Curly hair men’s or women’s can be frustrating to deal with, especially when the humidity spikes over the summer months. Frizz, dryness, breakage, basically having your hair look like an all-around mess—yeah, not quite that appealing. Once you’ve got the basics down however, having a head full of curls is one of the most versatile things to work with.
For one, you’ll never look like any regular Joe on the subway and two, it’s already drier than the norm, so you can have fun with texture and product without looking like a grease monkey.
Caring for those ringlets is pretty straightforward business. Let’s get down to it!
The Best Curly Hair Men’s Hacks
1. Get a great haircut
And by great, we don’t necessarily mean expensive—just a style that looks well-thought-out, but still simple enough for you to recreate on your own. Whether on the shorter side (as in a curly or permed top with a fade) or long, like a mop-top, make sure your stylist shapes your ’do by following and respecting your natural curl pattern.
2. Use a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner
Curly hair is almost always drier than straight hair—it doesn’t sit directly on your scalp, for one, and the coils make it harder for your natural oils to coat from root to tip. Wetting hair swells up the hair cuticle so your hair is bound to fluff up regardless of what you do, so wash as infrequently as possible, and with products that moisturize and give you some “slip” such as Axe Max Hydrate 2-in-1 Shampoo+ Conditioner. This may help your curls look and feel shinier and more manageable.
3. Try co-washing
Steal a page from your girl’s handbook and get on the conditioner-only washing bandwagon, at least on your alternate days. It’s pretty much what the name means: Instead of scrubbing your head senseless with a sudsy shampoo, try rinsing your hair maybe twice a week with a cleansing conditioner. Warning: These products don’t lather up as much as you’re probably used to, so don’t expect that squeaky-clean rinse. Co-washing is a good off-day alternative for curly-haired guys who sweat/work out a lot/use too much product, as it cleans hair between your regular shampoo days, but in a gentler way.
4. Try a knot
On your other off days, why not experiment with a trendy top-knot, man bun or half-bun (a.k.a. hun)? Tying your hair up is a handy way to preserve the shape of your curls, and also literally keeps them away from humidity and frizz. Bonus: Your strands stay (and smell) fresh longer if they’re kept tucked away from pollution, UV rays, locker-room sweat, hair tugging or life in general.
5. Make a leave-in conditioner cocktail
This is extremely helpful if you’re on the go, at the gym or have 10 minutes to get ready for work in the AM. A half-and-half mix of leave-in conditioner or detangler, such as Dove Quench Absolute Leave-In Detangler, and water in a spray bottle revives your curls and revives your scalp, stat. Your curls will also look shinier and cleaner—simply spritz, scrunch, shake and you’re done. Stash one in your locker room or a small bottle in your work drawer, and you instantly have a pre-happy hour refresh.
6. Do a weekly deep-condition
Relax, it’s easy, and is only one more thing on your shower caddy. An at-home treatment (these usually come in tubs) applied once a week after shampooing and conditioning, like Suave Professionals Coconut Milk Infusion Intense Moisture Mask, will keep curls looking and feeling healthy and bonus. It helps make ’em less frizzy too. Apply a quarter-dollar sized amount on your strands, leave for five minutes—maybe shave or brush your teeth while waiting?—and rinse off.
7. Get the right products
A curl defining cream like Bed Head by TIGI On the Rebound works better than regular gel in achieving a style that gives you hold and control, but without flattening your ringlets. Avoid using too much shine pomade as well as this gives off a greasy appearance. Tight, wet ringlets can also look a bit dated and, unless you’re a Greek god or Casanova, aren’t really that flattering. Gals love touchable (read: non-sticky) curls!
What curly hair men’s hacks have you tried on yourself?