Good male hair styling product for medium-longish, thick, dry, frizzy hair
March 10, 2010 9:16 PM   Subscribe

Calling all stylists: Good male hair styling product for medium-longish, thick, dry, frizzy hair?

I'm a guy, 30 yrs old. I have medium-length thick dark straight-ish brown hair. (Though, as I get older, it's been getting slightly wavy-ish or even curly, for some reason-- maybe natural, or maybe accumulated toll of hair products, who knows.)

During the last six months, my hair has become unusually dry, and the styling product I've been using for many years (Aveda Anti-Humectant Pomade) doesn't really work anymore, as it dries it out further.

For a change of pace, I want to grow my hair out medium-longish length. And create what could be called a soft-ish, loose/ disheveled/ messy/ tousled, but controlled/ deliberate look. Kind of like this -- with hair probably a bit longer.

As of now, if I don't use a styling product after shampooing and conditioning, my hair becomes: thick, very dry, puffy, frizzy, with a lot of split ends.

The new shampoo & conditioner & 'repair' stuff I got ('Moroccan Oil') is doing all right for making my hair a normal dryness again, but I need a good styling product to complete the aforementioned look. The trick is that it must add or preserve moisture.

Would prefer a 'natural,' environmentally friendly product, as the idea of putting lots of synthetic dyes, fragrances, and other ingredients on my scalp perpetually seems offputting-- but realize maybe there aren't any that work well, and am open to all suggestions.

Incidentally, I wonder what products one could use to get hair like this -- and this. It's soft-ish, long-ish, disheveled-- yet it stands up!?

I know a similar thread exists already, but that one seems fallacious insofar as it doesn't mention a specific hair type. There is no single 'best hair product for men'-- just good ones for particular hair types.

posted by cotesdurhone to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (12 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
American Crew tea tree light hold styling cream.

I've been using this for a few years now. Perfect for what you've described, i.e. 'soft-ish, loose/ disheveled/ messy/ tousled, but controlled/ deliberate look'. For months I couldn't get it where I live so I tried several other products but never found anything quite like it. It's very natural/non-icky feeling and won't seem like you're tearing your hair out when you work it in. Anything with alcohol in it is going to dry your hair slightly, and it's tough finding hair products without alcohol, but I think this one's a very decent compromise.

If you're really set on hair like this, there's a firm hold version of the same cream.
posted by sunshineunderground at 11:46 PM on March 10, 2010

It might be worth trying out Paul Mitchell's 'The Conditioner' and Sebastian's 'Potion No. 9' - the Generic Value versions (I may have the exact brand name wrong here, but I'm talking about the simple black and white packaged ones available at Sally Beauty among other places) are just as good and in fact I prefer the generic No. 9 - it's my 'go to' hair goo for whenever my hair gets longer than a couple inches.

Have you ever tried just not shampooing for a couple days and seeing what happens? Thick hair, especially thick wavy/curly hair, can sometimes benefit from making shampooings less frequent.
posted by jtron at 12:01 AM on March 11, 2010

I personally like LUSH's hair hennas (go with the closest shade to your own hair color if you don't want to alter the color, and use the directions available on the site), or Ojon's Restorative Hair Treatment, used as either a conditioner or left on overnight. Both are very nourishing to the hair, and I am a fan of both of them for great shine and great manageability. The henna smells kind of like grass or hay, and Ojon's hair treatment smells nutty and chocolatey, and if you happen to have an old towel lying around, you might want to use it to put between your head and your pillow overnight so you don't get henna/grease stains on your pillow, that's no fun for anyone.
posted by mornie_alantie at 2:36 AM on March 11, 2010

Based on your description of your hair's length and texture, you might want to try the Curly Girl method. (And ignore the "girl" part, I guess.) A very, very basic summary is that you stop using any products with sulfates or silicones, wash your hair with a light conditioner instead of shampoo, follow up with conditioner-conditioner, throw in some silicone-free styling product, and air-dry or dry with a diffuser.

I've been doing CG for two weeks and my hair seems to be behaving better in general. If I shake it out and let it dry without brushing or combing it, it starts looking a lot like the photos you linked. (Keeping your hair gravity-proof seems to be the key here - I put it in a beret while it air-dries. Mousse or gel helps.) I'm female and have chin-length, wavy hair, for the record.

There are forums and product reviews at - it's not the easiest to navigate but there is some good information in there.
posted by Metroid Baby at 4:23 AM on March 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

Before you make any change to your styling products and routines, be sure the problems you're experiencing with your current regimen aren't due to product build-up. It's possible that, if you get rid of the build-up, the dryness and ineffectiveness of your styling products will go away as well.
posted by DrGail at 4:51 AM on March 11, 2010

Before your hair gets as long as the photos you linked, you might do well with a quality leave-in conditioner. My husband's hair is curly/wavy, and he uses Tigi Let It Be. It's made a big difference in his frizz factor.
posted by Medieval Maven at 6:24 AM on March 11, 2010

You should know that Robert Pattinson achieves that look by being generally disgusting and not washing his hair. Seriously, I'm not kidding.

With your dry hair issues, and the fact that your hair is curly, you should probably wash less often. I didn't have much success with the no-poo method, but definitely don't shampoo your hair daily even if you wet it: use only conditioner on alternating days.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:04 AM on March 11, 2010

For Pattinson's hair-care method specifically, check out this link. Sounds like he says he only washes it once every six weeks.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:05 AM on March 11, 2010

Agreed on trying the Curly Girl method or similar. Using less detergent-containing shampoo less often (and moisturizing well) will probably help quite a bit with the frizziness problem. But you're going to need a haircut to get rid of the split ends--if you don't, the splits will just travel further up the hair. Keeping your hair well moisturized should help prevent them in the future, though.

If you're worried about product buildup, try rinsing your hair and scalp with diluted apple cider vinegar. Cheap, gets the job done better than any shampoo, and won't dry out your hair. Plus if you don't like it, you can cook with the rest of the bottle.
posted by asperity at 8:25 AM on March 11, 2010

Oh, and for an actual styling product recommendation: I like Biosilk Rock Hard Gelee. I try other stuff and keep going back to it. It works, it doesn't smell frou-frou, and a little goes a long way. If your hair looks crispy after it's dried, you can kinda crush it in your hands or a paper towel or something and it'll lose the weird wet look but still have really nice hold. Um. Good luck?
posted by asperity at 8:29 AM on March 11, 2010

Kiehl's Creme with Silk Groom
posted by mkultra at 9:23 AM on March 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

I swear by the Alterna Hemp products. I really like the sculpting putty. It has good hold but doesn't dry my hair out.
posted by white_devil at 9:39 AM on March 11, 2010

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