Donna Kim-Brand

Hairy Issues in Men’s Haircare

We often speak of ‘healthy hair’, which actually refers to the body’s general state of health that shows up in one’s hair, for better or worse. For men (and women alike), good hair care starts with both a healthy body and a good haircut, with a style that suits your hair texture and placement, your physical features and the image you wish to portray relative to your age, ego and stature.

You can then follow certain hair care routines and use certain hair care products that will enhance your hair elasticity, strength, volume and shine. Here are some general rules of thumb:

· Avoid over-drying your hair and stripping it of natural oils either with steaming hot showers, direct sun exposure or excessive contact with a hair drier

· Pat your hair dry rather than wring or scrub it dry with a towel to avoid breakage

· Be careful using a hairbrush that pulls hair and causes undue breakage, wet or dry. Sometimes a comb is a better option when wet

· Minimize use of harsh chemicals as found in hair spray, hair coloring, straighteners, perms and some other treatments- opt for natural or at least gentler options when possible

· Minimize use of tight hats, caps or constant use of tight pony-tails, which can lead to ‘traction alopecia’. This is where the pressure literally pulls hair out of the follicles, which can cause permanent damage to the cuticle, resulting in hair not growing from there anymore

· Use shampoos, conditioners and other treatments specifically geared towards men, such as NUTRIfuse M by PRO|GEN that add moisture and elasticity even while cleansing the hair itself, exfoliate the scalp to allow natural vibrancy, and restore shine and vitality to your hair

Of course, it’s not always clear ahead of time which products will serve your unique needs and tastes well, so experiment yourself with a range of products or ask your barber/stylist, knowing they promote certain brands for a variety of reasons. You might also find you like one aspect of a product, like the shine it gives your hair, but not another, like its residual smell. So keep searching.

As mentioned, maintaining your overall health through proper nutrition, sufficient sleep, plenty of water, regular exercise and keeping stress levels down will promote scalp health and great hair.

And do consider updating your look and your style to match possible changes in your hair volume, texture, placement, amount, coloring or lack of color… as well as possible changes in your lifestyle, career and even your values. Like it or not, people will make judgments of you based on your looks, and your hair is a big part of your overall look. It works both ways. I have ex-hippy friends who really could use the scissors taken to their now-skimpy ponytails for a fresh, charming look as well as former military friends who would look so much less harsh if they simply grew their buzz cut out a bit. And I have friends who chose a different style to match their new identity as an author in one case, and an adjunct professor in another. They made their outsides match their new insides, or self-perception. Cool!

And remember, if thinning hair or hair growth is a problem, today there are many options available to alleviate the problem – ranging from topical hair regrowth treatments, to laser therapy, to hair replacement solutions. This is where the hair replacement industry comes into play big time. But that’s another hairy issue to discuss here at Hairchatter. At another time. In another blog post.

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