You did it. You took the time and finally grew your hair out. You've now got a luscious full mane, but what do you do with it?
Growing it out was the easy part, but do you know how to style men's long hair? Do you just let it keep growing? What products do you use in it?
Don't worry, gents; I have you covered. I'll show you how to style men's long hair properly so you can keep rocking that head of hair without worry.
We'll be covering:
- Men's Long Hair – What Does It Mean?
- Long Hairstyles For Men – Which Is Best For You?
- How To Style Men's Long Hair
- What Styling Products Work Best On Men's Long Hair?
- Best Haircare Tips For Men With Longer Hair
Men's Long Hairstyles – What Does It Mean?
When most guys hear the term “long hair,” they tend to picture shoulder-length hair first.
In reality, though, there are different hair length categories and what is considered a long hairstyle.
We all can picture the two extreme sides of hair length. For example, all men agree that buzz cuts fall into the short hair category and shoulder-length hair falls into the long hair category.
When it comes to long hair, though, any hair length greater than 6 inches is considered pretty darn long.
Men's Long Hairstyles #1 Men's Medium-Length Hair
Medium-length hair is regarded as anything between 2 inches and 4 inches.
This hairstyle is easy to maintain, and you might only need monthly hair appointments to keep its length. In fact, this is the length of hair most guys stick to – it's classically masculine and relatively easy to maintain.
It's also very popular as it has a lot of variety in how you can style it and what styling products you can use.
Regarding styling, many of the same ways to style men's short hair also work on medium-length hair.
Men's Long Hairstyles #2 Men's Medium-Long Hair
On the longer side, though, medium-long hair is anything between 4 inches and 6 inches.
Due to its middle-of-road length, the medium-long category can be harder to care for as you will need proper trimming frequently alongside more general maintenance.
But despite that, it remains popular for guys who want longer hair but like the ability to have more options for styling.
Long hair requires daily styling, yet it does not have much trimming needed, maybe once every few months, as it offers more flexibility in its appearance.
Men's Long Hairstyles #3 Men's Shoulder Length Hair
In general, shoulder-length hair for men is considered to be hair that is between 6 & 8 inches long (or, you guessed it, long enough to reach your shoulders!) For some men, this can be a bit too long or too short, but for the most part, it is a good length that can offer a number of benefits if you're looking to make a statement.
One of the main benefits of having shoulder-length hair is that it is long enough to put into a bun or ponytail. This can be great for men who like to keep their hair out of their faces or who don't have time to style their hair in the morning. It can also help protect your hair from the sun and wind.
Another benefit of having shoulder-length hair is that it is long enough to style in a variety of ways. You can slick it back, put it in a man bun, or wear it messy. This gives you the ability to change your look without having to cut your hair short or visit the barber.
The main drawback of having shoulder-length hair is that it can be difficult to manage if you don't have time to style it each day. If you let it go too long without cutting it, it can start to look messy and unkempt.
Men's Long Hairstyles – Which Is Best For You?
Just because you've been wearing your hair the same way for years doesn't mean it's still the best style for you. In fact, as you age, your hair changes – it gets thinner, drier, and less manageable.
So why not change up your look to match? Knowing how to grow your hair out to suit your style and face structure is essential for any guy looking to mix things up a bit and sport a longer hairstyle.
#1 How To Find The Right Length Hair For Your Face Shape
One of the most important things to consider when choosing a new hairstyle is your face shape. The wrong style can accentuate the wrong features, making you look out of balance.
So how do you know which styles will work for you? Here's a quick breakdown:
- Round Faces: Avoid styles that add volume around the sides of your head. Instead, focus on lengthening the appearance of your face with styles that are short on the sides and longer on top.
- Square Faces: Soften the angles of your face with styles that are shorter on the sides and longer on top. This will help give the illusion of a more oval-shaped face.
- Oval Faces: You're lucky – almost any style will work for you! Just avoid styles that are too short or too long, as this will throw off the proportion of your face.
- Oblong Faces: Create the illusion of a shorter face by adding volume around the sides. Styles that are short on the sides and longer on top will also help balance out a long face shape.
- Diamond Faces: Focus on adding volume at the temples and top of your head to create the illusion of wider cheekbones. Avoid styles that are too short or too tight, as this will only accentuate your already sharp features.
- Triangle Faces: Balance out a wide jawline by keeping the sides of your hair short and adding volume at the crown. Avoid styles like crew cuts or bowl cuts, as these will only make your face look wider.
