If you have suffered from the occasional bad hair day, consider yourself lucky – you could be afflicted with uncombable hair syndrome (UHS). UHS is a rare disease that affects boys and girls before puberty. In fact, it is so rare that there were only 60 cases reported in medical literature between 1973 and 1998.
UHS is an inherited disease with subtle hair changes noted in several preceding generations. It begins with a hair follicle that produces triangular hair shafts that have several longitudinal grooves and very little pigment and are exceptionally dry and brittle. Because the hair is so dry, it rarely lies down; instead, the hair grows straight out from the scalp.
So what should you do if you are diagnosed with UHS? First, cancel your appointment with your barber. People afflicted with UHS typically experience alopecia, or periodic baldness. The hair that does grow frequently breaks off before it has time to mature. But there is hope, there has been some success with medication and some cases have resolved spontaneously several years after the first outbreak.
In rare cases, people with UHS have gone on to lead moderately functioning lives where they could occasionally go out in public – a certain 2016 presidential candidate has never openly admitted it, but most medical experts agree that this conservative real estate tycoon displays all the telltale signs of UHS. But for the vast majority of the four to six UHS cases a year, they’re resigned to a life in the shadows, looking longingly at brochures for The Hair Club for Men and dreaming of the day when having hair like a bale of hay might become the fashion.
Researchers have actually studied the effects that ill-shaped locks can have on a person, and the results aren’t pretty.
Sky-high frizz, little sprigs of cowlick, the combover that won’t comb over – no magic comb, curling iron, or straightening serum can fix this mess. It’s only 8:00 a.m., but when your coif doesn’t cooperate, a promising new day seems doomed. Oh, look: The cat just peed on your briefcase. What else can go wrong?
A whole lot, according to a Yale University “bad hair day” study. It seems that the effects of an unmanageable mane extend beyond what’s in the mirror. The Yale research, headed by Dr. Marianne LaFrance in 2000, found a direct relationship between a bad hair day and psychological well-being.
“Interestingly, both women and men are negatively affected by the phenomenon of bad hair days,” reported LaFrance. “Even more fascinating is our finding that individuals perceive their capabilities to be significantly lower than others when experiencing bad hair.”
That’s right – the study, commissioned by Proctor & Gamble’s Physique hair-care line, found that bad hair lowers performance self-esteem, increases social insecurity, and intensifies self-criticism. It turns out that a bad hair day can spiral into a self-loathing, self-destructive, mangy mess of a pity party. No wonder you missed the train, spilled coffee on your boss, and dropped your keys through a drainage grate.
The history of hair styling products has evolved over the centuries. From using animal dung to oils to today’s more modern pomades and gels. Below are examples, in order, of some applications to style the hair.
In ancient Africa, “stiffed hair which was achieved by applying dung” according to UKhairdressers.com. Aren’t you glad that we found alternatives to dung eventually? I am.
In the Elizabethan era, namesake Queen Elizabeth would apply a thin glaze of egg-white paste to hold her hair in place.
In the 19th century men tended to keep their hair relatively short, sometimes curled and dressed with macassar oil.
During the “Roaring Twenties,” fashion-conscious men wore their hair parted in or near the center and slicked back with brilliantine — an oily, perfumed substance that added shine and kept hair in place.
In the 1940s, Men continued to wear their hair short and often slicked back with oil.
The 1950s saw men wearing their hair in a D.A. (short for Duck’s Ass). Formed by combing the hair back on the side of the head and holding it in place with hair grease, the hairstyle was created by Philadelphia barber Joe Cirella in 1940 and took off when it was worn by television, movie, and music stars such as James Dean and Elvis Presley. The D.A. was usually coupled with long, thick sideburns — making their first appearance on men’s faces since the 19th century — and a high-crowned poof of hair brushed straight back off the forehead called the pompadour.
By the late 1960s, bands such as The Beatles introduced the “mop top” that was obtained without the use of styling aids. The influence of psychedelics and the hippie movement advocated a natural, wild look for men and women and a complete rejection of cosmetics.
