Close-cropped or free-flowing, tousled or slicked-back—if you want your men’s hairstyle to look its best, a proper haircare routine for your hair type is essential. While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to hair care for men (or anyone, really), there are some helpful tips worth keeping in mind when you’re setting out to create a hair grooming routine.
That’s where we come in. We consulted with hairstylist Dhiran Mistry to get his expert advice on men’s haircare basics. Here, Mistry shares his best hair tips for men, including advice on choosing styling products, how often you should get your hair cut, and more. Read on for Mistry’s words of wisdom and discover Kiehl’s best haircare for men along the way.
Men’s Haircare Tip #1:
Determine Your Hair Texture
When it comes to how to take care of your hair, Mistry says, knowing your texture—that is, whether it’s straight, curly, wavy, or coiled—is of the utmost importance. “Most people don’t understand their hair texture,” he says, which can lead to improper care. He uses curls as an example—men with thicker, curlier hair, he explains, often need more moisture than those with thin or straight strands. If you use products made for curls on thin hair, there’s a good chance you’ll weigh down your scalp and strands. The reverse holds true, too: Products made for thin hair are unlikely to provide the moisture curls need to look (and feel) their best. That’s why “educating people on their [hair] texture is really important,” Mistry says. “It’s about understanding what your hair needs.”
The best way to determine your hair texture is to wash your hair and let it air dry naturally. If it’s straight and sleek, chances are good you have naturally straight hair. Loose bends and frizz may indicate that you have wavy hair. Curly hair, meanwhile, is pretty easy to spot: It’s characterized by curls or tight coils all over your head. If you’re still unsure, ask your stylist next time you go in for a trim—they can help you figure out your hair texture.
Men’s Haircare Tip #2:
Use a Lightweight Kiehl’s Shampoo and Conditioner
If there’s one thing everyone’s hair needs, it’s shampoo—as Mistry says, a good shampoo is “really, really important” for maintaining healthy-looking hair. We recommend reaching for a lightweight shampoo that works for all hair types, like our classic Amino Acid Shampoo. The gentle formula cleanses and softens the hair while helping to add body and shine. After lathering up, restore moisture with Amino Acid Conditioner. Like the shampoo, this creamy, coconut oil-infused conditioner is suitable for all hair types. It helps maintain the hair’s natural moisture balance and strengthens the hair, leaving it shiny, manageable, and healthy-looking.
Grooming Solutions Nourishing Shampoo + Conditioner
For those who prefer multipurpose products, we suggest stocking up on Grooming Solutions Nourishing Shampoo + Conditioner. The two-in-one formula cleanses and helps condition men’s hair, and it doubles as a standard shampoo and a beard cleanser.
Men’s Haircare Tip #3:
Choose Your Styling Products Carefully
Whether your hair is short or long, men’s hairstyling products can help shape, sculpt, and hold your style in place, allowing for a better-looking mane. Their importance is supported by a quick Google search. Type “how to get good hair for guys” into your search bar, and you’ll notice that many of the top results will recommend adding styling products to your arsenal.
That said, there is no single styling product that works for all men: The formula you choose should be dictated by your hair length, Mistry says, as well as your hair’s texture. If you have shorter or thicker hair, Mistry recommends reaching for a product that helps shape and define the hair. Our pick: Grooming Solutions Texturizing Clay. The matte-finish hair clay helps add texture and definition with long-lasting hold. It can be applied to damp or dry hair and is suitable for all men’s hair types.
Creme with Silk Groom
Men with long or fine hair, meanwhile, often find they get the best results with “a cream or something that’s a little bit easier to work in,” Mistry says. We recommend looking for a non-greasy styling cream, such as Creme with Silk Groom. Made with jojoba oil and hydrolyzed wheat protein, this men’s styling cream helps smooth the hair while adding shine for an optimal styling experience. It also moisturizes the hair, leaving it feeling smooth and manageable.
Men’s Haircare Tip #4:
Address Product Buildup With a Scalp Scrub
In his experience, Mistry says, “people don’t really do scalp detoxes enough.” Deep-cleaning (or, as Mistry puts it, “detoxing”) the scalp can be beneficial for all hair types, but especially for men who use styling products regularly. That’s because styling products can build up over time, resulting in limp-looking strands, greasiness, or a “dry, itchy scalp.”
If you’re finding that your scalp feels weighed down or your leave-in products simply aren’t washing out as well as you’d like them to, we recommend adding a scalp scrub, such as Amino Acid Scalp Scrub Detox Treatment, into your weekly men’s haircare routine. Made with amino acids, sea salt, and salicylic acid, this exfoliating treatment helps remove excess oil and product buildup, leaving the scalp feeling clean and fresh. It’s suitable for all hair and scalp types and can be used once weekly to refresh and rebalance the scalp.
Men’s Haircare Tip #5:
Brush (or Comb) In The Direction Of Hair Growth
“Understanding the direction of growth in your hair” is hugely important, Mistry says, because it can help you determine how best to style your hair. “A lot of men just….push [their hair] back,” he says. While this method can work for some, it’s not for everyone. Those with shorter hair, in particular, run the risk of making their hair stick out at the sides if they don’t comb or brush in the direction of hair growth. Aside from making your hair harder to style, this can force you to use more products to tame your mane, which can result in product buildup and a weighed-down scalp. “If you follow the head shape,” Mistry concludes, your hair “will sit way better.”
Men’s Haircare Tip #6:
Get Regular Trims To Minimize Breakage
As your stylist has likely mentioned, regular trims are a must. Aside from helping to keep your hair looking neat and well-groomed, trims can help get rid of split ends.
How often you get your hair cut, though, depends largely on how long your hair is. Guys with short hair or fades, Mistry says, often need to get touch-ups “every ten days or so” to keep it looking its best. “If you have a short back and sides, [you can go about] a month,” he adds, while those with long hair “can go a couple of months” between haircuts. Figure out which schedule works best for you and stick to it—your hair will thank you.