Summer and fall may be held up as the best times of the year for great fashion, but the sticky and harsh climates can be extremely damaging to healthy hair without the proper care. Men of color, who often have a difficult time maintaining their natural moisture in any season, typically find the change in weather problematic as it relates to hair maintenance and grooming. Most suffer from dry, brittle, and tangled hair when temperatures drop, resulting in breakage that ceases to promote growth and combats desired styling.
Efficient haircare, contrary to popular belief, is much easier than many like to admit. Most men assume it’s expensive, time consuming, and tedious, to say the least. C’mon man. Haircare isn’t bad at all, and much of what you need is reasonably priced.
But how would you know what works best for your hair? And who’s to say you or the missus don’t already have something in the medicine cabinet to style your tresses? Guess that’s all dependent on what’s sitting atop of your dome.
What Hair Type Are You?
Some use the term “natural hair” loosely these days. What exactly is it? Hair that hasn’t been treated with harsh chemicals normally found in poorly formulated relaxers or texturizers. So many people confuse afros, dreadlocks, twist, or braids with natural hair. So wrong! Those are considered hairstyles, which are produced from untouched natural or relaxed hair.
You must understand that black men are typically born with coarse or curly hair, though this may differ depending on one’s gene pool and ethnic background(s). See which hair type you fall under below:
- Type 1 (Straight): Normally grows without bending and begins to lay down after a certain length
- Type 2 (Wavy): Bendable hair that ranges from fine to coarse and shapes into an “S” pattern
- Type 3 (Coiled): Takes on curly definition (loose or corkscrew) and usually more susceptible to frizz
- Type 4 (Kinky): Most known as afro-textured hair that forms very tight and small curls right from the scalp
Hair type is best determined while it’s completely purged of hair product build-up. And following the right hair care regimen will help identify it for you quicker.
Hair Care Tips For Black Men
Dig into the history books, and you’ll discover that the history of black men’s hairstyles dates back to the 1400s, where on the west coast of African people wore elaborate hairstyles, from locks to plaits to twists. Exactly how they maintained them remains a mystery of sorts. Fast-forward to the present day: we’ve witnessed an evolution in African-American hairstyling, with men sporting bolder and more natural hairdos. Yet despite how a man fashions his mane, the key to maintaining it lies in his haircare routine. Take some of these tips into account when treating your locks.
- Shampoo less: The chemicals and soaps used in many of these hair cleansers strip hair of natural oils produced from the scalp, so consider only shampooing once a week.
- Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize: Since harsh weather conditions can dry out hair, hydrating daily will make it easier to maintain and keep healthy.
- Wear a low-maintenance cut: Hairstyles such as the crew cut, mini fro-hawk, taper fade, or the Caesar are far easier to upkeep.
- Own the right hair products: Depending on the texture of hair, certain products will save your scalp and keep you from sporting the spotty Lebron James look.
In recent years, and for black men specifically, the market for accessible and type-specific products has expanded exponentially (making some truly awesome hairstyles for black men available to the masses). What’s more, all of what you need to ensure great hair in cooler climates may be found in your local pharmacy or online. Read on, as we breakdown every essential haircare product category and list the best options for black hair.
Pura D’Or Anti-Hair Loss Shampoo
Finding a great shampoo designed for hair-loss prevention can be challenging for even the most hair-conscious gentleman. Know that you can always narrow down your search by seeking out something with Argan oil, which is an effective ingredient for hair thinning and breakage. This Amazon #1 best seller takes full advantage of the additive, along with Moroccan wonder oil to nourish follicles with essential nutrients to reverse any damage and trigger new cell growth. Allow at least three months of continued daily use to see results.
$29.97 at Amazon.com
Shea Moisture Intensive Hydration Shampoo
Yes, the company’s facing some backlash over its socially unflattering ads. But don’t let bad marketing take away from the quality of the actual product. Known for its organic approach to haircare, Shea Moisture packs its hydrator with Manuka Honey to soothe the scalp, along with African Rock Fig, which comes loaded in Vitamin C to keep hair looking “soft, smooth, and stunning.” The formula contains other moisturizing properties to restore the richness of your strands, leaving hair manageable and revitalized in the worst environmental conditions. Plus, it’s free of harmful hair chemicals such as phthalates, parabens, and sulfate.
$9.77 at Amazon.com
Oyin Handmade Nourishing Herbal Leave-In Conditioner
Managing dry and tangled hair takes work. Finding the best remedy to salvage the damage requires more effort. This is when the ideology of “simpler is better” becomes a lifestyle for hair-styling addicts, and one that Oyin makes easily adaptable with its beloved line of moisturizers. Known as “The Juices,” this variation of its leave-in conditioner is composed of naturally preserved grapefruit seed extract and citric acid, both excellent ingredients that aid in smoothing out your tresses when taking a comb to the head. Applying it will improve PH balance, a vital component that boosts stronger hair production during colder seasons. It works wonders on locks and cornrows when used daily.
