Hi, official hair thread, my name is Andrew.
I've spent 10 years focusing on perfecting men's hairdressing, I've made several youtube videos on the topic of styling hair (admittedly, they have poor editing and quality, but I assure you they're rich in content), I teach cutting, styling, and marketing men's hair at a few local cosmetology and barber colleges, and I am in the process of working with a few other masters of their trades (a barber and a graphic designer) to create a line of custom formulated hair styling products. I've experienced what I'd consider a tremendous response to my Instagram page (@andrewdoeshair), where I find myself answering many of the questions I see a lot of you guys asking on this forum, too. If you'd allow me, I'd love to share some of what I know about hair.
Forum help vs stylist help
If you're asking the forum "how long should this cut be?" or especially "exactly how long should this haircut be?" then you need to find a new hairdresser. Imagine a scenario where a friend asks you why you like your hairdresser, and all you can say is "Oh, she's the best, because when I ask for 2 inches, she cuts it EXACTLY 2 inches..."
When a client asks me to cut his hair 2 inches, I point out the door and tell him how to find great clips. Not really... But what I do, as a professional who offers his experience and expertise on top of the actual act of performing a haircut, is ask the client "well what do you want your hair to do?" because it's not a client's job to know what his hair will do at 2 inches long, it's MY
job to know that. If your friend has fine hair that he slicks back, and it's cut 2 inches long, you need to understand that you do not want a 2 inch long haircut to slick back your coarse thick hair (it'll spike up, at that length)! You are to tell your hairdresser/hairstylist/barber what you want your hair to do
, and then they tell you
how long it has to be. Use descriptive words. Messy, neat, jagged, slick, clean, grungy, tight, tall, dry, not measurements
Telling your hairdresser you want to cut 2 inches is the equivalent of telling your personal trainer you want to lift 20lbs. I will repeat, you are to describe the look your desired results, and then trust your stylist to give you what you need in order to achieve them.
Need to find a better stylist? Go sit at the mall and wait until you see someone with great hair. Flag them down. Ask them where they go. If you can just walk in, there is a great chance you're not going to the best stylist! If a stylist asks you "how long do you want it?" then walk out.STYLING 101
The first thing you need to unlearn
is that product should control or hold your hair. This is learned while we are in Jr. high, and we use Garnier or Axe to glue up our hair. Be better than the axe! Wash the product out of your hair and then follow these steps with me...
Wet hair is neutral. If you comb it forward, it stays forward, but only until you comb it sideways- then it stays sideways. But only until you then comb it back... You get the idea. Wet hair goes wherever the external forces will it to go.
Hair comes out of neutral and shifts into drive by applying heat. The heat (whether by flat iron, curling iron, or blow dryer) will make the hair pliable, and wherever it sits as it cools is where it will stay, product or no product. Heat your hair in small sections (I like to start in the back) using a good blow dryer (I trust Solano) and also use a brush to pull your hair where you want it (up, beck, sideways, forward, wherever). Your hair WILL stay where you put it, by doing this. Even if you mash it down with your hand afterward, it'll bounce right back up. And if you have wavy hair, brushing it straight while you blow dry it can remove the curl (ask your girlfriend- she's been doing this to her hair for years!)
This was done with ONLY
a blow dryer and a brush. There is NO
product at all in here....
All you want to expect from your hair product is a finish. You'll use it to stick the hair together, and to glue down those light fly-aways, but the biggest job of the product is to turn the "fluff" into whichever type of finish you'd like. product will also shrink down your blow dry, so blow dry your hair bigger than you want it. You can remove volume with product, but you can't easily add it with product.
Matrix beach clay provides a dry and pliable finish. It doesn't get hard or flake. I rub it very thin on my fingertips, apply it to the root first, then pull it through to the ends, so that the majority of the product will support the root of the hair, and not weigh down the ends. A similar product would be Redken Rough Clay, and another good dry product is Redken Rough Paste. This is what Beach Clay looks like on blow dried hair.
For that wet and clean look that is popular lately, I still recommend a blow dry before adding product, and I strongly recommend not using any wax or oil based products. When you coat your hair in wax or oil, it is put into a state of semi-permanent wetness, which can take a week or so to get out of your hair, and it will remain in "neutral" no matter how much you blow dry or flat iron it, and then you are left with only the styling power of the wax itself (which pails in comparison to what a blow dryer can do for your hair). For these wet looks I recommend a water based pomade, because it'll easily rinse out when you're done. A few good ones are Redken Polish up, which is very shiny and not very dense, and Imperial Classic Pomade, which is slightly less shiny and very very dense and heavy (my favorite). These were styled with a blow dryer, and then Imperial classic pomade...