Hairstyles may come and go, but long hair on men never seems to go out of fashion completely. Thanks to the popularity of the recent man bun and blockbusters like ‘Aqua Man’ and ”Game of Thrones’, long locks are enjoying something of a revival right now. Whether you have Fabio-grade length or you’re more Johnny Depp in ‘What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?’, longer hair requires less work than you might think. That doesn’t mean you can just forget about it and leave it to do its own thing. What it does mean is that there are ways you can style and care for long hair without making it a chore.
In this article, we’ll give you lots of professional advice on how to look after your hair, achieve a great style, choose the right products and also deal with some of the most common problems that go hand in hand with long hair.
Long Hair Myths Busted and Problems Solved
Okay, before we get into maintenance and styling advice, let’s dispel some myths and deal with some common (but certainly not impossible to solve) problems that long hair can pose. Firstly, there is a big misconception that long hair is much more difficult to maintain than short hair. The truth is that long hair is the easiest to maintain. When your hair is short, you’ll need to get it cut at least every four weeks to maintain the same style. Long hair? You’re looking at a quick trim every couple of months. What’s more, you’ll never need to use a blow dryer as long hair air-dries so well.
And because it’s longer, you have so many more hairstyles at your fingertips. From long and loose to a tight ponytail that can you can tie back in seconds, long hair provides you with a wealth of style options. Longer hair is also becoming more acceptable, even in corporate environments. After all, you only have to look back through history to see how long, thick hair on men was a sign of prominence, wealth and power. You don’t even need to grow your hair to man bun lengths. Just adding a little more length to your normal style can give you a cool and sexy edge.
Be Patient and Let It Grow
Whether you have a shaved head right now or you have jaw-length hair you want to flow down your back, our advice is the same: let it grow. Hair grows quickly and while some maintenance trims might be in order to shape it up and remove split ends and weight, that’s all you need to do. Leave the length and let it do its thing.
Step Away From the Styling Tools
We’re lucky to be living in a world where anything goes. That means nobody will bat an eyelash if a guy wanders into a store and buys a set of straighteners or asks for a conditioning treatment in the salon. There are a wealth of products and styling tools at your disposal and they are great for adding volume, creating interest and holding the hair in place. However, use them too much and you could suffer the perils of over-styling. Hair breakage and even hair loss can occur if used too often, so step away from the products and the appliances once in a while and go eau naturale.
Using Poor Quality Products
Just as over-styling can cause damage over time, using poor quality or unsuitable products could also have ill effects on your hair. For example, cheap shampoos and conditioners could cause your hair to become coarse, dry and brittle over time, resulting in more hair breakage and damage at the roots. Try to avoid silicon-based and alcohol-based products as these substances can dry hair from the inside.
A Helping Hand For Thin Hair
Just because your hair is thin doesn’t mean you can’t wear it long. There are many good quality and very effective volumizing hair products on the market today that will add oomph, body, and bounce to the thinnest hair. Simply wash, rinse and dry naturally or with a hairdryer on a cool setting. Thinner hair often looks best at shoulder-length.
Essential Products and Equipment For Taming Long Hair
A good stylist will be able to give you a cut that is easy to handle every day and will give you advice on the best way to maintain your style and keep your hair in good condition. At home, the biggest factors you need to take into account are the quality of your products and your tools and accessories. We recommend that you invest in the following:
- Hair products – There are many products on the market that are specially designed for long hair. From grooming creams and finishing sprays to texturizing sprays to gels and pomades, the products you choose will depend on the style you’re looking to achieve and also the time of year. For example, a good conditioning spray is great for spritzing on before you visit the beach or if your hair tends to frizz in warmer temperatures.
- Tools – Professional quality ceramic hair straighteners and blow dryer.
- Elastics – Good-quality elastics that will not pull hair out when you take them out.
- Brushes and combs – Cheap bargain bin combs could do your hair more harm than good. Opt for professional quality brushes and combs if you can. They will last for years and keep your hair looking its best.
- Shampoos and conditioners – Look out for shampoos and conditioners that are specially designed for long hair. Products that contain argan oil are great for keeping your hair in excellent condition.
