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Hair on Your Head

Men's Hairstyling Products

So, you found the perfect hairstyle, got the perfect cut, but are unsure of how to keep it looking good.  It’s no wonder with all the different styling products men now have to choose from.  An industry that traditionally catered to women, and not so long ago gave men only a few options like VO5 and Brylcreem, has grown to mega status and can definitely confuse even the best of us.

Let’s take a look at the different types of products and how to use them, so you’ll be able to maintain that perfect look!

Pliables and Fixatives

These are the two categories that all styling products are classified.  Pliables, as the name implies, are products that are flexible and allow hair to move.  Fixatives are products that dry hard, and keep hair in place by making it stiff and unable to bend.  Your hairstyle and hair quality will determine which product best suits you.

Pliable Products

Pomades – Typically made of wax and/or petroleum products, pomades give the hair a glossy or wet look, and because it does not dry, allows hair to be styled and molded after applying.  It’s great for slicking down or holding hair in place for specific styles.  It’s greasy to the touch, and because it can weight hair down, should be used sparingly, especially on fine hair.  Course, thick and curly hair usually do well with pomade, but still use small amounts.  It’s best to apply to either slightly damp or dry hair, since it’s not effective on very wet hair.  To apply, put a small, dime size amount in the palm of your hand, and rub your hands together until the pomade is softened and disbursed evenly over your hands.  Then apply to roots and work it through your hair until your desired style is achieved.  Only use your hands to style; avoiding combs, brushes and blow dryers.  Pomades can be used on both short and long hair, for it styles, separates and adds lots of shine.  Because it’s thick and oily, it may take several washings to get it completely out of your hair.  Use of a strong, grease cutting shampoo works best.  Some wash it out daily to avoid excess buildup on the scalp, which can lead to acne, clogged pores and hair loss.

Waxes – Wax is very similar to pomade, but is petroleum based, and being a bit heavier, works especially well with maintaining short styles like flattops and buzz cuts.  It works well managing thick or unruly hair, but is not a good choice for fine hair.  This product adds shine to hair, and can be applied the same way pomade is applied with hands or fingers; however hair must be completely dry, since it does not mix with water.  Use waxes sparingly, as well, and washing out before bedtime is recommended.

Muds and Fibers – For extra added control of unmanageable hair, these products are a great choice.  They also add body and give the appearance of thicker hair, but must be used in small amounts, so not to weigh the hair down.  Apply with fingertips, starting from the back of the head moving forward towards the front.  The finish is matte and does not add shine to hair.  These give definition and texture to hairstyles that require a messy, unkempt look.

Creams – This is an excellent choice if you want a clean look that adds shine to hair.  Creams have the consitency of soft wax, but are much lighter than pomades, waxes and muds; yet still need to be used sparingly, especially on thin hair.  Creams are great at defining curls and getting frizzy or wispy hair under control; without looking like there is any product on your hair.

Fixative Products

Gels – Typically water based, gels give hair a wet, sleek and shiny look.  They come in varying holds – light to extra firm – with light offering the least amount of hold, while extra firm offers the most.  Fine hair requires a light gel, so not to be weighed down, and thick, curly or hard to manage hair does best with a firmer, heavier gel.  A small amount of gel should be applied to damp, but not sopping wet hair in the same way other products like pomades are applied.  After distributed, hair is normally combed into place and allowed to air dry.  Once dried, your style should remain in place if undisturbed.  Dried hair can be combed to eliminate some of the wet look, and should still retain much of the hold.  If you want to reset gel, wet your hands and run them through your hair.  Gel can also be used to add fullness to hair, in addition to maintaining style.  Once applied to wet hair, use a blow drier to dry, which lifts hair and adds volume.  Foams or mousse can be used in the same way as gels.  Inexpensive products can flake once dry, so use reputable brands to avoid this problem.

Hair Spray – This is typically the final step in maintaining your hairstyle by locking it in place.  Choose a spray based on your hair quality – fine or course – to avoid weighing the hair down.  Sprays come in spritz bottles and aerosol cans.  Hold the spray about six inches from hair and apply, avoiding the face and eyes.  Hair spray often adds shine to hair, but does make it stiff.  Avoid over spraying, so hair does not become heavy or too rigid.  Spray can be used with or without other products for an all-day hold.

