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Proper Hair Maintenance for Men

by Style Team
31 Jul 2017 | 2:10 PM

Good hair is an important accessory for men, one of the very few that we possess. Note that it's good and not healthy, which is a widely used term when advertising for hair management. Technically, hairs don't have lives, have no nervous system and blood supply. Hair is as dead as dead can be, but it can be maintained for appearance purposes.

Now that that's out of the way, we men could focus on achieving a better mane. It's much easier for us, for most of us retain a short hairstyle. It doesn't take many products, if it comes to it, to keep it tame or wild. In addition, there's just less to do compared to women in general.

The Basics

Fundamental hair care is pretty much the same for both sexes. So, bros with sisters, girlfriends and wives, it would be smart to get advice from them. It's likely that they've been caring for their hair all their lives, and they would know a thing or two. But, to men with no immediate female companion, here are some things you can do to maintain your mane:

First, don't always shower with piping hot water. It feels good to soak in a hot shower during a cold morning, but that pleasure comes with a price. Scalding water strips off essential oils from the hair and scalp, leaving the head dry and dull. The best solution is to switch to lukewarm water, or water that's appropriately hot. This way, morning showers would be more pleasant and less damaging.

Second, when blow-drying, always leave it damp. Drying the hair is good practice, but when done excessively, it's damaging. Furthermore, for constant users, it's wise to apply a thermal styling spray or detangler coating to protect it from damage.

Lastly, it's getting towel drying right. Many people take this for granted because it's just taking water out of someone's hair. The best way, or at least for the least damage, is shaking out the excess water and stroking it in the direction it grows.

The Ingredients

Hair products are miniature chemical labs, with a dozen or so ingredients that allow them to do their magic on our scalps. The trick is to take an extra few seconds to check the label on the back of the bottle and see what is going onto your scalp.

The list of ingredients you should want to have there include:

  • Glycerin - is a common polylol compound that's a natural by-product of the soap-making process. This is good for your scalp because it attracts and retains moisture to the skin long after you're done rinsing.
  • Acidic Ingredients - This may sound like a bad thing to put on the scalp, but acids such as sodium citrate and citric acid can do wonders for our hair. Not only do they keep the final product at the right pH balance to wash away dirt and oil, they're also all natural - minimizing any after effects.
  • Nuts and seed oils - Glycerin does a lot to keep our scalps moist from water, but shampoos that have nut and seed oil extracts can provide plenty of moisture on their own. Not only do they make hair shinier, it can also wash away harmful oil buildup.
  • Panthenol - is a form of Vitamin B that's very popular as a shampoo ingredient because of its ability to bind with water molecules from the air. This makes it an effective moisturizer that makes hair look cleaner and shinier.

Manufacturers often use different combinations of these ingredients, and even get creative with some of the things that they add. Listen carefully to what other people are saying to get a better grasp of what is more likely to work. If this all sounds like a walk in the park so far - don't worry, we're only getting started.

The Complex Stuff

We should stay away from chemical treatments, and this is a good start when tackling serious hair maintenance stuff. This is where we guys have to be a little meticulous than what we're used to, but it will all pay off in the end.

Sulfate is an ingredient in some shampoos, and should be the number one chemical men should avoid. It leaves the hair brittle and dry, so be on the lookout for sulfate content. If possible, get one without any of the chemical or, at least, the one with the smallest amount.

Shampooing less often is probably taboo to some, but bear with the initial sacrifice. For a few weeks, it will just look greasy and pointless at the same time. But, it won't be long after that when your hair will be softer and easier to maintain. In addition, it's better to use conditioner more often than shampoo, like a 5:2 ratio per week. Longtime barbers recommend it, even more reason to start doing it immediately.

For Long-Haired Guys

Some guys just want longer hair. Whether they just don't ever feel like going to the barbershop or they look better with it, it's no excuse to not take good care of their long strands. If we choose to retain our lengthy hair, there are some things to do, including constant conditioning and applying of products. In short, we have to be like girls when it comes to our hair.

Maintaining a good head of hair is one of the easier self-care things guys should do. It also helps to not complicate things. If it needs basic cleaning, then do basic cleaning, but don't forget to use products for better results. It's as easy as that.