Just for the boys

Choosing your hair products without knowing your hair type is like buying shoes without knowing your foot size.

Here’s a guide to choosing right
Men’s hairstyles are always evolving, and with each new trend comes a slew of new entrants in the hair care domain. Each of these products has distinct textures and is made for various hair types. It can be overwhelming if you don’t know exactly what you need. Moreover, the wrong product may mar your overall look, damage your hair, leading to greasiness, breakage and product build-up. So, before you pick your next hair-spiration, we tell you how to carefully choose your `stylist’.

Why ‘Made for men’?

Do you often wonder why men have hair products especially designed for them? It’s because until recently, men’s hair products available in the market included general items like an anti-dandruffdeep-cleansing shampoo, hair wax and styling gel. But with men, nowadays, taking a lot more pride in their appearance, male grooming products have taken off big time. Several brands have launched hair care and styling products designed for specific hair types, textures and styles.

Know your hair type
Choosing the right styling product is slightly more difficult these days, especially with so many choices. “For starters, to obtain definition on thick to medium texture hair and shorter styles (with or without lift), choose a matte paste or thick pomade,” says grooming expert Thom Robins. The plus points: You’ll have to use less product, and at the same time, can avoid that oil slick look.

“If you’re aiming for a more slicked down, low-side parting, opt for a softer paste or modern wax to help you achieve it,” adds Robins. For fine hair, go for a matte paste and avoid wax. It tends to flatten the hair and clump it together. Overall the mane looks thick, but e mane looks thick, but much of your scalp will be visible too because of the clumping.

Tip:
Apply all pastes and pomades (finishing and styling products) by rubbing a small amount between the palms of your hands. Apply over the hair gradually, pushing through the strands with your fingers. Use a little to begin with and add more only if needed

The ABC of your stylists…
Wax: A versatile product, it helps you achieve longholding styles, from relaxed bed head to controlled looks without adding too much shine. Also, it allows you to restyle without getting your hands sticky.

Gel: Good for thick hair, gel mainly keeps your hair in place. It is apt for attain ing old-school looks, like the ones sported by American singer Elvis Presley. Best for both wet and dry hair, use it when you want to keep the same look all day long. But once dry, gel can flake if meddled with.

Cream: A cream gives a natural look with a touch of lustre. Its light texture works for wavy, curly as well as long locks. Apply on wet hair to eliminate frizziness.

Putty and clay: They can be called wax’s relatives.
Putty and clay work great for messy hairdos, and for all hair types. They even add thickness to naturally thin hair.

Pomade: A pomade is somewhere between a styling and conditioning product. It is slightly oily but provides excellent control, especially for sleeker styles.
It takes care of the scalp at the same time. Suitable for all hair types, it’s easy to wash out too.

Styling tips for men

Matte products work best for thinning hair
Hair starts thinning for many men in their 30s or 40s. Use a matte styling paste or clay to make your hair look thicker. Matte products absorb light and instantly make hair appear thicker and manageable.

Shampooing dry hair helps remove wax
If you use hair wax regularly but struggle to wash it off, the best solution is to apply shampoo directly to dry hair and rinse. Follow this with another shampoo wash. This will break down the product, leaving the hair clean.

Wording matters the most
– Words like `shine’, `matte’, `dry’, `wet’ and `texture’ describe the look. `Hold’ defines the strength of the product and is often shown on a range of 1-5. `Pliability’ is another way of saying `allows you to re-mould the hair while styling and thereafter’.

`Less is more’ when it comes to product usage
Using too much product is one of the biggest mistakes one can make while styling. It makes the hair look greasy. Use products minimally to sport a more natural look.

Spray for a difference
If you want to swap the claywaxgel you normally use, simply squirt some traditional hair spray into your palms and rub into your hair for a little more hold.

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