How To Care For Your Hair
An up-to-the minute guide to making sure what’s up top is always looking tip-top
But the years take their toll. Volume, shininess and a smooth finish become more and more elusive. If you want to remain looking sharp, it’s worth taking note of your hair’s changing needs. Nothing upsets sartorial harmony like follicular neglect.
There are, however, ways to keep things in check. As with anything, success is but a regimen away. With this in mind, we asked three of the best hair experts we know to show us how it’s done.
01. Go back to your roots
“Healthy and full hair starts with a healthy scalp,” says Mr Adam Livermore, who works for haircare brand Oribe.
Whether your focus is increased strength, maintaining thickness, or a healthy shine, your entire hair routine ought to begin with a thorough, stimulating clean.
“Lots of men have concerns about thinning hair, and keeping your scalp healthy and invigorated is a key factor in maintaining robust hair growth,” says Mr Livermore.
We recommend a weekly scrub with cleansing shampoo. This will help lift away any residue from hair products or conditioner from your hair. Cleansing shampoo containing a gentle exfoliant encourages good circulation and the clearing of dead cells.
Technique, of course, matters: rather than a hasty all-over, you should be gently massaging your scalp with the pads of your fingers. There’s a reason they do this at the salon – it helps to stimulate blood flow to the roots of your hair.
02. Play the hair you’ve been dealt
When shopping for clothing, it’s wise to pay attention to your body type. The same goes for purchasing a new hair product – each shampoo, conditioner and styler is formulated with a particular type of mane in mind.
“Using the correct shampoo and conditioner formula will solve 75 per cent of your hair problems,” says Mr Livermore. “It’s essential that you address your individual texture if you want your hair to really perform.”
Always read the bottle: we can’t say this enough. Some shampoos will be suited to men with fine, dry hair. Others will prove better for gracefully greying hair – Oribe Silverati contains a cleanser that smooths and controls while adding a flattering silver tone.
Mr Brent Pankhurst, a master barber in London, suggests a thickening shampoo that is purpose-built to bolster volume. Although there’s no formula to make hair grow back, we can all make the most of what we have by using a thickening shampoo.
Whatever you opt for, ensure that your product of choice is paraben and sodium chloride free – both lead to duller, dryer, less healthy hair.
03. Lock in moisture
As we age, hair tends to grow wiry and dry. Which means those with curly, rough or extremely thick hair can find problems are magnified. And sure, a daily conditioner can go a long way. But it’s worth thinking beyond the shower, too.
“Try kneading a small amount of conditioner into damp hair – and don’t rinse,” says Ms Karima Abdellatif, the product manager for Dutch grooming brand Marie-Stella-Maris.
Like the pores on your face, hair cuticles open and close. Open cuticles lead to frizzy, fluffy, generally unwieldly locks. The Marie Stella-Maris conditioner below is infused with geranium, which moisturises frizzy hair, and contains sweet almond oil, which gives shine and seals the cuticles.
If you’ve got particularly stubborn, dry hair – the kind that often unfurls or goes dull through the day – Ms Abdellatif recommends keeping a conditioner close. “It’s perfect to use as a touch-up styling product during the day.”
04. Get a cut
As counterintuitive as it might seem, a regular visit to the barber is a smart way to maintain hair that’s not as thick as it once was. “A high-quality, even and blended haircut should be a priority for men with fine hair,” says Mr Pankhurst.
When hair recedes in certain areas, choosing to leave the surrounding areas longer can actually have a detrimental effect. You look like you are “combing over”.
“If you go too long without a cut, the hair won’t remain balanced – in fact, it will emphasise the balding and thinning parts of the hair.
Instead, go for a sharp, regular cut – asking in particular for an even blend, all over.
“A short, even, layered haircut will make hair look thicker and fuller, and cover any areas of recession,” says Mr Pankhurst.
05. Texturise thoughtfully
Texture goes a long way to giving hair a fuller, sharper finish. While you might not have given it much thought, building a subtle, natural variation in layers or length helps create a stronger, sharper look.
You can certainly instruct your barber to carefully chop some texture into your cuts – but don’t underestimate the role product plays.
“A good baseline strategy is to start with a dry product for texture which absorbs sweat and oil from your scalp, texturises your hair, and instantly makes it feel mega thick,” says Mr Livermore.
A spray – such as this Dry Texturizing Spray from Oribe – is an ideal foundation layer for your hair style – particularly since it helps to limit the amount of styling product you’ll need to finish.
“Layering isn’t just for your fall wardrobe – it’s important to layer products to get the most out of your hair,” says Mr Livermore.
With less product, your hair is less likely to be weighed down or look flat – so it pays to use it sparingly.