I suggest experimenting with the various products until you find one that holds your style and works for you.  If you’re unsure, talk with your hairstylist, who will be able to make recommendations.  Invest the time to learn how to use these products.  A great hairstyle that’s properly groomed and maintained adds so much to our image and representation! Check out Pete and Pedro

by Aaron Marino


Past Topics

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Hair Loss in Men | Causes and Treatments -
December 19, 2011
Hair loss, of some degree, is an unfortunate fact of life for nearly all men.  Men of all ages and nationalities are subject to hair loss, with very few being exempt from this harsh reality. There are various reasons for hair loss: illness, nutritional deficiencies, extreme stress, medications, etc., but the most common cause is male pattern baldness (MPB).  It is recognized by the typical horseRead More»
Balding -
December 11, 2011
Is there a way to stop balding? Aaron Marino of alpha m. is on location at Dyar and Posta Salon. Master stylist David Humphries talks about the balding process including the genetics, balding patterns, and balding age ranges. Humphries also talks about anti-balding products and how they work. The average person looses about 80 hairs a day. Hair styles and options for those who are balding are discRead More»
Dandruff -
December 11, 2011
Dyar & Posta Salon Aaron Marino of alpha m. is on location at Dyar & Posta Salon with Master Stylist David Humphries discussing dandruff. Humphries talks about different types of dandruff, their causes, and treatments / products. If you have bad dandruff, you may need to take more time to shampoo your hair closer with specific products. Read More»
How to Pick a New Men's Hair Style -
December 11, 2011
Dyar & Posta Salon Aaron Marino of alpha m. and Master Stylist David Humphries of Dyar & Posta Salon discuss the protocol for developing and finding a new men's hair style. Pay attention to hair texture, color, and face shape with the new hair style. Bring in a picture to discuss with the stylist. Read More»

How to Pick a New Men's Hairstyle | Time for a New Style? -
November 18, 2011
Dyar and Posta Salon Aaron Marino Virtual Grooming Two months ago, Alpha made a tough decision about a new hair style. Change is needed and essential to stay fresh and current. He bit the bullet. Aaron Marino of alpha m. goes over the steps for finding a new hair style. Deciding on the length is the first step. The Alpha called a professional, his friend Stephen, who said to let his hair grow foRead More»
Men's Hair Makeover | Micheal's Updated Hair Cut and Style  -
August 26, 2011
Micheal hasn't had a new hair style in 30 years! He's still feathering his hair. Aaron Marino of alpha m. is helping Micheal leave 1980. Alpha and Michael visit Stephen at Dyar & Posta Salon who describes the cut and style they're going for. Check out the before and after pictures. He looks like he lost ten pounds in his face. Michael loves his new hair. Alpha's work with him has just begun. HRead More»
A Tale of Two Hair Styles | Men's Hair Cut from Long to Short -
February 4, 2011
Virtual Grooming Aaron Marino of alpha m. takes you along on a man's emotional journey about his hair. David has had long flowing locks for over 20-years. Alpha displays his before picture. He's a big dude with big crazy 80s hair. Alpha talks about assumptions about men who have long hair. Right or wrong, people have feelings and impressions about men with long hair. Now that you have formed an oRead More»
Coloring Men's Hair | Covering Gray Hair -
July 23, 2010
Professional male image consultant and style expert, Aaron Marino, talks about the options to cover gray as well as how to dye hair to look great and natural. There are two reasons to color hair: cover gray hair or to have fun. Experimenting with Hair Color You can completely change you hair color, because you can always change the color back. What do you have to lose? You can also add highlights,Read More»
How to Cut Your Own Hair | Short Hair Cut -
May 15, 2010
Wahl Styler 19-Piece Complete Haircutting Kit Professional male image expert and stylist, Aaron Marino, shows you how to cut your own hair. Alpha demonstrates how he cuts his hair and what tools you will need in order to do it yourself. Alpha is going to cut his own hair, and he's taking you along. He can do his cut by himself. It's more of how you style your hair rather than the cut. Tools neededRead More»

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