Simple Hair Care for Men
What Men Should Know
Some men couldn’t care less about ingredients in hair products. They aren’t concerned about sulfates, alcohol, petroleum, and other harsh elements in some products that can impede hair health. All they care to know is that the product’s label reads whatever it is they’re looking for and so that’s what they go with. Simple as that.
Most women—especially those of the natural hair community—put great emphasis on product ingredient label reading. Women will stand in the beauty supply aisle and read the hefty ingredient list, whereas a man could stand in that same aisle and be in-and-out within seconds. They grab their product and go with no questions asked. This isn’t to say that all men aren’t product conscious. Perhaps there are some out there who read the product labels before purchasing. Whatever the case, hair product awareness varies tremendously between men and women.
Men should understand that it makes a huge difference for their hair’s health when they use products that don’t have certain ingredients. If a man finds that he constantly suffers with dandruff, there’s a strong possibility that he’s using products that contain alcohol. Alcohol eventually dries your hair overtime. To remedy his flaky scalp, he could substitute with products that doesn’t contain alcohol and list water as its first ingredient.
Products which have water as its first ingredient are water-based. What this means is that the product is moisturizing for your hair. What men should know if they don’t already is that sulfates in shampoo strips hair. Sulfates remove all of the natural oils that your hair produces. Hair thrives in a moisturized environment. Conditioners and oils replenish moisture. Opt for sulfate-free or moisturizing shampoos to cleanse your hair. If you’re unsure where to begin, check out the few options below:
- Aveeno Pure Renewal
- Giovanni Smooth As Silk Deep Moisture Shampoo
- Eden BodyWorks Jojoba Monoi Moisturizing Shampoo
- Organix Nourishing Coconut Milk Shampoo
- Living Proof Full Shampoo
- Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Wild Ginger Moisturizing Lather Shampoo
- SheaMoisture Organic Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo
Hair Care Basics
Whether you have a full head of hair, a low-cut, or a bald head—hair care maintenance still applies to you. Healthy hair begins with a healthy scalp. Even a man who chooses to wear a bald head has to make sure his scalp is clean and moisturized. He can still cleanse his scalp with a moisturizing shampoo and moisturize it with natural oils such as jojoba, coconut, avocado, argan oil, olive oil. Men with various hair lengths still have to ensure that the hair they do have is well taken care of. Here’s what you must know:
- A healthy scalp is moisturized
- You must know what's in the products you're using. Much of your hair issues can be minimized if you inform yourself on what you're choosing to use in your hair
- Hair health starts from the inside out. Drink plenty of water and incorporate healthier foods in your diet if you haven't already
Cleanse, Moisturize, Repeat
As it's been emphasized throughout this article thus far, a clean scalp produces healthier hair. You may only keep your hair a certain length and that's fine. What's important is that you maintain a healthy scalp to prevent issues of dandruff or dryness. The hair practices you choose now could determine the state of your hair later. So the first step towards maintaining healthy hair and scalp is to cleanse.
Cleansing your hair lifts all of the impurities and dirt which clogs your pores. When you use sulfate-free or moisturizing shampoos, concentrate on your scalp. Scratching your scalp as you wash your hair may feel good, but it isn't ideal. Using your nails can damage your scalp. Use the pads of your fingers as you work the shampoo into a lather. Rinse with warm water. Depending on what you prefer or what your hair may need, shampooing times may vary between men. Once your scalp and hair is clean, move onto moisturizing.
The first step for moisturizing is to condition. As with the shampoo, you have to be sure to choose conditioners that are moisturizing. Avoid conditioners that have alcohol in them. As you should know, alcohol is drying. Choose a water-based conditioner instead. Work the conditioner into your hair and rinse with cool water. Rinsing the conditioner in cool water shocks your hair cuticles. This helps your hair retain moisture. After you've conditioned your hair, apply your leave-in conditioner and seal in the moisture with an oil (jojoba, coconut, olive are a few examples).
If you're unsure of what to conditioners to use, here's a few examples to start with:
- SheaMoisture Restorative Conditioner
- Eden BodyWorks Jojoba Monoi Deep Conditioner
- Duafe Naturals Organic Coconut Monoi Conditioning Treatment Oil
- Giovanni Organic Hair Care Smooth As Silk Deeper Moisture Conditioner
- Alba Botanica Rainforest Cupuacu Conditioner
Leave-in conditioners are part of the moisturizing process. Here are some you can choose from:
- Koils by Nature Shealoe Leave-in Conditioner
- GIovanni Direct Leave-in
- Neutrogena Triple Moisture Silk Touch Leave-in Cream
- KoKo Du Lait Daily Leave-in
- Lustrasilk Moisture Max Leave-In
Keep In Mind
- Moisture is key
- Clean, Moisturize, Repeat
- Avoid sulfate shampoos
- Try reading the product labels even if you only glance at them
- Avoid products that contain petrochemicals (those ending in -ol, ie. alcohol), chloride, parabens, petroleum, selenium sulfide, formaldehyde, artificial fragrances
- Whipping up your own natural products doesn't make you less masculine. Actually, women loves men in the kitchen.
You Are Your Hair
Taking care of your hair is important. It doesn't matter the length or whether you're male. Your hair still needs care just as the rest of your body does. What you feed your hair will show. The shine and luster of healthy hair is a result of properly using products and keeping the hair well moisturized.
A good way to stimulate hair growth is by massaging your scalp. If you aren't up for it, ask your significant other or a friend to do it for you. Have them put a little oil on the pads of their fingers. They're to avoid using their nails when massaging. Ask them to use circular motions as they work the oil into your scalp with the pads of their fingers.
If you need to re-moisturize your hair during the week, a quick way to do this is to apply an oil to your hair and scalp. Follow-up with a pomade to seal in moisture. The term seal basically means to lock-in moisture in your hair. Another option is to apply a leave-in to your hair and scalp. Lastly, take an oil and lock-in that moisture. This helps to reduce dry hair and scalp.