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A hairy dilemma


Man Scape

A journalist for 20 years and a man for longer, Richard Hughes would never, ever use canned shaving foam.

View more entries from Man Scape

What to do with freshy washed hair?

What to do with freshy washed hair?

Wedding photos, big sporting matches and chilled martinis are best taken straight away. If you wait, the moment's gone, never to return.

But there are other things - such as a good home-cooked curry - that are better, far better, the day after - and this is what I discovered this week with my hair. Yes, it’s official: men’s hair always looks better the morning after.

It did exactly what Jo said it would - clean hair that looked like it had been washed yesterday.  

I went to Toni&Guy in the lovely old Georges building in Little Collins Street - I was looking rather shaggy - where Jo Smith gave me a great cut, and an even better tip.

“Guys’ hair always looks too fluffy after it’s been washed,’’ she told me. “It’s always better the next day, when it’s got a bit dirtier.’’

But the problem is, I told her, I want to have a shower every morning before work, which leaves my hair looking both flat and fluffy.

On the weekend, when I often can't be bothered with personal hygiene, my hair ends up looking better thanks to being less than perfectly clean. But who wants to spend all day at work with dirty hair?

I think most - though believe me, not all - of the men on the 7.33 have the same weekday routine: roll out of bed, breakfast, shower, train, work. And showering sort of means getting the hair wet. Which leaves two options: a) borrow a lady friend’s frilly shower cap. That might work, yes. Or b) Jo’s idea - souffle. For hair, not stomachs obviously.

''It makes clean hair look like dirty hair,'' Jo said. ''And it's really versatile. You can use it wet or dry."

She worked it through my hair after she’d cut and rinsed it. Then blow dried it and - ta-da - perfect. I’m not putting you on, it did exactly what Jo said it would - just-shampooed hair that looked like it had been washed yesterday.

Products often leave my hair feeling unnaturally stiff or disgustingly oily. This stuff did neither. There are products that produce a similar effect to the Label.M Souffle Jo used, such as Star Powder by the excellent Melbourne hair brand Instant Rockstar and American Crew's Fiber. I’ve not tried them, but I’m told they’re all good.

So souffle, I’m a convert.

How do you keep your hair looking good if you wash it every morning?

Richard Hughes was a guest of Toni&Guy.

11 comments so far

  • You're correct. Hair looks terrible after shampooing, so this scientist says shampoo is possibly the problem, not the solution.

    And, your hair is not dirtier the next morning, it is normaller. The shampoo people want you to believe it's dirty

    So, wet it every shower, no shampoo. Avoid too much product. If you swim laps, wear a cap. Within a month your hair will only need shampooing once a week at most.

    Date and time
    March 21, 2012, 12:48PM
    • Plug for Toni and Guy. Plug for Rockstar. Plug for American Crew.

      Dear Jo Smith, there are more important things to concern ourselves with than fluffy hair..

      Date and time
      March 21, 2012, 12:54PM
      • Alternatively, skip shampoo and wash your hair with a large glop of cheap, silicone-free and mineral oil-free conditioner. A number of 'conditioning' ingredients are also mild surfactants. Avoid the aforementioned ingredients (which do require shampoo to remove) and you'll be fine. Your hair won't be 100% clean but if you wash daily then it doesn't matter.

        Pears and Aldi's five-star brands are a couple of examples, but there are dozens of options across different budgets that would work.

        Date and time
        March 21, 2012, 2:26PM
        • The right type of conditioner is important. It all depends on the type of hair that you have. Washed and blow dried my hair is perfect. Sorry I have magic hair if it is not too long or short.

          Need the right solution for the right hair.

          By the way...

          Swimming in swimming pools will damage your hair, as will the chlorine in tap water but not as much.

          Date and time
          March 21, 2012, 6:06PM
          • What if you use product every day in your hair? Should you still not wash it with shampoo?

            Date and time
            March 22, 2012, 9:42AM
            • Or just don't wash your hair with products. Humans survived for millions of years without it. Nothing wrong with some water, or better yet, sea water as a rinse. Leave it au naturel methinks.

              Date and time
              March 22, 2012, 9:59AM
              • Much easier idea - closed number one comb on the sides and back, closed number two on top. Perfectly simple to maintain, looks perfectly fine after a dive or removing the lid after a daily commute.

                I always use a wax-based product and shampoo and condition every day but never have to worry about fluffy hair. Its all about having a haircut that you can set your watch to :)

                Date and time
                March 22, 2012, 10:01AM
                • It seems as though the beauty industry is not make enough out of women and now is trying to get men involved.

                  I am sorry but I feel it is more the Metrosexual's out there that are the only guys that truely care how fluffy their hair looks after washing it. Yes it is important to look good and feel good but this is encoraging us to purchase a product for us to use on a daily bases and help boost the industry so they may build on it more.

                  Its not about how your hair looks but how you treat people and what you are like on the inside isn't it???

                  If you don't want fluufy hair then simple shave your head!!!!

                  Date and time
                  March 22, 2012, 11:03AM
                  • Richard ... loved your article. An early morning 'tonic' mate.

                    My husband would read this and reply (tongue-in-cheek style) ... 'you're just trying to hurt me'. He USED to have fluffy hair and even a few curls.

                    These days he's down to a 'No.2' at the barbers. He still washes his exceptionally short hair and as he steps past me whilst I'm taming my longer locks with a brush and hairdryer ..... he'll shake his head, grin at me and toss a casual "there you go ... I'm done" as he strolls into the bedroom to finish dressing. No 'hairy dilemma' for my man!

                    Mum of 2 Boys
                    Date and time
                    March 22, 2012, 12:21PM
                    • there has not been enough research done in to the effects of shitake mushroom and soy conditioner which, personally, I find to be both relaxing and stimulating to my pelt. I have noticed a tentative curl has been developing, quite a shy one, and the increasing less number of times I refuse to comb it has created an amazing russet glow within it. I have embraced the inner ginger that has been revealed with my beard but I often remember the days of Timotei brand shampoo. I liked the ads.

                      Date and time
                      March 26, 2012, 4:56PM

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