Men’s Hair and Scalp Care

men's hair care

One of the most common themes of men’s hair commercials is the idea of a “healthy head of hair.” But there’s just one problem with this statement — your hair is anything but healthy.

In fact, those hairs you see on your head are actually dead. Hair cannot be restored, it can’t be repaired. If you damage your hair in some way, your only recourse is to simply cut off the damaged locks and wait for new ones to grow.

There is no blood going to your hair (otherwise a haircut would be a particularly gruesome experience) and your hairs are not connected to your nervous system (which would make a haircut pure hell).

Perhaps a more accurate term for a “healthy head of hair” is a well-kept head of hair. Depending on the length and style of your hair, you might need more or less care. And for those of you experiencing balding, your basic hair care is not out the window quite yet. As you’ll find, a bald head still needs some attention, albeit certainly not as much care as the Fabio shoulder-length style.

Shampoos and Conditioners

Despite what you might hear, see, or read about all the botanically-infused and herbal supplemented shampoos absolutely critical to hair care, almost any shampoo is just fine for most hair. In fact, many dermatologists claim that there’s no verifiable evidence that any one shampoo is better at cleaning your hair than another. Choose a shampoo that feels good and smells good, and you’ve taken a step in the right direction.

But there are a great deal of ingredients included in men’s shampoo that can be a bit confusing to read and understand. Some of these ingredients include:

  • Sodium laureth sulfate: This is the chemical in shampoo that creates the lather and cleans your hair. It’s usually derived from coconut oil. Despite late 90s claims of this chemical being a carcinogen, scientists now believe it’s entirely safe.

  • Sodium Lauroamphoacetate: Like sodium laureth sulfate, this chemical cleans your hair, but it is also a counter-irritant and included in most shampoos marketed as “tear-free.”

  • Polysorbate 20: This surfactant works with fragrance oils, causing them to penetrate your hair and lock in fragrances.

  • Quaternium-15: Without this helpful preservative, you might find yourself spreading a dollop of mold across your hair rather than cleansing shampoo.

  • Polyquaternium-10: Despite the similar name, this chemical is not a preservative like quaternium-15. Instead, it’s the chemical that provides moisture to hairs and is an ingredient in most conditioning shampoos.

Much like shampoo, conditioners come in an enormous selection of brands, but are all essentially created equal. Conditioner only really works to coat your hair to prevent tangles. This makes conditioner essential for long hair, and unnecessary for shorter cuts. Conditioners advertised to add more body to your hair simply add more coating to it, artificially increasing its size. If you have medium-length hair, try a combination shampoo and conditioner. If you have long hair, however, use a different shampoo and conditioner.

men's hair care

Virtually all dandruff shampoos combat a condition where the normal yeast levels of your scalp overreact and release white flakes. These shampoos include a variety of ingredients, all of which are effective at fighting dandruff:

  • Tar

  • Zinc

  • Ketoconazole

  • Selenium Sulfide

  • Salicylic Acid

If you struggle with dandruff, try using a dandruff shampoo several times a week for up to a month. If the dandruff remains, try a shampoo with a different ingredient from the list above.

You may need to make an appointment with your doctor for prescription-strength dandruff shampoo if the problem persists.

Balding Hair Care

Your hair forms a natural barrier between your scalp and the harmful rays of the Sun. Because of this, bald or thinning spots on your head can increase your risk for skin cancer an cause the skin on your scalp to age more rapidly, especially if you spend a great deal of time outside. You may no longer need conditioner, but you’ll need to start applying sunscreen to you scalp. We have already written many times about how important it is for a man to maintain sexual energy and potency throughout life. Recently, we read an amazing article that tells all about erectile dysfunction in men. We recommend that you read this article to learn more about this problem, which most men have.

If you have noticeable bald spots, use sunscreen with an SPF between 15 and 30. If you have large bald spots on your head, sunscreen lotions work fine. If your hair is simply thin or you don’t like the idea of spreading lotion on your head, look for sunscreen available in spray form. Fortunately, there are also styling gels and hairsprays available with added SPF protection.

Men that want to reduce the look of or even reverse thinning hair often turn to over-the-counter products containing minoxidil. Minoxidil is actually a vasodilator that was originally marketed as Loniten, a drug for high blood pressure.

Researchers found that one side effect of this drug was reversed baldness and hair growth. As a result, the Upjohn Corporation applied for and received FDA approval to market Minoxidil as a hair treatment called Rogaine. Most men need prescription-strength formulas to notice results, and they only occur in about 50% of men after about six months. In a pinch, use an extra-body conditioner and a small amount of styling gel to lessen the impact of thinning spots.

Styling Gels

hair and scalp

Styling gel is often used to hold men’s hair in a specific style, like spiked hair or a part on the side. There are many styling gels available, all utilizing different ways of holding your hair in place. Some of these ways include:

  1. Polymers, oil, and wax for control.

  2. Hair wax causes hair to clump and stick together.

  3. Pomades add shine to hair while helping it hold.

  4. Polymers in water-based styling gel help hair hold firm and make shaping easier.

  5. Spray gels coat hairs with drops of polymers.

When using styling gel, try not to use too much. Most hair styles can be held in place with only a dime-size amount of styling gel. Check the ingredients of gel if you struggle with dryness and dandruff. Alcohol is a common ingredient in some styling gels and can intensify scalp and hair dryness.

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