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What Are You Putting In Your Hair?

Updated: Feb 26, 2018

I ask every client sitting in my barber chair if they use product. Around 95% of them say they do. I then ask what they use. Half of the clients have no idea, and try to describe what it looks like. So that prompted me to write a short piece on knowing your Pomades from your Pastes and Clays. (Not enough room to cover gels and sprays, so look out for long hair products in another story.)


Which product type you use is very much subjective. Men have varied tastes, whether they like the slick wet look, a dry groomed look, or a free flowing look. The limits are however if you have cows licks, double crowns, or other strong hair growth patterns that require extra taming, meaning you need to reach for higher hold products.


However before we get onto that, it is important to know that hair products should not just be chosen according hold and shine. If you are going to shove this stuff into your hair each day, it's important to know that not all products are created equal. Many are full of petrochemicals that accumulate and create long term problems for your hair and scalp. At Man Time we use American Crew as it is water soluble so washes out easily. Next time you do your hair, how much time do you spend scraping it off your hand under hot water. Crew products wash easily off in cold water. This means when you shower, even if you don't shampoo, the product washes out. Great news for healthy hair.


Now onto the types.

Fiber

American Crew tells us this is their biggest seller. A matte finish and strong hold, this is the second most popular product at Man Time.

Easy to remove from the tub, and easy to distribute through the hair, as long as you rub it vigorously between your hands to emulsify it. Provides texture and fullness to your hair. Helps retain moisture in the hair and conditions it. Great for short to medium cuts. I sometimes use it just at the front to tame a stubborn fringe even if I use another product through the rest of the hair.

Look: Matte

For: Strong hold

Hair Length: Short, Medium


Defining Paste


This is a medium hold version of Fiber. Even easier to remove from tub and distribute through hair when you emulsify it properly. The difference here is that it allows more movement in your hair. So it will tidy things up a bit, add texture and provide a more natural look, however won't hold anything really stubborn.


Look: Matte

For: Medium hold

Hair Length: Short, Medium




Molding Clay


This is a middle of the road choice. Can't decide if you want shine or matte? Clay is for you. The hold isn't quite as strong as Fibre or Heavy Hold Pomade, but it is close. It is also more sweat resistant, so better for sports or jobs where you work up a sweat.


Look: Neutral

For: Strong hold, Sweat Resistant

Hair Length: Short, Medium

Forming Cream


Cream distributes easily through the hair. Again a middle of the road choice for sheen. Forming Cream moisturises your hair, and makes it plumper providing thickness. Suitable for a pliable style, especially good for curly hair.


Look: Neutral

For: Medium hold

Hair Length: Short, Medium, Long


Pomade


A water based solution to provide a slick backed look. Another good product for curly hair, an excellent modern alternative to gels. Provides some control, but only a medium hold.


Look: Wet / Slicked back

For: Medium hold

Hair Length: Short, Medium, Long

Heavy Hold Pomade


Currently our best selling American Crew product. Can't get enough of this. Holds your hair where you want it to be, wet look highlighting texture in your hair cut and washes out easily.


Look: Wet

For: Strong hold

Hair Length: Short, Medium, Long




These days we are spoilt for choice to support modern hair styles. Better yet we are also able to style our hair without follicle and scalp battering petrochemicals.


When using these products put a small amount into your palm then rub your hands together to warm it up and emulsify (liquify) the product. Then distribute through your hair all the way from the roots out. DON'T JUST RUB IT ON TOP OF YOUR HAIR. You want all of each hair follicle covered so that the whole hair is shifted into position, not just the top half of the follicle.


So before you reach again for a supermarket hair product think about how much you care about your hair and if you might miss it in the future.


#americancrew #mantime #centralcoastbarber #barber #barberlife

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