Waking up on a pillow full of grease isn’t fun. Neither is the feeling of torching your hair with your favourite product in the morning, only to watch it go limp and lifeless by midday.
Let’s not get started on thinning, either.
But while most guys accept their fate and put it down to the evil genes of their parents, the truth is that only plays a very small part. For most men, the only thing standing between an Amy Winehouse situation and a luscious weave is a few basic adjustments to their hair care routine.
The good news is most of the hair care mistakes guys make are pretty common, and they’re all easy to fix.
Here are the 6 fastest and easiest ways to lift your hair care game.
Using too much product
There seems to be a common practice of guys overdoing the wax, gel, or clay in their hair in the morning, and it’s a rookie move of the highest order. Too much product gives your hair a greasy finish, causes a build-up that can appear like dandruff, and actually makes it harder to achieve the style you’re going for.
How to fix it: Less is more when it comes to product. Most waxes only actually need a five-cent piece size to be effective. Unless you’re using something light, start with that and adjust if needed.
Forgetting the conditioner
Don’t roll your eyes at me. While it’s not a big problem, it’s an easy win which can make a noticeable difference to the overall health of your hair and ability to style. Only using shampoo in the shower causes static which weakens your hair with breaks, split ends and even hair loss.
How to fix it: Duh - use conditioner. Using a conditioner seals your hair cuticle, avoids fluff and separates your strands allowing for an easier styling experience and sharper look overall.
2-in-1 Shampoo and Conditioner
Next time you check yourself out in the mirror, think about this: each strand of your hair has a bunch of scales called ‘cuticles’. They’re rather important. Here’s why:
To properly clean your hair, these cuticles first need to be ‘opened up’ to release any product or build-up of nasty stuff. This is what shampoo does. A conditioner, which you use afterwards, moisturises and then ‘closes’ your hair cuticles.
A single product can’t open and close your cuticles at the same time. The 2-in-1 products coat your hair with silicone and leave cuticles permanently open, causing it to pick up pollutants and get dirtier quicker.
How to fix it: Buy separate shampoo and conditioner, use shampoo first.
Colouring your hair (at home)
It may have been cool to try at your mate’s place when you were 15, but DIY colouring is never a smart idea. Amateur mistakes can lead to canary yellow bleaching, dyes way too dark or flat for your skin, or worse: colour tones that pick up on greys.
How to fix it: Say no to peer pressure. Ask your friendly hairdresser before colouring for the first time or changing colour.
Using the wrong product for your hair type
Men’s hair types are more than just ’parted, un-parted and departed’. Textures vary, for example, and each product nails different types. If you use a light clay in long, thick hair, it will dissolve as soon as it’s hit with a breeze. If your weave is thin, shine finishes are often not the best idea.
How to fix it: Ask your barber about the right product for you. A small addition like boost powder or sea-salt spray can make a big impact.
Using cheap-and-nasty hair care products
Low-quality shampoos are like using dishwashing liquid. They strip your strands of their much-needed moisture, damage your scalp and rob your mane of the natural oils that keep it healthy.
Refined shampoos and conditioners that contain natural oils, proteins and carefully chosen ingredients are worth the investment. A good product will prevent the destruction above, as well as delay hair thinning and give you a vibrant finish.
How to fix it: Check the ingredients before you buy your products. Look for natural oils and proteins in particular.
Following these tips will put you in an elite company of men: those who actually know what they’re doing when it comes to hair care. Membership includes thicker, fuller hair, a healthy shine and clean styling. Stop making the same mistakes, and start looking after your luscious locks. The results are worth it.