For at least the last 10 years, I’ve been doing what probably most guys do when it comes to hair care – the bare minimum. We use a 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner to save time, quickly towel dry our hair, comb it and we’re done. And we do that every day. While that may seem like an innocent process, it turns out it can easily damage your hair resulting in dry, tangled, and/or frizzy hair at best. Personally, I noticed that my hair became very dry and frizzy. It also felt rough and tangled when I’d run a comb or my fingers through it. And for some reason, the front section was in worse condition than the rest. So, I decided to figure out WTF was going on and try to repair my hair since, apparently, I was unknowingly damaging it. Below are some tips that have made a big difference for me. The products below are used in the order listed.
1. Silk Pillowcase
i used to use a regular cotton pillowcase but now I use a silk one. When you sleep, your hair is constantly in contact with your pillow so having a pillow made of a super soft and silky fabric will help lessen any roughness done to your hair as you lay your head and turn around while you sleep. Plus, silk feels very good on your skin and especially your face. The pillowcase I bought is Spasilk 100% Pure Silk Facial Beauty Pillowcase which costs $20. With a 4 star rating from 764 customer reviews, apparently many other people like it as well.
2. Microfiber Hair Towel
I used to aggressively dry my hair with a bath towel. Don’t do that. You’ll rough up the cuticles in your hair. Now, I use a super absorbent microfiber towel designed specifically for your hair. Called a Turbie Twist, this product will make you look like a Punjabi sikh or a smurf but it seems to work and it’s super easy to use and it doesn’t fall off of your head. When you get out of the shower, put one of these one and leave it on while you do other things (brushing your teeth, putting on clothes, etc) and by the time you’re done with all that, you’re hair will be mostly dry. I sometimes pat down my hair with it if it’s still a bit too wet but that’s rarely necessary. The Turbie Twist super absorbent microfiber hair towel costs $13.50 for a 2-pack. It’s an Amazon best seller with 4.5 stars from 75 customers reviews.
3. Separate Natural Shampoo with Argan Oil
I used to cut corners to save time by using the Head & Shoulders 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner. That was probably why my hair felt dry and rough. Since many hair products contain chemicals that may irritate or harm your skin, you’re probably better off using a natural shampoo. The one I recommend is the repair shampoo by Tru Moroccan. It’s sulfate-free so if you’re concerned about getting cancer from sulfates, you won’t get it from this shampoo. Sulfates are what makes shampoo turn into a thick, white lather. You won’t see this white lather when you use this shampoo but that doesn’t mean it’s not cleaning your hair. One key ingredient I particularly like about this shampoo is the Argan oil. I have personally noticed that the Argan oil makes my hair not feel dry and leaves it feeling smooth and untangled. Note that even though it’s an oil, your hair will not feel greasy at all. This shampoo is also paraben-free. Parabens in personal care products act as preservatives and antimicrobials. While the FDA says there’s no proof that parabens pose a health risk, it is known that parabens have biological activity and can affect your hormones. Lastly, this shampoo has a nice citrus smell to it which helps wake me up in the morning. The Tru Moroccan repair shampoo costs $14.00 and, at the time of this writing, had a 4 star rating from 298 customers.
4. Separate Natural Conditioner with Argan Oil
As mentioned above, use a separate conditioner instead of a 2-in-1. I now use the repair conditioner by Tru Moroccan. It’s similar to it’s shampoo counterpart except it’s a conditioner. It costs $13.00 and has a 4 star rating from 227 customers.
5. Heat Protectant Serum
If you blow dry or apply any heat to your hair, you’ll want to use a heat protectant first, especially if you use a flat iron. I’ve found the HSI Professional Argan Oil Leave-in Hair Treatment ($15) to work very well and I’m not alone as this product boasts a 4.5 star rating from 1625 customers. This product has many benefits one of which is to protect your hair from heat. After I take off my hair towel, I apply a very small amount of this oil throughout my hair. Since I apply more heat to the front part of my hair, I put a little bit more of this oil in the front.
