When you have difficult and unruly hair, its frustrating hearing the same disgruntling words over and over, “suitable for all hair types.” The problem with “suitable,” is that it is suggests hair is durable. If you were to apply a new product or treatment, it isn’t going to fly off the handles or depart the scalp in massive amounts. Suitable hair also sounds like something everyone has, when this couldn’t be farther from the truth.
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Seth Cohen didn’t always know how to tame his curls…
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Flat color, dry hair, frizzy curls? We wouldn’t look happy either…
While there are several key hair types, there are also hair conditions and symptoms, and understanding which one you have is somewhat obvious; you have to deal with it. However, explaining, “It won’t sit right,” or “it always does this” doesn’t give you a definitive answer on how to tame and style unruly hair, it just makes the person listening wonder what the problem is. Every day becomes a bad hair day.
So what can you do to buck the trend and finally achieve manageable hair?
1. Invest in a Great Haircut
How you style your hair is heavily dependent on how the stuff grows. If you haven’t had a haircut in a while, this could be a simple change that puts you back on track. If you are a long-term suffer of bad hair, then evaluate the haircut you receive. Who cuts you hair? Are they qualified and experienced? Do they listen? A good hairdresser will cut your hair, a great one will tell you which styles to avoid if it’s going to cause you unrest, no matter how much you want that look.
This leads to the second point. If you have unruly hair, ask yourself honestly if it’s worth all the fuss over something shorter and more manageable. If you are born with unruly hair then there is always going to be a little thing called compromise. A few words of advice, when cutting hair, you effectively tell the hair where to sit or where to curl. Any hair that is long enough to be cut is going to need some maintenance, so decide beforehand how much time you are willing to invest.
2. Invest in Quality Products
You know your hair, and what its quirks are, so start to look for products that tailor that exact problem. Many guys don’t even realize how many hair products are out there until they look, and finding a quality product that has specific ingredients and selling points can make a massive difference. As a guide, hair that is unruly is often either dehydrated (which can cause temporary fizziness), or lacking in protein (making it limp and lifeless). The levels of moisture and protein in your hair have a balance, throw one out and you’ll be left with an endless task on your hand.
Aim to bring in protein and moisture intensive hair products into your routine gradually and consistently. See how the hair texture changes over a few weeks with the newer products and chuck the ones that make things worse. If you notice more of one symptom than the other, then alter the amount of products you use with added ingredients until you find what works for you. No one said managing unruly hair would be easy, but once you understand how to diagnose your hair, you will be able to make progressive changes.
3. Invest Your Time Wisely
If you spend hours in front of the mirror trying to tame unmanageable hair, then you ought to be investing a fraction of that time into a regular hair care routine. If you don’t work with the hair from the roots, your hair is never going to repair itself. Thankfully, as most men don’t wear hair to their knees, this isn’t as long a process as you might think. Keep up with regular trims every four to six weeks, and start to focus more on the scalp and roots that are coming through. The rest will catch up.
Another great use of time is to add in a weekly deep conditioning or cleansing treatment to your hair care routine. Like the protein and moisturizers, these work together to restore hair balance. Use a conditioning treatment if you hair is dry, frizzy, or damaged. Use a deep cleansing routine if you hair is dull, lifeless, and disorderly. As you use products, residue builds up on the scalp and can clog the pores, preventing new hair growth. Hair that is dry and damaged will never do what you want, as it’s given up on its futile existence.
4. Invest Your Money Properly
Another massive misconception facing male grooming is that you have to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars in order to get glossy, healthy hair. Most of the ingredients in your kitchen are actually a natural remedy that brand names add to their ingredients, and can have the same effect. Mayonnaise and Olive oil are an excellent deep conditioner, just make sure you rinse thoroughly after. Baking soda and apple cider vinegar are a great way to cleanse the hair and restore shine. Lemon juice is a natural high lightener, but it also works wonders on greasy hair.
When shopping around for products, start to read past the name and look at the label. If it has tens of ingredients you can’t pronounce, it’s going to damage your hair. Sulfates and other additives are rife in the commercial grooming world, and can dry out and damage hair even when they are supposed to nourish and repair. Look for products that have less of these chemicals, and move to more natural and holistic products. These shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg, but they will work just as well (or better) than high end product names.
5. Invest in a Razor
If all else fails, or these tips seem like too much work, just remember that cutting it all back is an option. The buzz cut has never gone out of fashion, and for good reason. It’s durable, non-fancy, and will get the job done. Think this is extreme? Think back to Justin Timberlake’s boy band days, where he was sporting the worst white-boy afro known to man. Now, he’s married to an international supermodel and is a style icon. His secret? A good set of razors and regular trims.
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All joking aside, your hair grows about an inch a month. It’s going to take some time for the new hair growth to come through and benefit from the conditioning, protein, and routine changes you’ve been making. Give it around three months to see where your hair is at, and if you still can’t work out what is going wrong, leave a comment below and let us know so we can help you out. Male Standard upholds every man’s right to awesome hair, and we’ll dig into the vaults to find more industry secrets.
If you can’t wait, grab a copy of The Ultimate Guide to Grooming. It has a comprehensive section on how to maintain and restore hair, putting these tips into effect with actionable tips from the experts. Happy reading!