I do find it slightly infuriating that so much information is available for women’s hair products and so little for men’s products. This mirrors the situation in the supermarket aisle where men’s products are relegated to a small section in the corner. I assume that this bias is because the manufacturers believe that men are not the biggest consumers of hair products. I can’t dispute this as I have no statistics to offer but I think men are probably using women’s products due to the lack of choices in their range.
If the packaging bothers men, and I suspect it doesn’t, there are quite a few gender neutral products available now including organic products which tend to have plain packaging compared to the leading commercial brands. Men’s products tend to be ominously black or blue. I did find a refreshing difference in the Menscience range which is marketed online. Their hair products which include a shampoo, gel and pomade are packaged in white tubs and bottles with black and orange writing. It is the kind of stylish packaging that in fact appeals to both men and women and we should see more like this.
Of course men and women can use the same products, the only problem being that many women’s products are perfumed which may put men off (and fair enough). I was actually discussing this with some other women and they all said that they preferred unperfumed products when they could find them so on the basis of five people’s opinion I can say that there is a market for plain packaged unperfumed products. These would have broad appeal for men and women, being unthreatening and suitable for both genders.
Now we just need one of the big manufacturers to get on board! A broad range of products is really needed for men as they have the same variety in hair length and type (thick, thin, curly, straight etc) as women have. I don’t believe that men don’t care or won’t buy hair products, the men in my uni class all seem to use hair products and look to be taking good care of their hair and grooming. While like my five friends, this is a small sample, this is a trend I see around me frequently, especially among younger men. A good quality shampoo is the starting point for men and women. It should remove any product build up from the hair and clean and moisturise the scalp. Conditioner is the next step. The Menscience website doesn’t offer one which is strange but there are lots of good unscented conditioners on the market.
Hair spray, gel and pomades or waxes are styling choices and will depend on your hair length, thickness and the look you want to achieve. Spray generally achieves a firm hold, like gel and both products contain alcohol so they will dry on the hair and become relatively stiff. Both products can build up on the hair and be sticky so a good cleansing shampoo that you can use everyday is important.