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A Guide: Hair Types for Men

A Guide: Hair Types for Men

This guide is approximately a 7-minute read.

Ever borrow a buddy's shampoo or try the shampoo and conditioner at a hotel, ending up with a bad hair day as a result? If so, you might have your own hair to thank!

You see, there are a number of men's hair types, and each type has its own specific needs when it comes to daily hair care and styling. Using the wrong products can leave your hair unruly, making it important that you identify your hair type and know the differences between men's hair types and how they impact hair care and styling.

This guide will teach you how to determine men's hair types, so that you can make solid decisions regarding your own hair care regimen so you can improve your chances of making every day a good hair day.

Let’s dive in.


A Guide: Hair Types for Men

There are actually two different systems for how to determine men's hair types: men's hair types related to thickness and men's hair types related to texture.

Your hair will fall into both a thickness and a texture category, so you'll need to consider both when you're shopping for hair products.

We’ll start with thickness.


Types of Hair Thickness for Men

Here is a guide to how to determine men's hair types by thickness:

Thick Hair

How to Identify It:

If your hair is thick, you either have a lot of hair strands or the individual strands of your hair are wide in size. Thick hair often takes a long time to dry, especially when it's medium length or longer. Your hair will also look very full without any areas of scalp showing.

Thick Hair

What to Consider When Shopping for Hair Products:

Thick hair needs regular conditioning to remain manageable. No matter what the length and texture of your hair are, you can't afford to skip conditioner if you want to keep your locks from becoming a wild mane.

You will also need styling aids with strong hold to keep your style in place throughout the day.

If you have thick hair, check out our guide on how to choose hair products for men with thick hair.


Another Tip:

  • A short haircut with a thick hair type is a surefire recipe for a cowlick. Choose a very short, almost shaved style or go for a medium-length or longer style to avoid the problem of hair sticking up in strange directions.


Fine or Thin Hair

How to Identify It:

Fine and thin hair provide similar challenges, but are slightly different. Fine hair is made of up of very thin strands, while thin hair means sparser growth. 

Fine Hair

Many men develop problems with thinning as they age, so it's possible to have thick hair when you're in your 20s and gradually develop thin hair in your 30s, 40s, and beyond.

Both fine and thin hair are often limp and lifeless - and with thin hair, it's often possible to see the scalp through the growth.


What to Consider When Shopping for Hair Products:

Volumizing products are highly beneficial for men with fine and thinning hair. These products can help to widen the hair strands temporarily, making both hair types appear fuller. Some volumizing products also stiffen the roots of the hair, lifting it to add body.

An example of a men's shampoo that creates thicker, stronger hair is the Daily Strengthening Shampoo from Brickell:

 Brickell Daily Strengthening Shampoo

Typically, lighter hold products are best for men with fine and/or thin hair. Your locks are also more likely to become damaged, so it's a good idea to use a heat protector before blow drying and to avoid products that contain sulfates, which can be hard on the strands.

If you have thinning hair, you may want to add hair loss products to your regimen. These include botanical-based shampoos and treatments that use ingredients like caffeine to stimulate circulation to the scalp to encourage growth.

If you have fine and/or thin hair, check out our guide on how to choose hair products for men with fine or thin hair.


Other Tips:

  • You can make your hair look much fuller with the right haircut. You can find extra short, short, medium, and long styles that can give your hair a boost of volume. Talk to your barber or stylist about the options.
  • Blow-drying your hair will help you to add volume while you dry it. For best results, choose a model with ionic technology and either a tourmaline or ceramic heating element. These professional quality hair dryers help to reduce frizz by neutralizing static, and they'll leave your hair looking shiny.


Normal Hair

How to Identify It:

If your hair isn’t thick or thin/fine, your hair is considered normal thickness.


What to Consider When Shopping for Hair Products:

You won't need to think too much about your hair thickness when you're choosing hair care products if you have normal hair. A basic hair care regimen that's suitable for your hair texture will give you great results.

Medium to strong hold styling aids are a good choice for you.


Another Tip:

  • Avoid having your sides and back cut with clippers or a razor. A blended hairstyle that is cut with scissors will be the most flattering look for you.


