All About Hair Accessories for Men
I have been considering the use of some hair band to hold my curls in place. They are Type II and getting fairly long (medium according to your guidelines) so they go all over the place. Obviously I gel them back when at work but in more casual surroundings, I’d like to keep them away from bouncing on my forehead. I am a bit held back by using hair bands as it is regarded as “weird in my circles but since visiting Manly Curls I am getting to know a lot about seeing my curls as part of my identity.
Do you have any tips for some hair accessory that would go down well in a man?
The use of hair accessories is a great way to manage one’s hair. I am personally not a fan of using hair accessories to decorate one’s hair, but I do certainly use them when my hair is at any length beyond medium length in order to put some order atop my head. Contrary to what you may think, using hair accessories (as men) is not feminine: warriors in the past would wear them so as to secure their hair during battle or as a sign of status and rank. Having said that, not many men these days decide to use hair accessories because they either don’t have their hair at a long enough length or because they are still not convinced on their use (or, to put it bluntly, see them as “girly”). That’s all OK though, at Manly Curls we are here to break conventional notions, so let’s move on.
Samurais were well known for their use of hair accessories to style their haircut known as chonmage
You got a problem with my masculine hair accessory, punk?
At any length beyond medium length, curly hair tends to take unpredicted forms on each waking day hence having the following hair accessories in one’s arsenal can not only help tame the beast but also add in a new repertoire of fashion and hairstyling options. One thing before I proceed, though, is that I will be approaching this guide from the curly male perspective although the instructions and recommendations are perfectly applicable to straight hair, so you fellas with straight hair or “not so curly” hair can also read and benefit from my hair-accessories guide.
Also known as elastic bands, hair ties or scrunchies, hair bands are very useful when in a rush and your curls are looking messy. Specifically for those men with medium length curly hair or longer, one can simply tie with a hair band all the hair at the back of the head and/or at the top of the head while leaving the front (forelock) untied, which will instantly polish the mess of curls that is common when curly hair is not groomed properly.
To tie your hair with a hair band, wet your curls and apply gel as you tie the curls to make sure they stay in place as curly hair will recoil back to its original place and shape if it is not held back strongly. For those with long-enough hair, using all of the hair (front/forelock included) to be tied into a ponytail will give a neat look that goes down well when the occasion calls for a more formal look and style.
It should be said that with hair bands, you must always choose one that matches your hair colour. That means a black-coloured hair band if your hair colour is black, or a discreet dark yellow hair band if your hair is blond. The key here is to be fashionable and, at the same time, elegant, which means knowing how to match colours. The same way you match the colour of your shoes with the colour of your belt (if you don’t do this already, start doing it!), you should match the colour of your hair band with the colour of your mane, although you can always go old-school and buy your hair bands coloured in black as black hair bands are generic and can always be used with any hair colour or tone; this is very much so if the occasion calls for being discreet (e.g in the workplace). Hair bands are like $2 for 5 pieces so there is no excuses for wearing your sister’s Hello Kitty hair band.
I advice you to buy a good amount of hair bands as you are bound to lose many of them fast, so this set of 36 hair bands is perfect for you; plus the bands don’t have any metallic bits, so your hair won’t be damaged from using these specific elastic bands!
Another cool and useful tool for the modern curly man, headbands allow one to pull back the curls located close to their hairline and, as in the case of our fellow reader Arthur, avoid the locks of curls from bouncing on one’s forehead. Headbands have also been popularized by professional sportsmen, most notably European association football (aka soccer) players. Headbands vary in width and can also vary in styles, but I personally recommend to go for the textile ones, avoiding anything plastic. Textile headbands (e.g cotton with elastic fibers) are gentle on the hair and look elegant, as opposed to plastic ones.
Again, with regards to colours, go for headbands that match your hair colour, or, if you can’t find any that match your hair colour, then go for discreet colours such as black, grey or brown. I also recommend you to choose relatively narrow bands (one inch or less in width), simply because they look better and blend in with the curls nicely.
A good set of headbands you can get is this set of 3 headbands which work really well to pull your hair back without damaging it, and you have different colour options for the headbands too. Alternatively, you can go with this set of 12 headbands with all kinds of colors; you can wear at home the ones with the colours you don’t like too, so no problem with that 12 pieces set having pink and green headbands! Furthermore, you will be losing each headband as time goes by (trust me on that!), so it’d be smart to buy now a good amount of them just so that you have plenty at your disposal even if you lose a couple.
Soccer legend Paolo Maldini is known for his use of elastic headbands to secure his Type I curls
Yours truly with a headband
These are also known as simple hair clips. Bobby pins are very thin metal pins that secure the hair tightly wherever and whenever you may want your hair to stay secured. They are very useful for those men with short to medium lengths who cannot do ponytails and who dislike the use of headbands. Because of their thin, almost-invisible nature, bobby pins are very discreet and camouflage under the hair, allowing curly men (especially!) to style their manes as desired. The colour of bobby pins is black by default, but you can shop around easily for ones that match your hair. Bobby pins are a great alternative for those of you who prefer to not have any hair accessories visible on your hair, and these particular hair accessories are very cheap too. The only downsides are that bobby pins take some time to master their use and that you have to use quite a few to secure all your curls in place.
Since bobby pins are very cheap, it’s always handy to have a box of them laying around for you to experiment with your tresses. I recommend you to simply grab this box of bobby pins and have them all available for you to use on your hair at any time.
A conventional bobby pin
With regards to any other hair accessories, I strongly recommend you to stay with the aforementioned if being fashionable and elegant is of importance to you. While I have seen men with fancy clipped stuff on their hair, I personally vouch for hair accessories being hairstyling tools to enhance your curls and which should never to take away from the style and look of your hair. Lastly, I cover in great detail all hair accessories for men in my bestselling book, The Men’s Hair Book (click link to read/see more of the book), including those rare accessories that can be of specific use to you for more-ornamental purposes!
All the best,