If you have curly hair, you probably put more hours into your styling regimen than other guys. Although adorable and quite trendy at the moment, curls come with their own set of problems. Even the best curly hairstyles for men are notorious for losing their shape or frizzing out after a heavy sweat session, which makes humidity exposure or looking fresh after the gym a bit of an issue.
Let’s get real here: We all want to look like we’ve been hitting the gym hard lately, but we certainly don’t want to smell like it. Keeping ourselves both looking and feeling fresh, especially after a midday workout, is crucial to maintaining clean, healthy, well-rounded habits. It’s important, therefore, to know how best to keep your look crisp and on-point without having to sacrifice hygiene.
Read on to discover simple care tips for the best curly hairstyles for men that hold their own, even after an intense workout:
1. Rinse off
2. Use a leave-in spray
Unless you’ve managed the impossible and perspired only from the neck down (teach us, kind sirs!), chances are your head is feeling (and smelling) extra ripe and sweaty right now. Cleanse your hair with a super-satisfying clarifying shampoo and conditioner (we like Bed Head for Men by TIGI Clean Up Daily Shampoo) to get rid of dirt and ickiness. If you’re rinsing off at the gym, choose a moisturizing 2-in-1 such as Axe Shampoo Max Hydrate 2-in-1 Shampoo and Conditioner to provide your strands with a jolt of hydration (and save space in your locker).
Curly hair is needy—it requires an extra shot of moisture directly after conditioner that can help detangle it before you blow-dry. We like the lightweight feel of Dove Quench Absolute Leave-In Detangler, which makes that hot mess more manageable without an overly fruity scent.
3. Use a blowdryer
It really is the best in drying your hair quickly and efficiently. Higher-end models (like in your girlfriend’s shower drawer) have more sophisticated settings that can help you control the heat, unlike those dinky little hotel blowdryers that barely emit any air at all. Choose a medium setting and a medium airspeed. Twist the concentrator nozzle vertically, then wiggle the dryer back and forth over your hair. Use your fingers to rough-dry and continue this process until your hair is around 85 to 90% dry.
4. Apply a curl-friendly product
A softening cream or curl-defining lotion, such as the TRESemmé Make Waves Shine Enhancing Cream, can provide a springy level of control, while keeping those Cupid-like ringlets of yours from deflating, or worse, frizzing out. The look you’re going for is touchably soft, but with hold. Using a dime-sized squirt of product, emulsify/rub it between palms and rake through hair, refining the sides and hairline as you go. We love the texture guys get from Axe Signature Natural Look: Understated Cream, which is easy and light but gives a still-groomed look.
5. Blow-dry to refine and create a slight lift
Some guys like to give their roots—especially at the top of the head and near the hairline—a final five-second blast of warm air after product to create a bit of volume. Skip this step if you’ve already retained Greek-god status with those curls; otherwise, give your blowdryer a final shimmy on your crown for good measure, blasting with the cool button on the blowdryer to seal things in. Pro tip: Drying with cool air helps make hair shinier because cold air seals down the hair cuticle and renders it light-reflective.
6. Keep a leave-in conditioner
Get one for your gym locker, Dopp kit or office drawer for on-the-go touchups. You never know when you’ll need to spruce up your ’do without time for a shower, and leave-in conditioner or serum, like the nourishing Dove Quench Absolute Supreme Crème Serum, is awesome at refreshing your scalp and curls and giving those ringlets some new bounce. Simply apply sparingly all over your hair and give your locks a gentle scrunch to set. One and done.
What are the best curly hairstyles for men and how do you take care of them?