Healthy, luscious hair doesn’t discriminate. It’s possible for both men and women to achieve, as long you’re willing to put in the effort.
After all, there is no real difference between male and female hair.
Instead, differences lie in the way men and women manage their hair. Whiles males typically go the no-fuss route of air-drying their hair, a lot of females put more emphasis on maintenance.
They may use heat styling tools, color their hair, wear their hair long, and pop into the salon more often for the latest style.
If you’re a male looking to tame your mane, keep reading to learn about how you should take care of your hair.
This includes different hair care techniques to avoid dry scalp, hair loss, and other common hair concerns. In order to create a healthy hair care routine that you won’t stray from, you should start with these basic tips.
A clean scalp is a healthy scalp. If the scalp is not cleansed regularly, then there is a disruption of the microbiome balance, says Dr. Matthew Lopresti, chief surgeon of Leonard Hair Transplant Associates.
“This causes increased bacteria population and inflammation, which negatively affects the follicles.”
Just be sure not to excessively wash your hair since this can strip the hair of its protective oils. How often you wash your hair per week depends on your hair type.
This goes for everything you put in your hair — from the shampoo you use to your styling wax.
Knowing your hair type — straight, curly, wavy, thin, dry — is the best place to start to find the right products for you.
Taking care of your hair doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming.
Robert Jan-Rietveld, barber and co-owner of Schorem Barbier, says that if there is a particular concern you have, such as brittle hair, gray hair, etc., then you should look into it.
“There’s probably a very easy solution that won’t add extra time in the bathroom.”
This is the difference between looking well-groomed and messy.
Since men’s hair grows in places beyond just the head, such as the back of the neck, the sideburns, and even the ears, it’s important to be consistent about getting groomed, says Elle Medico, a men’s grooming expert and stylist with Paul Labrecque Salon and Skincare Spa.
There are many different types of Black hair. This includes straight, wavy, coiled, or kinky. With each type, you want to keep the hair nourished.
“Using leave-in and rinse out conditioners is key to keeping strands cared for, while limiting shampoo to once or twice a week,” says Jan-Rietveld.
This is especially true if your hair is super fine with a tighter curl pattern.
If you like to wear your hair short, Medico recommends getting it cut every three weeks or so. This will help keep it looking well-groomed and stylish. This is also a great time to refresh any fades or intricate hair designs.
If you have long hair, though, it’s important to invest in products that are specifically made for Black textured hair.
Popular ingredients you should use include shea butter or avocado oil. These moisturizing components “add shine and make the hair look and feel great,” adds Medico.
Long, flowing locks is actually some of the easiest hair to manage.
While you won’t have to cut it as often as short hair, you should still get a trim about every 12 weeks. This will rid the hair of split ends and actually help you grow your hair longer.
But instead of asking for a cut, Medico says to ask for the hair to be “shaped.” This is when a hairdresser or barber takes less off the length and more off the front, the sides, and any overgrown areas.
When styling long hair, avoid styling products that provide a firm hold.
Keep the hair feeling loose and bouncy by using soft hold products instead. For this, Medico recommends a soft gel since it gives the hair more flexibility.
Additionally, try to avoid heated styling tools, such as a blow dryer, straightener, or curler, whenever you can. Since heat damages hair, air-drying is your healthiest option. It’s also the simplest option.
You may not like it but going gray is a natural part of aging.
This is due to the production of melanin in the hair slowing down. This is the pigment that turns your hair, skin, and eye color darker.
When strands are devoid of melanin, it can also transform the hair into a dry and brittle texture. Treat this by regularly taking care of your hair and keeping it nourished with conditioner and leave-in treatments.
Whether you decide to embrace the gray or ditch it, there’s no shame in either. If going the dyeing route, Medico says that your best course of action is to use a color that blends with gray.
“Opt for a color blend that keeps about 50 percent of the gray and 50 percent of the color that you were born with. This will look more natural and takes years off the person’s age within minutes.”