Types of Hair Texture for Men

Here is a guide on how to determine men's hair types by texture:

Straight Hair

How to Identify It:

Straight hair grows without bending from the root all the way to the end if you allow it to air dry naturally.

Striaght Hair

Of course, straight hair can end up bent and wavy if you go to bed with it wet, so it's best to check your hair's look when you've allowed it to dry on its own during the day.


Benefits of Straight Hair:

If you have perfectly straight hair, you can count yourself lucky when it comes to styling. Straight hair is much easier to shape than textured hair types.


Drawbacks of Straight Hair:

The downside to having straight hair is that it can easily look flat and lifeless, as it doesn't have much body on its own. This is especially true if your hair is both straight and either fine or thin.


Daily Hair Care Tips:

Letting oils and dirt build up on straight hair is a surefire way to rob it of its body. Wash at least every other day with a volumizing shampoo that will keep your straight hair looking full.

Conditioning too often can make straight hair to soft and difficult to work with. If your hair is very short, you can usually get by with conditioning just once or twice per week.

For medium to long straight hair, condition more frequently. Volumizing conditioners are the best choice for your needs. Just make sure you rinse them out fully to avoid leaving behind residues.


Styling Tips:

Medium-length haircuts with layers will give you an increase in volume and allow you to show off your straight hair to the fullest. Longer styles can look flat with straight hair because volume decreases when hair becomes heavy.

Hair styling products you may want to check out:

  • Mousse is an excellent choice for straight hair, as it adds volume and provides light hold.
  • To create sleek styles with a comb, a water-based pomade that will rinse out thoroughly is a good choice.
  • Waxes can be used to add texture to straight styles without extra shine.
  • Spray-on volumizers can also enhance the appearance of straight hair.


Treatment Options:

Straight hair on the medium to long side that becomes damaged due to heat can look unruly and jagged. Using a repairing hair mask periodically can help to keep your hair strong and promote a smoother, sleeker look.

Hair loss and thinning are usually most obvious with straight styles. If you’re noticing any signs of thinning, you can use thickening treatments to promote fuller growth.

If you have straight hair, you can also check out our guide on how to choose hair products for men with straight hair.


Wavy Hair

How to Identify It:

Wavy hair grows in a distinctive S shape that you can observe if you examine the strands in a mirror. Make sure that you check out your hair texture after you have allowed your hair to naturally air dry. 

Wavy Hair

Benefits of Wavy Hair:

Wavy hair can be thought of as the best of both worlds: it’s relatively easy to style like straight hair, but it naturally has more volume and body like curly hair.


Drawbacks of Wavy Hair:

The biggest challenge with wavy hair is frizz. When hair becomes dry and absorbs moisture from the air, it swells unevenly and can become frizzy in some spots. Waves can also form unevenly due to the effects of humidity.


Daily Hair Care Tips:

The key to keeping wavy hair manageable is maintaining its moisture levels. Because ordinary shampoos can over-dry hair, it’s a good idea to choose moisturizing shampoos for all curly hair types, including wavy styles. Wash at least 3 times per week to keep your hair fresh and clean.

You’ll also want to use a moisturizing conditioner after every shampoo. When frizz does arise, use a rinse-out moisturizing conditioner more frequently. After washing, don’t rub your wavy hair too much with a towel, as this can encourage the formation of frizz. Instead, pat it dry.


Styling Tips:

Medium-length hairstyles are usually good for guys with wavy hair, as shorter styles can stick up and look too full and longer styles can weigh waves down and alter their curl pattern. Blow-drying with a diffuser can help to diminish frizz and maintain the shape of your waves.

To combat frizz, work a styling cream through your hair. These products improve manageability and provide light hold, but they also seal the hair strands and make frizz less likely to form.

Pomades are ideal for creating sleek, combed wavy styles, while waxes will separate curls for messier looking ‘dos.

An example of a pomade is the Old School Pomade from Brooklyn Grooming:

 Old School Pomade Brooklyn Grooming


Treatment Options:

During the summer months when frizz becomes more problematic or when you notice your hair feeling straw-like or dry, add a daily leave-in conditioner to your styling regimen. For severe dryness, use a moisturizing deep conditioner or hair mask every week or every other week.

If you have wavy hair, you can also check out our guide on how to choose hair products for men with wavy hair.