#2 How to Grow Out Your Long Hair
If you've decided it's time for a change but don't know how to grow out your hair without looking like a hair mess, don't worry – we've got you covered. Here are a few tips to get you through those awkward stages and into luscious locks:
- Start with a trim: This may seem counterintuitive, but hear us out – getting rid of damaged ends will actually help your hair grow faster and look healthier overall. Trust us, it's worth it!
- Get regular trims: Once you've started Growing out your hair, make sure to get regular trims every 6-8 weeks to prevent split ends from working their way up your strands and damaging your hair even further.
- Be patient: Great things take time – including growing out your hair! Try not to get too impatient during the awkward phase; before you know it, you'll have luscious locks down to your shoulders (or beyond).
How To Style Long Hair For Men
It's important for men to understand how to style their long hair so that they don't look scruffy, unkempt, and unstylish. Long hair on men can be a unique and attractive thing, but it needs to be styled in a way that looks intentional and polished.
There are many different ways to style long hair, and the best way to find out what works for you is to experiment with different looks. You might need to try a few styles before you find one that you really love, but it's worth taking the time to find the right look.
A well-styled man with long hair is sure to turn heads wherever he goes – so check out these top tips on how to style different men's hair lengths.
#1 How Do You Style Medium-Long Hair?
Medium-long hair presents a challenge for styling – it's not long enough to tie or tuck like long hair, yet it's too long to be styled like a shorter hairstyle.
This means you must opt for hairstyles that allow your hair to flow naturally and look great.
Styling medium-long hair is pretty easy once you have the knowledge, as there are only a few different ways to knock it out of the park.
Side And Front Part
The side and front parts work well with medium-long hair as these styles work with the hair's natural flow to give you a styled look but are still easy to manipulate.
This is an excellent option for guys with this hair length as it fits well with a suit or casual clothes.
It looks great with minimal styling. However, you must use pomade or hair clay to give the front enough hold to flow backward.
How to style this:
- Use texture clay to work back into your hair.
- For a side part, take one side swept back with the clay to hold it in place.
- For a front part, use the clay to slick your hair backward in the middle of your head.
- If you want more of a polished look, finish it off with some hair spray for extra hold.
The bun is the easiest way to style your medium-long hair as it could not be any easier to do.
The bun can be placed low on the back of the head or more near the top of the head, although a bun near the crest of the back of the head is the best place for it.
How to style this:
- Pull the hair back to the crest of the back of the head.
- Use a hair tie to tie it in place.
- For a casual look, bunch the hair back and tie it up.
- For a polished look, slick the hair back with a pomade or clay, then tie it neatly.
#2 What Are The Best Ways To Style Shoulder-Length Hair?
When it comes to shoulder-length hair, you begin to lose the variety in your styling options.
Because the hair is so long at this point, you really can only wear your hair tied up or down naturally. You've done your best to grow out your hair, now it's time to take it up a notch.
With that said, much like medium-length hair, there are only a few different ways to style this length of hair.
Let Down With A Front Part
When wearing your hair down when you have shoulder-length hair, you can either part your hair to either side or use product to pull it back.
Either way, you will be rocking your long hair and letting the natural flow do the talking.
Shoulder-length hair looks great as it is, but there are just a few added steps to having it look amazing.
How to style this:
- Brush your hair out so it has a natural texture.
- Part the hair in the middle and let either side flow naturally.
- For a polished look, use clay to brush it back and finish with hairspray for more hold.
Shoulder-length hair can look great pulled back casually or slicked back for a more polished appearance.
This is the easiest way to style this hair length as it's quick and straightforward.
The only thing to remember here is that you want to tie the hair in a fashion that doesn't represent a traditionally feminine ponytail, as that doesn't always look great on a guy.
How to style this:
- Pull the hair back to the lower part of the back of the head
- Use a hair tie to tie in place
- For a polished look, use a pomade to help slick the hair back
#3 How To Use A Blow Dryer To Style Men's Long Hair
Using a hair dryer can be a breeze (pun intended!)
However, before you switch it on and start blasting your head with hot air, take a step back and think: ‘Do I actually know what I'm doing here?'
There is a correct technique for blow drying hair, and you need to know it if you want to come away looking well styled instead of like a frizzy mess.
Firstly, make sure you get the heat right! Too hot and you'll damage your hair, too cold and it won't work properly.
The ideal temperature is around 80-140 degrees Fahrenheit; any higher and you're in danger of scorching your locks.
