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Help My Husband’s Hair!

By Amalah

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!

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

Amy Corbett Storch


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 Ama...

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

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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