Nobody wants to admit their hair is thinning. Instead, some men spend hours in the mirror attempting to find a style that strategically covers their problem areas. Unfortunately, those styles can sometimes end up looking more not than hot.
We were certain that with the right style and products, men could begin to embrace their thinning locks. To confirm our theory, we reached out to David Alexander, Baxter of California barber and brand ambassador. Alexander taught us about how cutting your hair short can actually make it look fuller, the products all men dealing with hair thinning should keep on hand, and why a skilled barber is invaluable.
What is the cardinal rule for styling thinning hair?
Alexander says it’s very simple: Cut it short.
Some guys try growing their hair longer and styling it to cover the thinning areas, but this almost never looks good. If the hair is thinning to the point there is scalp exposure, cut the sides and back short enough so that there is an equal amount of scalp exposure...This gives the illusion of more coverage by making the scalp exposure appear more uniform all over the head.
What styling products do you recommend for men with thinning hair?
Alexander, who admits to dealing with thinning hair himself, says less is more when it comes to styling fine hair. When choosing products, the barber recommends sprays and creams over gels and pomades.
“Avoid heavy styling products like gels or pomades—which create separation in the hair and allow the scalp to show through even more,” Alexander explains. “For my thinning guys, I love Baxter of California Grooming Cream which offers a light hold and shine. Works well on fine or thinning hair.”
The barber also recommends salt spray and dry shampoo as alternatives to pomade and paste when you’re looking to give your style some texture.
While there is no one-size-fits-all solution to styling thinning hair, a barber shapes his cut around the areas where the client’s hair is thinning the most. If you’re wondering what style is best for you, Alexander explains what men experiencing thinning in these common areas should expect when they get in the barber’s chair.
If you’re experiencing thinning on the crown of your head:
Because you don’t see the crown of your head when looking directly in the mirror, it sometimes takes longer to notice your hair is thinning. Once you recognize your hair is thinning, how you decide to style your hair should be determined by the amount of thinning you’re experiencing. If the thinning is significant, Alexander recommends going very short.
“Cutting the hair short—a buzz cut—will normally look great,” he says.
If the hair thinning is less significant and you’re not ready to get rid of your length, the barber recommends trying out a side part style.
“A modern side parted style could work well as the length can be swept back over the thinning area,” Alexander says. “This option does require a lot more styling effort. However, it is also important to know when it’s time to stop trying to hide the thinning spot and cut it off.”
If your hairline is receding:
If your hairline is receding, Alexander recommends taking the plunge and shaving off all of your hair. He even jokes that these days, many bald men are considered sex symbols. If you’re not ready to part with your precious locks or are concerned you don’t have the right head shape to rock a bald head, consider growing out your facial hair or opting for a classic Caesar cut.
“Whether you cut the hair short or shave it, consider some facial hair as this will draw the eye down the face and distract from the receding hairline,” the barber explains. “You can also try a short, forward Caesar-type haircut with some bangs in the front, which will help cover the receding hairline.”
If you are experiencing thinning near your temples:
There are a few ways you can style your hair to divert attention away from hair thinning near the temples, but Alexander reiterates that the most important thing is to keep the cut short.
“When the hair starts to thin at the temples, if a guy still has a solid amount of hair on top, a high, tight fade with a side part is a great option for most men as it will minimize the appearance of thinning at the temples,” he says. “A short, texturized top works well, too.”
Baxter of California’s Clay Effect Style Spray is a great way to add texture to your ‘do. The spray imparts a clay-like, texture-rich finish with strong hold. For that gritty, lived-in natural shine look.
If you are experiencing thinning on the back of your head:
Alexander recommends a tight fade haircut for men whose hair has begun thinning on the back of their heads.
“A skilled barber will be able to adjust the length of the cut in each area to create more even scalp exposure around the sides and back,” he says.
If nothing else, Alexander wants men to know that they shouldn’t be ashamed of their thinning hair.
“My best advice is just to own it.”
You heard it here, men.