During the pandemic many men, who haven’t had to go into the office every day, have abandoned the traditional clean cut styles and have started growing long hair. Here are a few tips for men growing long hair, to help you pull off that epic mane and avoid a disaster.
Growing your hair out is no easy task… and it requires commitment. Not only do you have to endure that awkward phase for quite some time, but you have to actively take care of your hair. It’s not like having short hair where, every time you cut it, you have freshly grown, healthy hair to ‘replace’ the unhealthy hair that you’re snipping away.
In two years time (or however long it takes you to reach your desired length), the tips of your long hair are months or even years old. You want your hair to be strong, healthy and manageable from root to tip.
Cut & shape your hair regularly
It may seem to be one of the most paradoxical tips for men that are growing long hair, but you should be visiting the hairdresser frequently. You don’t need to get your hair cut every four weeks like you’re used to doing, but you should go for a trim once every three months or so, depending on the style you’re going for, how fast your hair grows and the texture of your hair.
Cutting your hair on a regular basis allows you to rid your hair of the unhealthy split-ends at the tips, and also gives you the opportunity to thin your hair out (if you have ultra-thick hair like me) and shape it into your desired style. And, believe it or not, your hair actually grows out faster if you cut it on a regular basis, as long as your taking off no more than roughly 1.5cm (half an inch).
Use the right products
To ensure that your hair is healthy, so when you are ready to trim your hair again you’re trimming off as little as possible, you need to be washing your hair with the right shampoo and conditioner, use hair masks and other products.
Also, look for natural alternatives online. The best strategy in this regard, in my experience is to ask your female friends for advice on what to get. They typically have very helpful advice and can help you figure out what products would suit you best.
You also don’t need to wash your hair every day unless you have hair that tends to get very greasy. But shampooing and conditioning your hair three or four times a week at most is generally a good rule of thumb to go by. The drier your hair, the less you need to wash it. Otherwise, just rinsing it off with water in your daily shower is enough to keep it in check.
It’s also a bad idea to dye your hair while you’re growing it out. The chemicals used in hair dye are incredibly damaging. So, if you’re looking to turn your chestnut brown hair into a set of blond locks, beware that you need to get the right (probably very pricey) dye and special shampoos/conditioners to maintain it. And rather get a hairdresser to do it for you than go for the DIY option. That colour will be around for a while… you don’t want the hair you’ve waited so patiently to grow out to look terrible, do you?
Avoid high-tension styles
For those of you that are growing your hair out to tie it up into a manbun, you should think twice. Traction alopecia is a form of hair loss that results from prolonged or repetitive tension on hair. That’s right, you are increasing your chances of going (irreversibly) bald when you are tying your hair up too tight. If you want to get your hair out of your face, rather go for a loose style or you can opt for a headband (like a soccer player, yes).
Just like you don’t want to cause too much tension when tying your hair up, you need to be gentle when you towel dry and brush your hair. If you’re using a towel to dry your hair out, don’t go wild and push every last drop out… rather hold your hair into the towel and slide it down to get the excess water out of your hair.
Blow-drying should also be avoided, and if you do dry your hair like this, you should always be doing so on the coldest setting.Then just brush it gently and let it dry on its own. Make sure you have the right hairbrush and… again… be gentle. Damaged hair is the enemy here.
Endure the awkward phase
This is the hardest pill to swallow for all men looking for tips to grow their hair long. The awkward phase is unavoidable… unless you’re just genetically blessed. Even though it may seem like some guys can grow their hair out in 6-8 months and it all just falls into place for them, they are probably putting a lot of time and money and dedication into it that you’re not seeing. And you’re going to get teased, you’re going to look in the mirror and hate how your hair looks and want to cut it.
But when you ride it out and get to that point where your hair is “officially” long and you get that style you want, the reward at the end is totally worth it. You have to earn it. You have to take care of your hair, you can’t get lazy, or otherwise enduring that awkward phase will yield mediocre rewards at best.
I once made it beyond the awkward phase, and I loved my hair. Stupidly, I decided to cut it because I really didn’t like how unhealthy it was… and I regret it. So I have to spend another two-and-a-half years growing it out again. This time, however, I’m actively taking care of it and expect the results to be far better. Follow these essential tips and you’ll be several steps closer to pulling off that epic style that you want.