Hair care products for men
April 9, 2005 1:06 PM   Subscribe

Help me, metrosexuals! What is the best hair styling product for a man who hates spending time in front of the mirror?

My hair hasn't been longer than a half inch for the past seven years (I've kept it either shiny bald or buzzed), but at my wife's request, I have started to grow it out. I'm trying to find a product that will keep my stick-straight hair in place. Everything I've tried either leaves my hair sticky (pomades) or crunchy (gels). I want to put something in my hair right when I get out of the shower, comb it, and have it stay in place while remaining reasonably soft. Grooming secrets and/or product recommendations are welcome.
posted by lewistate to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (26 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I like tigi products. Specifically their catwalk pomade. Smells great too.
posted by CCK at 1:15 PM on April 9, 2005

oh and towel dry before applying
posted by CCK at 1:16 PM on April 9, 2005

I'm a Dapper Dan man.

Seriously, I use this stuff called Redkin Rewind. If you don't like the way your hair is looking you can moisten your fingers and redo it. It's not cheap though. All that Redkin stuff is pricey.
posted by wsg at 1:28 PM on April 9, 2005

Aveda confixor (a thin liquid gel) and elixir (a leave-on conditioner) after showering. I add a dime/nickel size of each onto the palm of my hand and mix the two with a finger. Then, I dip two to three fingers into my reservior of confixor+elixir and apply. confixor  elixir
posted by quam at 1:30 PM on April 9, 2005

A razor?
posted by fixedgear at 2:24 PM on April 9, 2005

A razor?

Funny, fixedgear, but I have found (much to my dismay) that shaving my head (especially if I'm trying to keep it smooth) takes far more time than combing my hair.

[Sidenote: If I could find a magical bald-by-choice pill that would make my hair fall out without leaving me looking like a chemo patient, I'd use it, but to the best of my knowledge, no such thing exists.]
posted by lewistate at 2:38 PM on April 9, 2005

American Crew Pomade.

It holds all day. You can get your hair kind of wet and re-comb it about 1/2 way through the day if you need to, and it will continue to hold. It is non-sticky for the most part (if you use too much it can feel a little tacky throughout the day.)

At the end of the day, you can rinse your head with plain water and it washes right out, leaving your hair nice a soft.

It is about $16 for a "puck". One puck lasts me about a month and a half.
posted by thefinned1 at 2:45 PM on April 9, 2005

Buzz it with clippers, takes 2 minutes when you get the hang of it. MAN UP.
posted by Scoo at 2:46 PM on April 9, 2005

If you're going for a "man's man" product, American Crew is always advisable. I would strongly recommend against the pomade though (sorry thefinned1) in favor of their fiber. The reason I oppose their pomade is because it leaves shiny, sticky hair that often loses its hold quickly. Their fiber leaves a matte finish and can, along with a quick squirt of hair spray, last for hours and, with water, can be re-energized in the middle of the day.

If you're trying to become more savvy to great men's products that women often use, try Bumble and Bumble's SumoTec. Amazon's price is too high; goto their website and locate a stylist near you. It dries non-sticky, has extremely firm hold, and, if used properly with a dash of hair spray, will last you for a couple of months (the jar, not the hold). Bumble and Bumble's entire styling line and shampoos are incredible products that are often overlooked in favor of more "stylist friendly" products.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 3:02 PM on April 9, 2005

SiezeTheDay beat me to it: go with the American Crew Fiber. Recommended by every stylist I've been to recently.
posted by schoolgirl report at 3:06 PM on April 9, 2005

Ocean water.

Seriously. I live on an Island and almost never wash my hair.
posted by sic at 3:10 PM on April 9, 2005

Scoo, did you read the question? Buzzing it with clippers is exactly what I've been doing for seven years. (I have never paid for a professional haircut in my life.) I prefer it buzzed, but I'm letting it grow for a while to make my wife happy. At some point, I'm sure, I'll give it and start buzzing it again, but until then, I need another solution.
posted by lewistate at 4:18 PM on April 9, 2005

sic, maybe we can work something out. You bottle and ship, I'll brand and sell?

lewistate, should we send the first jar to Iowa?
posted by weston at 5:24 PM on April 9, 2005

OK, I just bought three pucks of this stuff based on the dual recommendations. SiezeTheDay and schoolgirl report, I know where you live if this stuff sucks.
posted by sachinag at 5:27 PM on April 9, 2005

another vote for bumble & bumble, specifically the grooming creme
posted by gac at 5:29 PM on April 9, 2005

Actyva Fix Gum. The stuff is a little pricey, but it'll last you forever. Just rub a little dab on your hands and lightly work it into your hair and you're good to go.
posted by TBoneMcCool at 7:08 PM on April 9, 2005

Dang, fixedgear beat me to it - I'm a HeadBlade man. Oh, and lewistate, if you get that pill worked out, sign me up. Try something with DHT in it...
posted by attercoppe at 7:51 PM on April 9, 2005

