Haircare for men should be simple. The reality is that most guys don’t need to buy dozens of haircare products when a high-quality shampoo, a nourishing conditioner and a versatile styling product (and perhaps a basic beard care set) will suffice. At the same time, your routine shouldn’t be so simple that you lack the tools and products you need to achieve healthy, luscious hair.
So, if you’re a guy who is looking for a simple yet effective hair care routine, this one’s for you. Read on for six simple hair care tips to help you take the complexity out of your daily routine while keeping your strands in tip-top shape.
1. Determine your hair type and needs
If you have a drawer full of hair care products that you used once before tossing them aside, a lack of understanding about your hair type may be to blame. When you know (and understand) your hair type, it’s much easier to identify which products will work for your hair and which ones aren’t going to give you the results you want.
For example, if you know you have oily or thinning hair, you should avoid wasting your time and money on heavy products (think oil-based creams and thick pomades) that will weigh your hair down. Similarly, if you have thick or curly hair, you should seek out hydration-packed products that will help nourish your strands.
There are four types of hair textures: straight, wavy, curly and coily. These hair types can be broken down further into subcategories based on your hair pattern and porosity. You can identify your hair type and learn more about it here.
2. Use multipurpose hair care products
In the past, guys received a lot of flak for their unabashed love of “2-in-1” shampoo. And with good reason — mixing ingredients that should go on your ends with ingredients that should go on your scalp doesn’t seem like a wise decision. But there are plenty of multipurpose hair care products that can give you the convenience of the 2-in-1 without sacrificing your hair health.
Case in point: shampoo bars and conditioner bars. These hockey puck-sized bars can pull double-duty as a beard wash and a conditioner, thanks to their nourishing, botanical-based formulas and mild cleansing agents. Plus, they divert two to three plastic bottles from landfills, making them a win-win for your hair, your beard and the planet.
Another multipurpose product to have in your hair care arsenal is dry shampoo. Not only can dry shampoo help you prolong wash days (more on that in a moment), but it can also serve as a lightweight styling product for men.
3. Wash your hair less frequently
Like most men, you were probably raised thinking you needed to wash your hair every day or else it would become greasy and gross. But the truth is that lathering up with shampoo on a daily basis usually creates more problems than it solves. That’s because washing your hair every day removes the natural oils from the scalp, leaving hair dry and prone to breakage. It can also worsen naturally greasy hair by temporarily drying out the scalp, causing the oil glands on the scalp to overcompensate and produce more oil.
Give your hair a break by spacing out the time in between washes. How often you should go without shampooing ultimately comes down to your hair type. For example, guys with thin, straight or oily hair types may need to wash every other day, while those with thick, curly and dry hair may benefit from washing every four to seven days.
4. Get a low maintenance haircut
Some men’s haircuts are more time-intensive than others. Take long hair, for instance. As it turns out, getting that sexy, just-rolled-out-of-bed look takes more time and product than you might think.
If, like most guys, you’d rather not spend an hour in the bathroom doing your hair every morning, ask your barber for a low-maintenance cut. Crew cuts, buzz cuts, tight taper cuts and standard quiffs fall into the easy yet stylish category of men’s cuts. Buzz cuts are particularly low-maintenance to the point where you can skip the barber altogether and do it yourself at home.
5. Stick to simple formulas with natural ingredients
Personal care products tend to contain a long list of hard-to-pronounce ingredients, and men’s hair care products are no exception. Between the potentially dangerous preservatives, harsh surfactants like SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate) and artificial fragrances that can hide hundreds of potentially hazardous chemicals, there’s no telling what could be lurking in your drugstore shampoo and conditioner.
Avoiding hair care products with bad-for-you chemicals is essential. But let’s be real — nobody wants to spend their Saturday researching hundreds of different ingredients. Instead, we recommend choosing hair care products that contain simple formulas and naturally-derived ingredients. That way, you only need to research a handful of easily recognizable ingredients, such as Cocos Nucifera (coconut) oil and Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) seed oil.
6. Organize your hair care products for maximum efficiency
If you’re a man who takes pride in his appearance (nothing to be ashamed of), you probably have a decent number of hair care products in your bathroom drawer. Between the many different combs and brushes, styling products, hair clippers, heat tools and beard care items, things can get pretty messy in a hurry.
To streamline your morning routine and lower the chances of buying unnecessary duplicates, try to find simple ways to keep your hair care arsenal neat and organized. For instance, you could stash your bulky clippers and heat tools in an over-the-bathroom-cabinet door caddy. (Note: Make sure the caddy is specifically designed to handle heat!)
Another idea is to keep your everyday products together in an easy-to-reach area. That way, they’re all in an easy-to-reach location when you’re trying to get ready in the morning.
You can also use organizational trays and glass jars to keep your hair care products and tools in one place. Organizational trays are particularly helpful for preventing products from getting pushed to the back of the drawer where you’ll never find them.
Go Back to the Basics
Despite what men’s hair care companies want you to believe, your hair care routine doesn’t need to be complicated to be effective. With the right products, tools and techniques, you can get the look you want with minimal fuss. The cherry on top? You’ll save tons of money, time and plastic waste in the process.