If you ask most men what their biggest physical goal is, you can bet it has something to do with their hair.
Having a head full of healthy hair is what most men desire, but it’s also something that we invest so little of our time and energy into achieving.
Good hair doesn’t just happen and one look at the thousands of haircare products or specialist services that women get into to take care of their hair will prove that.
It’s the same for men though, but the only difference is that we’re embarrassed or uninterested in putting in the time to get healthy hair, and for some of us, it shows.
What’s involved in men’s hair care?
An understanding of common hair conditions like dandruff, greyness, and male pattern baldness is a good place to start so you get to know your own head of hair.
From there, hair care products, hairstyles, and knowledge about good hair health can make a world of difference in improving the look and feel of yours.
This is your ultimate men hair guide that explains all the common hair woes that men face, how to fix them, and what you can do to get that effortlessly healthy and full head of hair you’ve only ever dreamed about.
It’s time for men to start taking their hair seriously and putting in some effort into this fundamental physical asset, and we’re here to help you do just that.
Table of Contents
- 1 The Difference Between Men and Women’s Hair
- 2 Men and Baldness
- 3 Male Dandruff
- 4 Guide to Grey Hair
- 5 Must-Have Hair Care Products for Men
- 6 Men’s Styling Products
- 7 5 Tips for Healthy Men’s Hair
- 8 The Importance of Taking Care of Your Hair
- 9 Related Questions
The Difference Between Men and Women’s Hair
A quick look at the local drugstore or supermarket will show an overabundance in women’s hair care products compared to men.
Women tend to spend more money at the hairdresser and put a lot more time and effort into getting cuts, colors, and various treatments whenever they go.
With all of these extra products, is there really that much of a difference between men and women’s hair? Do women need more attention paid to their hair and thus have to spend more money?
The short answer is no, so you’d have no issue using your wife’s shampoo if you wanted to, but there are some ways we differ.
Hormones play a huge part in hair growth on our heads and the rest of our bodies. Predominantly, testosterone is to thank for men’s hair and it controls the rate of growth and growth patterns.
This can impact whether or not you lose your hair, when it happens, and how quickly it occurs, and it all boils down to genetics, hormones, and other factors.
Aside from going bald, other hair issues concern men, and going grey being one of them.
Unlike women who frequently dye their hair to cover greys, it’s not as common with men, and then there are things like the thickness of hair, facial hair, and how to style your everyday look.
Overall, we face many of the same issues as women, but we tend not to care as much, or at least don’t want to appear as if we do.
Men and Baldness
If you have to had to pick the most important hair issue for men, most would say the possibility of going bald.
Baldness is something that most men deal with, whether it’s a thinning of the hair or losing it all, and according to the US National Library of Medicine, it’s something that more than half of men over the age of 50 will experience.
When Do Men Go Bald?
The human body grows hair in a specific four-stage process of growth, rest, regression, and then shedding, and this process is the same for everyone.
Over time, the length of the first growing phase shortens which means hair usually becomes shorter and weaker as we age, regardless of whether you end up going bald or not.
For men who do go bald, the hair goes through the same growth cycle, but it becomes weaker sooner. As it weakens, the hair follicle shrinks, which means the hair growth is short and thin.
Eventually, this growth cycle ceases completely and no new hair comes through, leading to eventual baldness.
What Causes Baldness?
The most common cause of baldness in men is male pattern baldness, and this is usually due to genetics.
Your family history plays a major role in determining how many of the male sex hormones ‘androgens’ you have, and these hormones are responsible for regulating hair growth and other important functions in the male body.
Other factors can lead to thinning or losing hair, and in these cases, it can usually be reversed. Certain cancers and cancer treatments, as well as thyroid conditions, can lead to hair loss.
Also, anabolic steroids and medications can cause hair to thin or fall out, as can poor diet and lifestyle choices that deplete your body’s store of nutrients.
Signs and Symptoms of Going Bald
If you’re a man who pays close attention to his hair, you’ll likely pick up on the signs of balding before it gets out of control.
Keep an eye out for these things that can indicate your hair has started to thin or fall out, or another medical issue that’s at play.
- Thinning on top of head: For men, thinning of the hair usually starts at the forehead in the shape of an M.
- Patchy bald spots: Hair that’s lost in circular shape bald spots can be male pattern baldness or due to conditions like alopecia.
- Scaly skin: Areas of the skin that become scaly and lose hair include fungal infections and inflammation.
- Large chunks of hair loss: This rapid type of hair loss may be due to physical or emotional stress.
