The Men’s Guide To Having A Good Hair Day
Five ways to keep your barnet in check, whatever the weather
A man’s hair is the crown he wears every day. If it is behaving well, doing as it’s told, it has the ability to put a spring in your step. And as sure as that is true, a bad hair day can do the opposite and drag you all the way down. The success of an important meeting can depend on your hairstyle and your follicles. A date can be derailed by a halo of frizz from an unexpected cloud burst, the sweaty remnants of a workout, the faded glory of a month-old haircut or the vertiginous quiff with a flimsy scaffold of hair gunk. Bad hair days are wiley and come in all manner of guises. Here are our five tips for preventing them and making every day a good hair day.
Preparation, preparation, preparation
Looking good is never an accident. Organisation is key. “The foundation to a good hair day is a great haircut,” says session stylist Mr Davide Barbieri, who’s coiffed the heads of notable men such as Mr Douglas Booth and Mr Ansel Elgort. “Trim it regularly and seek professional advice over what style is best for your hair type.” Indeed, have a decent stylist on speed dial, make sure appointments are pre-booked if they are in demand and regularly review whether a style is still working for you. Changes in hair density, texture and the emergence of greys need to be taken into account. Arming yourself with the right tools for the job is incredibly important. Using a quality hairdryer or straightening irons helps give your style endurance throughout the day. Equally important is how you sleep. A silk pillowcase creates less static and tangles than cotton or a synthetic mix. Soft, natural-bristle brushes are kinder to hair that is prone to breakage and use a tail comb to achieve a precise parting.
Change old habits
Shampooing less and towelling gently are just two of the tips Mr Barbieri suggests for improving your haircare routine. “Rubbing vigorously can damage and dry out the hair, leaving it more prone to a frizzy texture,” he says. “Shampoo every day if your hair is oily, but every couple of days is ideal for normal hair. When it’s not a shampoo day, rinse hair with water to minimise product build-up, which can make the hair heavy and more difficult to style.” Switching shower times can also be beneficial. “If your hair is fine or thin, consider washing it before bed instead of at the start of the day,” says Mr Barbieri. “In the morning, apply a thickening lotion to give hair more volume as an extra stage before the finishing product.”
Grab a quick fix
If you are washing it, take the edge off by using a dry texturising styling aid or salt spray. Gone overboard on the gel and no time for a shower? To remove it quickly, spritz with warm water and towel-dry. Conversely, if you’re in need of a haircut but don’t have the time, Mr Barbieri advises applying a bit more styling product than usual. “Make sure you apply the product evenly and shape it, squashing hair down at the sides and back to tidy messy bits,” he says. Later in the day, refresh your look with a little finishing product. A curl enhancer, for example, can revive flagging, shapeless coils.
Pump up the protein
Good hair days in the long term require a good diet. Ms Eve Kalinik, nutritionist and author of Be Good To Your Gut: The Ultimate Guide To Gut Health, outlines the important food group for strong hair. “Hair is essentially made of protein, so ensure you include a natural source in every meal,” she says. “This can include organic meat and poultry, fish, eggs, cheese, yogurt, pulses and legumes. The ideal daily amount of protein would be the equivalent amount in grams/ounces to your weight in kilograms/pounds,” she continues. Also, pay attention to “taking sufficient amounts of omega-3 essential fatty acids, found most abundantly in oily fish. It’s also in organic, grass-fed meat, organic eggs and plant-based foods such as flaxseed, chia seeds and walnuts.”
ACE your supplements
Follicle-fuelling nutrients and minerals include iron and vitamins A, C and E. “Iron has a crucial role in helping red blood cells carry oxygen to the cells that influence healthy hair growth,” says Ms Kalinik. “Vitamin A helps with cell growth. Vitamin C supports collagen production, important for hair also, and vitamin E provides healthy oils and antioxidant benefits.” Foods high in iron include eggs and lentils. Sweet potatoes and butternut squash are high in vitamin A. Peppers, broccoli and spinach are good sources of vitamin C and nuts and seeds, such as almonds, contain good levels of vitamin E. “I would also encourage adding a probiotic to your diet to make sure the gut is absorbing these nutrients adequately,” says Ms Kalinik. “Weak hair and nails can be a first indication of poor absorption.”