For most of the 1970s, men and women wore their hair long, natural, and above all free. Toward the end of the decade the punk movement arose in opposition to the hippie-influenced values of the era. Punks created a deliberately shocking, provocative look that included spiked hairdos dyed bright fluorescent colors, shaved and tattooed scalps, facial piercings and spectacular makeup.
n the 1980s the “age of excess” was easily translated into hairstyles, in general — the bigger, the better. Michael Jackson sported the “jheri curl,” a sparkling wet-looking, heavily processed version of the Afro. Decidedly less audacious middle-class white teen-age boys adapted the punk-influenced spiked hairstyle, which sometimes included a small braid at the back of the neck (the “rat tail”). In opposition to these trends, a neoconservative “preppy” look was also in, popularizing traditional short hairstyles for men and women.
From the 1980s to today, the products we use to style our hair hasn’t changed much – the the styles themselves have evolved. The 2000s and beyond have seen an increased interest in more natural hair styling products and ones that do not contain harmful chemicals that may cause cancer or other health problems. For example, Chad Michael hair styling products are sulfate and paraben free. See the Chad Michael products on Amazon.com for more information about each product and to purchase yours today.
If you want to skip the chemicals that are found in store-bought hair products, you can create your own using food items from your own kitchen.
Some tropical countries use banana leaves to wrap meat when it’s cooking so that it turns out nice and soft. But you can also use the actual banana to make a banana hair mask. Bananas are great for your hair because they’re packed with nutrients that your hair needs to be healthy, such as B-vitamins and folate. When you add other hair-nourishing foods to them, you amplify the smoothing results. All you need for this recipe is a banana, whole milk, and honey. After blending the ingredients, sit with it on your hair for about 20 minutes. The bonus? You can totally drink the rest of the mixture.
Oats act as a natural moisturizer and can be applied to the hair to get rid of itchiness and dryness. It makes hair shiny and soft. It is used as an ingredient in shampoos. Oatmeal can be combined with other essential ingredients and applied to the hair before shampooing to get rid of dandruff.
An avocado hair mask is extremely useful for conditioning dull and damaged hair. Avocado is beneficial for hair even when it is consumed. Healthy hair usually grows half an inch each month. Using avocado as a hair mask or in a conditioner are the best ways to promote regular hair growth.
Aloe Vera is nature’s very own doctor that helps cure a number of ailments. Whether it’s easing digestive troubles or providing protection against diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis, aloe vera has a long list of benefits to its credit. Aloe vera gel works like a magic potion on the hair, making it stronger, healthier and shinier. It contains proteolitic enzymes that help remove dead skin cells on the scalp, which block the hair follicles from receiving proper nutrition. Aloe vera is alkalizing and contains anti-fungal properties. It helps restore the scalp’s pH that promotes growth of healthy hair, while preventing dandruff. Aloe vera also helps condition the hair deeply. It contains 20 amino acids that make the hair strong and lustrous. The composition of aloe vera gel is similar to that of hair’s natural protein called keratin, which makes its penetration through the hair and roots easier.
To make a deep conditioning hair mask that will keep your hair hydrated and nourished, mix 5 tablespoons of aloe vera gel and 3 tablespoons of coconut oil with 2 tablespoons of honey. Apply the mixture generously on your hair and scalp. Leave on for 20 minutes and then shampoo as per routine.
Along with including these foods in your diet and hair care regimen, you must also follow good hair maintenance practices. Avoid excessive heat styling and refrain from showering with hot water. Protect your hair from sun damage and pollution by covering it with a hat or a scarf whenever you travel outdoors. Drink plenty of water and enjoy wholesome foods like leafy greens, nuts, fish, fruits, etc. Always remember, good hair is a reflection of your healthy life choices!
Many manufacturers of personal care items are still not cruelty free and still continue to test their products on animals, despite the growing number of alternative methods for evaluating product safety. Can you look Fido and Fluffy in the eyes and say you are okay with that? Many cannot.
- Bumble and Bumble
- Head & Shoulders
- Herbal Essences
- John Frieda
- Just For Men
- Lab Series
- Sebastian Professional
- Vidal Sasson
Below is a small list of companies, with links to their website, that are cruelty-free and do not use animal testing in their product research.
