As a man with curly hair, to be able to sport a mane full of manly curls, you need to know how to take care of your curly hair. What I have just said is very straight forward and there is no cutting corners, really. We men have different curly hair types and curl lengths, but knowing how to groom out curls is applicable to all of us.
Now, that doesn’t mean hours in the bathroom to be able to leave the house or having to subscribe to your nearest hair salon’s customer loyalty scheme. Curly hair grooming can be made simple and the Pareto principle is fully applicable to our curly ways. Basically, 20% of our effort will yield 80% of results.
Grooming your curls properly can make them stand out greatly!
The importance of a hair grooming routine for men with curly hair
Before we start discussing semantics and what not, it is imperative to outline that at Manly Curls we are proud of our curly hair and we men want to have a good looking set of ringlets. When I write 80% of results, I am referring to the good looking part which I have just mentioned or, as Derek Zoolander once said, “…really, really, ridiculously good looking” set of ringlets. The remaining 20% of our efforts would be to achieve “awesomeness” but then, such an endevaour would require an investment of energy and time several magnitudes of that which is needed to achieve 80%. We will surely talk in the future about this “obscure” 20% but, for now, the 80% will have your curls turning heads wherever you go and, most importantly, allow you to identify your curls as an elongation of your own self. Some philosophical last words huh? Let’s continue.
David Bisbal knows how to groom his curls the Manly Curls way!
So, where am I trying to get to? Well, it is fairly simple my fellow curly headed friend. What is to follow is a simple template for your grooming routine with guidelines providing a good starting point to start acknowledging your curls and become a “curlist” (made up that word on the spot). This should be your basis and from there onwards, as you become more knowledgeable, you can start modifying whatever you desire. The routine deals primarily with improving the odds of your hair when it is at its most delicate moment i.e in your hands. This is where many people make mistakes and this is where you will notice an immediate return on investment if you get it right. The routine should not take more than 10 minutes, especially if your hair is short to medium length.
A BASIC CURLY HAIR GROOMING ROUTINE FOR MEN
To be done on your “shampooing days” and according to the No Shampoo method. Apply one squeeze of shampoo, enough to cover the distal phalanges (upper third) of both index and middle fingers of one hand (not more) on your wet hair. Now use the squeezed shampoo on your fingers to cover the fingers of your other hand too. Once both pairs of fingers are covered with shampoo start applying it on your crown, making sure to massage the scalp and moving your fingers from the crown down to the sides and back.
Try to get most of the shampoo on the scalp and not on the bulk of the hair. Massage enough to get some lather going, avoiding to get a heavy lather. Use each hand to work on different areas of your scalp to save time.
Grab your conditioner now, you are done with the shampoo. Rinse the shampoo lather and open the conditioner.
Estimated timespan: 1 minute.
Use every shampooing day. Apply enough to cover the distal phalange of the index finger of one hand. You should now spread the conditioner on the palm of the other hand and then rub both hands together to spread the stuff evenly on both inner hands. Once everything is spread, place the tip of your fingers on your hairline (line where hair stops at forehead) and run your fingers through the hair (not the scalp) all the way to the back of the crown then do the same but to the sides and in a down-and-up motion. Your fingers now meet at the crown. Scoop the remaining goo from your palms to the distal phalanges of both hands and start spreading the stuff over the tips of the hairs in a casual manner.
The point of the all of the above is to cover the entirety of your hair with the conditioner and then emphasize the tips (ends) of the hair. You are now done with applying the conditioner, get on with your bathing/grooming routine. Once you are done with the latter, rinse out the conditioner. Make sure to close your eyes, the eyes will not like the stuff that is in your conditioner.
Estimated timespan: 2 – 4 minutes (4 minutes should be the upper end as to how long to leave the conditioner on, I recommend 2 minutes for just about all cases).
Styling creams/serum/gels/leave-in conditioner/oils
As desired. The conditioner has done a good job to get your curls looking good so you can skip applying anything else (i.e. hairstyling products/agents) once you are done in the shower or you can go bonkers with the hairstyling agents. I would recommend to tread carefully because using too much hairstyling products can result in disaster, from having a rock-hard mane that Tom Jones would be jealous of (too much gel), to becoming a literal grease ball from too much oil (brings back some entertaining memories). I will discuss in further articles how to use the different hairstyling agents but two things are for sure; less is more and experiment at home!
Estimated timespan: 1-2 minutes
You are done.
Too easy right? There is more, albeit only a tad more.
The purpose of this grooming routine is to simplify things. Remember the 80/20 principle? You are pretty much covered with the above and the following are some simple tips to make sure you hit 80%, perhaps even surpass it. Follow them and you will be good to go.
– Use your fingers or a wide tooth comb to style your curls. Avoid conventional combs like the plague.
– Use lukewarm water on your hair. Try to avoid very hot water on your hair as much as possible.
– If your hair is matted or has knots, apply some more conditioner to your fingers or comb and work your way through the trouble area without excessive pulling.
– Make sure to emphasize applying the conditioner on the tips of the hair. As a rule of thumb, the tip is 1/5 of the length of the hair.
– Avoid drying the hair vigorously with a towel. Before drying with a towel, you should rinse the water out manually (shake head and/or squeeze curls) and then gently press the towel against the curls so as to absorb the water.
– Exercise caution when pulling your curls (e.g working a knot or when styling). Curly hair is fragile by nature and the men who are unlucky to suffer from hair loss will pull chunks of hair if they pull too hard.
– Be careful with too much shampoo or creating too much lather. Conventional shampoos contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, which is great at removing dirt but will dry your scalp (and hair) like there is no tomorrow if you use too much.
As a last note, do remember that this is a template for your curl care and it can be modified according to several factors such as curl type, hair length, predisposition to matting or dryness, or pure personal preference, to name a few. However, this template will allow you to get a kickstart on taking proper care of your hair and as you experiment, interact and become more knowledgeable, you will be able to device your own customized routine.
Take home messages
– Shampoo and condition on the same day and session
– You should be done in no more than ten minutes
– Men should too treat their curly hair gently to sport a great mane of curls
– Have a look through this curly hairstyles for men guide for ideas of hairstyles for your particular curly tpe
All the best,
Update: Check the Inspirational section frequently as I blog about the different curly hair men that inspire us to have a proud and cool set of curls!