- Full body hair loss: If hair loss occurs all over the body and not just the head, this usually isn’t related to male pattern baldness.
Can You Stop Baldness?
There are loads of products out there aimed at preventing baldness in men, but ultimately it comes down to taking care of your hair and your body.
These are some things you can do to slow down balding and keep your hair thick and healthy.
- Boost the nutrients and vitamins in your daily diet with fresh fruit and vegetables, protein, and healthy fats and oils.
- Cut out or reduce unhealthy lifestyle choices like alcohol, cigarettes, high stress, and processed food.
- Seek help early and start treatment for hair loss as soon as it becomes evident, including Minoxidil and Finasteride.
- Use natural supplements like biotin, B complex, and zinc, to facilitate hair growth.
- Implement a basic hair care routine of shampooing, conditioning, and brushing regularly.
Dandruff is a universal condition that affects men and women, but the male gender seems to be the worst hit when it comes to this itchy problem thanks to our unique hormones.
Dandruff is a chronic skin condition that affects the scalp of your head where your hair grows. It’s not just itchy, but also results in embarrassing and unsightly white flakes in your hair, on your clothes, and even on your pillow.
Dandruff is a condition that affects the hair follicles and occurs when a build-up of fungus occurs on their base. This hair follicle fungus lives off the sebum produced by the skin, and then excretes products onto your scalp.
These products cause dryness, itchiness, and then when scratched, flaking bits of dead skin and fungus called dandruff.
What Causes Dandruff?
Some factors make you more susceptible to dandruff, like being male, having a medical condition that affects the nervous system, and being a middle-aged adult.
In addition to these risk factors, other things cause dandruff in men:
- Using the wrong hair care products that lead to contact dermatitis
- Skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis
- Not washing your hair often enough
- Presence of fungus that feels on oils of your head
- Dry or oily skin
How to Get Rid of Dandruff
Unfortunately for men, scientists are yet to come up with a cure for dandruff, but there are effective ways to treat and manage it.
Just like other haircare advice, reducing stress, using the right shampoos and conditioners, and eating a healthy diet will go a long way towards preventing dandruff in the first place.
If you’re someone who experiences regular bouts of dandruff it’s worth investing in a specialized treatment shampoo that will target it specifically.
These shampoos feature ingredients like zinc pyrithione and selenium sulfide. They work as powerful antifungals and also slow the rate that your scalp’s skin cells die and fall off of your head.
To ensure the dandruff shampoo works effectively, it needs to be used in conjunction with regular washing and shampooing of your hair.
Apply the treatment and leave it for at least five minutes before washing it, and reapply as recommended. In about a month, your dandruff problem should disappear, and you can keep the bottle stored away for the next outbreak.
Guide to Grey Hair
When you think of old age, grey hair is one of the first physical features that probably come to mind. The idea of a frail old man with sparse, grey hair is one we hope to avoid, but thankfully the modern man has put a new spin on how to wear it with pride.
‘Silver fox’ is the common term used for grey gents these days but it’s not as easy as it seems to wear your lighter hair and look stylish.
If you’re starting to notice some greys or just want to be prepared, this is one part of men’s hair care you have to know about.
Why Do Men Get Grey Hair?
Grey hair something that affects both men and women, but as men have been proven to have higher rates of grey hair and also be less likely to resort to dyeing to cover them up, it’s a pressing issue when it comes to men’s hair care.
The color of our hair is determined by a pigment in the body called melanin, which is also responsible for skin color, and melanin is produced by hair follicles.
As we get older, our hair follicles produce less and less melanin. This means our natural hair color starts to fade and is instead replaced by grey hair.
The process of turning grey is natural and usually begins with noticing just one or two hairs over your entire head. For some people, it can be a fast transformation to fully grey, but for most men, it will take years to complete.
When Will I Start to Go Grey?
There’s no magic crystal ball that can tell you exactly when you might start to transform into a silver fox, but there are some likely determiners.
The process of melanin production slowing down and forming grey hairs usually starts in your 30s, but some men know by the first-hand experience that it can be a lot sooner than that.
A study published by the US National Library of Medicine found that 74 percent of people had almost a third of their hair turned grey between the ages of 45 and 65.
The study also showed that men were more likely to have grey hair than women, and the age and onset of when it occurred were closely linked to their ethnicity.
Genetics is the main factor in determining when you’ll go grey, with Caucasians being the most likely to turn first, followed by those of Asian and African backgrounds.