Styling Advice for All Long Hair Types
Once you have grown your hair to the desired length, it’s time to consider some styles. The best place to start is with a good hairstylist. Unless you want to embrace your inner hippy and grow your hair as nature intended, it’s time to get yourself a style that will frame your face and show off your best side. A good cut will also add texture and interest to your hair and keep it looking great.
If you’re a guy with long hair, you may be on the lookout for some advice when it comes to trying out new styles. We’ve got the answer with four styles that are easy to achieve in minutes and which will work with your natural texture or curl.
Wearing It Down
If you have straight hair, simply wash it and allow it to air dry if you have time. If you are short on time, use a blowdryer on a cool to medium setting. Before drying, you may want to add a little texture or volume, so choose a product that suits the look you wish to achieve. For a sleek and smooth style, take your brush and brush your hair downwards in long sweeping strokes as it dries naturally or with a blowdryer. For a more tousled style, use your fingertips to shake out your hair as it dries.
Wearing It Up
To create the perfect ponytail, brush all tangles out of your hair using a detangling brush. Grab a good-quality elastic and wrap it over your hand. Gather all of your hair with your dominant hand and lift it up between the nape of your neck and the top of your head. Move the elastic down over your hair and wrap it around two or more times to secure it. You can also wear your ponytail at the nape of your neck if your hair is longer.
The Man Bun/Top Knot
Few hairstyles have attracted more attention lately than the man bun. Popular, easy to create and practical, this is a style that is showing little sign of going out of fashion. To achieve this style, gather your hair as if you were putting it into a high ponytail. Wrap an elastic around your hair to create a ponytail and then wrap your hair in a ring or spiral around the base of your ponytail. To secure your hair and create the man bun, tuck the ends of your ponytail into the elastic and pull in the middle to create a tight bun. You can also create a looser and messy bun by pulling out strands of hair once you have secured your hair with the elastic.
Half Up Half Down
For an effortless look, you might want to try a half-ponytail. This is where you wear half your hair up and the other hair down. Half-ponytails are great for creating that rugged, yet styled look and are easy to create. Simply brush your hair and part it at the nape. Pull back half of your hair around the height of your temples. Pull this section back and into a ponytail.
Braids are great for those looking for a secure and strong hairstyle. You can attempt to braid your hair yourself, but for a tight and secure result, an experienced stylist might be the best option. Braids are especially good if you want a low maintenance style that is great for the beach and which is also smart enough for the office.
Taking Everyday Care of Your Long Hair
No matter what style you choose for your long hair, following a good maintenance routine will ensure your style stays looking its best throughout the day and that your hair stays in good condition for years to come.
Shampoo 2-3 Times a Week
Contrary to what shampoo manufacturers might tell you, you don’t need to wash your hair every single day. In fact, doing so could strip your hair of its natural oils. Instead, aim for every other day and use a good shampoo and conditioner. Try to avoid any conditioners that contain wax as this can make hair look greasy and weight it down.
Work With Your Hair, Not Against It
No matter what type of hair you have, you’ll find it much easier to look after if you go with what you’ve got. For curly hair, for example, making the most of those curls will be so much better for your hair and your routine than if you try to straighten your hair every day. Use an anti-frizzing product if you need to and allow your hair to dry naturally to stop your curls from drying out.
Massage Your Scalp
Did you know that a daily massage of your scalp could promote hair growth? This is because a frequent massage can help to increase circulation to your scalp and encourage your hair to grow faster. The best time to massage your scalp is when you are washing your hair or in the shower. Using coconut oil can also help to introduce vitamins and minerals that promote even faster growth.
Keep Up With Your Trims
Keeping your hair long and in great condition is very easy, but it does rely on getting regular trims. Aim for booking a trim every 8-12 weeks to prevent your hair looking unkempt, bushy or messy. Try to use the same stylist every time so that they get to know your hair and can give you the best cut and advice.
Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment
When it comes to long hairstyles you have the freedom to think outside the box. Use color, use texture, wear fun accessories and play around with different styles. Perms are back in fashion, so if you want to add some volume and curl, ask your stylist to show you the difference a professionally applied perm can make.
Whether you are just starting to grow your hair, are in that awkward growing out stage or have long hair that flows down your back, there are many ways to style and care for your hair. Just remember to choose the best products you can afford, to take it easy on the heat styling and to arrange regular trims with your stylist. Following these easy maintenance and styling tips will ensure your hair stays looking and feeling its best.