Styling men’s short to medium hair may sound like a simple job.
Theoretically, it should be a fairly easy job given the length, and when compare it to what the ladies would normally do. But as my hairstyle preference started to lean towards the longer or medium length styles over the years, my straight and stubborn Asian hair (and now blonde, too) has proven the basic steps of “towel-dry, slap on some gel and go” are no longer sufficient to create a stylish and long-lasting result.
Looking back, I have always had problem keeping my hairstyle “in shape” all day long. My hair would look perfect during the first hour, but then it would start to crumble and go out of shape by lunch hour.
If that sounds familiar to you, or you’re simply interested to discover more ways to style your short/medium/straight hair, find below a visual guide showing how I style my current hair on a daily basis. Three different styling variations born out of using the same technique and products: “Quiff/Spike“, “Windswept” and “Comb Down.”
3 Important Tips:
- Always blow dry your damp hair before styling.
It helps to create the “shape”, and it prevents hair from “melting.” (When the moisture in your damp hair starts evaporating, it’ll affect the shape of your hairstyle.)
- Do not style wet or damp hair (which goes back to the first point.)
- Creating movement and texture is the key in creating great styles.
Step 1: Blow Dry
If you do not have a hair dryer, maybe it’s time to invest in one. It makes all the difference, I tell ya.
Blow your hair in the “direction” you wish to style your hair. For example, if you’re going for “Quiff/Spike”, you should blow your hair all “up”. In this guide, we’re starting with Quiff/Spike.
Make sure all parts are dried.
Step 2: Apply Product
When I’m not going for slicked back hair style, I’d always go for matte-looking hairstyles, and I’d almost always use wax. “Always wax, never gel” has been my personal mantra. When it comes to brand preference for wax, truth to tell, I generally find all the wax I’ve tried before work well with my hair, as long as they produce matte finish. (Remember, it’s not pomade or gel.) So I’d say you can use any wax for this styling guide. Wax are sometimes marketed as “Molding Wax”, “Clay Wax”, “Hair Paste”, “Sculpting wax”, “Putty” and etc.
Scoop a nut-sized of wax and then spread it on your fingers. The mistake I used to make was to spread it on my palms. It’s easier to apply wax evenly onto your hair when your wax is on your fingers.
Start rubbing the wax onto your hair. Spread it evenly across all parts.
IF it’s possible, thou shall not miss any single strand.
Step 3: Style and Create Movement & Texture
This is the most important part in creating a dynamic hairstyle. Create wave-like movement on your hair by pinching and twisting small patches of hair.
Grab a small patch of hair.
Twist it with your finger tips. The wax at the end of the hair strands will “gel” the patch of hair together, forming a “wave”.
Creating more “waves”.
They may look uneven at first, so continue to work on them, and create more.
Don’t forget the sides.
Work on the top part, too. We can’t actually see the top part ourselves, so just style and create movement following your own intuition. The picture above shows there’s sort of a “crack” on my top part so I shall do some work on it.
Ok that’s better. (Or not? Haha!)
“Quiff/Spike” is now done. Optional but may be necessary for some: finish up with a hair spray for extra holding power. I’d do that normally. Mission accomplished!
Bonus Style: Windswept
You can pretty much get the idea from the name. “Let the wind sweeps your bang to the left/right.” This is my go-to style when my bang grows too long for the quiff.
Pull your hair down.
Pull your bang to the left or right, and style your bang so it looks like it is “swept” to the side. Tame the overwhelming “waves”.
If you love to wear hat or cap, windswept is a great way to add a little something to your look. It looks like your bang is trying to run away from you. In my case, my blonde bang is.
Bonus Style: Comb Down
Or, the “Nerdy” style, if you will. Simply tame your hair by combing it all to the front and down, and cover your forehead with your bang. Optionally, wear a pair of glasses for extra nerdy points. This is my favourite style when I’m in a rush or just feeling lazy.
Recapping the gist of this guide: the key lies in blow-drying your hair and creating movement and texture. Practice makes perfect, and definitely improves the speed, as I now only take half of the time I used to need.
Give us your words, fellas. By the way, what hair wax are you using? Any recommendation?