- Paul Mitchell
- In 1980, we became the first professional beauty company to publicly stand up against animal testing. Now, nearly 35 years later, that pledge to our furry friends remains a driving force in all that we do. Just last year, Paul Mitchell® Co-founder John Paul DeJoria made the decision to stop selling our products in China when animal testing became a mandate, reaffirming our steadfast commitment to being cruelty-free.
- We are a long-standing member of the Personal Care Products Council (PCPC) and strictly adhere to their Consumer Commitment Code. We do not test our finished products on animals.
Chad Michael hair care and styling products, like the three product lines listed above, do not test their products on animals.
Please note: The lists above were compiled from three primary references (linked to above). Chad Michael, LLC cannot fully guarantee its accuracy, so please use these lists accordingly.
If your a man like many whom don’t want to spend a ton of time fussing over your hair, but you’re probably missing out on the most essential part of your hair routine – conditioning! Daily conditioning is by far the best product you can use every day to maintain healthy hair and keep it manageable. Surprise – daily shampooing is not as important as daily conditioning.
You don’t need to shampoo first to condition. Conditioning hair daily helps protect and moisturize it while soothing rough cuticles – the jagged, shingle-like shells that surround hair shafts. “People have been doing it backwards for years,” says Shorty Maniace, head barber at F.S.C. Barber in New York City. “We should be conditioning every day and using shampoo twice a week instead of the other way around.” Men with curly hair can benefit the most from daily conditioning, since smoothing the cuticles of kinky hair will help prevent that bed-raggled look, he adds. Just wet your hair in the shower, apply a light amount of conditioner, and rinse.
According to Mens-hairstyles.net, “Using the right hair products can make a significant difference to the quality, health and manageability of your hair. However, how many of you have put thought and care into the conditioner you’re using? While some men use their partners, some simply buy the cheapest stuff in the supermarket whilst many other chaps don’t use it at all. Hair conditioner works to smoothen, soften, nourish, hydrate and repair damaged hair from the daily elements and stresses of life such as heat and harsh winds.”
Chad Michael’s Rosemary Mint Condition ($19.95, Amazon.com) is made with peppermint and rosemary oils that leaves your hair and scalp feeling rejuvenated and completely refreshed. It is also made with Jojoba seed and eucalyptus oils to replenish and restore your hair leaving it shiny and smooth bringing out your hair’s natural beauty. It has a light fragrance of Rosemary and Peppermint. Chad Michael hair care products like the Rosemary Mint Conditioner are made without sulfates, parabens, or alcohol and are completely safe to use on color treated hair.
Many men are jumping on the bandwagon and growing full beards, but they are forgetting that beard care is different than the care you give your hair on your scalp. Beard hair is typically much more coarse than scalp hair and has some different care needs then what you scalp hair requires. Below are some tips to keep your beard looking its best.
- Wash It Regularly. This is especially important in the early stages of growth, when trapped food and skin cells can exacerbate the itchiness. Scrub your beard several times each week with a specialized cleanser, like Billy Jealousy Beard Wash, then gently pat it dry: An overzealous toweling can lead to frizz and split ends.
- Beard Oil (Your New Favorite Product). Regular use of a beard oil condition hairs to make them softer and shinier. There are many beard oils on the market. If you want to smell like a woodsman, Mr. Natty Frank’s Beard Elixir is a tried-and-true favorite.
- Train Your Beard. A regular trim maintains your chosen shape, but it’s not the only way to keep your beard in line. A daily rubdown with a comb or beard brush wrangles stubborn hairs, training them to grow in a downward direction. You can even up the ante with a soft-hold styler, like Jao Bomade Beardscent, which lends some extra sculpting power while taming any flyways.
Following the tips above and you’ll have a masculine beard that is the envy of your friends in no time. Need some inspiration for what beard shape you should be sporting? Pinterest has lots of infographics showing different styles with various face shapes. Have a barber clean up your beard for special occasions or as a weekly way to pamper yourself. Most barbers can clean up your beard after your hair cut, plus they will know exactly how to shape up your beard without you having made a mistake and need to trim it all off! Grow a beard (or mustache) and make money (for a worthy cause) – join Movember.
