I'm Taiwanese and I would have classified my hair as slightly softer than typical Asian male hair. When I would wake up, my hair would be standing straight up. If I didn't use any product in my hair, it would fail to retain any semblance of shape after drying. I also had to get my hair cut every 3-4 weeks otherwise the sides would look messy.
This past year, the texture of my hair has changed dramatically. Part of it is due to growing out my hair. I'm aiming for a typical medium length caucasian parted hair-style, like something you see in those barber shop pictures. But most of it has been the change in my hair regiment. Here are a few things that have made a dramatic difference in my hair:
1. Wash 1x per week. Shampoo strips your hair of its natural oil, sebum, which is actually good for your hair. After the first few days you will notice the effects of this immediately. I feel like a sucker thinking about how advertising brainwashed me into using shampoo everday and even sometimes twice a day. It's also much better for the environment to cut down on soaps.
I mentioned this to a friend and he had the same reaction as many of you. Doesn't your hair stink? Then I asked him how often his wife washes her hair. He responded by saying 1x per week. I then asked him, "does your wife's hair stink?" He shut up right away. I then went on the berate him about being brainwashed by advertising.
Basically, all you need to do to keep your hair smelling good is a rinse and condition everyday.
2. Rinse your hair with cold water. Cold water seals the moisture from the shower into your hair by closing the cuticles. I usually rinse my hair with warm/hot water, apply conditioner, go about my shower, and rinse with ice cold water when I'm getting out of the shower.
3. Olive oil. I started doing this after reading an article about the effects of olive oil on the skin. Basically, extra virgin olive oil contains high concentrations Retinol and other antioxidants, which is not produced by the body but helps the skin retain moisture. I would apply a small amount to my skin after showering, and the effects were pretty immediate. My skin became much softer without getting greasy because the oil gets completely absorbed by the skin. Sooner or later, I just tried it on my hair and had exactly the same results.
4. Consistent combing. If you comb your hair the same way everyday, it will sooner or later begin to take that shape naturally. Waking up, out of the shower, whenever....my hair can more or less fall back into place with a simple brush of my hands.
Some of you may think 1 and 3 above are revolting, but I hardly ever have to use gel or hairspray. The idea and look of hard sticky hair is far, far worse.