You never get a second chance at making a first impression, so don’t let yourself down with a subpar hairstyle. Behold our best tips for styling long, wavy, unruly and thick men’s hair so that people notice you and your style for all the right reasons.
Whilst stealing your girlfriend’s luxury shampoo is never a good idea, you do not want to risk scorn and suspicion for spending too long in the bathroom, either. Whether at home or at work, post-gym or pre-bar, male grooming is booming. In fact, sales of men’s skincare products outgrew women’s last year, such is the demand of today’s dapper gents.
Happily, we’re here to guide you on getting the most from your mane and remaining in control of your appearance. So whether you identify as frizzy, curly, long or louche, here’s all you need to know about hairstyles for men with thick hair.
- 1 Men’s Hairstyles for Thick Hair
- 2 How to Look After Thick Hair
- 3 Best Haircuts for Thick Hair
- 4 How to Style Thick Hair
- 5 On That Note
Men’s Hairstyles for Thick Hair
Best Hairstyles for Thick Hair
Whilst your barber will be able to advise on the best cut for your hair, here are a few timeless hairstyles for men with thick hair (plus they won’t fall out of fashion anytime soon).
The Textured Cut
A messy, textured style is ideal hairstyle for men with thick hair, as it lets your locks sit the way they want to. Just be sure you’ve got a bit of length at the top and front to work with. Depending on your preference and head shape you can go shorter at the back and sides to contrast with the thickness and emphasise the angles of your face.
To achieve this look, your barber should use a combination of point cutting and razor work. Just be sure he doesn’t take thinning scissors up top: they can make ends wispy and leave hair at the root looking excessively bulky.
Styling a textured cut is pretty straightforward as the mantra here is less is more: remember this is a carefree style so you don’t want to look too groomed. The only product you really need is a texture enhancer, clay or putty to mess into dry hair with fingers will do the trick.
The pompadour is a hairstyle with serious history. Originally debuted in the 1750s by Madame Pompadour, chief mistress to King Louis XV of France, the one-time female fashion of pinning hair on top of the head to create height, has morphed over hundreds of years into a classic men’s cut.
Flattering for all different sorts of face shapes, the pompadour is ideal for men with thick hair as it needs enough volume to support itself once styled. To achieve the look, start by growing the front out a bit and then ask your barber to cut in a graduated top. Each time you go for a trim, the graduation should be altered slightly so the back is kept short and the front long. You’re aiming for around three inches of height before you can really start styling it properly.
Once you’re there, use a hairdryer and some mousse or salt spray to achieve the desired swoop. Pull the hair up from the roots as you dry, and use your fingers or a round hairbrush to push it back on itself and create movement. Run some putty or paste through the back and sides, and finish off with a spritz of hairspray. James Dean: eat your heart out.
For a less polished version of the pompadour (but no less iconic), the quiff is a stand-out style thick haired men can rock all year long.
The classic quiff is cut with a soft back and short sides (ask for a number four), leaving the fringe long. If you prefer a more contemporary take, the back and sides should be cut even shorter to create a dramatic contrast to the hair at the top of the head. Do take into consideration the shape of your head with this one; since the quiff offers natural volume, it’s best not to cut hair at the back and sides too short if you have a long, oval face.
Whilst a thick hairstyle will always take some time to style, the beauty with the quiff is that it’s a fairly fuss-free look. Simply apply a little putty or paste to towel-dried hair, then use a brush and dryer set to the highest temperature and lowest speed to sweep into your preferred shape. Finish off with a strong hold hairspray as you rush out of the door.
Men’s Short Hairstyles for Thick Hair
For a low-maintenance look that won’t fall flat, the side-parting is a retro cut that continues to prove popular. First coming into fashion in the 1920’s, the modern revival of this style is an easy and alternative to the slick back.
The heart of this haircut is a short back and sides. Ask your barber to clip down to about an inch. Remember to leave around four inches on top so it’s long enough to be parted but short enough to be neat.
To style, slick a comb through wet hair to set a natural parting (this should follow the direction your hair grows in). Work a paste or pomade through with your fingers. Unruly hair or flyaways can be tamed with a spritz of setting spray if required.
The Shoulder Length Cut
Lengthy men’s locks have featured on the runway for years, and now they are becoming a popular contemporary look on the streets too. The key to rocking this cut is correct hair texture: super straight hair won’t stay in place as well as hair with a subtle wave, whilst curly hair men will struggle to keep it smooth and have the dreaded bushy hair!