Secondly, pay attention to the direction in which you point the nozzle. You should always direct the airflow downwards, from root to tip.
If you point it upwards, all you'll achieve is a big head of frizz. Not a good look unless you're trying to style something straight out of an 80s movie.
Finally, use a diffuser attachment if you have one. This helps to evenly distribute the heat and prevents your hair from drying out too much in one spot.
If you follow these simple tips, you should be able to achieve barbershop style at home without too much of a problem.
Pro Tip: You will need to blow dry your hair in the direction that you want it to go. You can use a brush to help guide your hair in the right direction while you blow dry it.
#4 Should Men With Long Hair Use A Comb Or Hairbrush?
For guys with longer hair – a brush is better than a comb.
When your hair grows longer than a few inches, it's very likely you'll start to experience knotting. Knots in hair occur for the same reason as knots in any strand occur – they get wrapped around each other and cause tangles.
Any guy that's ever had to untangle headphone wires will know how annoying this is!
When it comes to your hair, however, a hair brush can be a great way of untangling your strands and achieving that Jason Mamoa long hairstyle. You just need to know which hair brush to use for your individual hair type:
Wavy hair is somewhere in between straight and curly. As such, it isn't as prone to curling and other, more coiled hair types – but knotting can still be a problem first thing in the morning.
Your knots won't be that tough, so no need for a super wide brush. Stick to something thin and light that won't risk pulling your hair out!
Gents with thinner long hair that falls straight shouldn't have much problem with knotting. However, leave your hair unbrushed long enough and you could experience problems. For you guys, brushing regularly is all about maintaining an even drop in your hair so it looks thicker.
To do this, choose a think or wide brush and make sure your hair falls in place. Look for gaps where you can see your scalp and brush over these to hide any imperfections in your hairstyle.
Straight and thick hair is can be tough. There's a lot of hair on your head that can get pretty knotted if you don't brush it regularly!
For long hair gents with a thick mane, use a wider brush but be gentle. Thick knots can be quite tight – pull too hard and you could lose a big chunk of hair in the process.
Kinky hair (or ‘Afro-textured' hair) is the toughest hair type to manage. Conventional brushes won't do the trick, so you'll need to invest in a more specialized tool to keep your hairdo looking good.
A hair pick (essentially a comb with very long, thin teeth) or a hair brush sponge is your best bet. These will help you manage those tight curls and get them looking neat and uniformed.
Coily hair is exactly that – hair that falls in big coils and curls.
As a long-haired man, you only have a few options when it comes to hairbrushes – the oval brush, round brush, or hair pick. These three brush styles help to get deep in the coils of your curly hair and brush out any unwanted knots and tangles.
What Styling Products Work Best On Men's Long Hair?
Before I break out of the different hairstyles guys with longer hair can achieve, its essential you not only know which products to use but also HOW to use them!
As such, I thought it'd be useful to break out each product and explain how you can use it to achieve your desired style.
#1 How To Use Pomade When Styling Men's Long Hair
Slicked-back hair has been a popular hairstyle for men for many years. It is neat, tidy, and stylish. And while it may seem like a difficult style to achieve, it can be done with the help of pomade. Pomade is a hair product that helps to keep your hair in place and gives it a shiny finish. It comes in both matte and shiny finishes, so you can choose the one that best suits your needs.
To create a slicked-back hairstyle using pomade, start by applying it to your dry hair. Make sure to distribute it evenly throughout your hair from root to tip. Then use a comb or brush to slick your hair back until it is smooth and sleek. If you have any flyaways or loose strands, use a small amount of pomade to tame them down.
#2 How To Use Hair Clay When Styling Men's Long Hair
There are many different brands of clay on the market, so it is important to find one that suits your needs. Some clays are better suited for thick, coarse hair while others work better on fine or thin hair. It is also important to find a clay that will not leave your hair feeling stiff or greasy – trust me, that never looks good!
Any hair product worth its salt should state the hair type it's suited to on the packaging – so make sure you read the instructions before purchasing!
Once you have found the right clay for your needs, it is easy to create a variety of hairstyles with long hair. Simply apply a small amount to your hands and work it through damp or dry hair until you have the desired look.
To avoid your hair getting clogged up and becoming sticky with clay, make sure to only apply a small amount to the roots of your hair. You can then use your hands or a comb to work it through the rest of your locks.
#3 How To Use Hair Spray When Styling Men's Long Hair
It's no secret that men with long hair have to deal with a lot of challenges when it comes to styling it.
