Hairstyling Basics

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    DreamzUnlimited
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    Hairstyling Basics

    Post by DreamzUnlimited on Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:43 pm

    Think of how often you've seen a guy with curly hair trying to manage a part, or a guy with straight hair sporting a crew cut or, worst of all -- a bald guy with a combover.

    When it comes to hair, guys can get lazy. Thankfully, I'm here to help.

    Below, you'll find a breakdown of the basic male hair types, the mistakes guys make in the styling them and some easy-to-achieve haircuts each type really deserves.
    normal/thick
    Most young American white guys have this sort of hair. It's full, it's thick and it has a wave. This hair type lends itself to many styles -- provided you're willing to put a little effort into it.

    Mistakes guys make
    The biggest mistake is keeping it too short on the sides and too long on top. This look might work for conservative-minded guys with straighter hair, but when the hair is slightly wavy, it has a tendency to grow out misshapen and top-heavy.

    Some guys don't use any hair care products. This creates hair that's frizzy and breaks into cowlicks. Use a mousse with a medium to strong hold.

    Alternatively, some guys go too heavy on hair products in order to get a severe side or middle part.

    Another bad styling choice is to use clippers or an electric razor on the sides and back instead of scissors. Clipping your hair short doesn't allow for the great blending and styling that can be accomplished by a barber using a nice pair of shears.

    Styling strategies
    Go for slightly longer and layered on the top and front, and slightly shorter on the sides and back. This is what many stylists call the "college cut."

    Another option is to keep it short and layered all around. Spike it up with mousse and style with your hands for the always popular "faux-bed head" look.

    To achieve a straight-hair look, cut your hair to a medium length, keeping it slightly shorter around the ears and the back of head. Then, comb it back with mousse and let it dry. Once dry, fluff out the hair and it will fall straight to the sides.
    thin/fine/straight
    Here's a hair type desired by many, but possessed by few. You stand the best chance of finding thin/fine/straight hair on the heads of East Asian, Hispanic and blonde Caucasian men.

    Mistakes Guys Make
    Not all guys enjoy the floppy look of straight hair, so they buzz it off. Don't let straight hair go to waste! Many people regard straight as an ideal; if your hair is straight and provides good coverage, grow it out a bit and play around with it. Embrace conditioners and mousses to give it some bounce.

    Another mistake I see is guys who cut their straight hair to an unlayered medium length and part it down the middle. Please avoid this "bowl cut" look; it's a little boy's style, folks.

    Other men embrace straight hair's styling advantages a little too much, growing their hair to shoulder-length or more. While medieval kings and rock stars can pull off a long mane, the look ultimately requires more upkeep and maintenance than it's worth.

    Styling Strategies
    Just as the classic "college cut" works for men with wavy/normal hair, it also works for men with straight hair.

    Straight also lends itself particularly well to the fabled Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible II (2000) haircut. It was a crappy movie, but Cruise's locks sure looked good. For this look, keep your hair long (about 3.5" to 5") and layered on the sides, back and top, but keep the bangs shorter.

    A cousin of the "faux-bed head" look described above is the haircut that consists in cutting straight hair to a short or medium length with uneven layers. Comb it forward on the top and down on the sides for that tousled look so popular with movie stars.
    kinky/curly
    How much of an explanation do you need on this one? A head of curly hair is packed full of bouncy curls and usually gives thick coverage. When you grow out curly hair, it forms the classic "white boy 'fro." Although not ubiquitous, this type is common among men of Greek, Spanish, Italian, and Jewish descent.

    Mistakes Guys Make
    To relax the curls, many guys overuse gels, pomades and heavy creams. Slathering on "product" can not only damage hair, but also give it a shell-like, unnatural appearance.

    Other curly-haired guys go the opposite route and let their curly locks go wild. Yes, it looks cool if you're in a band or in college, but just imagine working the white boy 'fro at a job interview or on first date! It ain't happenin'.

    Styling Strategies
    Cut your hair short all around and leave it unlayered (with the exception of around the ears). Use a small amount of mousse, comb it back and let it air dry. Or instead of combing back, you can try a slight part on the side.

    Of course, if all that seems like too much work, you can do what curly-haired men have done for years -- buzz it off or clip it very short and spike it up.
    balding/bald
    95% of all balding or bald men suffer from male pattern baldness. MPB begins with a receding hairline at the front and/or thinning at the top. Eventually, the thinning turns into a full-fledged bald spot, and the bald spot then expands to cover the head, save the sides and far back (think Patrick Stewart).



    Mistakes Guys Make
    Where do I begin?

    The first common mistake is combing the hair straight back. This may cover bald spots, but it does far more damage up front, exposing the forehead and emphasizing the precarious hairline.

    The second is growing long hair in the back to compensate for what's missing up front. This unbalances the head and draws even more attention to the scalp and the baldness.

    Younger guys with thinning hair might still use gel -- big mistake. Gel clumps your hair together and reveals scalp. Similarly, growing your hair long in an effort to get more coverage actually causes hair to separate and show more scalp.

    Styling Strategies
    Use mousses and conditioners to provide fluff that is more natural.

    Grow your remaining hair out to a few inches, layer it, and brush it forward to break up the receding hairline.

    If your hairline is stable, but the top of your head is thinning, you can get away with keeping the front long and combing your hair straight back to cover the bald spot. Eventually, your bald spot will expand, however.

    When faced with a shiny bald pate, your best bet is to either "shave and embrace" or get a short, spiky 'do that feathers out the remaining hair for maximum coverage.
    black
    Thick, tiny, tightly packed curls define black hair. When grown out, it forms the classic afro. Thankfully for those who aren't down with the 'fro, there's an entire subculture of hairstyles, barbers and hair products for black hair -- something curly-haired white guys can only dream of.

    Mistakes Guys Make
    Black women may still straighten their hair, but for black men, this style went out in the 1950s.

    Any sort of high-top fade or flattop cut belongs back in 1991. Similarly, the Jeri Curl belongs in 1981.

    While stylish, cornrows exert so much pull on the forehead that, if worn for long periods, they can eventually cause a receding hairline.

    When cutting it themselves or with friends, some guys create uneven lines at the forehead or back of the head. It always pays to seek out a classic "black" barbershop in a big city like Chicago, Los Angeles, Detroit, or New York.

    Styling Strategies
    The classic shaved head is always a popular option, as is a closely cropped look with well-defined hairlines at the forehead, nape of the neck and around the ears.

    Medium-length braids are a good way to add volume and length without going the afro route.

    Alternatively, a medium-length, relatively symmetrical 'fro has a low-key but stylish appearance that works in formal and informal settings.
    watch your hair
    The styles and hair types outlined above are by no means the last word on men's hair and the mistakes we make when styling it. Look at your friends to see how they manage theirs. Ask more questions of your barber. Perhaps most importantly, ask your wife, girlfriend, sister, or mom what styles they like on a man. When it comes to hair, it's always better to research first.

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