As for maintaining the color, Medico assures that it’s easy. “You just need a good color-safe shampoo and an appointment every four weeks with your stylist.” You may also decide to dye your hair at home.
Managing curly hair is no easy task. You may have to deal with dry hair, breakage, and too much volume.
There’s also frizz, a common problem that can be brought on by your natural texture or outside factors like humidity.
Choosing products that enhance your texture is the first step to preventing this, says Medico. The goal is to work with your hair, not against it.
Also, be sure to regularly use conditioner on your curls to keep them hydrated. Curly hair tends to get dry since the curls make it difficult for natural oils to reach the ends of the hair.
How much hydration your hair needs is determined by your hair type.
The first line of defense against dryness for all hair types is to regularly use conditioner in your hair washing routine, explains Jan-Rietveld.
“Shampooing alone with strip strands of nutrients and cause them to dry out and break, not to mention, dry out your scalp.”
While medium strands only require conditioner, you should use a leave-in spray conditioner after washing if you have a super fine hair texture.
For coarser hair textures — or whenever your hair is thirsty for a hydration boost — he says to use a deep conditioning mask in place of your conditioner every so often.
You can also get hair-healthy hydration from your diet and certain supplements.
A dry scalp can be brought on by a number of issues. It could be something simple, like not drinking enough water to something more serious, like eczema.
Regardless of the culprit, one of the first things you can do to treat and prevent a dry scalp is use the right products.
Choose one that contains tea tree oil since it has strong antiseptic, antifungal, and antibiotic properties.
“Use it every day until the dryness goes away, and once it does, switch your usage to once a week, and go back to your regular shampoo as the everyday option,” says Medico.
There are also many home remedies you can try using natural ingredients, such as coconut oil, tea tree, or aloe vera.
No one likes the look or feel or greasy hair.
Oily hair is the result of your scalp producing too much sebum, also called oil. This can be caused by several different factors, such as overwashing hair, hygiene habits, and intense exercise.
One way to tackle excess oil is to purchase a shampoo that contains mint menthol.
“This ingredient can be found in many shampoos that are sold at the drug store and it helps to dry out the scalp and hair,” explains Medico, adding that it should work within a week.
Male pattern baldness, also known as androgenetic alopecia, is something that affects more than half of men over the age of 50. It can be hard on a man’s self-esteem, which is why there are so many treatment options available.
While the most extreme route is to get a hair transplant, there are also several non-surgical options. According to Dr. Lopresti, these are medically proven treatments that will slow down the progression of male pattern baldness.
One of the first options he recommends is Rogaine Foam. It’s FDA-approved and easy to use. “The best way to see results is to stick with it and apply it properly twice a day, every day.”
The next option is Propecia, which is prescribed to primarily stop hair loss with the secondary gain of hair regrowth in the crown.
“It works by blocking the formation of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the scalp, which allows for hair follicles to fully grow.”
The last hair loss treatment is the CapillusRx laser cap, although it’s only available through a physicians’ office.
If none of these sound like the right fit for you, you can also try at-home remedies. This includes:
At some point, you may need to seek advice from a hair care professional or dermatologist about your hair concerns.
You should do so when you experience any of the following:
- an inflamed scalp
- significant hair loss
- thinning hair
When it comes to hair loss, Dr. Lopresti says that it’s normal to lose about 100 hairs a day. “Any more than that should be cause for concern.”
If you decide to have surgical treatment done, he recommends doing your research first.
“Take time to further investigate the doctor’s credentials, experience, reputation, etc., before pulling the trigger and starting treatment by someone who is inexperienced and possibly unethical.”
Taking care of your hair is a great and healthy habit to adopt.
Once you know your hair type and understand the basics, you can put a routine in place that’s simple and easy to maintain.
When it comes to more difficult hair concerns, though, such as hair loss, do your research first. You may also want to discuss your options with a trained healthcare professional.