hold the style; no matter how much product you use after. To find a happy medium, wait until the hair is almost dry, and then spend the rest of the time styling your hair while it dries. Depending on your hair, this could involve using a round bristle brush or diffuser to manipulate the hair.
When you blow dry hair, you’re telling it where you want to sit. If you’re the kind of guy who waves a blow dryer about the place hoping for the best, or don’t use one at all, you might be wondering why your styles never hold. Think of a hair dryer as sandpaper that refines the foundation ready for priming. Without building this foundation, you will never be able to achieve professional results.
Tip: Invest in a quality hairdryer that has ceramic technology to reduce damage.
When your hair is dry, turn the hair dryer to a cool setting and work over each section once more to set the style. Don’t worry if your hair feels larger than life, we will come to that in a moment, but for now you want to train your hair where to sit. A hot head and hair retains moisture, and is impossible to tame. Blast the cool setting for at least one minute, or until the head and hair feel cool to the touch.
3. Styling the Hair
To straighten your hair, next heat the hair straighteners. This process is simple enough, once you understand how a few basic measures. First, if you have longer or mid length hair, move the longer hair up high and start to straighten from the back to front, working from low to high. You want to make sure that the entire head of hair is straightened, and is a simple way to miss patches that might leave your hair springy.
Tip: Always use a heat protectant before or during this process to prevent damage.
If you have short hair, choose a thin barrel straightener that can get to the roots. If you have longer hair, invest in a wide barrel that will straighten larger chunks quicker. Use a comb to separate each section, and follow it with the straightening iron. This will give you pro results that only need one going over per section of hair. To style the hair, move the barrel to you or away from you – this creates curves and waves.
Once the hair is complete, finish with a light mist of hairspray or setting gel, and avoid the temptation to touch the hair (this will make it greasy). If you have curly hair, you might want to use setting clay or straightening balm in this process to help redefine your natural hair shape. Use as little as possible, and begin to smooth it into the hair from underneath, using the least amount at the tops and on top.
Secret Tip: Straightening your hair is one of the quickest ways to shiner, more manageable hair and reduces the chaos that causes afro.
From one guy to another, you must read The Ultimate Guide to Grooming; where you will receive expert tips on how to style and manage unruly hair!