$15.27 at Amazon.com
Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk Leave-In Moisturizer
Today’s man has come to realize the importance of a good leave-in conditioner. These won’t only moisturize hair, but also lock in essential oils to stop breakage, while leaving your hair feeling fully nourished and hydrated. Carol’s Daughter has a product that delivers such results for the curly, coily, kinky, and wavy crowds. Its blend of soybean and sweet almond oils, cocoa and shea butters, and wheat germ oil maintain wetness without stripping your shag of bounce or volume. Spreading it through your hair only ensures natural shine.
$11.97 at Walmart.com
Frederick Benjamin Conditioner Invigorating Moisturizer
Dandruff sucks. You got that memo early in life. Frederick Benjamin plays savior to your mane with a conditioner that does just what it’s supposed to — replenish the scalp with moisturization. Essential fat-rich hemp oil and cloves work to stimulate blood flow back to follicles, relieving you of flakes and itchiness, even leaving a grease-free finish behind. A sulfate-free formula means the conditioner won’t remove hair of its natural hydration properties, keeping threads soft and shiny upon application. Applying the product 2x a week gives you this comfort.
$12.00 at Amazon.com
Hair Styling Products
Bumble And Bumble Grooming Cream
B&B’s styling salve comes highly recommended for guys struggling with curly locks. Packed with a special blend of jojoba, sweet almond, avocado, and safflower oils, the brand’s Grooming Cream helps to maintain natural softness and leaves hair with a smooth matte finish. The solution also works great on color-treated hair and plays nicely with other hairstyling products to boost volume and curls. Those with fine hair will enjoy the added texture it leaves on the mop. Minimalists will be sold on the cream’s 24-hour hold.
$32.93 at Amazon.com
Baxter of California Soft Water Pomade
Choosing the right pomade to meet your priorities is essential to your daily hair routine. And depending on one’s hair type, it can be a frustrating ordeal. But if you’re in the market for a water-based smear with medium-light hold and non-greasy shine, Baxter of California has something worth pursuing. The pomade spreads easily through the coarsest of threads, giving it a wet, stylish appearance that reshapes your hair to meet your styling needs. No residue left behind, and it can be easily rinsed out in the shower.
$22.00 at Amazon.com
Old Spice Swagger Gel
Look past the celebrity endorsements and clever advertisements, and you’ll see why Old Spice has become a staple at local barbershops, as well as in most male grooming cabinets. Its Swagger Gel lives up to its name, providing a strong hold and moderate shine, making it the perfect gel for taming uncontrollable frizz on most hair types. A little goes a long way, so be sure not to overuse it to avoid flakey, crunchy hair. A nickel-sized amount should do the trick, unless you’re rocking the curly fro or classic high-top, which may require a little more.
$6.97 at Amazon.com
Oils & Treatments
Poppy Austin Pure Argan Oil for Hair & Skin (Editor’s Pick)
This moisturizing oil offers a wealth of skincare benefits, from anti-aging results to scalp nourishment. Hair frizz and split ends become an afterthought, as the solution softens and protects strands from environmental damage. The use of Argan oil as its main ingredient increases the mixture’s potency, doing wonders for not only hair, but skin and nails as well. Poppy Austin hand-produces each batch and supplies it in dark apothecary bottles with a droplet to preserve maximum shelf life. Consider it a great fit for men who prefer a lubricant texture over creams.
$21.37 at Amazon.com
Fig & Yarrow Hair + Scalp Tonic
A good oil treatment is composed to maintain the hair on your head and face. Right? That’s just wishful thinking on our behalf, but luckily Fig & Yarrow shares the same beliefs with a tonic that does just that and more. It’s super-effective as a scalp treatment, as it is as a beard conditioner, feeding hair stimulant-based oils that generate moisture and strength for a fresher look. A few drops on the head leave an intoxicating scent of rosemary and lavender that pairs nicely with colognes bearing a strong plant presence. As with moist oils, it can act as a nail strengthener or post-shave serum.
$38.00 at Amazon.com
Agave Healing Oil Treatment
Over time we’ve figured out the healing power of agave. With that being said, this healing potion lives up to the promise that most oil treatments make, rebuilding damaged hair and rejuvenating roots in the process. Spoil your scalp with vanilla, sunflower, and safflower for rehydration purposes, while allowing Madagascar baobab seed oil to “transform hair’s outer layer.” The fact that it blocks humidity earns it more cool points too. It should instantly add back shine, relieving you of any residue while emitting a wonderful scent that fills the air with coconut.
