HAIR: A FEELING
Let’s be honest if there is one thing that unifies all the genders is the aspiration of healthy and luscious hair. But there is more to hair than just being a dead or materialistic element, that just covers your forehead for regulating body temperature. It is undeniably a method of manifestation of the expressions a person feels or wants to experience. It is so abstract and unique sometimes that people can also reach a stage of owning themselves fully when they have completed the task of owning their Hair.
According to a study at Yale University, a bad hair day intensifies self-criticism. It lacks the connection of the inner self. Hair is an extension of our personality. It is a creative element that helps us express and helps us get through hard times. It is a piece of art and a part of the soul. But one thing that comes along with Hair is its maintenance and care. I mean shouldn’t that part come more conspicuously, but for that reason, people think of it as a sort of baggage. We all know that women, in particular, take extremely good care of it and men sometimes become lax about it. This is confusing because women, in general, have longer hair (more care needed) compared to men who generally prefer shorter cuts.
Therefore here are some basic and easy steps for men to maintain a hygienic tuft of hair and to start dreaming of those luscious locks flowing.
Hair Wash and Cleanliness of Scalp
This point varies from person to person. Hair washing is a very essential ingredient for a healthy scalp. Not maintaining hygiene on the top of the head can cause a bacterial population resulting in itching and odor, thereby negatively affecting the hair follicles.
Factors like level of physical activity, the temperatures you stay in determine the frequency between each wash. Moreover how often you wash it depends on your hair type. People with oily scalp should wash it more frequently compared to a person with a dry one. And one myth to bust is that hair wash causes hair fall, on the contrary, other factors do.
Investing in the Right Products
Finding the best product that suits your hair type is really important and can elevate your hair game to the next level. Investing in shampoos that are sulfate and paraben-free is beneficial for the hair. Hair products for styling purposes can be classified as Light Hair Products and Heavy Hair Products.
The lighter ones include hair gels, hair serums, mousse, sprays, and the heavier ones include hair wax, hair clay, putty, pomade.
Honestly, using too much of any of these is considered quite harmful for your hair and can cause issues such as dandruff, dry scalp, and itchiness. But there is no denying the fact that using these products for special occasions does give temporary structure to the hair and escalates hair styling. Using these products more than once or twice a month is not recommended. Even after usage, special care must be taken so that the hair recovers from these chemicals. Never go to sleep with these products on, rinse it off with a shampoo and conditioner. It is always recommended to consult a dermatologist while buying hair products.
The Magic of Conditioners and the Myths of Oils
One of the best things you can do to your hair is apply conditioner after every wash for 3-4 minutes. This kind of restores the oil that was initially lost during the hair wash and protects the hair follicle from damage. Think of conditioners as the protective layer for hair thereby keeping the hair inside this layer happy, healthy, and easier to manage.
Hair Oiling is a substitute for hair conditioner, so if you use a conditioner frequently you can get off using hair oils-research backs this fact up. There has been no concrete evidence backing the fact that oiling increases hair growth. It sure does make the hair soft and manageable. But so does the conditioner. Though there is a huge crowd of fancy hair oils available in the market, research has shown that plain and simple coconut hair oil is the best bet and it at least penetrates the hair shaft a little compared to the other ones. Hair Oil also has the negative effect of reaching and affecting the skin, especially the forehead region which is bad, especially for people with acne or oil-prone skin.
If you really like oiling for recreation or massage purposes, then do so 30 mins prior to a hair wash and at max twice a week should be good to go. If you have dandruff, oily skin, experience breakouts frequently, scalp conditions like dandruff or Seborrheic Dermatitis, DON’T OIL YOUR HAIR.
Hair Drying After a Wash and Combing
Hair is considered the weakest when it is wet and aggressively drying with a towel during this time can cause hair fall and make your hair weak. It is also recommendable to pat dry your hair as soon as you wash it, thus taking care of it at the most critical time.
Hair Combing and Brushing is a very essential part of grooming. It provides a certain direction to your hair and also helps in blood circulation in the scalp. Hair growth is also accelerated due to hair combing. Just make sure the tips of your comb are not very sharp as that can lead to breakage.
It is completely normal to lose about 100 strands of hair each day and this shouldn’t be viewed as abnormal or stressful.
How to Find your Barber
One of the best things you can do for your hair is find a barber that suits you. This can sometimes take a few trials with a variety of barbers but at the end of the day, it could do wonders for your haircut and styling.
An experienced barber is a person who understands your hair type and consequently the best-suited haircut and styling. He invests time to analyze your likes and dislikes. But many people go wrong when they don’t express themselves and tell what they want exactly. If you can try showing them what you want your hair to look like instead of explaining to them that could help the barber too. Finding a professional and customer-friendly barber can be hard, so if you find one- DON’T LET THEM GO.
The kind of haircut you choose to rock depends on your hair type and your face shape.
Majorly Indian men can be classified into four categories of face shape. They are:
Once you categorize yourself as one of the above, choosing a haircut becomes easier and more sophisticated.
- People with Round face shapes should try to add length to their faces. Keeping the top longer, avoiding round corners, and adding texture and sharp corners should help in this case. Sometimes try using hair products for sharpness and avoiding sloppy or messy looks.
- Square Face Shaped people should try to balance the structure of their face with the roundness of their haircut. Add Round corners and avoid sharp corners and disconnections in your haircut. Basically, try choosing a haircut that doesn’t make you look like a box. For this reason, even a complete buzz cut suits this face shape.
- The most versatile face shape is the Oval Face Shape. People with this face type can pull off many haircuts. The main thing to avoid for this face shape would be fringes and overgrown hair on the forehead. Exposing your forehead should be your main target because that’s the feature that makes your face look long and prolonged.
- The Triangle Face shape is a little rare compared to the others. In this face type, the forehead is narrower than your jawline. Trying to make your haircut the main focus rather
than your jawline is what is happening here. Doing a fade rather than a buzz on the side should help this face type. And of course, keeping length on the top and playing around with it should help the cause.
A Good Diet Always Prevails
Yes, there is a relation between the food you consume and the hair you grow. A good and healthy diet provides the hair with the necessary nutrients and makes it healthy and strong. Hair is primarily made up of a certain type of protein called Keratin, which is also found in nails and the outer layer of skin. Maintaining a protein-rich diet along with the adequate consumption of water helps in the growth and maintenance of its Vitamins and Minerals especially Vitamin C help in the feeding of hair. Omega 3 Fatty Acids, found in fish, also helps in keeping the hair healthy and strong.
Try New Things
It is very easy to get tired and bored with the way your hair looks and a solution for this would be to try different haircuts, different products, and styling agents. You see, hair is a very subjective thing, there is no universal rule to it, and sometimes finding comfort or results when you get creative with it marks a feeling of great joy. But there should be a limit to the time and attention you provide to it each day, and sometimes not caring too much about it also helps the cause. Even during the most challenging life moments, our hair accelerates the exploration of our identity process by falling out, turning gray, and becoming brittle. Therefore enjoying and relishing it when available is the best approach.
Basically, a men’s hair care routine is one of the best things you can do from a men’s grooming perspective. Hair health is a reflection of your lifestyle in general and a good tuft of it can surely turn some heads around. Sometimes letting it breathe and going easy on it, meaning no hair products, can make you understand your hair on a longevity basis. We need to not only accept the fact that one day or another we will lose some if not all of our hair and taking care of it while it is still at your disposal is probably a smart move.
Take charge and love the way it is!
About the Author: Piyush Nahar is a first-year student at Manipal Institute of Technology.