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Help My Husband’s Hair!

Aug13

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Thanks to everyone who offered to demo their eye makeup routine! The response was overwhelming so I’m still mulling over how best to present them — Flickr group? Featured guest entries? I don’t know. But get cracking on your instructions and photos and send them in and I’ll figure it out. We could still use some…ahem…non-white-girl volunteers though, so email me if you’re interested.

Hi Amy!
I have a hair care question that I’d like to ask on behalf of my husband, who would never write in to ask advice of anyone and would be horrified to know that I’m doing exactly that. You see, he has some hair issues. His hair is about shoulder length and has been for many years, but he constantly keeps it pulled back because he hates the way it looks down, yet doesn’t want to cut it (he is waiting for the day he figures out how to make it look like Johnny Depp’s, I think). Lately, though, he’s been talking about shaving his head altogether because he’s gotten sick of the hair, and I DON’T think that would look good on him, hence my request for your advice.
He doesn’t have a whole lot of hair (thickness), but it’s coarse and very wavy (curly at the ends) and tends to get frizzy at the ends and oily at the scalp. He tries to tame it with gel and ends up with a greasy slicked back effect. He’s tried a few pomades, specifically the lightweight ones that claim not to weigh down the hair (I remember John Freida’s ‘Secret Weapon’ in particular) but they didn’t do much. I think what he needs is a product that won’t make his hair look slick and greasy, but can tame the frizz and define the curls. Any suggestions, before he takes an electric razor to his head?
Grazie mille!
Alice

It sounds like his hair is a lot like Jason’s, actually. Coarse and wavy and very unruly. Of course, if Jason lets his hair grow very long it gets EXTREMELY frizzy and curly and downright fro-like. Not good.
After years of trying to keep it at the low end of bushy, he finally got a decent haircut that changed everything. I dragged him to my salon and made him see my stylist. No more barbers or Hair Cuttery or home hackjobs with the razor for him, because ENOUGH. A bad haircut is a bad haircut.
I told my stylist to “make him look hot.” And she did. She kept his hair mostly short except on the top of his head, towards his hairline, where she kept it a little longer and used product to make it spiky but not punk. It was a cut that George Clooney and a lot of male models were sporting at the time, and he’s had slight variations on it ever since. We still both see the same stylist, and Jason doesn’t use any drugstore hair products either.
So basically, we’re BOTH nuts about our hair now.
If your husband hasn’t seen an actual hair stylist at an actual hair salon, that would be my first recommendation. Make him see at least one stylish gay man who will break it to him that the shaved head look won’t work for him, and maybe WILL be able to get his hair back to Johnny Depp Status. Or maybe give him a new shorter cut that will be a nice compromise and solve some of the texture issues.
Jason owns a drawer full of pomades and fibers, which are sort of like pomades but…not quite. They offer stronger hold and are drier and not as heavy and greasy. I’ve been using his stuff on my new cut to keep my bangs out of my eyes and add some definition to the layers. So far my favorite is Bumble & Bumble’s Sumotech, but it’s ridiculously expensive for a very small jar. You don’t need much and it’s very light and lasts all day, but I’d imagine your husband would still go through it pretty quickly if he keeps his hair long.
crew%20fiber.jpgJason’s favorite is a fiber by American Crew, which is a nice line of reasonably-priced salon-quality products for men (he also uses their shampoos). I’m trying to imagine how it would work on longer hair and I’m not really sure — one thing I do know for sure is that your husband MUST keep all products AWAY from his roots. Ends only. No slicking back at the forehead. Guys tend to just do the roots-to-end application of products, for some reason.
I’m thinking if he keeps his roots product-free and his ends conditioned, that might be a step in the right direction. (Does he use conditioner? If not, get him some, and tell him to just use it on his ends.) The fiber might work better than pomade, or you could try some of Catwalk Curls Rock products or Frisky Scrunching Gel. (Gel is fine! Just not roots-to-ends! No slicking!)
But really, I think your best bet is to get him to a real live hair stylist. Do you like yours? Have you talked to him or her about your husband’s hair? If not, ASK! They probably love giving advice as much as I do. Make an appointment for him and either go with him, or just give your stylist a heads up on the SHAVED HEAD = DO NOT WANT thing.
Your husband obviously cares about his hair, at least a little, and just needs a little update and some professional recommendations about products. I mean, has he ever seen what Kyan can do on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy? Or any of those makeover shows where the guy has been sporting the same haircut since college and then gets it styled and somehow looks 10 years younger and hotter? Man, I hate those guys. But I enjoy being married to one.

About the author

Amalah

http://www.amalah.com
Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy's daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it's pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to amyadvice@gmail.com.

