OK guys. We know that most of you prefer to spend as little time as possible thinking about things like fashion and haircare. But here’s a secret: the women (or men) you’re trying to impress do think about these things, and if you want to catch their attention in a good way you need to start thinking about them, too. Luckily, these 5 essential haircare tips will help you cover your bases and make the best impression in a way that is easy, inexpensive, and straightforward:
1. How do you dry your hair? If you’re like most guys, you probably just take a towel and rub it on the top of your head for a while until you hair is dry. Well guess what: towel drying is one of the leading causes of damage to men’s hair. If you towel dry your hair too roughly, you could risk damaging your cuticles and maybe even bring on some baldness! What’s the right way to towel dry? Shake out the excess water in your hair and then stroke your hair with the towel in the direction it grows. It’ll take a bit longer, but the difference will be immediately noticeable.
2. How often do you shampoo your hair? You’ve probably heard from girlfriends that they try not to wash their hair every day. Ever wonder why? Hair is made out of a protein called keratin, which tends to weaken when exposed to water. Therefore, to protect your hair try to wash it only as needed. For those with oily hair, this might be daily. But for most guys you can easily skip a few days. And when you do, use warm water, not piping hot. Massage your scalp, don’t scrub hard. And use the towel drying technique, above.
3. What shampoo do you use? Now that you know not to shampoo every day, it’s time to take a look at the shampoo you’re using. Let me guess: is it the cheapest one you could find? Your hair is worth a small investment, especially considering you have to wear it every day. Look for vitamin-based, moisture-infused products. This will improve hygiene and decrease the chance of dandruff (no one wants that!).
4. What styling products do you use? Gels can be great for styling your hair, but they can have some unwanted side-effects. Gels are essentially made out of plastic dissolved in alcohol. The alcohol in gels can weaken keratin (remember from #2?) and leave your hair weak and brittle. So if you must use gel, use it sparingly and look for alcohol-free products. On the other hand, pomades and waxes don’t have keratin-harming alcohol, but they do have heavier ingredients that can be tougher to remove entirely. Look instead for some of the newer, water-based formulas to avoid the rough shampooing you have to do to wash away your current pomade and wax.
5. What kind of hats do you wear? Hats are great when you just don’t feel like bothering with styling your hair. But if you tend to wear tight hats, you might have a problem. Especially tight-fitting hats (or tight ponytails, for those with the hair for them) can do some serious damage to your scalp and cuticles. Wearing tight hats can lead to something called “traction alopecia” in which hair is literally pulled out of your scalp, and over time the condition can become permanent. Pretty soon, you may find yourself having to wear hats more often to cover up those untimely bald spots!