I am continuing with my blog series discussing how to properly use common grooming products. The first part of this blog discussed beard care, and today I will be talking about and focusing on products used for hair care.  
Hello readers! Welcome back to the blog! I appreciate you taking time out of your busy day to sit and read with me. I love having the opportunity to sit down twice a month and directly chat with all of you. This new year has been electric already due to your support and love of the shop, and because you want to take care of yourselves! Thanks to that, I have been as busy as ever! If you’d like to come in for any of my hair care, beard care, or facial hair care services, give me a call, and let’s set up an appointment. You have the opportunity to renew your hair care system and get a look that you love, all while being in the hands of the Lowcountry’s Master Barber! If you have questions about my services and what you might be interested in, please don’t hesitate to ask. Make 2021 a year of self-care!
Today I will be continuing my current blog series discussing how to properly use common grooming products. The first part of this blog series was dedicated to beard care, and today I will be discussing hair care products. I know many feel that a nice shampoo and conditioner followed by a single styling product is all you need. While this does work for many, there is so much more out there that’s available to help maintain, care for, clean, and style your hair. I have to impress upon you that caring for your hair, taking time to learn more about the products available to you, and adding a little more time for your hair can be beneficial for what’s on top of your head and for your well being. I say this a lot, but self-care is not selfish, nor is it a waste of time. Your hair and mental health will appreciate it more than you know. So, let’s jump in and talk about how best to use some of the most common and popular hair care products.
First off, I want to address a very popular question that I hear a lot in my barbershop and when discussing hair care in general. How often should you wash your hair? Caring for your hair and your hygiene are very personal choices and you know what your comfort level of cleanliness is. However, if you want to switch up your level of care and make 2021 your year of self-care, you might want to consider what many professionals believe. Of course, how often you wash your hair will be reflected in your hair type, your sex, the natural chemical makeup of your body, how much oil your scalp produces, and your age. According to The American Academy of Dermatology Association, it is recommended that African Americans should wash their hair every other week or once a week. For Caucasians and other similar hair types, it can range from once a day to a few times a week, to when you personally feel like your hair needs it.
According to the AAD, one of the largest reasons behind how often you should wash your hair is based on how much oil your scalp produces. If it is more on the oily side, washing your hair once a day is normal, while dryer or chemically treated hair should be washed less often. According to the Cleveland Clinic, however often you decide to wash your hair, you need to be consistent with it. Across the board, conditioning is an important part of your washing routine. Shampoos can be very astringent and strip your hair of important oils. They can also dry out your hair if used too often. Shampoos ultimately remove excess oil, sweat, dirt, product build-up, and pollutants found in your environment from your hair. Conditioners protect your hair and help keep it soft, strong, and smooth.
Sometimes the most consistent tasks we do all the time need a tune-up. I’m not saying you’ve been washing or conditioning your hair incorrectly this whole time, but seeing it from a professional side might give you a new outlook. Sometimes the way you wash your hair can be the reason why you’re having a good or bad hair day. According to Today.com, one of the most important first steps is figuring out your type of hair, and picking the correct shampoo and conditioner based on that. For medium to thick hair, a product that offers more moisture is best, while fine hair will need a product that will help with its strength and volume and a product that won’t weigh it down. High-quality products that are all-natural with as little added chemical products can sometimes give the best results.
While there are many different ways to wash your hair, consider these steps. Start by getting your hair wet with warm water and placing a quarter size amount of shampoo into your palm and apply it to your scalp. Massage the shampoo into your hair until it has created a rich lather, and work it through your hair. Make sure to pay a lot of attention to your scalp. This next step is very important! According to Today.com, many hairdressers find that their customers don’t rinse their hair properly, causing a buildup of shampoo and conditioner. Also, there is no need to repeat the process. One shampoo is plenty unless it is an extreme situation where your hair and scalp are more dirty than normal.
Let’s talk conditioner. Conditioner, as wonderful as the effects can be, is still meant to be washed out after use. Leaving it in can cause dangerous build up on your hair and can cause it to break. After washing your hair and rinsing it thoroughly, place a quarter-size amount of conditioner in your palm and apply it. Massage the product to the tips of your hair, but don’t pay as much attention to the scalp in this process as you would while shampooing. Let it sit in your hair for three to five minutes before rinsing it thoroughly. While rinsing it, don’t scrub it out. Letting the water flow down through the hair rinses it out faster and without damaging your hair or scalp while doing so.
