We suggest familiarizing yourself with the best men’s hair products to read up on the differences between each one. That’s because the products you need will be drastically different for every person and their unique hair texture and density, but in general, you should familiarize yourself with smoothing and hydrating creams. They focus on lightweight control with touchable texture, so that your hairs don’t stick together.
Get Strategic Haircuts as It Grows
It may seem like backwards thinking, but you need to get haircuts as your hair grows out—particularly if you expect it to look presentable along the way. Think of the upside: You get to wear all kinds of hairstyles en route to the end goal. Moreover, it needs to be trimmed and texturized in order to look good. And a haircut need not be drastic; it just needs to be strategic, so that it looks good without compromising overall progress. (The same goes for growing out your beard, too.)
Secondly, this strategic trimming will help layer the hair to continue growing in the way you want it to. You can cut the back in a way that allows the top to pour over it, until it’s time to let it all grow in unison. (This will spare you from having a mullet along the way.)
Lastly, the barber or stylist will trim the ends ever so slightly, just to manage any splitting or breaking.
Shampoo Less, Condition More
Short hair or long, you do not need to shampoo daily. It dries and damages the hair, and signals to the scalp to produce even more oil than is natural, since you’re constantly depleting its sebum supply. (It’s weird that shampooing less in the long run makes your hair less greasy, but bodies are intuitive and brilliant.) You will also minimize the frequency at which you strip the hair of these same oils that have slid their way down each strand (aided by nightly brushing, of course). This natural oil from your scalp keeps everything soft, healthy, and shiny, and shampoo compromises that.
Shampoo is still good, but it isn’t a daily necessity. (Stick with a hydrating one, which will be gentle on your hair.) On the other hand, you need to be conditioning every other day, if not more frequently. It’ll help rid of excess grime as well, far less abrasively than shampoo. More importantly, conditioner is nutrient-rich and plumps the hair full of vitamins that keep it strong and soft. So, shampoo 1-2 times weekly and condition every time you shower. (Always shampoo before conditioning, always condition after shampooing, and don’t combine them, since conditioner restores moisture lost in washing.)
Get the Right Tools (And a Few Other Products)
Besides cream and paste, here are the other things you should have in your bathroom, so that your hair looks its absolute best every day.
Dry Shampoo: For the days between washes, spray dry shampoo at the roots of your hair to soak up excess oil and give everything added volume. It makes your hair more textured and lively, instead of limp and greasy.
Hair Spray: This is the finishing touch for any style. A quick zap will preserve your hair for the day. Just don’t touch it!
Salt Spray: A texturizing spray that also doubles as a pre-styler, which gives you beach-like grit for a piece-y finish, as opposed to straight, lifeless hair.
Blow Dryer: Helps volumize hair or activate styling products, to magnify their effectiveness. Get an ionic one to minimize heat damage, and get a diffuser and concentrator attachment for curls and root targeting (respectively).
Hair Brush: A nightly brushing will help distribute the natural oils from your scalp, so that your entire hair strand is nourished. This prevents split ends, and can also be imitated with hair oils that you apply yourself. More curly or coiled hair types will want a brush that targets these things—it’s not always a one-size fits all.
Hair Oil: A lightweight, nutrient-rich, and fast-absorbing conditioning agent. Apply a couple drops in the palms, then rub together and distribute through the hair evenly. Gives hair a healthy shine, plus prevents frizz and split ends. Can be brushed through for even distribution, and added to hair products for an extra pinch of shine and nourishment.