However, it’s believed that other factors like physical and mental stress, smoking, vitamin deficiency, and illness can also lead to premature changes in hair color.
What Can I Do About My Grey Hair?
With so much of the population having to deal with grey hair, it means there are more ways than ever to deal with it.
If you’ve decided that you’d rather not embrace your new silver persona, there are some things you can to reduce the look of grey hair or remove them altogether.
Full dye or highlights
There’s no shame in visiting the hairdresser to dye your hair back to its former glory, even if you’re a man. Although hair dye tends to be thought of as ‘feminine’ there are more than ever getting theirs done.
Avoid home dye jobs, especially for your first time, as there’s a very serious need to get the color correct which is best left to a professional.
If you’re not ready to admit defeat to your grey hair, you could simply shave them off. This is the best approach for men who’d rather not spend a lot of time maintaining their color but who also don’t want to walk around with a full head of grey hair.
Hair concealer is a relatively new product that offers a non-permanent way of covering greys. This concealer is helpful for one-off events or everyday use and it saves you from having to dye it.
You can use a concealer to cover up a small number of greys but it probably won’t be helpful once they start to take over.
Embracing the Grey
There’s never been a better time to embrace your grey hair with the rise of the ‘silver fox’ in the last decade.
Luckily for men, it’s seen as a more stylish approach to wear your grey hair without fear than compared to women, so if you want to take advantage of this style bias then there’s a right way to do it.
It can be tempting when you see just one or two greys on your head to pluck them out, but if your goal is total greyness you have to be patient in letting them grow.
While you’re waiting to get a few more greys, consider using a non-permanent concealer until you feel comfortable with what you’ve got.
Grey hair looks naturally wiry and it doesn’t hold a shine as well as your old hair color. Therefore, you need to take conditioning seriously which means adding a weekly hydrating treatment to ensure it looks smooth and shiny in its new lighter color.
Keep it styled
A little bit of styling goes a long way with grey hair. Make an effort every morning to give it some shape and let the contours and styling give it a youthful look, rather than being wispy and thin.
Must-Have Hair Care Products for Men
Having healthy locks is the bare minimum a man can do when it comes to hair care, especially if you’re a man who doesn’t want to spend any time or money on styling it.
The good news is, there are just three products you’ll need to keep in the shower that will deliver, but it’s important to know how to choose the right ones.
Shampoo is like a bar of soap for your hair, and no matter what type of man you are or how you spend your days, you’re going to need it.
Most men buy shampoo as an item of necessity but for just a few dollars more you can get one that does a whole lot more with a little bit of effort.
The shampoo isn’t just about washing out the dirt, oil, and sweat though, it also impacts how your hair looks, feels, and how well it responds to styling.
Choosing a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner is important for keeping the healthy oils intact. These products can have additional functions like treating dandruff or maintain color, so there’s a lot to consider when you’re investing in one.
Shampoos are not made equal, so you also have to choose one that suits your specific type of hair. You might want to add volume or just have a straightforward shampoo for cleansing your hair.
Whatever your preference, there’s guaranteed to the be a shampoo for the hair goal you’re trying to reach and the type of hair you already have.
Conditioner is often overlooked in men’s hair care, as most of us assume having shorter hair means we don’t really need it.
The opposite is true of course, and adding a good conditioner to your washing routine is one the easiest things to do to get healthy hair.
Conditioner works deeply by focusing on the minuscule cuticles that are found along your hair follicles. It smooths the cuticles out and softens them so they look and feel better overall, and it’s the obvious next step after shampooing.
With a dedicated conditioner that’s been chosen to meet your hair type, you’ll be able to stop breakages, add thickness, improve shine, and get a nice little boost of confidence when you feel how soft it is.
The best approach is to choose one that matches your shampoo, but there’s no unspoken rule that says you have to.
Once a week is all you need to commit for this final but crucial step of men’s hair care. A hair mask is designed to add extra moisture on top of your regular conditioner, and all it requires is 10 minutes a week to work.
There are loads of options out there to suit your type of hair, but most of them are about providing a deep treatment of conditioning or hydrating.
Look for products like argan oil, vitamin E, and keratin, and don’t be afraid to spend a little more for results. These masks are especially helpful for men who use blow-dryers or other heated styling tools, as well as men with naturally coarse and unruly hair.
Apply your chosen hair mask to the hair and pay close attention to the ends. Let it sit for around 10 minutes before you get into the shower, then wash it out with regular shampoo and conditioner as you normally would.