I know I just said that conditioner is meant to be washed out of your hair, which it is! However, there is another product, leave-in conditioner, that promotes just the opposite! These products can also be called no rinse or leave-on conditioners, and are traditionally used after the shower on towel-dried hair. They are intended to give your hair more protection, help to manage damage, help to detangle your hair, and to provide extra moisture. According to Healthline.com, almost every type of hair can benefit from the use of leave-in conditioner. For damaged hair or for those who use styling tools like a hairdryer or a straightening iron, leave-in conditioner can help restore your hair and help it style easier. Leave-in conditioner can replace your normal conditioner or can be used along with it. What is the best way to go about using leave-in conditioner? After washing and conditioning (if you so choose), make sure to rinse all products out of your hair. After you exit the shower and pat your hair dry of excess water, spray or apply the amount of leave-in conditioner that is recommended by the product you’ve chosen to use. Brush your hair after application and then let dry or style how you would like! For those of you who don’t frequently brush your hair, a wide-tooth comb can help evenly spread out the product on thick or curly hair.
Hair gels are still a very common styling product, but more often than not, not enough or too little product is used to get the desired look. It can be difficult to handle and can leave your hair sticky, flaky, and crunchy. While gel might not be everyone’s first choice of hair styling product, one of its many benefits is that it can offer its users a very strong hold when wanting to achieve a certain style.  One of the most important first steps in using hair gel is picking the right kind of gel for your hair type and the style you’re looking to achieve. For example, a messy bed head look will require a light foam gel that won’t become flaky throughout your day or become overly hard. Also, research the product that you’re using. Certain ingredients that can be found in gels, like alcohol, can dry out or damage your hair. The best way to start styling your hair is to begin with freshly washed hair. Leaving your hair slightly damp before you style can help the product hold better and allow your style to last longer. Start by putting a nickel or quarter-size amount of gel in your palm, and rub your hands together to evenly spread out the product and warm it up, then apply it to your hair. Apply it evenly throughout, starting at your scalp and working your way to the tips of your hair. Now, it’s time to style. You can use a comb to create a slick style or your hands to create a spiky look or allow short curls to lay where you want them to. To create an even tougher hold, you can use a blower dryer to make sure it stays in place!
Hair wax is considered one of the best products to style your hair with It is very similar to hair pomade (which will be discussed next) and is a great product to help style and keep your hair styled without making your hair look or feel crunchy or hard like gels and mouses can. It is also a great product that can help you achieve a variety of styles. One of the key tips I always recommend is to not use too much. Just like any styling product, using too much can give your hair a greasy and dirty look. Start with a pea-sized amount of wax on your finger. Hair wax is a harder styling product, so to get the best results you’ll need to warm it up by rolling it in your hands until it’s melted before applying. Once it’s melted, apply it to the hair. The best place to start is in the back of your head and slowly work it through the hair. Once it is evenly applied, you can begin styling it. At this point, if you feel like you need more wax to achieve your desired style, go ahead and repeat the whole process before styling.
One of the most classic of all styling products and one that can help you achieve a variety of styles is hair pomade. According to GQ, it has also become a very interchangeable word for many hair styling products. It is very similar to hair wax, but it is a softer material that can be waxy or gel-like. In the very first steps of styling, you will need to pick your preferred level of shine that the pomade will give your hair after styling, and you’ll need to pick your level of hold. These will be listed on the product, and if you’re not sure which is best for you, it might be best to experiment with a few options. Once you have your pomade, it’s best to begin styling with damp hair or towel-dried hair, you’ll get the best-styled results with damp hair. Begin with a small amount of product, around the size of a penny. You will need to warm it up in your hands and spread it evenly across your hands just like hair wax. Once it is evenly applied, it’s time to add it to your hair. When applying, go for your roots. Massaging it into your roots and working it evenly throughout your hair will allow you to control your hairstyle best, and you’ll need to apply it evenly across your whole head. At this point, if you feel like you need more product, repeat the first few steps until you feel confident in the even application. Once you have a full head of evenly distributed product, comb your hair to guarantee that the distribution is even, and then begin styling either by using your comb or your hands or both. The best way to lock in your style is to finish with a blowdry. It will keep it in place, give your hair volume, and provide texture.
The great thing about the plethora of products available for your hair is the freedom it provides to care for every texture and type, and it allows you to achieve any desired look that you want. Remember, there is no wrong way of styling! The look that you love is perfect for you. I want my clients and readers to feel confident in their styling and application skills. To get good at anything, you have to put in the practice. Anyone you see that has an expertly styled head of hair took the time to learn how to use their products, how to style their hair, and experimented with what works best for them. Their skills and that style didn’t happen overnight! Remember, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, I am here to help. Until next time, I am Patrick the Groomsmith and I am here with the best barbershop in Summerville, the best nonsurgical hair restoration in Summerville, and more.