Thank goodness the Bieber craze is over—the pre-tween Justin Bieber hairstyle, that is. For a long time, every guy for blocks on end just wanted to be the Biebs with that shiny, flowing, and longish hair that blurred the lines between a one-sided part and bangs. Back in the day, it wasn’t uncommon to find “Bieber” or “Bieber Cut” right above “Gupit-Bimby” or “James Yap Style” at your local barbershop’s menu of services.
These days, the pompadour is the hairstyle of choice for men of all ages. From high fades to low fades to bald fades, with different variations of a hard part, and longer or short texturized hair on top—maybe even some wild dreads—the pompadour seems to be the 2016 crown of choice for stylish men and even a lot of fashionably daring women (Black Eyed Peas' Fergie may have beaten them all to it).
A variation of the cut that emphasizes short sides and longer top is also popular. Many former Biebercut guys have switched to this style, never mind that they’re a far cry from Colin Farrell and his man-crush-worthy beard.
There is still strong support for the classic man’s haircut a la Jidenna: clean, parted, a bit of sideburn and back fades, a little hair product to keep it just snazzy enough but formal and subdued at the same time. Then, of course, there’s the ever-popular shaved or bald look, popular not just among athletes but also among many men who like the accent of a good Oakley and one loop earring, maybe a healthy beard too (think prime Andre Agassi's pirate look; John Travolta in From Paris with Love).
Men put such a high premium on their hair it’s no wonder a lot of the womenfolk cry foul when guys call them out for being vain. Because in reality, a gentleman pays as much attention to the top of his head as he does to what’s going on under it.
It was the late Rene Requiestas who said it best, “Guluhin mo na ang lahat, wag lang ang buhok ko.”
But hair doesn’t always cooperate. The term “bad hair day” is just as true for many men as much as it is for women. Admit it, even that out-of-bed look you picked up from Jakob Dylan or—God forbid—Russell Brand probably took you hours to get it looking like that.
Why can’t men wake up to really great hair? Here’s probably why.
Most dermatologists explain that hair products all leave a residue when you apply it to your hair, just like any whitening lotion does on skin. Be it hair gel or wax, shampoo or conditioner or a combination of those two, it has to leave something on your hair to make it more manageable, easier to sculpt or brush, shinier or less so.
Some of these products are difficult to wash off. Wax—especially the kind designed to keep hair strands standing or grouped tightly together—is notorious for staying on hair for days. Petroleum jelly is another product that’s ultra-difficult to wash off. Although a small coat of petroleum jelly now and then is good for moisturizing hair and preventing split ends, some men use more of the product to keep that Robin Padilla circa '90s pushback looking neat and controlled. So if you do go that route, be forewarned: you’ll be sporting the same pushback for a week and using twice as much shampoo.
Lack of Nutrients
Your hair and scalp, just like the rest of your skin, need nutrients to look and feel great. What you eat shows on the texture of your hair, whether it’s too dry or course, or just plain dreadful and untamed and suffering from dandruff. Think about the kind of diet you have and you’ll probably find the answer: unhealthy eating is also bad for your mane.
Does this mean you have to stop using your hair products and just depend on eating the right food for hair? Not necessarily. Here are a few of your questions answered:
What kind of products should you use on your hair?
For dermatologist Dee Anna Glaser, MD, there is insufficient evidence to pick out a particular brand or formula of shampoo that’s right for men’s hair. Antioxidants, botanicals, etc.—so many formulas are present in that bottle of shampoo in your bathroom, and they’re all equally good. The real test is how it smells and feels on your hair.
As for fighting dandruff, there are additional ingredients to bank on. Selenium sulfide, zinc, tar, salicylic acid, ketoconazole, and other ingredients are all effective in treating the dreaded scalp condition.
Dermatologist Carolyn Jacob, MD, explains that dandruff may be a form of overreaction to naturally occurring yeast on skin. The kind of dandruff shampoo you use to treat it depends on what works for you, so keep trying a formulation until you find one that’s effective. Remember, not all scalps are the same.
How can you cure dry hair?
Dryness is the most common culprit behind unruly hair. To cure that dry hair, give it some much-needed time off the hair products. Instead, use any of the following:
Proteins and vitamin B are great for hair—and beer has lots of them. After washing, spray your hair with beer instead of using conditioner. You can also mix beer with eggs and jojoba oil or apple cider vinegar to make a conditioner instead.
Your scalp needs nourishment too, and sesame oil helps its blood circulation. It also strengthens hair strands. Mix sesame oil, lemon juice, and root juice, apply to hair, wrap with hot towel, then shampoo after an hour.
There’s a reason for the aloe vera craze in shampoos back in the '90s. Break the leaves of the aloe vera plant and apply the juice directly to your hair. Leave it on for a few minutes then wash it off.
There are many other products—some you’ll find in your refrigerator—that can help you get over your dry hair. Just make sure to do some research on any of the products you find in there—eggs, mayonnaise, etc.—before using them.
Here’s a pro tip for longer lasting great hair: your shower head needs filter for chlorine. Chlorine is notorious for damaging hair, causing dandruff, and wreaking all sorts of havoc on your hair and scalp.
How can you prevent dry hair in the future?
Contrary to popular belief, the best kind of water for rinsing your hair is cold water, not warm water. Coupled with that filtered shower, cold water will be doing your hair a favor.
In addition, here are more tips for healthy hair:
1) Wash your hair only every two days or so. Avoid touching it to prevent germs from transferring to your hair and scalp.
2) For guys with long locks, know that a tight ponytail will eventually damage it, so just let it loose.
3) Wear a cap when going out to protect your hair and scalp from heat. But be sure to wear a cap that’s not too tight.
4) Eat a balanced diet. Throw in some eggs, oysters, blueberries, salmon, spinach, and walnuts now and then.
5) Don’t smoke. Tobacco smoke damages everything it touches.
6) Replace your ordinary pillowcase with satin or silk.
7) Remember that what causes you stress also does the same to your hair. Avoid stress if you can, and practice relaxation activities.
8) Don’t over-style. The residues from the chemicals will do a number on your hair before long.
9) Sunscreen can be used on your scalp. If you can find spray-on sunscreen, better for your hair.
Hair is a huge part of what completes your look. It’s easy to neglect it and think the next shower will help tame it. The truth is, everything you do to your hair—from shampooing to dyeing—may leave something that makes it struggle to stay healthy, strong, and looking great.
So whenever you feel like buying something off the racks at your local supermarket to put on your hair, remember that the most popular isn’t always the best for you. Find a hair care routine that works for your hair and scalp and stick to it.