Contrary to popular belief, studies over recent years have revealed that around 41% of men spend up to 45 minutes getting ready in the bathroom each morning. This is longer than the majority of women, only 30% of whom report taking an equal amount of time. Of course, we can only guess at the reasons for this somewhat surprising discrepancy, but it’s a pretty good bet that the lack of information surrounding male grooming features in some way.
After all, culture is crammed full of female style inspiration, tutorials, and guides to help women perfect their looks more quickly. By comparison, many men are left to experiment, often unsuccessfully, with which looks work best for them.
That’s not to say that there’s no style inspiration out there for guys. Things have undeniably improved in recent years, with beard grooming products and other male grooming focuses growing in popularity. But, you may find that you’re still largely left in the dark about great styling, especially when it comes to your hair.
After all, while the same study revealed that 70% of men spend 1-3 hours at the barber’s every month, only 7% of men feel on top with ‘personal care’, including things like everyday hair styling. That’s a problem that could be both holding you up in the mornings and preventing you from achieving your intended looks. And, as it happens, it’s an easy enough issue to solve if you simply consider the following great grooming tips for all male hair types.
Why does hair type matter?
Before we get down to the specifics, you may be wondering why hair type matters to your grooming routine. But, this is the thinking that’s left you struggling in the bathroom for so long.
After all, hair types that can vary from dead straight to downright coiled require very different grooming and styling choices to look their best. Without first taking the time you understand your hair type, you may, therefore, be going through generic grooming motions that won’t serve your needs regardless of the time you spend on them.
In some instances, you may even find that failing to understand your hair type worsens your styling woes and leaves you looking less than perfect. This is because, while options like hydrating formulas and anti-humidity serums are prime hair care tips for 3c hair (curly hair), they could prove catastrophic for, say, someone with naturally greasy straight hair. Only with understanding can you avoid costly mistakes like these.
How to find your hair type
With that point in mind, discovering your hair type is crucial for both knowing how to quickly style yourself with the best results, and also understanding which products will work best for you, and equally which ones won’t work at all.
But how do you discover your hair type in the first place?
Well, assuming you know your hair pretty well, the chances are that you already have some idea of this. Finding out your hair type for sure, however, requires you to scrap the grooming routine at least once, and instead look at how your hair sits naturally after you’ve conditioned and air dried it. This is going to show you, truly, where your hair sits on a curl scale that looks like this –
- Straight (1)
- Wavy (2a, 2b, and 2c)
- Curly (3a, 3b, and 3c)
- Coily (4a and 4b)
Grooming tips by hair type
Once you’ve done the work of understanding your hair at long last, it’s time to consider how best to groom your hair type for great results in no time.
Unfortunately, while this understanding will help a great deal towards eliminating inefficient or unsuited practices in your grooming routine, you may still need to embark on trial and error to get grooming truly right.
But, rest assured, with your hair type and recommendations in mind, you will eventually trial your way into the grooming routine you’ve always wished for.
So, without further ado, let’s consider what you should be doing each morning for your unique hair type.
# 1 - Straight hair
Completely straight hair is unusual, but it happens, and if you fall into this category, then you may find that you have a really hard time getting grooming right. After all, straight hair can be stubborn, and it shows every single flaw or stray hair in a way that other styles simply don’t.
But, you needn’t despair because, with countless other people only dreaming that they could have dead straight hair, you’re also blessed with some great grooming capabilities.
The main thing to remember when perfecting your straight locks is that your hair type is typically more oily than others because your scalp’s sebum (what makes our hair oily), can more easily travel down your roots.
With this in mind, you most definitely don’t need to use those hair oils or other oily products that you’ve likely been stocking up on at the recommendation of people with way curlier hair than yours. Instead, caring for straight hair involves brushing at least twice a day, preferably with a firm bristled paddle brush, and washing your hair at least every three days.
By absorbing natural oils throughout your hair, this new routine can keep oil at your roots, as well as smoothing your hair in a more affordable, and effective, way than any amount of expensive products could.
# 2 - Wavy hair
You might assume that wavy hair would be more forgiving, but the reality is that this not-curly, not-straight hair type has struggles of its own.
Namely, hair creams and butters that are often supposed to provide volume can end up weighing natural waves down. This is a problem considering that wavy hair is also prone to humidity, which is typically treated with these hydrating products.
The solution? A lot of it comes down to what you do when you wash your hair, rather than your daily routine.
For example, using a moisturizing shampoo at least every three days, and daily conditioner can help to hydrate your hair without drowning it. Equally, air drying your hair can help it to maintain its moisture without the need for products.
It’s also worth detangling your hair when it's wet, rather than trying to run a brush through it once it’s dry and likely more wavy. You could use a leave-in conditioner to help you separate those knots, or you could do this as you’re showering. Either way, use your fingers, or a specific detangling brush, to define your waves, and keep frizz at bay.
# 3 - Curly hair
The curlier your hair gets, the less a brushing routine is going to serve you. In fact, for the sake of your curls and your scalp, you may find it best to avoid a daily brushing routine at all. Instead, many individuals with curly hair can get away with simply brushing their fingers through when their hair’s wet, though you should do this using products like a leave-in conditioner, or even a specific curl-defining serum.
With curly hair less liable to oily appearances or flatness, you’re also more free to explore a range of grooming products with increased chances of success, though remember that you likely need less than you think. In reality, serums all offer much the same thing, so you probably only need one quality product to define your curls.
Perhaps the most important two points to highlight when it comes to caring for great-looking curly hair are –
- Don’t brush your hair when it’s dry. Ever.
- Always leave your hair to dry naturally
# 4 - Coily hair
Coily hair is undeniably impressive, but it can also be daunting to deal with. In fact, if you’re in this category, you may find that nothing you do seems to tame your locks.
We sympathize, but the reality is that you probably don’t need to ‘tame your locks’ so much as you need to define those coils. And, that’s a pretty easy goal to achieve.
In some ways, the advice here mimics that in the curly category, with coily hair requiring moisturizing shampoos, air drying, and an avoidance of hair brushes.
With coils being one more level up in the curl stakes, though, hydration becomes even more important and should revolve around four crucial grooming ingredients, which are –
- Humectants (Frizz-fighting ingredients like aloe vera)
- Emollients (Ingredients like shea butter, which smooth and condition)
- Occlusives (Ingredients that seal water inside hair cuticles, such as lanolin)
This might sound like a lot, but many products for curly hair are designed around what’s known as a WHEO list of ingredients. As such, stocking up on shampoos, conditioner, and perhaps one additional daily product for coil definition, should be enough to leave your hair looking great with minimal effort.
Understanding hair types isn’t easy, and it’s something that countless people never even bother to do. But your hair deserves better than ill-formed grooming routines that take too long and still leave your locks lacking. Instead, form a quick-fire, effective grooming routine that suits you with these top tips for every hair type.