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Dealing With Men’s Thick, Wavy & Unruly Hair

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the best hairstyles for men with thick hair

So many of us are obsessed by the thought of a thinning thatch that’s it’s easy to forget that baldness isn’t a man’s only worry when it comes to his barnet: thick, wavy and generally unruly hair can all present problems, too.

And having a Don King hair day can affect more than just your appearance. According to a study by Yale University, men who aren’t happy with their hair tend to be more self-conscious, more self-critical and less sociable than their well-coiffed counterparts. Even the thought of a bad hair day was shown to affect self-esteem dramatically.

Before you literally pull your hair out, remember that there’s no such thing as ‘normal’ when it comes to the stuff on your head — just the hair you happen to have been dealt: hair that’s unique to you. And what makes it unique depends on its structure.

Assessing Your Hair Type

Hair varies in thickness — from 50 microns (a unit of measure equal to 1 millionth of a metre) in people with fine hair to over 100 microns. Thickness also depends on the number of individual hairs on your head.

How the hair behaves depends on the shape of the individual shafts. Asian hair, for example, is often round, so lies flat and straight; Caucasian hair is slightly oval, which tends to make it fine with varying degrees of waviness; and Afro-Caribbean hair is flat and curved, giving it its distinctly curly appearance.

What’s more, hair density — how many individual shafts there are on the head — is affected by its colour, with blondes having the most hair and redheads the least.

“Half the battle is learning how to work with the hair you’ve been given,” says Wendy Lewis, author of Hair Affair. “You may know best how your hair behaves, but getting it to look healthy, shiny and manageable can take a little knowledge.”

To that (split) end, this guide is here to help. Whether your mop is wavy, curly, frizzy, thick or just refuses to lie flat, we have a battle plan to defeat any kind of bad hair day.

Dealing With: Thick Hair

In the same way that it’s hard to sympathise with a billionaire who complains about the price of maintaining his yacht, it’s hard to feel pity for a man who complains his hair is too thick. But if you’re that man in question, a thick thatch can be a constant source of annoyance.

“With thick hair, the main issue is manageability and the sheer volume of the hair,” says Jaymarie Winkler, a store manager at the new Ruffians barbershop in London department store Liberty.

How To Style Thick Hair

Generally, slightly shorter hairstyles work best here. “Think Caesar fringes, buzz cuts, textured crops and short choppy quiffs,” says Winkler.

If the hair is especially thick, ask your barber or stylist to take some of the weight out using special thinning scissors. “This can help if your hair is very thick, but avoid doing it if your hair is also coarse, as it’ll make it fizzy and even more unmanageable.”

It’s also worth allowing the hair to dry naturally whenever possible since blow-drying can increase volume, making it look even thicker. If blow-drying is essential, stick to a cool setting.

What Products To Use For Thick Hair

Not volumising mousse, for one. Thick hair benefits from styling products that provide hold without adding volume or stickiness, so Winkler suggests stocking up on clays or pastes.

According to Paul Morgan, a master barber at Jacks of London, a good moisturising shampoo is also essential, as is a decent conditioner. “They’ll stop hair drying out and keep it in good condition, which is important because if hair is dry the cuticles [the outermost layer of your hair] will remain open and it will seem even thicker and straw-like.”

Conditioners also help keep thick hair manageable and result in a sleeker and less voluminous look. “Moroccan Oil is excellent for thick hair as it moisturises and, with prolonged use, can change the texture and soften the hair,” says Morgan.

(Related: Men’s Short Haircuts Gallery)

the best products to use on thick hair

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Dealing With: Wavy Hair

Around 40 per cent of Caucasian men have slightly wavy hair, and if you’re one of them, you’re in good company —David Gandy, Orlando Bloom and Roger Federer are three well-known men who know how to ride the waves.

Like curly hair, the wavy stuff can appear bulky and tends to react to the weather — with the wave becoming more pronounced at times of high humidity or when there’s drizzle in the air. Additional waves can also sprout in places you’d rather they didn’t and get knotted and tangled if your hair is long.

