How to Control Thick Hair for Men

man with thick hair
Photo © Alain Shroder | Getty Images

The majority of men do not have very thick hair, so you'd be hard-pressed to get sympathy for dealing with it from your barber who may be thinning a little up top. Yet, if you do have thick hair, you know that it comes with its own challenges. Sometimes it can get out of control or have too much volume. Also, finding the right cut for your mop can leave a bit to be desired.

If you’ve been blessed (or cursed) with a super-thick head of hair, these tips will help you get your mane under control.

Also, look on the bright side because there are millions of men in the world who would trade you for that full head of hair any day! 

Buzz It Off 

Of course, the easiest way to control very thick hair is to simply cut it short. A buzzcut can be a great option for some guys. A short Ivy League haircut (a cut buzz at the crown, but longer towards the front) is another good option that will help control thick hair, but still give you a few styling options.

Grow it Out

One of the problems with very thick, straight hair (think Asian hair) is that it can often stand up if cut too short. If you don’t want to go ultra short, consider a longer style. This will help give the hair a little weight and hold it down.

A longer style also gives you more hair to apply styling product to and gives you more styling options. With thick hair, it’s best to go either longer or very short. Mid-length styles really just don’t work too well.

Get Used to Styling Products

If everyone had a perfect head of hair, we wouldn’t need styling products. For thick hair, the use of a styling product will help give you some control over your excessive crop. The styling product will add weight and allow you to direct the hair in the style you desire.

For thick hair, a good pomade or wax is recommended.

Remember, that a good rule of thumb is the thicker the hair, the more aggressive the product you should use.

Avoid the Dryer

For almost any head of hair, allowing it to dry on its own is often the best option. A dryer will add volume, which is what you don’t need when your hair is thick. If you must blow-dry, use a cooler setting and point the dryer downward to avoid creating too much volume.

Condition Away

Always use a great moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. After a good shampoo, apply about a dime sized amount of conditioner to your hair, comb it through with a wide-tooth comb to distribute the product and leave it on for several minutes.

A good conditioner will help soften the hair and make it more manageable.

Avoid Thinning Shears

About ninety percent of all barbers and stylists use thinning shears incorrectly. Unlike a regular shear, a thinning shear cuts only some of the hair.

When a thinning shear is used too close to the scalp with thick hair, this can create shorter pieces that will stand up and actually push out the longer hair laying over it. This gives the illusion of even thicker hair.

If your barber or stylist pulls out the thinning shears, ask them to not use them. A razor can be used on the outside of the hair to remove bulk -- just make sure your barber or stylist is skilled with the use of a razor.