Before booking in with your barber, you need to put in the work. It will take around 8-12 months for hair to reach the bottom of the neck, so patience and perseverance (and plenty of hats) are required. Once ready, choppy layers can be added to remove excess weight and create the desired shape. A loose perm or texturiser can also be used where it sits too straight or too curly.
Having come this far, however, the good news is that day-to-day maintenance is minor. Long locks look best when left loose and natural. Scrunch in some sea salt and go! Just be sure to regularly condition, paying close attention to the tips. Leave your locks to dry naturally whenever possible (blow drying encourages unwanted frizz, so if you absolutely have to blast your barnet use your dryer on a cool setting).
How to Look After Thick Hair
Although thick hairstyles can be challenging to style and maintain, using the right products is the first step to success. Don’t be one of those guys who simply steals their girlfriend’s shampoo – chances are her preferred option won’t be beneficial to you (and she won’t be best impressed when she finds her expensive haircare half empty).
The products you use to style thick hair for men can make or break your look. Don’t just rock up to the supermarket and choose products randomly; you wouldn’t expect your barber to take such a blasé approach to your barnet, so why would you? For a slick, salon-inspired finish, you need to ensure the products you pick – be they men’s curly products, men’s thick products, or men’s unruly hair products – deserve their place in your bathroom cabinet.
Whilst you must always invest in products that reflect your hairstyle, and style needs, there is one non-negotiable product men must become very well-acquainted with. Conditioner helps moisturise both the hair and scalp, leaving locks healthy and more manageable. Look for products containing vitamins A, B6, C and K, folate and/or protein. They all have hydrating qualities which will leave hair looking healthy, and while on the subject of healthy hair, be sure to shy away from anything with alcohol in, as this will dry out the hair.
For additional moisturisation, massage half a cup of plain yoghurt – yes, yoghurt! – through your hair once a week, letting it sit for twenty minutes before thoroughly rinsing. Though this may sound strange, plain yoghurt is highly nourishing and helps with the management of thickness. It also adds shine which is a bonus.
Putties and Pastes
Wax is often too lax for men with thick hair, so look for a putty or paste instead. They provide a strong hold for most styles, particularly those with volume and texture. Putties and pastes deliver a long-lasting look without excessive shine or stickiness. Simply use your fingers to tousle the areas you want to style.
Pomade is a clever blend of wax and oil that delivers a rock solid hold. It also softens and controls frizz. This makes pomades particularly good for curly hair on men. It’s great for those looking to re-create the classic styles of Mad Men’s Don Draper and The Great Gatsby’s Jay Gatsby (as portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio). Be sure to choose a water-based pomade that’s easy to wash out. Be careful not to use too much as it can look greasy. A small amount spread with fingers across the areas that need shaping will keep your hairdo looking sleek and chic.
Best Haircuts for Thick Hair
Are you feeling a little lost for inspiration when it comes to styling thick hair types? Take a cue from some of the hottest hairdos seen in Hollywood.
Jake Gyllenhaal: Textured Top
The juxtaposition within Gyllenhaal’s messy mane (around ten inches on top, and six inches at the back and sides) reflects his relaxed yet perfectly razored beard. The beards cut close to his cheeks before graduating into a longer length below the jawline. A dishevelled yet debonair look.
Jared Leto: Loose Locks
Leto pulls off his long locks with aplomb, letting his hair hang loose with a slight wave through the bottom. The subtle ombre keeps the style current, whilst his wispy whiskers accentuate his masculine jawline. A fabulous, face-framing do.
Harry Styles: Tamed Curls
As most of us know, Harry Styles is known not only for his singing and now acting debut but for his curly mane. The boy band star has had long, short and messy styles but with such thick locks, he has tamed the hair and is now rocking a shorter cut that shows off some of his big curls.
How to Style Thick Hair
- Be realistic about the amount of time you have to style your hair every day and choose a cut that fits into your lifestyle.
- Healthy hair is happy hair. Investing money in maintaining your mane will keep it looking healthy and hydrated.
- Use good quality shampoos and conditioners that compliment your hair type, however don’t over wash your hair as it can start looking greasier quicker.
- Asking a stylist is a quick and helpful way to see what style will work best depending on your hair type, they see this everyday so don’t shy away from finding the best style for you.
On That Note
Thick hair shouldn’t hold you back when it comes to styling. All it takes is a bit of research and time to look at what will suit your hair types and head shape. Your hair is one of the the first things people see, so getting it right is vital to a timeless and stylish look.