How To Style Wavy Hair

“Rather than a bad thing, in many respects, wavy hair is the holy grail of hair types,” says Winkler. “Pretty much all styles work, but anything pushed back really shows off that wave. If your hair is thick as well as wavy, though, your barber can take some of the some of the bulk out with a razor or thinning scissors without risking frizz.”

Particularly good cuts for guys with wavy hair include the undercut (where the sides and back a keep ultra short with the hair worn long on top), the public school side part (where the fringe falls forward) or loose and tousled (think Jon Snow or Harry Styles). Just remember: the longer the hair, the more pronounced the wave, so if control is your aim, keep your hair under three inches or so in length.

To tame longer wavy hair that tends to be a bit unruly, Morgan suggests tying it up loosely overnight. “Taken down in the morning it will have a natural, messy, wavy look — very low maintenance and effortlessly cool.”

The Best Wavy Hair Styles For Men

What Products To Use On Wavy Hair

“I recommend a sea salt or volumising spray to give a bit of oomph before styling with either a glossy pomade or a styling paste,” says Winkler.

You can maximise (and look after) your waves with hair products designed to define and enhance curls and waves while reducing the mad scientist look with an anti-frizz serum.

If you really want to wave goodbye, you can always temporarily remove them with the help of a pair of ceramic straighteners. If your cut is particularly short, opt for a model with smaller plates as these offer greater precision — which is the difference between smouldering looks and second-degree burns.

the best best styling products for men with wavy hair

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Dealing With: Curly Hair

“Curly hair is curly because the follicle that it grows from under the scalp is not straight,” says celebrity hairdresser and trichologist Guy Parsons. Typically, curly hair is more coarse in texture, and the coarser the hair, the less water it holds and therefore the dryer it is.

“It also absorbs light rather than reflects it, so it doesn’t tend to look as ‘shiny’ as straighter hair would,” says Parsons. “The other downside is that it can become frizzy in humid weather, which is why it’s important to use products that create a protective shield around it.”

How To Style Curly Hair

A lot of guys find caring for curly hair overwhelming, neglecting it to the point of comedy 1980s scouser (“it’s certainly not the easiest hair type to manage,” admits Parsons).

You have three options: fight it by keeping it cropped (which is how Justin Timberlake tackles his notoriously curly mop top), remove the curls with a relaxing treatment, or — and this is by far the easiest and most authentic option — you can just make the most of what nature has given you. After all, it’s not as if there aren’t plenty of poster boys for curly hair: think James Franco, Adrian Grenier and Carlos Valderrama. Okay, so maybe not Valderrama, but you get the idea.

“To maintain and define curly hair, ask your barber for a flat, layered cut to create a full, curly finish,” advises Morgan. “You don’t want too much thinning or texturising to take place.” A curly undercut (short at the back and sides, long and curly on top) always looks good, as does a curly quiff and hair grown to jaw-length a la Aiden Turner in Poldark.

Whatever style you choose, make sure you get it cut or shaped when dry. Curly hair is more relaxed when wet, springing back a little when dry, so having it cut this way guarantees the style and length you want.

(Related: Men’s Curly Haircuts Gallery)

the best curly hair styles for men

What Products To Use On Curly Hair

“Product choice is crucial for curly hair,” says Morgan, who recommends a moisturising shampoo to prevent hair becoming dry and frizzy alongside a styling product like Moroccan Oil Moulding Cream. “It can be applied to wet hair and, as it’s incredibly moisturising, is perfect for curly hair,” he says. “It will help to define the curls and give good hold.”

When you’re in a knot, pick up the right tool, too. Hair can be kept tangle-free by using a brush designed specifically for thick and curly hair; these have flexible teeth that gently detangle and smooth down the hair’s cuticles while minimising damage. Equally, drying hair with a hair dryer featuring a diffuser will help protect the hair and define curls without making them frizzy.

“For a more relaxed curly look, just towel dry the hair and use a standard hair dryer nozzle or funnel to help straighten the hair for a more relaxed curl,” says Morgan. “Or if you want rid of them, straighteners could give you a new look for the day.”

