Whether it’s a dry or oily scalp, hair loss and thinning, a receding hairline, or dandruff, we’ve all got our insecurities when it comes to our tresses whether it’s curly, wispy, short-back-and-sides, afro, a mohawk, ‘locks or that awkward in-between stage when we’re growing it out, but fear not – no matter what your hair type is, we take it back to the roots to share the lowdown on the best men’s hair care routine to achieve a soft, glossy mane ready to go whenever you are. It begins with a healthy scalp.
Your scalp requires the same level of care as you would give to the rest of your skin. Think of your scalp like soil, and your hair like the plants growing. We need to keep the soil healthy for the plants to grow at their best. Try adding these men’s scalp and hair care tips to your routine for soft locks that will not only look stellar but feel it too.
1. IDENTIFY YOUR HAIR TYPE
Start by identifying the type of hair you have. Is it dry and flaky? Is it greasy or oily? Is it thick or thin? Coarse or smooth? Prone to frizz or flatness? There’s an overwhelming wealth of hair care products out there, so choose one that suits your hair type to give yourself the best chance of a good hair day every day.
If you have oily or greasy hair, hydrating or moisturizing products could worsen the problem, whilst dryness could be exasperated by exfoliation.
2. CHOOSE THE RIGHT PRODUCTS
Firstly, choose sulfate-free shampoo if you are prone to a dry, sensitive, or damaged scalp. If a product is foamy, frothy, or lathers, it probably has sulfate in it. Sometimes, however, it can work a little too well. Although sulfate is used to cleanse hair of dirt and grime, it can also strip hair and scalp of natural oils and make it dry and brittle, which could lead to dandruff, itchiness, flakiness, redness, eczema, sensitivity, irritation, and psoriasis. Choose gentler sulfates, or sulfate-free products if you’re prone to dryness and damage. Excessive itching can also lead to hair loss over time.
Products containing alcohol and fragrances can also suck hydration creating dry, brittle hair and scalp. Look for alcohol-free, fragrance-free, and focus on words like ‘gentle’ and ‘natural’ next time you’re scanning the product shelves for ingredients.
Grow Strong Shampoo & Conditioner
3. UPGRADE YOUR HAIR-WASH ROUTINE (THE RIGHT WAY)
Barbers and hairdressers swear by the double shampoo rule; the first time works to loosen any dirt and grime from the scalp and roots; the second lather to ensure it’s thoroughly cleansed. Shampoo should be concentrated on the scalp, with no need to specifically apply to the ends as the product from the scalp will run down cleaning the rest of your hair during rinsing. Ensure that the rinsing process is thorough so there’s no leftover shampoo clogging pores or leaving visible residue. This can make hair oily and product residue could leave flaky white specks.
During your hair wash, rinse shampoo and conditioner with lukewarm water, then a blast of cold at the end. The cold water closes pores in the scalp to seal in moisture, retaining hydration and adding luster and shine.
Washing your hair too much can be detrimental too. Our scalp produces sebum – a natural oil that works to moisten and hydrate. If you shampoo daily, you strip this away which can cause excessive dryness and irritation. Those with normal hair should wash their hair 2-3 times per week, but those with particularly frizzy, coarse, or dry hair should consider reducing that to once every 7-10 days so that your hair can retain as many natural oils as possible.
4. TWEAK YOUR GROOMING ROUTINE
While genetics, lifestyle, and climate can play a part, how we treat our hair and scalp can affect its condition. Colored hair, especially bleached hair, is more prone to brittleness, breakage, and dryness so keeping it to a minimum or avoiding it altogether would allow your hair to flourish with silkiness and gloss. Products that specifically support dyed and processed hair are ideal if you can’t part with your color. Bleached and colored hair benefits from regular conditioning treatments to rejuvenate the body and shine. Goodbye limp, lank hair; hello, satiny volume.
Use your fingers or a wide-tooth comb just after washing instead of a hairbrush, which can be too harsh after a hair-wash when your scalp is at its most sensitive. To prevent further damage after hair-washing, if you’re drying with a towel, apply gentle pressure to avoid scalp irritation and leave the hair to dry completely when possible.
Head massages in our routine trims are usually the highlight of the experience, so why limit it? To increase healthy blood circulation to your scalp, treat yourself to a regular nourishing head massage with essential oils. Not only is it good for your hair health and growth, but it’s relaxing too. Allow anxiety and worry to melt away to avoid stress-induced dryness and irritation which often occurs when we’re rundown or busy – just another reason to find some moments of chill in a busy world.
5. PROTECT AGAINST HEAT DAMAGE
Where possible, heat styling, treatment, and products should be kept to a minimum. Leaving hair natural, including leaving it to dry naturally will lead to softer, stronger, healthier hair. If you have to style it with heat, use a heat protection spray.
Sun damage can have a major effect on your scalp and hair health too. If you live in a warm, sunny, humid, or dry climate, or you swim in pools that contain chlorine, it’s more likely that your hair and scalp will be dry, brittle, and prone to splitting and breakage. You can protect your scalp from the sun’s harmful UV rays and hair from sun damage and the effects of chlorine by covering your head with a hat or headscarf, using SPF on your scalp, and hair heat protection products.
Sunburn on the scalp can lead to flakiness and peeling – the last thing you want when trying to enjoy the great outdoors. Spending time in the sun without UV protection can increase the risk of skin cancer. If your hair has suffered from sun damage previously, perhaps on a recent holiday or warm day, a hair mask or leave-in conditioner can inject hair and scalp with an instant dose of hydration to revive.
Using preventative measures against heat damage and aging could make a world of difference to your tresses. Help them to thrive with a healthy hair routine, choosing moisturizing and fortifying products to protect.
6. NURTURE HEALTHY HAIR & TACKLE HAIR LOSS WITH SUPPLEMENTS
Male-pattern baldness affects 75% of men and is influenced by age, genetics, illness, and hormones. In the same way, nutrition affects your skin, mood, and digestion, your diet can affect your scalp and hair too. Protein, biotin, zinc, selenium, and Vitamin A, C, D, and E, and B vitamins all promote hair growth and can protect against free radicals.
“The most important thing to understand when it comes to diet and dietary supplements is that your hair’s nutritional requirements are unique and incredibly high,” says Philip Kingsley. “Because hair cells are the second fastest-growing cells the body produces, it means strands need a consistent supply of energy in order to grow which means it can be difficult to give it all the nutrients it needs through diet alone. Supplements can therefore be incredibly handy as they provide an extra boost of readily available vitamins and minerals but it should always be a combination of the two.”
A supplement with keratin, biotin, collagen peptides, hyaluronic acid, all the alphabetic vitamins, or any combination of the above can help your hair grow back longer and stronger in as little as a few weeks. The key to getting the best results? Be consistent with the pills and commit to them daily for at least six months.
KEEP IT SIMPLE
Achieving strong, healthy hair doesn’t need to be over complicated. Upgrade your wash and dry routine, lay off the harsh hair dye and heat styling tools, and be gentler to your scalp. It’s that simple. Say hello to a good hair day every day!