$22.80 at Amazon.com
For Thinning Hair
TOPPIK Hair Building Fibers
A man’s natural reaction to losing his hair is to research the science of male pattern baldness, then look for a treatment that solves the problem. Spare yourself the torture. TOPPIK remains one of the clinically popular options out there, revitalizing natural-looking hair for a more attractive outcome. It promotes a unique fiber-building system made of keratin protein, which clings directly to your existing hair using an electromagnetic charge that lets hair form a tight bond for fuller results. No nasty oil spills on the pillow or gross residue. Choose from nine different available shades: black, auburn, gray, white, brown (dark, medium or light), and blond (medium or light).
$57.62 at Amazon.com
Phyto Phytolium 4
Unless you’re a badass chick magnet like Jason Statham, narrowing down the right hair-thinning treatment is imperative. Phyto Phytolium 4 is an all-natural answer that combines CapicellPro — a botanical complex that stimulates and protects both the follicle and reserve cells — with Solanum Glycoproteins to encourage hair growth. Numbers speak facts and Phyto has the mathematics to back up its claims. Consumer findings for the product saw an 88% effective rate on thinning hair. Phytolium 4 is a chemical-free formula that leaves parabens, sulfates, and phthalates off the ingredients list. Androgenetic alopecia sufferers should expect more density and strength in their strands.
$61.75 at Amazon.com
Peter Thomas Roth Hair To Die For
The name alone should grab your attention. Thankfully, the quality of the product will do the same. PTR’s dynamic serum operates on a Tri-Phase Complex, targeting all three states of the hair cycle to help retain, activate, and maintain hair growth. It was developed to rejuvenate thinning, lifeless hair by absorption into the scalp, and using it twice a day on wet or dry hair should prevent any fall-out and gain you luxurious locks in a matter of weeks — certain beauty you just can’t rush.
$39.14 at Amazon.com
Straighteners & Relaxers
Phyto Phytodefrisant Botanical Straightening Balm
Achieving the perfect blowout requires additional steps most men aren’t willing to take come morning time. Here we have a non-chemical straightening balm formulated for all hair types, naturally curled or permed, made to relax your afro. Phyto Phytodefrisant comes as a 99% natural formula loaded with ferula, horseradish, and garlic extracts (wild ingredients, we know) to coat and straighten things out on the head. Application is simple, as users can distribute the thin runny gel throughout their hair. And since it comes heat-activated, blow-drying your hair after running product through it makes for that fresh-out-of-the-salon look.
$30.00 at Amazon.com
Mizani Butter Blend Medium Normal Relaxer
The power of Shea butter is mystical. What we know is it makes for one hell of a moisturizer. Mizani chose to create a relaxer with this same element, alongside cocoa butter and honey, serving as a gift from the hair care gods with nourishing properties that eliminate frizz instantly. Available in three strength options — fine, medium, and coarse — this relaxer system softens coils of different textures without scalp flaking or irritation. It’s constantly praised for its level of lubricity and superior conditioning. Faithful users highly recommend taking precaution with the product, though, for its contents can be hazardous if misused, so consider reading the label or having your personal hairstylist apply it to your hair.
$23.50 at Amazon.com
Softsheen Carson Optimum Care Multi-Mineral Relaxer
Good ethnic grooming brands are a dime a dozen, especially for African American males. Softsheen Carson has carved its own lane and produces a great line of haircare products for men of color. Its Multi-Mineral Relaxer system is living proof, with a formula containing three mineral hydroxides that cultivate free-flowing locks and perfect balance. Prepare to rid yourself of tangles and breakage, while regaining healthy straight hair full of body and shine. Act fast, though, for the product remains a fast-seller on Amazon.
$10.99 at Amazon.com
Just For Men Autostop Jet Black
A brand most of us poke fun of when basking in full-flourished locks, yet can’t live without when spotting aged threads, Just For Men is still the best answer for combating gray hair. This brush-in solution offers a no-mix, no-mess system with fool-proof, comb-in applicator that easily targets troubled gray areas. The solution is designed to shut off at a target color after 10 minutes of use, ensuring your natural shade doesn’t get discolored. No nasty ammonia or peroxides here — just a gentle formula to present you with organic results.
$7.57 at Amazon.com
Henna King Manly Guy Black Hair, Beard, and Mustache Color
Facial greys can be sexy on some men. For others, it’s more of a deal-breaker. But if you fall under the latter, Henna King guides your mug on the right path by enhancing its appearance with the natural hair color it deserves. Pure Henna plant dye coupled with all natural herbs engage to cover up all grandpa strands. The brand also promises no burning, itching, stinging, or other uncomforting reactions when applied to the head or face. Some relief should be felt knowing the manufacturer has this much confidence in their product.
$12.95 at Amazon.com
Softsheen Carson Dark and Natural Men's 5 Minute Hair Color
Softsheen Carson’s new fade-resistant, fast-acting formula helps you maintain a younger image by producing darker hair color in a matter of five minutes. Packed with honey and aloe vera, which helps lock in moisture and strengthen hair, while providing a purer appearance, the hair dye blends away the gray and lasts up to six weeks. What else do you need to know?
$8.73 at Amazon.com