But there is one product that can help you achieve a long-lasting hairstyle without risking greasy-looking hair. Hair spray creates a strong barrier between your hair and the environment, which helps keep your style looking good all day long.
Unlike some other products, hair spray doesn't leave your hair feeling heavy or greasy. Thanks to the light composition of this product, the misty application isn't likely to weigh your hair down and make your head look flat.
To apply hair spray, simply hold the can about 6 inches away from your head and spray it evenly over your hair.
If you're looking for a stronger hold, you can apply more hair spray to problem areas. Just be sure to avoid spraying it directly on your scalp, as this can cause irritation.
#4 How To Use Sea Salt Spray When Styling Men's Long Hair
Sea salt spray is a type of hair product that is made with salt water and other natural ingredients. In short: it's perfect for guys with long hair who want to achieve the perfect, loose style without applying too much heavy product.
Sea salt spray adds texture and volume to hair, and it can also help to tame flyaways. Unlike hairspray, sea salt spray doesn't make hair stiff or sticky–in fact, it actually feels quite natural.
Will sea salt spray be able to hold up a 10-inch mohawk? No. However, it will be able to give you that ‘just been swimming at the beach' look that many long-haired guys aspire to – and it'll do so without weighing down your hair or making it feel like sandpaper.
To apply sea salt spray to your hair, simply spray it onto damp or dry hair and then scrunch your strands with your hands. You can also use a diffuser if you're trying to achieve maximum volume. If your hair is on the longer side, make sure to focus the spray on your roots. Once you've applied the product, let your hair air-dry (if damp) or style it as usual.
Best Haircare Tips For Men With Longer Hair
Once you know how to style men's long hair, you can understand that it doesn't take a lot of maintenance or product to make it look good.
Not only that, but if you don't care for it properly, you could start to experience some pretty nasty side effects! I'm talking about grease, psoriasis of the scalp, or even hair loss.
The biggest thing to remember is that the longer the hair, the more regimental you need to be with your hair care routine.
But here's where things get even more complicated – not everyone's hair is the same! Different hair types need different care routines, and what works for one might not work for the other.
As ever, I've got you covered. Let me make this as simple as possible by breaking out the different types and the different ways a man should care for them.
On a basic level, you guys need to understand hair porosity, texture, and scalp moisture.
#1 Men's Long Hair & Porosity
Porosity refers to the hair shaft's ability to absorb and retain moisture. This is based on how tight or loose your cuticle scales are. To understand porosity, you first need to understand the anatomy of the hair shaft.
The hair shaft has three layers: the inner layer is the medulla, the middle layer is the cortex, and the outer layer is the cuticle. The cuticle layer is the most important for this discussion.
Having a healthy cuticle is vital to your hair retaining moisture and staying conditioned. To define how tightly or loosely your cuticles lay, we use the term “hair porosity.” Hair porosity comes in three categories: low, medium, and high:
- Most people have low porosity hair, which means that their cuticles are tightly bound to the cortex. This makes it difficult for moisture to penetrate deeply into the strands. As a result, low porosity hair tends to be dry and damaged easily.
- Medium porosity hair is less common. This type of hair has scales that are partially lifted, making it easier for moisture to enter but also making it more prone to frizzing and tangling.
- High porosity hair is very rare. This type of hair has raised scales that allow moisture to enter easily but also makes it more likely to become weighed down by products.
Determining hair porosity can be tricky because it’s not always the same day-to-day. But here’s a quick method that you can do at home to test your own porosity. Next time you shower and wet your hair – ask yourself these questions:
- How does it look most of the time? Is it dry & frizzy looking 90% of the time? (High porosity)
- Is it flat & shiny looking most of the time? (Low porosity)
- Is it somewhere in between? (Medium porosity)
If your hair is low porosity
Use protein-free shampoos and conditioners. Keep in mind that most low-porosity hair tends to be protein-sensitive which could lead to damage if the wrong product is used.
Water-based conditioners and leave-ins are a better choice since they’ll prevent oil build-up.
If your hair is medium porosity
You don't have to worry as much. Medium porosity hair isn't too dry or too moist, so most high-quality store-brand products should be fine.
Just keep up your regular haircare routine and make sure you wash your hair on a regular basis.
If your hair is high porosity
Use shampoos and conditioners with oils, shea butter, and proteins. Using leave-in conditioners often and applying coconut oil daily can help lock in that protein and seal those cuticles – making your hair dry out slower.
Washing your hair with cold water can help and, if you’re blow-drying your hair, use a heat protectant.