When my hair is neatly cut, I require no goo to keep it neat. 'Neat' seems to be about 1" long. For a little extra hold, a good conditioner such as Nexxus Humectrus seems sufficient (the tiny amount left in method). But I find a bit of wind-blown disorder only enhances the appearance. Of course, I am no metrosexual, I'm a genuine queer. YMMV
posted by Goofyy at 9:37 PM on April 9, 2005

as i've been drinking far too long to not type, i'll toss this (as a newly shorn person, it's worked well for me, but i've not got much in the way of experience) in: wella liquid hair matte finish wax. it feels like shit goin' in, but apparently it makes it look just fine a couple hours later (if my recent experiences are any indication).

two cents, no refund, etc., etc, ....
posted by auslander at 9:38 PM on April 9, 2005

I second the buzz cut idea. I just got one myself just over a week ago and haven't done anything to it except towel it dry.
posted by Doohickie at 9:44 PM on April 9, 2005

Have you considered trying going with nothing in your hair? Sometimes that can be a good look, and as long as it's not in your eyes, there is no problem. I would try going with no product first. If that doesn't work, then try some products. In my admittedly limited experience, they are all a bit wierd, kinda goopy stuffs that make your hair hard.

This is the secret! (Only for men with hair on the tops of their heads that is about 2-4" on top, and shorter on the sides and back. This is my realm of experience.)

If I go natural, my hair falls down onto my forehead and I wind up with these funky Julius Ceasar bangs which is not a happening look in the slightest.

Here's what you do: after a shower, towel dry your hairs, then give about ten minutes of air dry time, and then, while the hair is still slightly damp, take about a quarter size blob O'goop and spread it into the the top of my head mainly. The sides and back don't need product so much, cuz those areas are already so short the hair pretty much stays where it should. Concentrate the product in the areas where it's needed, the longer hair on top.

So now the product is pretty evenly distributed amongst your hairs. Now shape your hair so it sweeps back away from your face to one side or the other. Most folks' hair wants to go one way or the other and you should work with the natural direction your hair wants to flow. Anyway, you have now formed your damp, goopy hair into the general shape you want it to be. Now leave it alone till it dries completely. You could no doubt speed the process with a blow dryer if you want.

After it's dry, in a mirror it will still look wet and most likely be kinda brittle to the touch. At this point, AND THIS IS THE KEY, run your fingers through your hair briskly, thereby breaking up the hard parts of your hair that are stuck together. DO NOT USE A COMB OR BRUSH - only your fingers. While you are vigorously working your fingers through your hair, also brush it back into the direction you want it to go and in the direction you originally formed it. After you do this, your hair will look dry, but it will still hold the shape that you want, even all day long...or night, as the case may be, AND it's not hard/brittle anymore.

This works.
posted by wsg at 1:46 AM on April 10, 2005 [1 favorite]

My tense drifts...
posted by wsg at 1:50 AM on April 10, 2005

I stopped using Fiber because I didn't like how stiff it made my hair.

By the way, my method was to wet my hair and then rub some fibre between my hands and run them through my hair repeatedly. I found that this provided the best blend. However, I really didn't like how sticky/brittle fibre made my hair. I leave most of my hair down and spike it in the front... but if my best friend sneaks up behind me and gives me a noogie at work, it would collapse my 'do for the day.

Instead, these days I use a Irish Moss styling cream that's sold at Great Clips under the Great Clips brand, of all things. I've found that it's a lot wetter, and the hold is a little bit more pliable longer, and it's a little more resiliant to crushage.
posted by SpecialK at 2:44 AM on April 10, 2005

wsg has the technique down (though I don't ignore the back of my head). Works great in conjunction with the aforementioned Fiber.
posted by schoolgirl report at 5:13 AM on April 10, 2005

Have you tried mousse? I have fine, long hair, and I find mousse does wonders in terms of making the hair look styled, fuller, and in keeping it from flopping in my eyes.

Comb your hair, then rub a handful of mousse into it, then comb again. Your hair will feel like there's no product in it at all, and the effect will last until the next time you wash your hair, whether that's the next day or a week later.
posted by orange swan at 9:16 AM on April 10, 2005

When (a girl with straight fine hair) had shorter hair, I used to use an Aveda wax product that came in a stick like deodorant. I can't remember what it was called, but you only needed a little for a soft hold, so the stuff lasted FOREVER. Aveda's a bit pricey, but totally worth it.

Concentrate the stuff near the roots, not the ends (this goes for ANY product you choose though).
Use as little as humanly possible. (You can always add more, but you wind up sticky/greasy if you use too much of anything.) Your hair winds up with more body and not in your face, but doesn't have the hideous crunchy gel look.
posted by SoftRain at 11:45 AM on April 10, 2005

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