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.


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9 Responses to “Help My Husband’s Hair!”

  1. Alice_R Aug 13 at 11:44 am Reply Reply

    Yaaay, you answered my question!
    My husband (also named Jason, coincidentally) will not even consider something in between long hair and a shaved head. He apparently has issues left over from having awkward, unruly, wavy hair as a child/teenager (it’s much curlier when short) and refuses to even consider just having ‘short hair’. He won’t see a stylist either. He feels like they’ll make him look too preppy or generic looking.
    I don’t even have a stylist myself at the moment, I must admit – I’ve kind of been neglecting my hair :/ Guess I need to get on that too and see if I can get some recommendations that way…
    I’ll try to get him to start using conditioner (he is very “I am man. Use bar soap only”. Ridiculous, but I digress…) I think getting him to stop putting gel on the roots is a good idea, too. Hopefully something will work!

  2. Jenn Bo Aug 13 at 11:55 am Reply Reply

    I second the American Crew products; they work wonders on my husband’s hair (coarse, think, and wavy).
    Another one to consider for treating just the ends is another product line made by the same company as American Crew. I love how it gives definition to the waves in his hair.
    d:fi d:struct pliable molding creme
    http://www.sleekhair.com/8110.html

  3. Janssen Aug 13 at 12:02 pm Reply Reply

    My husband had this quite lousy hair thing going on when we got married where he’d get it cut super duper short and then as it got longer, it would start getting frizzy. It was a life-changing moment for me when he finally agreed to let me pick out three gels/creams/pomades and he’d try them out. So much hotter! It’s amazing how much a dot of cream can make. And now he’s almost always keeping his hair in the good in-between stage. Not so short he looks five, but not frizzy either. My life is complete!

  4. Janssen Aug 13 at 12:02 pm Reply Reply

    Oh yes, and his final product choice, for the last year or so, has been American Crew. And he loves it. So do I.

  5. Mary Watkins Aug 13 at 3:04 pm Reply Reply

    Second the B&B Sumotech – my husband uses it on his thinning, wavy hair and it works great. The one time I convinced him to go see an actual stylist instead of the barber this was what they recommended. It’s very pliable, non-greasy and has a fairly masculine scent too so your guy doesn’t feel like a big girly man using it.
    Alice – regarding your comment that your husband won’t consider getting an in-between haircut – I have to share a story. In college I dated a guy with thick shoulder-length hair that he usually wore in a ponytail. For months I tried to get him to get his hair cut like Jordan Catalano from My So-Called Life (this was back in 1995, after all). I finally wore him down and he agreed to it. He went to a stylist with a photo of Jared Leto and then an hour later showed up at my apt with a haircut that in no way resembled Jordan Catalano but instead looked EXACTLY like the famous “Rachel cut” that Jennifer Anniston had on Friends. I mean, EXACTLY like it. He wanted to KILL ME. For months afterward I heard, “Why did you make me cut my hair? Why? Why?” He ended up shaving his head which, of course, I hated even more than the ponytail. :)

  6. Isabel Aug 13 at 4:06 pm Reply Reply

    I’m going to jump in a agree with the awesomeness that is B&B Sumotech. My husband officially has the best hair in our family. All thanks to Sumotech and the messy hair look. He sports it well. Very well.

  7. psumommy Aug 13 at 7:34 pm Reply Reply

    If I may…I got my hubby to wash his face with facial wash (and not a wet washcloth…or *erk* just his hands) and to do stuff to his hair by buying him some “manly” products (American Crew, anything that’s in the men section at Sephora) and telling him how good he’d smell when he used it…so now he has awesome hair and better skin (I still need to work on that one) AND I get to smell his neck every time he walks by, so he loves the attention. :) Good luck! I don’t know why Men don’t feel that they need to take care of themselves…ugh.

  8. Sara Aug 13 at 8:19 pm Reply Reply

    My husband has very similar, although it is shorter. We both see the same stylist and only use Bumble and Bumble. For his hair, we’ve found that using the Styling Cream when wet (a healthy but not obscene amount) really helps it stay out of his face and not frizzy without looking oily. Then he uses the Sumotech when it’s a bit drier. It actually doesn’t take that much, even with longer hair. Some days he uses the Sumo Wax instead. There’s another product we use when the hair is wet and there’s also the Thickening Spray which may help thinner hair. I know I sound like a walking ad for Bumble, but it’s really worked for us — with long and very short hair.

  9. umi Aug 15 at 10:47 pm Reply Reply

    I agree. I had my friend’s husband who had curly frizzy hair… who kept his long, to go to my funky Japanese stylist. He loved it. And more importantly, his wife (aka my friend) LOVED it.

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