Does the Summer humidity get your hair all stressed out? Your hair absorbs the moisture in the air and that is what makes it stand up on edge as it swells up. According to Arianna Marino, a San Diego stylist, you can calm the frizz during your morning routine in the shower by incorporating a product that contains keratin and glyoxylic acid, which coat and smooth the surface of your hair. Arianna recommends products such as Goldwell Kerasilk Control shampoo or a dry shampoo that has absorbent ingredients like rice, clay, or cornstarch.
Arianna also suggests that you not use a styling product with extra shine. Instead go with a matte wax for a thickening effect, like Chad Michael Styling Cream ($35 for 4 oz, $20 for 2 oz) that contains white beeswax. Longer hair is harder to control, she adds, so if you are thinking of going shorter for Summer, now is the time!
– Adopted from an article in the July 2016 edition of Men’s Health magazine.
When most people think about personal care needs for the Summer season, they naturally think of protecting their skin from the harmful UV rays from the sun. But what about your hair? Just as the Summer sun can damage your skin so too can it damage your hair. The chemicals in your typical swimming pool and constant exposure to sun and sweat can leave your hair dull and lifeless. The damage is most obvious when we see color-treated hair becoming faded, bleached, and brassy. But just because your hair isn’t colored doesn’t mean the damage isn’t there too.
- Shield your strands from the sun. Make a daily habit of applying a hair care product that contains UV filters (these can be in spray, gel, or cream formulas). These products protect hair from sun damage and help keep color-processed hair from fading. If you’ll be spending lots of time outdoors, wear a wide-brimmed hat. Not only will it keep your strands from getting scorched, it will also protect your scalp and ears, areas that are vulnerable to skin cancer.
- Saturate strands before taking a dip.If your hair is drenched with a leave-in conditioner it won’t absorb as much saltwater or pool chemicals, Papworth says. It’s also a good idea to try to rinse your hair after a swim.
- Switch to a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. You may be washing your hair more frequently to deal with summer’s sweat and grime.
- Outwit frizz.Hair that’s healthy and well-maintained is your best defense against frizz. A drop or two of an anti-frizz oil or serum can help smooth hair and add shine. Papworth likes products that contain argan oil. Use only “a teeny tiny drop” of oil, Papworth advises, or you can end up weighing down your hair, especially if it’s fine or limp.
Follow these tips and you are well on your way to having great Summer hair. Stay tuned this Winter for ways to manage your mane during the cold weather.
Is styling your hair a chore because of thick, coarse, and/or hard to manage hair? You are not alone in your struggle – solidarity my friend! Many men have hair that seems to have a mind of its own. It seems the only way to a struggle-free relationship with your hair is to embrace whatever it wants to do. But, you can tame your hair and do what you want with your personal style by following using the right styling products.
Avoid styling products that have alcohol, the ingredient that makes your hair hard and crunchy when it sets. However, according to David Alexander, the men’s hair expert at About Style: “Many products, especial the ‘fixatives’ (e.g. those that dry hard and crunchy) contain alcohol to help speed up the drying process. Guess what? They also dry out your hair and scalp.” David goes on to say “…not all alcohols are created equally. In fact some alcohols (the ‘fatty’ alcohols) can be beneficial to helping hold moisture in the hair.”
Chad Michael’s Styling Clay contains these more beneficial fatty alcohols, such as cetyl alcohol and stearyl alcohol. This product has a fine matte to semi-matte finish with a medium to strong hold. If you want to stay away from alcohol altogether, the Chad Michael Styling Grease (a pomade) contains no alcohol, parabens, or sulfates. This product has a high shine finish with a medium to strong hold. The Styling Grease is water based so it washes out easily unlike some other pomades.
With either product, just rub a small amount (about the size of an almond) between your palms to coat your hands with a thin layer. Apply to dry or towel dried hair and style into your desired style.
Following the styling tips above should help correct your hair dilemma. If you’re still having problems, consult with your barber who can personally assess your hair and guide you in the right direction.