Just remember that using heat on curls — along with alcohol-based sprays and mousses — can make already desert-dry hair even drier, so don’t forget to reverse the effects with a moisture-rich, non-volumising shampoo and occasional deep conditioner.

the best products to use on curly hair

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Dealing With: Unruly Hair

Like young children, hair can be obedient and well behaved or unruly and defiant. Since your head of hair is unique, chances are it’ll have its own kinks and quirks. Most of these you’ll have embraced and learned to live with, but a couple — cowlicks and double crowns, namely — can be particularly problematic.

Crowns are (mostly clockwise) whorls of hair that form at a central point at the back of the skull just down from the top of your head — but some people have two of these, creating a ‘double crown’. These can be tricky for barbers to deal with because they have to deal with two centres of growth to style around.

Cowlicks, meanwhile, are small sections of hair that go against the general direction of hair grown on the head to create gravity-defying tufts that stick up and defy most attempts to tame them with products like waxes and pomades.

How To Style

“If you have a pronounced double crown, you have to commit to either a long, very choppy or short style,” says Winkler. “Longer will weigh the crown down, making it less noticeable, and going short and choppy will hide it.” Anything in between and you’re asking for trouble, with different sections of your hair growing noticeably apart.

The easiest way to deal with a stubborn cowlick is to go for a short, spiky or textured style that works with it rather than against it, disguising the hyperactive hair in the process.

the best men's hairstyles for unruly hair

What Products To Use On Unruly Hair

There is no magic potion that can help here. However, a few styling techniques can aid in making things easier.

For example, blow-drying can temporarily change the direction of hair growth if cowlicks are a problem, while growing the hair longer can help by weighing it down.

Interestingly, washing the hair less frequently is also a good hack as the natural oils will weigh the individual strands down at the root.

the best products to use for unruly hair

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Now Watch: 8 Grooming Hacks That All Men Should Know

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Fashion

12 Best Workout Shorts for Men That Look Pretty Great When You Aren’t Working Out, Too

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There’s probably a big difference between the best workout shorts for men and the stained sweatpant cutoffs you’ve been wearing for bi-weekly crunches and leg lifts in front of the TV this past year. And if you’ve paused your gym membership (and still haven’t been able to find any adjustable dumbbells in stock) the best use of your monthly stay-somewhat-in-shape budget right now might just be a fresh pair of performance shorts that will get you excited about the idea of moving your body vigorously outdoors on a regular basis.

Over the past several years we’ve sweated in a wide array of different gym and running shorts. To determine the best we’ve considered, price, durability, hand feel, and a host of other variables. Is the stretchy performance fabric actually breathable? If there’s a lining, does it actually stay put or does it ride up after the third deep lunge? Where are the pockets and can they actually succeed at holding the things one needs while doing different kinds of work outs? And, of course, do the shorts look good enough that you wouldn’t mind running some errands in them on the way to the run? Below, here are the 12 best workout shorts for men we’ve found. They should help you make some gains and look pretty good doing it. 

The Most Versatile Workout Shorts

Outdoor Voices Anytime workout shorts

Outdoor Voices’ workout shorts were the clear winner of our 2020 fitness awards for a host of reasons. First, a Tik-Tok-approved 5-inch inseam means no extra fabric getting in the way. Second, they’re constructed from extremely tech-y fabric which is both breathable and water-resistant, with a comfy protective built-in liner (that stays put) and plenty of pockets to hold all your essentials whether you’re on a run or lifting at the gym. Think of them as the gym-rat younger brother of the ubiquitous Patagonia Baggies. 

The Best Workout Shorts for Getting After It at the Gym

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Ten Thousand Interval short

Ten Thousand makes a lot of workout gear, but it got its start back in 2014 with a simple pair of shorts and a shirt. We dug version 1.0, which we tried back in 2015, but the company has spent the intervening years making small tweaks and adjustment to the design that have made it even better. The updates retain the shorts extremely minimalist aesthetic, but add a bunch of little hidden touches, including hidden zipper pockets. The thing you’ll notice the most as you actually use the shorts though is how they move. Thanks to the un-bunchable, pinch-free waistband and extremely flexible shell, the short both somehow molds perfectly to your body and expands easily with your movement. If you’re looking for the best shorts for going absolutely nuts on the battle ropes, look no further.

