We rounded up the best hair products for men with long hair, because as your mane gets longer, so does the list of goops and creams required to keep it looking great. In addition to keeping it clean, healthy, and dandruff free, you also want to preserve your hair’s style-ability. If you’re growing out your hair to Jesus levels, you’ll need a strategy to combat obstacles like humidity and frizz, unruly strays, excessive oil, and crunchy dryness.
So you need a nutrient-rich hair-care regimen…plus a roster of lightweight and lifting styling products. Together, these are gonna ensure Fabio-level lusciousness. Below are the best products hair products for men with long hair, as part of a seven-step routine dedicated to preserving your hair’s vigor—and your sanity—on the hirsute odyssey ahead.
How to Manage Long Hair and Keep It Healthy
If you’re going to grow out your hair, then first and foremost you need patience. This isn’t an easy or quick process, no many how many biotin pills you pop. No matter your hair type—whether it’s curly or dead straight—you’ll also need the right hair care and hair styling products (listed below), which will ensure that you never have a bad hair day along the way. And trust us, there are a lot of bad hair days to be avoided as you grow things out. If you don’t follow these tips, then you’re in for a year of wearing hats—and worse yet, you’ll have an awkward and uneven final product. So take notes.
1. Get a haircut every eight weeks.
While this will marginally slow your length gains, it’s worth the trade-off to have it trimmed along the way. And breathe easy, because you’re not going to lose much length at all; instead your stylist will texturize and layer the hair so that it grows out in an aesthetically pleasing way, and not like some awkward bush. Secondly, this will nix any split ends and keep things from looking frayed and frizzy. When all is said and done, some 12-20 months later, you’ll have only lost a little length, but will have spared yourself a year or more of unstylish, fussy agony.
2. Shampoo one or two times a week, but condition daily.
Your long hair needs the nourishing oils from your scalp, since they keep it healthy and hydrated. Shampoo will strip away this oil while also washing away excess grease and grime, so you need to use shampoo sparingly. (This is also why your hair is harder to style after a wash.) The best solution to clean-but-not-dried-out hair is to follow a shampoo with a conditioner. The conditioner will pump nutrients back into the hair so that it rests and flows more naturally. You should also condition every day for this reason—not just the days you wash. The added benefit of this is that it helps to flush out some of the styling product and grease, without stripping any moisture. (Most styling products are water soluble these days, so they wash right out with a simple rinse.)
The Best Shampoo for Long Hair
Saunders & Long touts this product as an all-in-one shampoo, conditioner, body wash, shave cream, and hair balm. And it is all those things, but wow is it a terrific shampoo, leaving hair feeling extremely full-bodied after a rinse.
Best Conditioner for Long Hair
Rahua’s conditioner packs an oil trio to resuscitate the hair, or preserve existing hydration. Morete oil keeps hair from tangling and frizzing, rahua oil strengthens and repairs weak strands, and sacha inchi oil shields each strand from environmental wear (namely UV damage).
3. Don’t ignore your scalp.
Healthy hair starts with a healthy scalp, since that’s where the follicles are nested. We have one product recommendation below for a healthy scalp, but don’t shy away from a dandruff shampoo if you need one. Whenever you rinse, shampoo, or condition, be sure to scratch gently at the scalp, too, to rid of any buildup; this won’t compromise any of the strong hairs that are growing.
The Best Scalp Treatment
Harry’s just got into the scalp-care and dandruff-fighting game, with an entire lineup of shampoos, scrubs, and creams for the scalp and hair. This cream is an easy way to nourish your scalp and keep dandruff at bay while also promoting a healthy bed for your hair. Use it daily or as needed.
4. Use an ionic blow dryer and a heat protectant.
A blow dryer is your best way to lock in a hairstyle all day, which is going to save you a lot of strain for the year ahead (and while maintaining your long hair, too). However, make sure it’s an ionic blow dryer, which operates at lower heat and will dry the hair without frying the strand. This heat damage is one of the biggest issues with daily blow drying. Also consider shielding your hair with a pre-styling heat protector, too.
The Best Ionic Blow Dryer for Long Hair:
Long hair is an investment of time and energy and money. This blow dryer, albeit a pretty penny, makes managing that hair so much easier, and makes you feel like a Hollywood stylist at the same time.
The Best Heat Protectant for Long Hair:
Spray on this heat shield before using a blow dryer to prevent breakage, frizzing, and other heat damage. It’s both a same-day styling savior and a long-term hair defense strategy. A must.
5. Try a hair mask.
One conundrum of long hair: You need it to look healthy, but not unruly, and many ways to get it neat and tidy, like blow drying, can damage those longer, more fragile strands. Fight this by using a weekly hair mask. Apply it after a wash (you can skip the conditioner, just this once), and leave it in as directed—some require rinsing after 15 minutes, while others are leave-in treatments. It’s like doing a weekly face mask to keep your complexion clear, but this one keeps hair strong and resilient.
Best Hair Mask for Long Hair:
Ouai’s mask acts like a midfielder, playing both defense and offense to keep your hair healthy. The 10-minute remedy reanimates dry hair and protects it from future damage. Apply it once a week to clean hair and it’ll minimize any existing or future wear.
6. Use a hair brush nightly.
Brushing your hair before bed will help distribute the natural oils from your scalp throughout the entire hair strand, preventing split ends and broken hairs. Do this nightly like you’re Marcia Brady.
7. Grab some targeted styling products.
Long hair needs different products than a crew cut—you’re not going to smear some pomade on your mane, were you? Here are four that will get everything soothed, glossy, and pointed in the right direction.
The Best Volumizing Paste for Growing Hair
R+Co’s matte paste is part texturizing styler, part dry shampoo. Between washes, use this paste to absorb any excess oil; it will prevent your hair from looking greasy while still preserving most of its healthy shine. This is best for the middle phase of your hair odyssey, when it’s still too short to tie back; once it’s longer, you can switch over to dry shampoo spray or powder.
Best Styling Cream for Long Hair
Once your hair is past your ears, you’ll basically be telling the world that you’re a super chill, unaffected guy. Make sure this is the case, and avoid heavy stylers that weigh everything down—like clays or waxes. Instead, grab a lightweight, medium hold cream like Baxter’s; you can apply it to dry hair to tame strays, or in slightly wet hair to get more control over the whole situation.
Best Smoothing Oil for Long Hair
As you apply paste or cream to your hair each morning—during both the middle and long phases—add a few drops of oil to a dime-size portion of styling product. This will give hair a lively (but not overwhelming) sheen, but more importantly, it acts as a leave-in conditioner. Verb’s Ghost Oil has argan, moringa, and rice oils that promote healthy growth at the shafts while also saving longer strands from brittle disrepair.
Best Volumizing Powder for Long Hair
You’ve worked tirelessly to get that long hair. You know by now not to shampoo it every day—not just because we told you, but because you’ve tried styling after a wash, and each time it inevitably becomes a “hat day.” Spare the agony, and try skipping the shampoo for three or four days. (Relax. You can still rinse it. Besides, we know some guys who never shampoo and have the healthiest hair of all.) On those days where it’s overly greasy and limp, sprinkle on some of this volume powder. It absorbs the excess grease—just like a dry shampoo—and restores your hair to its most style-able state.
Article written by Adam Hurly #GQ