The results are instant and you only have to do it once a week, even if you want to hide out in the bathroom while the magic happens.
Men’s Styling Products
Most of us have that go-to hairstyle that we rock every day, whether it does us any favors or not.
Spending just a little bit of time experimenting with new hairstyles can pay off huge dividends but none of it is possible without understanding the various styling products available to men and what they do.
- Wax: Wax is easy to mold into the hair and offers medium hold for a more casual style. Applying wax will also add some shine to the hair so make sure yours can handle this look.
- Gel: Gel is the most popular men’s styling product but one that’s also a little dated. Gel is known for having a serious hold factor so if you have a defined look you want to keep in place, this is the way to go.
- Serum: Hair serum is more about reducing frizz than anything and it only offers a small amount of hold. If you don’t have any specific style in mind but still want it looking shiny and smooth, you’ll love what serum does.
- Clay: Clay is a maximum hold hair product that can also add thickness to your hair, so if you’re thinning out and want to appear fuller this is a great option. It’s remarkably lightweight considering and won’t leave any sticky or slimy residue behind.
- Hairspray: The old classic hairspray has come a long way and you can get everything from low to high hold, without that stiff and shiny look it used to give.
5 Tips for Healthy Men’s Hair
There’s no need to shout it from the rooftops that you’ve decided to start taking care of your hair, but you shouldn’t have to feel embarrassed about it either.
If you’re on a quest to get the healthy hair you’ve always wanted, follow some of these easy tips to make it happen for you.
Sulfates are common in cheaper hair care products and they’re known for creating lots of foam to lather up.
However, these additives work against the hair, stripping it of the natural oils it needs to be healthy and drying it out. Check your shampoos and conditioners for sulfates and get rid of them if they contain any.
Limit the heat styling
As men, we’re lucky enough to have hair that styles pretty easily without resorting to too much effort. Where possible, cut out the heat styling tools like hair dryers and straighteners as they only end up doing more damage.
Give yourself more time in the morning to air dry hair and find some products that work without needing heat.
A good comb counts
The best type of comb for men is a wide-tooth comb as it prevents frizz and tangles from occurring. Make an effort to comb your hair every day before hopping in the shower and avoid wet brushing when you can.
Stick to warm showers
If you’re a man who loves a scalding hot shower, this is a habit to break. Hair reacts very poorly to high temperatures and letting hot water run over it while you stand in the shower can cause breakages.
Stick to lukewarm showers and when you can stand it, give hair a blast of cold water just before you step out to add some shine.
Eat hair healthy foods
Look at your diet and find gaps where you can insert some hair healthy foods instead. Healthy fats like nuts and avocado, fresh fish and protein, and loads of fruit and vegetables are going to do your hair a whole lot of favors.
The Importance of Taking Care of Your Hair
If you’re a no-frills type of man, you might not see the appeal of taking care of your hair outside of the realm of your usual supermarket shampoo and conditioner combination.
However, hair care isn’t just about how it looks, it also impacts the cleanliness, strength, thickness, and overall health.
Taking care of your hair by implementing a regular schedule of washing and conditioning it, with the occasional extra bit of attention doesn’t require much energy or money.
Quality shampoo and conditioner can last a year or more for men, and once it’s sitting there in your shower you’ll never have to give it a second thought.
Whether you’re a man who uses the latest balms and waxes to create his ‘do or someone who prefers simplicity, it makes sense to get a grasp of men’s haircare.
As one of our most important physical assets and the thing that can make or break our overall appearance, hair is something that we men need to start taking seriously.
Haircare for men is straightforward and easy to implement, so there’s no good reason why you can’t get started with your own routine today.
We’ve answered some FAQs about various hair related topics for men to give you more information about beginning your haircare journey.
Can You Reverse Grey Hair?
Once the hair has turned grey, it’s not possible to turn it back, which is why preventative measures are so important.
Being sure you have good amounts of B12 is a simple way of preventing premature aging that shows in the hair, as well as living a generally healthy lifestyle.
How Long Should You Leave Conditioner On?
Always refer to the instructions given on the conditioner bottle for the best advice on how long to leave the conditioner in, as some require more time than others to work. Otherwise, aim to leave it on for at least one minute to allow the product to soak into the hair cuticles and be effective.
Is Facial Hair Different Than Head Hair?
The hair growing on your face is usually thicker and coarser than on your head and may even be different in color. For this reason, it’s best to use products made for those specific areas.
The shape of the follicles dictates the appearance and texture of the hair, with the face and head growing different ones altogether.