The hair care world is overflowing with the glorious fros, slicked styles, helpful tips, tricks and influence of amazing women... and we LIVE for it! However, we mustn’t forget that men are taking charge of their hair regimens too! It’s not often that we hear men talk about their personal hair journeys, so to shed a little light, we're passing the mic to a few fellas who are passionate about their curls!
MEET THE GUYS
Q1: Has taking care of your hair always been important to you, or is it something you grew interested in over time?
OZZIE: Taking care of my hair has not always been a priority, it was something I defaulted to nature and thought just washing it and using grease occasionally was enough when I had short cuts. Over time, I picked up tips from my mother, friends, women I dated, and random pages online. But over the last year, I really started asking more questions and doing research and trying different natural hair product lines because I moved to a new city, and my mother wasn’t doing my hair for me. It dawned on me that I am responsible for my hair’s health. That’s how I discovered EDEN BodyWorks, through a friend, because I wanted to do a better job taking care of my hair.
STEPHON: Taking care of my hair has always been important to me, but how I took care of my hair has evolved over time. When I was younger, "taking care of my hair" meant trying to have waves and getting haircuts and shape-ups to keep looking sharp. I was using Luster's Pink Lotion and a hair brush... religiously. My parents didn't allow du-rags in the house, so I would borrow a headscarf and tie it down tightly at night for protection! Dark times.
Over the last 5 years, haircare is much more about how my hair, beard and scalp feel, rather than how it looks. Pink Lotion and Head and Shoulders can't do anything for me. I've taken the time to understand what my hair needs to thrive, and build a regimen to support it.
DARIUS: It’s definitely something that I grew interest in over time. My mother and sister really informed me about how important it is to take care of your hair. Or at least take care of it as best as you can.
Q2: How much time do you put into your haircare daily/weekly?
SHELDON: I always take at least one day out of the week to care for my hair's needs. This typically starts with wash day & takes about 3-5 hours from start to finish.
DEANDRE: I dont put as much time into my haircare as people would think, my wash day is the longest day of course. But after wash day it takes no time to refresh my curls for the day.
DARIUS: Usually everyday at least 5 or 10 min. Stray bottle with water, hair moisturizer and coconut oil to seal everything in
Q3: Most important step to your regimen?
STEPHON: Water! My hair loves moisture, and it's really the only way that it's able to absorb any product. I think it’s a very slept on step for most men, but I recommend that every guy has a small spray bottle full of water handy.
Q4: Favorite EDEN product + why?
OZZIE: My favorite product is the Peppermint Tea Tree Shampoo because I feel like it does such a good job of cleaning my hair, especially since I frequent the gym and therefore sweat quite a bit. Also, washing my hair thoroughly in between getting it braided is super important to help the braids look crisp because clean hair and a clean scalp go a long way.
STEPHON: Hands down it's gotta be the Coconut Shea Pudding Souffle. I love the texture, and I love how it moisturizes my hair strands. It also helps that coconut and shea butter smell great 100% of the time.
DEANDRE: My favorite EDEN product is the Coconut Shea Leave In Conditioner because it moisturizes, defines and clumps my curls. It also pairs well with a lot of gels, and my curls are ALWAYS poppin' when I use it!
DARIUS: Favorite product would have to be the Coconut Shea Leave In Conditioner. The reason why it’s my favorite is because it has coconut oil and shea butter in it, which has always worked best for my hair. Also, it really keeps my hair moisturized and soft.
Q5: Do you feel there's enough male representation in the natural hair industry/community?
OZZIE: There is definitely not enough representation for men in the natural hair community. I’m hoping to help change the narrative. We have hair too and we want to know how to treat it as best we can. A lot of men just use their girlfriend’s products, allow the hairdresser or barber to use products or recommend things, and we really have no way of knowing what's best for us or our hair. I’m thankful to companies like EDEN BodyWorks making efforts like this article. I think this is a great way to let men know help is available, plus the brand and products are of high quality and integrity.
