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How to Control Thick Hair for Men

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I’ve got this client who is always complaining about his thick head of hair. As a guy with thinning hair, I’d like to spin him around in the chair and smack the crap out of him. “Dave, my hair’s so thick, I can’t control it.” Oh, blah, blah, blah. While I’d trade heads of hair with him any day of the week, I do concede that very thick hair poses certain styling challenges. Fortunately, I’ve got some solutions for how to control thick hair for men.

Buzz It Off
Of course, the easiest way to control very thick hair is to simply cut it short. A buzzcut can be a great option for some guys. A short Ivy League haircut (a cut buzzed at the crown, but longer towards the front) is another good option that will help control thick hair, but still give you a bit of styling options).

Grow it Out
One of the problems with very thick, straight hair (think Asian hair) is that it can often stand up if cut too short. If you don’t want to go ultra short, consider a longer style. This will help give the hair a little weight and hold it down. A longer style also gives you more hair to apply styling product to and gives you more styling options. With thick hair, it’s best to go longer or very short. Mid-length styles really just don’t often work.

Get Used to Styling Products
If everyone had a perfect head of hair, we wouldn’t need styling products. For thick hair, use of a styling product will help give you some control over your excessive crop. Styling product will add weight and allow you to direct the hair in the style you desire. For thick hair, I recommend a good pomade or wax -- remember, a good rule of thumb is the thicker the hair, the more aggressive product you should use.

Avoid the Dryer
For almost any head of hair, I think allowing it to dry on it’s own is the best option. A dryer will add volume, which is what you don’t need in thick hair. If you must blow-dry, use a cooler setting and point the dryer downward to avoid creating too much volume.

Condition
Always use a great moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. After a good shampoo, apply about a dime sized amount of conditioner to your hair, comb through it with a wide tooth comb to distribute the product and leave it on for several minutes. A good conditioner will help soften the hair and make it more manageable.

Avoid Thinning Shears
I would estimate that about ninety percent of all barbers and stylists use thinning shears incorrectly. What a thinning shear does, unlike a regular shear, is cut only some of the hair. When a thinning shear is used too close to the scalp with thick hair, this can create shorter pieces that will stand up and actually push out the longer hair laying over it. This gives the illusion of even thicker hair. If your barber or stylists pulls out the thinning shears, ask them to not use them. A razor can be used on the outside of the hair to remove bulk -- just make sure your barber or stylist is skilled with the use of a razor.

If you’ve been blessed (cursed) with a super-thick head of hair, these tips will help you get your mane under control. I realize thick hair can have styling challenges, but I’d still be willing to trade if anyone’s up for it.

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