Unless you’re rocking a buzz, your hair probably requires a little more attention than just a shampoo, condition and an 8-second towel dry. Different textures and haircuts require different formulas - some need just a touch of products while others will benefit from something heavier. So where to start? Here are some important factors to consider before choosing a men's styling product; your hair’s length and texture, and the type of hold, shine and flexibility that suits you.
What is My Hair Type? A Primer on Hair Length and Texture
Men have mostly four hair types: straight, wavy, curly or coily. This is an important factor when you choose your hair styling product.
Straight hair is easy to distinguish, as it lacks any type of definitive curl. Straight hair is strong, and holds up well to styling, poor weather, and heat. Because the hair is straight, natural oils flow freely from your scalp all the way to the tips of the follicles. This gives straight hair a naturally shiny appearance. However, this oil tends to build up fast, giving the hair a “greasy” look if not washed frequently. As long as you keep the oil issue under control, this hair style is otherwise fairly easy to work with.
Wavy hair got its name after how the hair looks. When it grows, it is slightly curved and falls right in that sweet spot between straight and curly. While wavy hair is less likely to accumulate oil build up than straight hair, wavy hair is more prone to frizz. But a natural wave creates lots of natural volume and texture.
Curly Hair has very noticeable curls that are significantly more defined than wavy. Hair is classified as curly when you have multiple curls within an-inch-long strand of hair. While curly hair is typically thick, and doesn’t tend to generate a crazy buildup of oil, it is prone to damage, dryness and even more so, frizz.
Coily hair is identified by tight coils that begin immediately at the scalp. We’re talking about numerous curls present in a one-inch section of hair, far more than curly. Coily hair tends to shrink up when wet, and unfortunately is the most fragile and prone to dryness. Finding a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner for coily hair is important.
How to Style Your Hair
Depending on your hair type, length and cut, here are some basic tips to styling:
Shine - Measured as how much the product reflects light, which gives the appearance of shiny and wet. Shine is how glossy (or "wet") your hair looks post-application. The spectrum ranges from Matte (no shine) to Medium Shine to Gloss / High Shine.
Matte - The opposite of shine. Rather than a shiny look, a matte product absorbs light and gives the ‘natural’ finish look. In short: your hair won’t appear to have any product in it whatsoever.
Hold - How well the product holds your hair in place. The measure of hold ranges from Light Hold to Medium Hold to Max/High Hold. Low or Medium holds leave your hair more pliable, whereas Max holds to keep your hair stiffer.
Pliability - How flexible or malleable a product leaves your hair. A product can have good holding power, but be more or less malleable. For example, gel has a high hold, but traditionally isn’t very malleable. Hair creams and pomades, on the other hand, offer hold with more malleability, allowing movement while having the ability to hold its shape.
A Product for All Hair Types:
Winner of the 2021 Men’s Health Grooming Awards for Best Pomade, our Hair Styler is a styling cream that has a conditioning cream consistency. These products are lighter --- great for controlling flyaway hair. The natural shine or matte finish offers control while leaving you looking like you don't have anything in your hair. For fine hair, use a very small amount to avoid a greasy look. If your hair is curly, a cream is a great option to add shine and keep the curl together.
It’s in your hands (and head) now. We’ll arm you with the right products to make sure you look great, feel great, and give your hair the style and love it deserves.