The Best Workout Shorts for Runners

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Tracksmith “Ekiden” running shorts

Serious runners require serious running shorts. And nobody designs more serious running kits than Tracksmith, the Boston label that transplants Chariots of Fire–era aesthetics onto modern marathon-ready gear. Its latest concoction is these thigh-high split shorts inspired by Japan’s Hakone Ekiden—a legendary 218-kilometer relay race—fashioned from plush, antimicrobial mesh. You’re not going to be able to fit your phone into the 2.5-inch inseam, but the shorts manage to make space for two internal pockets that hold your keys or one of those race-day sports goo packets. 

The Best All-Around Workout Shorts

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Rhone “Mako” workout shorts

The Rhone Mako short is a little bit gymmier than you might want to wear on a day to day basis, but it’s all in service of performance. Their stretchy fabric feels smooth against your skin, and yields that satisfying swish-swish rustling noise with each successive stride. Its full-zip, standalone smartphone hip pocket is the best-executed and most secure version out of all the shorts we tested. They’re available in both 7-inch and 9-inch inseams, so are a good option for shorter guys and/or taller guys who want to show some thigh.

8 More Workout Shorts We Love

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Patagonia Strider Pro workout shorts

We wholeheartedly endorse doing HIIT in your 5-inch Patagonia baggies, but if you prefer a slightly techier Patagonia offering for working out, these fast-drying shorts are ideal for runners, thanks to a super streamlined design.
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Lululemon T.H.E. workout short

Lululemon’s shorts are made from a buttery smooth, cool-to-the-touch fabric that feels super luxurious. The shorts aren’t as substantial as the Outdoor Voices and Rhone shorts, but that also makes them plenty breathable.

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Adidas Squadra 17 workout shorts

An extremely cheap, classic option. These will not be your “forever” shorts, but they’ll hold up just fine for a few seasons.

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Brooks Sherpa split workout short

If the idea of 3-inch running shorts gives you pause, internalize this pair’s perfect tagline: “less short, more speed.”

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Satisfy short distance workout shorts

The liner on these lightweight shorts is just a tad longer than the shorts themselves, making the bold snakeskin print all the more striking. They pack an internal phone pocket, an external zipper pocket, and a key carabiner into one streamlined and stylish package.

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Rec Gen Type 2 lite workout short

If AirPod buds tend to fall out of your ears by the second squat or your simply remain devoted to your reliable fully-wired headphones, Rec Gen might be a good option. The brand’s shorts come with a small headphone pocket that corrals wires, leading them up to your ears along your back to ensure you don’t get tangled while doing curls.

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Nike Flex Stride workout shorts

Nike’s shorts include a breathable and supportive soft inner liner. They also have more than enough pockets to cover your PKW needs—two on the sides, and a zippered one just above the butt.

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Under Armour Locker workout shorts

Clean and unobtrusive, with a roomy 9-inch inseam, these light workout shorts come in about a billion colors.

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Fashion

Why the Canadian Tuxedo Is the Perfect Style Detox

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pDennis Hopper during the filming of emThe Last Movieem 1971.p

There’s a common adage you hear about great masters in their fields: the Michelin-starred chef who, after a long day composing gastronomical wonders in the kitchen, comes home craving the simplicity of a grilled cheese; the musical genius who listens to nothing but white noise anywhere outside of the studio. No one would ever mistake me for a great master of anything, but even I—your humble middle-of-the-road menswear blogger—sometimes need a mental vacation from thinking about clothes after the endless hours of internet garm-wrangling I put in everyday. About every six months or so, I’ll open my closet in the morning and instantly feel like Rocky in the 14th round, bleary-eyed and overmatched and unable to piece together even a half-decent fit. I can’t see nothing. You gotta dress me, Mick! In those instances, I’ve come to rely on a uniform that helps me realign my sartorial chakras: denim-on-denim.

Dennis Hopper during the filming of The Last Movie, 1971.