6. Hot-Air Hair Brush
After applying a heat serum, my hair is wet and oily. I then use a hot-air hair brush to dry and pre-style my hair. This step also helps straighten it and give it some volume. The brush I use is the 2 inch Infiniti Pro Rotating Hot Air Spin Styler Brush by ConAir. It’s got two heat settings, low and high, and a button you hold down to change the direction of rotation. I actually got this because my haircut guy would blow dry my hair while brushing it and rotating the brush. Since it’s hard to do what my haircut guy can do, I figured a hot-air rotating brush would get me close. It does a pretty good job and is very easy to use. When I’m done with this step, my hair is mostly dry. The Infiniti Pro by ConAir costs $38 and is an Amazon best seller with 4 stars from a whopping 2,234 customers.
7. Flat Iron Straightener
Now you probably already know that heat damages your hair. But, heat also transforms your hair helps it look the way you want it to look. Plus, with the use of a heat protectant serum, you’re limiting the damage that heat can do to your hair. Not everyone needs to use a flat iron but if you want to straighten some sections or all of your hair, a flat iron definitely works. Personally, I only use it on the top front section of my hair because, for some reason, those hairs are the most curly and twisted. I also have a little bit of hair on one side on the back that, for some weird reason, sticks out and curls in a direction opposite of the neighboring hairs. This used to be very frustrating because I didn’t like the way it looked. Now, these unruly hairs bow down to my flat iron. They just behave and STF up! To tame and straighten these sections of hair, I use the Laila Ali 1/2 Inch Ceramic Root Styler flat iron on a medium-high heat setting. I also use a plastic comb to lift sections of my hair that I flat iron which helps me evenly iron all hairs within each section. I used to use the HSI Pro 1 inch digital flat iron which I bought because it had good reviews but the 1 inch wide plates were too wide and the flat iron wasn’t really designed for short hair or for iron close to your hair roots. The Laila Ali flat iron is designed specifically for use near the roots of your hair and, of course, can be used along any other section of your hair as well. This is definitely the flat iron to use for guys with relatively short hair. Plus, it only costs $20 and has more of a masculine color, black and purple instead of pink 🙂 This product has 4.5 stars from 106 customers so that should give you an idea of what people think of it.
8. Ionic Blow Dryer
After flat-ironing, I sometimes use a blow dryer on hot or cold while combing my hair depending on the length of my hair and how it looks at this point.
9. Alcohol-Free Hair Spray
Depending on the style you’re going for, you may need something to hold your hair in place and/or give it volume. There are many different types of products that can accomplish this including hair sprays, hair powder, mousse, clay, etc. If you like mousses, there’s an all-natural one by A Muse Me / Winsome & Wisdom. Personally, I find hair sprays easier to use and more effective. However, many hair sprays contains alcohol and various other potentially harmful chemicals. One of the most popular hair sprays is by TRESemme. While it does an amazing job at holding your hair in place and, especially, eliminating frizz, I think the alcohol irritates my scalp and leaves a bit of a burning sensation. Plus, I prefer natural products anyway so I now use the HoneyBee Gardens all-natural hair spray. This hair spray is 100% alcohol free, gluten-free, paraben-free, phthalate-free, and contains no artificial colors or fragrance. Since it’s alcohol-free, it doesn’t dry your hair, but it will make it feel crispy where the hold is strong. Also, when you spray it on, unlike an alcohol-based spray, which dries and holds your hair almost instantly, the HoneyBee Gardens hair spray produces a watery mist. As such, you’ll need to wait a little while for the mist to dry for your hair to hold. However, I don’t find this to be a problem at all. I’ve tried a few different all-natural hair sprays but none of them were non-skin-irritating like this one. The HoneyBee Gardens hair spray costs $12 with 3.5 stars from 42 customers. Many complaints were because it didn’t produce a strong or extra strong hold. If you need super strong hold, you’ll probably want to try something else.