Top tips for tip-top locks
Hippy, dropout, communist: if you’re male and you have long hair, you’re almost certainly one of the above and therefore a dangerous threat to society. Keep your eyes peeled for The Man, lurking behind dark shades and brandishing a set of clippers, ready to buzzcut you back to conformity.
But wait. Time was, no self-respecting king would be seen dead without a flowing mane. And, more importantly, popular culture is packed with hirsute heroes. Legolas from Lord of the Rings, Thor, the Prince of Persia. Practically the entire cast of Game of Thrones and tash-tastic drug drama, Narcos.
Guys with long hair
Long hair for men is making a comeback. In fact, it never went away. There’s even a website dedicated to history’s hairiest male legends. Anyone remember a bloke called Jesus?
If you have long hair, or you’re thinking of growing your hair out, here are some tips to keep your locks luscious, with expert advice from Huckle’s very own Marshal Darling.
(If you’re thinning on top, or can’t grow your hair long, read our blog on why you should embrace baldness, here.)
How to grow out your hair
No man goes from crop to mop top overnight. Growing out your hair is a process and, like growing up, there’s a painful middling stage during which you’ll be slamming doors and shouting, ‘It’s not fair!’
‘You have to be patient when you’re growing it out,’ explains Marshal, barber and manager at Huckle’s Lamb’s Conduit Street shop. ‘Especially if you’re used to cutting your hair once or twice a month.’
‘Don’t panic at the awkward unruly stage, keep the faith and go at least three months without getting a trim. If you’re really committed to having long hair, resist the temptation to shave the sides. That’s like trying to have long hair and short hair at the same time and you’ll end up looking like an onion.’
Long hair styles for men
Longer hair for men doesn’t necessarily mean growing it down to your shoulders. There are numerous classic gentlemen’s styles where the back and sides are kept natural, with length on top for styling. That said, if you want true length—‘manpunzel’ length—you’ll have to persevere.
Once you get there, wherever there is, here’s how to look after it.
Top tips: how to take care of long hair
Invest in good tools
You wouldn’t set about polishing a new car with a grubby dishcloth, would you? Likewise, if you want to avoid looking like a haystack after a hurricane, invest in some decent tools to care for your long hair. A wide-tooth comb and a high-quality hairbrush with natural bristles are essential.
Shampoo less often, condition regularly
Long, dried-out hair looks terrible. Your new, longer hair needs more attention than its previous incarnation. Here’s Marshal:
‘Guys with long hair often still treat it like it’s short. But longer hair is finer and weaker, it needs more care and maintenance. For starters, don’t shampoo more than two or three times a week—shampooing washes away natural oils—but do condition regularly.’
Change your rituals
Use hair products specifically designed for longer hair, like grooming cream or serum. They help tame frizz and their conditioning ingredients replicate natural oils. It’s a whole new world of products to explore.
‘You can make caring for your long hair into a morning or evening ritual. Leave-in conditioners with healing properties help to maintain health and natural shine. We stock an evo leave-in conditioner spray that coats the hair evenly, like a sprinkler. And evo Liquid Rollers Curl Balm is fantastic. It’s a low hold cream, which you apply to damp hair and comb through.’
Long hair is weakest when it’s wet, so no more violent towel drying or brushing when you’ve just got out of the shower. Instead, use a towel to squeeze moisture out, one section at a time. Long hair takes ages to dry, but resist the temptation to blast it with hot air. Marshal again:
‘Try to avoid blowdrying, it really damages the hair. It does have styling benefits though, so save it for a special occasion rather than the weekly trip to the pub.’
Healthy body = healthy hair
This one seems obvious, but it’s easily overlooked. What you put inside shows on the outside. If you eat well, exercise regularly, get enough sleep and don’t hammer the booze, your hair will thank you and, via its enviable sheen, reflect your ever-so-worthy lifestyle to the world.
So, look after yourself. If you’re a swimmer, consider a cap, or at least some nourishing hair treatments to use after you’ve been in the pool. Drink plenty of water and don’t broil yourself in the sun.
Wow, we sound like a right bunch of nags. Make sure you crawl in at dawn and breakfast on fried chicken once in a while too, to keep things in balance.
Get expert help with your long hair
Long hair ain’t all gravy. Besides the maintenance, long hair will get in your eyes and your mouth, and stick to your neck on hot days. You will, however, save on trips to the barber’s as you won’t need to go as often, probably once every two-three months.
A final word from Marshal:
‘Huckle barbers know their way around all types and lengths of hair, we’re experienced hairdressers as well as barbers. So, once your hair is longer, we can advise and cut to keep your style looking healthy, deliberate and balanced.’
Go forth and swish, gentlemen. Who knows, perhaps you’ll be the next King in the North.
Huckle the Barber offers London gents smart cuts, beard trims, wet shaves and advice for home grooming. Book online here.