Everett Collection

That’s right, the Canadian Tuxedo. When I first stumbled into this semi-regular habit a couple of years back, it was completely subconscious: every day for a week or so, without really thinking about it, I’d pull on my trusty 501s with my even-trust-ier trucker jacket, plucked for a pittance from the Club Monaco sale rack more than a decade ago in college and put through absolute hell ever since. What peculiar forces had drawn me to double denim, exactly? Perhaps it was a comforting nod to my roots north of the border, or a small tribute to the decades of style gods who have donned it before me: your Marvins, your Hoppers, your Meryls, your Kermits. But mostly, I think, I leaned on it for its quiet functionality. No matter what you wear underneath—a plain tee or a freaky camp shirt, a hoodie or a polo—there’s a purpose-driven clarity to pairing jeans and a jean jacket. A few days of palate-cleansing indigo, and I’m right back ready to furiously stunt on the world like post-baseball Mike.

Bob Marley in London, July  24, 1975. 

Michael Putland / Getty Images

Michael Douglas during the filming of Napoleon and Samantha, 1972.

Getty Images

Lately, I’ve taken to calling these occasional denim-heavy stretches my Style Detoxes. Even if you aren’t as enamored with the rugged ease of all-jean-everything as I am, it’s a useful practice to adopt from time to time. The next time you wake up sick of all your own clothes, too weary to decide what to wear, go with your gut and throw on something effortless and innocuous. Then wear it again, and again, and again, and again—à la Doug from Doug—until you’re ready to return to getting dressed with fresh eyes and renewed intention.

Eric Clapton and John Lennon perform in Wembley, December 11, 1968.

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Princess Diana with her sons in Lech, Austria, March 30, 1993.

Tim Graham / Getty Images

Maybe your Style Detox is wearing head-to-toe white like Andrew W.K. or head-to-toe black like a Chelsea gallerist. Maybe it’s the perfect tracksuit or the perfect suit-suit. Whatever you land on, I’ll be floating above it all in my dungaree-induced meditative trance. If you’d like to join me, here are a handful of hard-wearing ways to do just that.

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Levi’s 501 original shrink-to-fit jeans

Tough to beat the brand that invented the look.

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Uniqlo U cotton trucker jacket

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Uniqlo U regular fit jeans

Christophe Lemaire brings his artful Parisian eye to an all-American ensemble.

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Oni Denim 16oz natural indigo jean jacket

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Oni Denim 16oz natural indigo neat straight jeans

Ready to see what all the hype is about over Japanese denim? Let this gorgeous slubby set be your introduction.

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A.P.C. New Standard jeans

The label that introduced you to raw denim does the whole stonewash thing better than most, too.

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Everlane relaxed 4-way stretch organic jean

Rockstar-ify your Canadian Tuxedo with a little pitch black denim.

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Todd Snyder stretch denim jacket

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Todd Snyder slim fit selvedge jean

Trashed like a perfect thrift store find, minus the impossible-to-wash-out thrift store smell.

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Fashion giant H&M pauses placing new orders in Myanmar

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Fashion giant H&M pauses placing new orders in Myanmar

STOCKHOLM – Sweden’s H&M, the world’s second-biggest fashion retailer, said on Monday it was shocked by the use of deadly force against protesters in Myanmar and that it had paused placing orders in the country.

Police and military have killed more than 50 people to quell daily demonstrations and strikes against a Feb. 1 military coup, according to the United Nations last week.

H&M has around 45 direct suppliers in Myanmar, it said on its website, and has sourced in the country for seven years.

“Although we refrain from taking any immediate action regarding our long-term presence in the country, we have at this point paused placing new orders with our suppliers,” Serkan Tanka, Country Manager Myanmar, said in an email.

“This is due to practical difficulties and an unpredictable situation limiting our ability to operate in the country, including challenges related to manufacturing and infrastructure, raw material imports and transport of finished goods.”

Two protesters were killed by gunshot wounds to the head in Myanmar on Monday, witnesses said, while shops, factories and banks were closed in the main city Yangon as part of the uprising against the country’s military rulers.

Tanka said H&M was extremely concerned about the situation in the country and that it was in dialogue with UN agencies, diplomatic representatives, human rights experts, trade unions and other multinational companies.

“These consultations will guide us in any future decision in relation to how we as a company can best contribute to positive developments in accordance with the will of the people in Myanmar,” he said.

Myanmar’s garment industry is smaller than that of neighboring countries Bangladesh, China and Thailand. However, its around 600 factories are significant employers, providing jobs for around 450,000 workers in 2020, according to the Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association

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