It’s happened to us all at some point. For whatever reason, we simply cannot get our hair looking just like we want to. Gels that leave our hair looking limp, shampoo which leave residue on our scalp and even cuts that look just plain wrong!

Today we’re going to take a brief look at the reasons why our hair care routine might be the cause of our consternation.

Let’s start by taking a look at our first potential culprit, shampoo…

Shampoo

The wrong kind of shampoo will leave your follicles looking limp, dry, split or downright shabby. Take a look at my previous guide on selecting basic hair care products to get the right formulation for your scalp.

Remember, with the correct shampoo there’s no need to ‘rinse, lather, repeat’, as one application should be more than enough. Most men pour on the ‘poo and wonder why their hair turns to mush – apply the quantity suggested on the bottle and not a drop more.

Always guarantee you’ve thoroughly rinsed after washing. Small, white dandruff-like flakes are often the result of failing to clean out any remaining shampoo from the hair before drying.

Never use boiling hot water on your head – it’ll damage your follicles and open up pores you ideally want closed whilst using shampoo or conditioner. Use temperate water for washing and, preferably, a cooler lukewarm for rinsing.

Conditioner

Most men can’t get over the idea that you don’t necessarily need to use conditioner on each and every wash. Follow the directions on the packet and use as conservatively as you would shampoo.

Always buy the right formulation too; there’s nothing worse than using a conditioner for brittle, straight hair on thick, lustrous curls and vice versa. Similarly, if using a ‘leave in’ conditioner, avoid applying incorrectly or unevenly.

Product

Never apply gels, mousses, waxes or sprays on wet hair unless specifically ordered by the bottle. To avoid diluting the solution, put on damp hair instead. Always wash out product once you’re done with it; being typical men, there’s always a temptation to just ‘leave it in for the weekend’, but this’ll only lead to nasty, matted locks in the long term.

Can’t quite get the look you’re after; it may be that you need to use a combination of products. Try mixing and matching using the directions as a guide for getting various looks.

Equipment

Most guys want hair like they’ve just stepped out of a TV commercial, yet don’t own so much as a comb! The only way you’re going to get your hair looking great is with the right set of tools by your side.

Start by investing in a decent quality brush with bristles appropriate to your hair type. This, at least, will give you enough control over your hair to perform basic styling and shaping.

Length

hair care mistakes

If you’re going thin on top, then a trip to the barbers is called for. Nothing is worse for a balding man than ‘rat tails’; keep your cut short, but shaped and avoid those comb-overs like your life depended on it.

Those with longer strands should avoid the latest ‘looks’ unless they have the appropriate face shape to pull it off. Remember, even the most stylish ‘must-have’ cut will appear horrific if placed on the wrong type of head.

About The Author

Johnathan Bell is the founder, owner and main author of Guy Style Guide, a website dedicated to everyday male fashion, style and grooming. The primary mission? To guide clueless men through the tricky mindfield that is the growing world of male couture. Find him on , Twitter and Tumblr.