Harry Styles at the February 19 Luton Town x Manchester United game. Getty Images

MEN OFTEN APPROACH hair care with at least a hint of not-so-subtle fatalism. It’s just genetics, there’s nothing I can do about it, we say, without realising that a solid hair care routine can bolster even the most temperamental of strands and bring a receding hairline back from the brink of baldness. Proper hair care is about more than staving off the inevitable, it’s about making the most of what you’ve got, when you’ve got it, and potentially ensuring you never lose it.

Whether you’re rocking a buzz cut, a pompadour, or something in between, taking care of your hair is essential, not just for hair health, but also for maintaining a polished appearance overall. Far too many men have style and confidence in spades, only to be let down by a thatch of unruly hair. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the basics of hair care, answering your most pressing questions and giving you what you need to nourish a luscious head of hair.

How often should a man wash his hair?

The ideal frequency of hair washing is different for everyone and will depend on a number of factors specific to styles of hair. Although, as a standard rule of thumb, you should aim to wash your hair two-to-three times per week. Any more than that and you risk stripping your hair of its natural oils and depriving it from what it needs to prevent dryness, dandruff and damage. Any less and you risk oils accumulating, leading to greasy, odorous hair.

Here’s how often you should be doing each aspect of your hair care routine.

Shampoo: two-to-three times per week depending on hair type. Use a shampoo formulated specifically for your hair type. If you work out a lot, you’ll probably want to up the ante a bit here, as you’ll be producing more sweat and oils.

Conditioner: After every shampoo. Conditioner replenishes moisture and keeps your hair soft and manageable, it’s not something you can just skip because you don’t have time.

Hair oil: To ensure thoroughly moisturised hair, hair oil should be used anywhere from one-to-five times per week, depending on how much you need it. We’ll let you be the judge of that.

Styling Products: Whether you prefer a sleek look or a messy style, styling products like pomades, gels, clays, and waxes can be used fairly liberally, so long as you’re washing them out at the end of the day.

Haircut: This one is really up to you. Some people will swear they need a weekly trim to maintain their fresh look, others are happy to let it grow out. No matter where you fall on that spectrum, it’s recommended you get a cut every four-to-six weeks to prevent split ends. Frequent haircuts can lead to dryer hair and scalp issues though, so use discretion.

Hair Care
Getty Images | Sam Navarro

Do hair types matter when taking care of your hair?

In short, yes. Most hair care products are specifically formulated for a specific type of hair, which makes knowing your hair type and how to take care of it extremely important. We’ve broken down some of the most common hair types and lengths, so you can care for yours with confidence.

Straight hair: Tends to be smooth and sleek. Often prone to oiliness, look for products designed for oily hair.

Wavy hair: Has a slight wave or curly pattern. Generally more prone to tangles, frizziness and occasionally dryness. Most ‘everyday’ hair products should be fine, but products for dry hair could also prove useful. Hair oil could be necessary if you’re having problems with dryness.

Curly hair: Naturally forms coils or spirals. Is more likely to experience dryness and frizziness. Hair products for dry hair, or even hair oil, could be the right option.

Short hair: Short hair requires less styling and less care overall, but that doesn’t mean it’s an obvious solution for those wanting to minimise their hair care routine. Regular washing is still required and more attention to scalp health will be necessary.

Medium length hair: With medium length hair, you can experiment with a wider range of styles, but you’ll also need a more intensive hair care regime. That means keeping it moisturised with regular shampooing and conditioning. There’s no setting and forgetting with medium length hair.

Long hair: With the sudden revival of mullets, this demographic seems larger than ever. When your hair reaches shoulder length—or even lower—that’s when your hair care routine really needs to be optimised. Invest in quality shampoo and conditioner to keep your longer locks healthy and manageable. Even if you’re trying to grow it out, regular trims remain essential for preventing split ends and maintaining shape.

How can men get healthy hair?

Now we’ve reached the business end of our guide. The most obvious question in regard to hair care—and the likely reason you’re reading this—is how you can get healthy hair. As we’ve discussed, the path to healthy hair will be different for everyone based on their hair type, but there are a few principles you should always stick to.

Protect your hair from heat: While they may be necessary to successfully style longer hair, tools like blow dryers, which use high levels of heat, can damage hair strands. Opt for natural drying, but if you must use heat, using a heat protectant spray is a fairly simple and cost-effective fix.

Avoid over-washing: As we mentioned earlier, washing your hair too frequently can strip away natural oils, leading to dryness and irritation. Stick to shampooing 2-3 times a week unless your hair gets excessively oily or dirty.

Hydrate and nourish: You don’t need to entirely depend on supplements and pricey hair care products to keep your hair looking healthy. Drinking plenty of water and maintaining a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals will promote healthy hair growth from the inside out.

Beware of the sun: UV rays can damage hair and cause colour fading. Wear a hat or apply a UV-protectant spray when spending extended time in the sun to avoid damaging your natural colour earlier than necessary.

Be gentle: No matter how big the rush, avoid aggressive brushing or combing, especially when your hair is wet, as it can cause breakage and damage. In an ideal world, you’d use a wide-tooth comb or a similar brush designed for your hair type.

5 hair care staples for men

Aesop Shine Hair & Beard Oil

Hair oil is essential for those with longer hair, or locks that are prone to dryness. This particular oil from Aesop one of the best on the market. Formulated for wavy and curly hair, this silicone-free hydrating oil nourishes and softens hair, providing the essential fatty acids and natural oils your hair needs to be healthy. All without the risk of oily build up. An essential feature in any respectable hair care routine.

Evo Roy Wide-Tooth Comb

To prevent damage during brushing and combing, a wide-tooth comb is a must. This do-it-all comb is suitable for all hair types and can be used for anything from distributing conditioner and treatments to simply removing tangles. It’s also made with wood from environmentally conscious forests, to put your eco-friendly mind at ease.

Grown Alchemist Conditioner

A top quality conditioner should be a staple of any hair care routine. If you want your hair feeling smooth and nourished, it’s impossible to look past this conditioner from Grown Alchemist. Its silicone-free vegan formula prioritises natural, plant-based extracts like damask rose, aloe, bush tomato, almond oil and provitamin B5, which not only moisturise your hair, but also build resilience.

VitaMan Volumising Shampoo

Look, hair loss is an ugly inevitability for many, but there are ways to stem the tide and keep the party going while you can. A volumising shampoo is one such option. This one from VitaMan, for example, promises to add a little oomph to your hair by increasing volume and texture, meaning you can go about your day with confidence.

JS Sloane Mediumweight Brilliantine

Every man needs a pomade they can depend on for their daily styling needs, but the market is absolutely flooded with them. Pomades range from single to triple digit price tags, with little variation in quality that such a noticeable disparity would suggest. Somewhere in the middle is this pomade from JS Sloane, which is perfect for the modern man who wants to keep his hair neat, tidy and controlled throughout the day.


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