Coiled Hair

How to Identify It:

Coiled hair is curlier than wavy hair, but not as curly as kinky-type hair.

To find out if you fall into the coiled category, look at your hair in a mirror after it’s been allowed to air dry. If you see curls shaped like cursive letter “Es,” this is the section of the guide for you.

Coiled Hair

Benefits of Coiled Hair:

When it’s perfectly styled, coiled hair stands out and separates a man from the crowd. Coiled hair looks full and thick all on its own, eliminating the worries of having to increase volume with styling aids.


Drawbacks of Coiled Hair:

The biggest problem with coiled hair? Most guys don’t know how to take care of it.

Coils can easily become frizzy and unruly. Don’t worry, though, you don’t have to shave your head! The tips below will help you to keep your coils looking great.


Daily Hair Care Tips:

Moisture is the antidote for frizz as well-hydrated hair doesn’t readily absorb water from humid air. To maintain your hair’s natural oils, it’s a good idea to shampoo only a couple of times per week, and when you do, only use moisturizing shampoos, which wash in hydration.

You’ll want to use a moisturizing daily conditioner at least every other day to keep coils hydrated. Make sure to only pat your hair dry after showering or bathing it. Rubbing it will promote frizz.


Styling Tips for Coiled Hair:

For the perfect style, you’ll want to keep your coiled hair either very short or medium length without layers. A diffuser on your blow-dryer is an absolute must for coiled hair. Without one, your coils will be far more likely to end up frizzy and to curl unevenly.

Hair styling products that you might want to check out if you have coiled hair:

  • Styling creams are true essentials for coiled hair. These products go a long way to fighting frizz by hydrating hair and controlling it.
  • Curl-enhancing mousses and sprays can be used to perfect your curl pattern, while gels can be used to give super short military-style coiled coifs a spiky look.
  • Pomades can be used for sleek coiled styles that are achieved with the help of a comb.


Treatment Options for Coiled Hair:

Use a leave-in conditioner every day whether you wash or not in order to hydrate your coils well. You should also use a deep conditioner every every other week or once every month to maintain optimal hydration levels.


Kinky Hair

How to Identify It:

Kinky hair is the curliest of all hair types. If you look in the mirror and can’t easily see where one curl starts and another begins, you have kinky hair.

Kinky Hair

Benefits of Kinky Hair:

Kinky hair has tons of volume and never fails to look full without any effort. If you have kinky hair, you can experiment with edgy hairstyles shaped with clippers and show off your personality.


Drawbacks of Kinky Hair:

Because it’s so curly, kinky hair is very difficult to manage. It’s incredibly prone to becoming dry and very likely to become frizzy as a result.


Daily Hair Care Tips for Kinky Hair

To maintain optimal moisture levels as much as possible, you need to be very careful with washing kinky hair. Shampoo only as often as you need to keep your hair from looking and smelling dirty, and only use moisturizing shampoos that are formulated to hydrate rather than strip away hair’s natural oils.

You may even want to use a cleansing conditioner. Conditioning daily or every other day will be important to keeping your kinky hair manageable.

When you get out of the shower, gently pat your kinky hair dry. Rubbing it vigorously with a towel will leave it frizzy.


Styling Tips for Kinky Hair:

Great hairstyles for kinky hair include clipped and sculpted styles, styles with height and classic afros. Air drying kinky hair is usually the best choice, but if you need to blow dry, make sure to use a diffuser to diminish frizz.

Pomades, gels and waxes typically won’t work well with kinky hair. A great styling product to choose is a styling cream, which provides hydrating benefits while making it easier to shape hair. Creams will also reduce frizz. If you need more hold to keep your style looking great all day, finish with a hair spray.


Treatment Options for Kinky Hair:

Hair oils and butters can be used to moisturize and seal kinky hair in order to reduce dryness and the frizz that accompanies it.

Leave-in moisturizers are lighter alternatives to these heavy hydrators and can be a good choice if your suffer from an oily scalp or scalp acne. Deep conditioning at least once or twice per month can help to keep kinky hair from growing dehydrated.

If you have kinky hair, check out this guide on how to choose hair products for men with kinky hair.


Step Up Your Grooming Game

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