STEPHON: This is a loaded question - on one hand, I believe that women deserve to be *more* represented in this industry. Society has policed women's (and black women's, in particular) hair for centuries, and I think it's high time that natural hair becomes a societal staple in all of its shapes, lengths, textures and styles. On the other hand, I feel like there is room for growth in terms of marketing and educating men on their hair. While hair education is universal, beard textures are niche to men, and the application of hair education is a little different. A lot of men are just using whatever they see their friends, family or partners using, and it would be great to help build their knowledge base moving forward.
SHELDON: Definitely not-there's really only a handful of male natural hair influencers who are consistently producing content, I really hope this is something that changes this year!
DEANDRE: I do not feel there is enough male representation in the natural hair community. The community needs to know males want their curls to be poppin' as well! This is one of the reasons i started my YouTube channel! (Major Ways)
Q6: Something you'd like others to know about men + natural hair care?
OZZIE: I want men to know to take care of their hair. It is an extension of you and whatever look you go for, be intentional. If you are nice to it, you will have it longer. As men, we all want to keep our hair for as long as possible. I would recommend reading articles, watching videos and trying out different things.
SHELDON: It's OK to take care of your hair! You won't have it forever, so cherish it for the time that you do!
DEANDRE: I would like people, especially males, to know it’s ok to want to take care of your hair, test out different products, and experiment with different styles! Learn to love your hair!
Q7: What do you love most about your hair?
OZZIE: I love the versatility of it and how it can be worn in many different styles. Also, when I see that it is growing and looks healthy, I feel proud of my efforts. There is always something new to learn about natural hair. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
SHELDON: I love everything, the shape, the texture, the curls, my hair plays a huge factor in my overall self-esteem. When I have a good hair day, no one can tell me anything haha!
DEANDRE: The thing I love most about my hair is how versatile it is. I can wear it curly, braided, twisted or even blown out!
Q8: Do you share your opinion with your significant other or the women (whether family or friends) in your life about how they wear/style their hair?
STEPHON: I do, but only to a certain extent. I believe that you should be empowering those around you, so an opinion on whether or not a protective style or a wig is "suitable" for them does nothing constructive. Further, if you distill most of those "you shouldn't wear your hair like this" opinions down to its core, a lot of them are rooted in racist and misogynistic philosophy. I offer my girl feedback on styling based on what her desired "look" is, and I encourage her to explore her hair in every fashion she sees fit. If she's having an off day, I'll let her know too...(carefully of course.)
SHELDON: I do, but my opinion is merely that-an opinion. I always want the best for all of my loved ones-even if it just down to choosing the hairstyle that suits them best!
DEANDRE: Yes, I share a lot of my opinions with the women in my life. They know that I know a lot about natural hair, they know I take very good care of my natural hair and I'm always here to help!
Q9: Did a woman (or women) have influence on how you wear your hair - or the products you use?
OZZIE: Absolutely! When I first started growing my hair, any women I saw with nice natural hair, I would ask what they used in their hair and the response was always very warm and informative about their approach to caring for it. They would tell me products and some dos and don’ts. Once my mother began to braid my hair, she shared a lot of information about methods and products too. Even still to this day, I take the approach of asking women that I meet information about their hair and I try many of their suggestions out.
SHELDON: Most definitely! That's all you saw-particularly on YouTube-was women giving insight on natural hair. Learning about my hair inspired me to start my own channel & share with a male audience as there weren't that many men doing it at that point in time. Three of my biggest inspirations were Mini Marley, Bri Hall, & Sayria Jade.
DARIUS: Yes definitely, my mom and sister. Because they have natural hair I started to use the products that helped them. I learned mainly everything from them. They also showed me what products work best for our hair texture.
Q10: Advice you'd give to other fellas looking to put more effort into their hair care?
SHELDON: It's OK to care for your hair. It's not going to be easy at first, you will have to find what works best for your hair-most importantly make sure you keep it healthy! The feelings you get when you finally start to learn about your hair, & you get to physically see the difference, is incomparable!
DEANDRE: My advice to other men would be to get educated and listen to your hair. It may seem like a lot at first, but it gets so much easier! I promise!
DARIUS: I would say to stay consistent with it and that will make it easier because that will train your hair to stay a certain way. Wash and condition it at least once a week but keep it healthy and moisturized with some type of leave in conditioner and oil. I prefer coconut oil 9/10.
See you next time!