#2 Men's Long Hair & Texture
Hair texture is simpler to explain and identify than porosity – it's essentially the thickness of one individual strand, and it’s measured as fine, medium, or coarse.
To test your hair texture, take one strand of dry hair and roll it between your fingers:
- If you can’t track the strand of hair in your fingers, you have fine hair.
- If you can feel something, but it’s hard to track perfectly, you have medium hair.
- If you can easily track the strand of hair, almost like a thin wire, then you have coarse hair.
If your hair is fine
The most important thing to remember is that your hair is easier to break. Brushing too hard, using too much heat, or towel drying too roughly will all damage fine hair.
So be gentle when shampooing and apply product lightly. The best shampoo and conditioner for people with fine hair is anything that describes itself as ‘volumizing.' In essence, lightweight formulations that don’t weigh your hair down.
Also, if you have to use a blow dryer, use its low-heat setting so as not to risk even more damage to your hair.
If your hair is medium texture
Lucky you – your hair is pretty resilient and will stand up to most products on the market. You can towel-dry your hair without too much worry and most shampoos and conditioners will be suitable for your hair type.
In short, you've got it easy! Just make sure any products you use are natural and you don't go overboard with the heat on your hairdryer. Your hair is tough, but it's not invincible!
If you have coarse hair
Your hair is much stronger, holds more protein, and is far more resistant to heat and chemicals.
However, it can be stiff (especially when dry), and it can frizz really easily. For this reason, coarse hair can be quite difficult to manage.
When buying products for your coarse hair, you’ll want to avoid anything that's considered high protein. Shampoos, conditioners, and styling products with higher protein counts can make coarse hair even harder to manage.
#3 Men's Long Hair & Scalp Moisture
A lot of guys forget that the scalp is part of your skin! Similar to your face or hands, scalp skin can be oily, dry, or a combination of the two – something that will have a big effect on the haircare products you use.
If you’re not sure how oily your scalp is, ask yourself these questions:
- Is my face dry, oily, or balanced? – This is a good indicator of sebum production in the scalp too.
- How quickly does my scalp get oily after I shampoo and condition it?
- Does my scalp get oily even though my ends stay dry?
And then decide which of these descriptions best suits your scalp characteristics:
- Dry Scalp: your scalp dries up quickly after washing, e.g. within 24 hours, and/or you experience irritation, flaking, or itchiness immediately.
- Oily Scalp: your scalp gets oily within a day of washing and it’s always flat and difficult to manage. You may or may not have dandruff.
- Combination: your scalp gets oily quickly but your ends stay dry, even after a few days without washing.
If your scalp is dry
Wash your hair less often (twice a week) and use a deep conditioning mask or protein treatment. Coconut oil masks are a great product for this.
I'd also advise that you use a gentler shampoo and moisturizing conditioner. When shopping for shampoo, check out the ingredients and avoid products that list these on the first line:
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
- Sodium Laureth Sulfate
- Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate
- Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate
These are what we call detergents – sure, they can be a great tool for fighting a greasy scalp, but for guys who suffer from a dry scalp they could do more harm than good.
If your scalp is oily
You'll likely experience a greasy scalp and hair within 24-48 hours of shampooing. If this sounds like you, there could be a few problems causing your oily build-up:
- You may need a stronger shampoo
- You may need to increase your shampoo frequency
For greasy-haired gentlemen, I'd recommend using a sulfate shampoo or a shampoo marketed as clarifying. Basically, this means that it helps reduce oil in your hair and provides a cleaner look to your locks.
In your case, you will want to look for the ingredients that people with dry scalp try to avoid because you need the extra chemistry to fight the build-up of sebum on your scalp.
If your scalp is a combination of the two
You'll likely experience a weird mix of oily and dry hair.
For guys with long hair, it's common for the end of their hair to be dry while the hair base and scalp are oily. Which causes some confusion when it comes to treatment.
For men with long hair, oily roots, and dry ends – use the same shampoo as you would if you had just an oily scalp. The reason for this is simple, the roots are the problem and by treating these, the rest of your hair issues should resolve themselves.
Pro Tip: make sure you shampoo and condition your hair correctly. For combination hair, only scrub your scalp when you shampoo. As you rinse your hair, the shampoo will pick up any remaining dirt on the way down.
Also, when conditioning, only apply the product from midpoint to ends – let the conditioner sit for 3-5 minutes, then rinse.
If you're still on the fence about whether or not you should grow your hair out, check out this article on long hair vs. short hair.