How hard is it to be a man with curly hair these days? Curls are becoming more and more popular for men. Just look at the reaction stars such as John Mayer, Adrian Grenier and Brody Jenner receive for their textured 'dos.
But it may surprise you to learn that men often struggle with curl acceptance just like women do — maybe more.
Most magazines and advertisements for hairstyles and products are directed toward women, but what about the curly male? According to a study conducted by Yale University, a bad hair day actually negatively affects a male’s self-esteem more than a woman’s, and men feel more nervous, less confident, and are more inclined to be unsociable when they are unhappy about their hair.
“Many curly men just go to a local barber and get a crew cut because they don’t know what to do with their hair," says Robert Nieves, a curly stylist at Devachan Salon & Departure Lounge. "That is one of the biggest mistakes guys can make. They don’t want to spend the money on a good haircut and healthy product for their hair.”
Education is the first step for men who have never tried to wear their hair curly, Nieves says.
“They need to understand that the growing-out process is going to be rough and can take up to three or four months, but the final result is worth it," he says. "Once they have a good style, they will only need a cut every three months. So, wearing their hair curly is actually a big time saver because when one has a crew cut, it needs to be cut about every two weeks.”
Nieves’ biggest tip for men with curly hair is to invest in good products and to get rid of that regular towel. “They should scrunch their hair, don’t rub, and use paper towels or an old clean t-shirt.”
As trends change and curly hair becomes more popular, men are finally starting to embrace their natural curl.
“Guys these days are more resourceful in finding help for their curly hair. A lot of clients find our salon through website recommendations," Shai Amiel at Capella Salon in Studio City, CA says. "You can also find stylist recommendations on NaturallyCurly.com when you click the CurlSalons link at the top of the page."
Amiel believes that today’s curly guys aren’t afraid to ask questions about their hair.
“Once they get here, most men are very confident about asking how to take care of their curls," Amiel says. "Men are usually newer to the whole curly process, so they have even more questions than many of my female clients.”
Gino, a color stylist at B.B. Hair Art in San Diego, says women are more comfortable with the fuller look then men are.
One thing that can help a man’s self-esteem is good color, says Gino.
“Highlights look really good on men with curly hair, especially when the hair is scrunched with gel," Gino says.
Gino says he’s even found that some brands of colors, such as Redken’s Shades EQ, makes curly hair more controllable. And having a sense of control can be the secret to helping a man feel more comfortable with his curls.
“When a man has a good cut and style, he feels better about himself, and there is a glow about him when he leaves the salon.”
Curly hair can be a struggle for anyone, but more and more men are learning to appreciate their curls and are embracing and feeling confident about a trait that makes them unique.