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The Hair Necessities: A Quick Guide for Moms of Tween and Teen Boys

We all know that hair care isn’t just about style – it’s about boosting confidence and self-expression, especially for our tween and teen boys. Whether your son is just now diving into experimenting with new hair products or he’s dealing with specific hair issues like oily scalp or dandruff, we’ve put together some great tips to ensure your son’s hair is healthy and at its very best, helping him face the day feeling great and at his absolute best! 

Hair Type: Knowledge is power

When it comes to keeping your son’s hair on point, knowing his hair type is key. 

Texture – Straight, Wavy, Curly, or Coily: Your son’s hair texture affects how it responds to different products and styling techniques. Straight hair is usually easy to manage, while wavy and curly hair might need extra moisture to keep their natural shape and avoid frizz. Coily (tight coils that begin at the scalp) hair loves hydration to maintain curls and minimize breakage.

Thick or Thin: Understanding the thickness of your son’s hair helps you pick the right tools and products. Thick hair generally needs stronger hold products, while thin hair benefits from lightweight formulas for added body that does not weigh it down and cause it to look oily or dirty.

Oily, Dry, or Combination: Your son’s scalp’s oil production determines his shampooing frequency and product choices. Oily hair needs more frequent washing with clarifying/oil control shampoos, while dry hair craves nourishing products. Combination hair needs a balance to tackle both oily roots and dry ends.

Shampoo: The Foundation

When it comes to shampoo, selecting the right one is crucial for your son’s hair health and achieving his desired style. Each hair type requires specific care to ensure a healthy look and feel.

For boys with oily hair, a gentle clarifying or balancing shampoo is the go-to choice. These formulas are specially designed to remove excess oil and build-up from the scalp (like this one  in our latest Good Guygiene box), leaving his hair feeling clean and refreshed. By using these shampoos consistently, he can effectively manage oiliness and maintain a fresh appearance throughout the day. 

On the other hand, if your son has dry or curly/coily hair, opt for shampoos that contain words like “hydrating” and “moisturizing” specifically made for this type of hair. The gentle formula is designed to retain natural oils and moisture in the hair, preventing dryness and frizz. 

For boys with normal hair, a gentle daily shampoo is the ideal choice (like this one in the Good Guygiene Basics Box). Look for a mild formula that effectively cleanses the hair without stripping away essential oils. These shampoos leave his hair feeling clean, healthy, and ready for any style he wants to rock.

Conditioner: Shampoo’s softer sidekick

Sometimes overlooked, conditioner is a key player in maintaining your son’s hair health, ensuring it stays smooth and easy to style. Here’s why it’s essential and how to incorporate it effectively into his grooming routine:

For All Hair Types: No matter your son’s hair texture, conditioner should be part of the routine. It works wonders for detangling knots, smoothing the hair cuticle, and infusing essential moisture to prevent dryness and breakage. To apply, avoid the scalp (especially if he struggles with an oily scalp) and focus on the ends of the hair, where it tends to be driest and most prone to damage. After application, he should thoroughly rinse (twice to make sure!)  to remove any excess product and leave his hair feeling nourished and soft.

Leave-In Conditioners: Particularly beneficial for boys with extra dry or curly hair, leave-in conditioners provide continuous moisture and frizz control throughout the day. These lightweight formulas can be applied to damp or dry hair, ensuring his locks remain hydrated, smooth, and manageable between washes. Simply distribute a small amount evenly through hair, concentrating on the ends, and let it work its magic without rinsing for ongoing nourishment and protection.  If his hair is especially dry or prone to breakage, he may want to use both a rinse-out shampoo in the shower and then a leave in one once his hair is towel-dry.  If he has oily hair, just using a leave-in formula on the ends may work.

Styling Products: Crafting His Look

Once your son has cleaned and conditioned his hair, it’s time for his style to shine. But which products do what in the world of guy hair care?  What’s the difference between a pomade and a hair gel?  

We’ve got you – here’s a breakdown of the various types of styling products and their ideal uses:

  • Gels: If your son is going for a sleek, polished look requiring a strong hold, gels are the way to go. They provide a firm grip on his hair, making them perfect for creating defined styles or achieving a wet-looking finish.  Gel will keep his look locked in, more than any other product type, so it’s ideal to use if he has a more purposeful style that needs to stay in place for a long period of time.  Use a small amount on damp or dry hair, depending on the look desired. Check out this gel option currently in our Good Guygiene Hair Necessities box. 
  • Pomades and Waxes: For boys looking for versatility in their styling, pomades and waxes offer a medium to strong hold with less stiffness compared to gels. These products are ideal for textured, flexible styles, allowing him to mold and shape his hair while maintaining a natural look and feel.  Generally used on dry hair but can also be worked into damp hair for texture and volume. Again, start with small amount and add more as needed!
  • Clay: If your son has thicker hair and prefers a more natural, matte finish, clay is the perfect styling product for him. A bit thicker and stronger than regular pomade, it provides a firm hold without the shine, making it great for creating textured, tousled looks that hold up throughout the day.
  • Sea Salt Spray: This is the product to use for a natural, tousled hair style that gives at-the-beach vibes. Simply spray it evenly onto damp or dry hair, then scrunch or tousle hair with your fingers to distribute the product and enhance texture. Sea salt spray can be used alone for a laid-back look or layered with other styling products for added hold and definition. 

The good newsis,? He’s got a lot of choices to play with to determine which one(s) help him nail the look he’s going for – the key is experimenting and having fun with each product.

Hair Tools: The Basics

When expanding your kiddo’s grooming collection, consider adding these essential hair tools into his routine:

  • A scalp scrubber is a handy tool designed to gently exfoliate the scalp, remove buildup, and promote healthy hair growth. Its soft silicone bristles massage the scalp and can do a better job at eliminating residue than by shampooing alone.  Plus the massage action stimulates blood flow which improves circulation, helping maintain a healthy scalp environment and prevent issues like dandruff and itchiness (we’ve got this one in the Hair Necessities box!)
  • A wide-tooth comb is great for detangling wet hair with minimal breakage, catering to boys of all hair types. Its broad-spaced teeth delicately navigate through any knots and tangles, leaving his hair smooth and manageable post-wash.
  • For daily grooming and maintenance, a soft-bristle hairbrush works well for most hair types. Beyond styling, it plays a crucial role in distributing natural scalp oils throughout his hair.

Special concerns: Managing Dandruff

Dealing with dandruff can be frustrating, but it’s common in this age group and generally very manageable. If your son struggles with a flaky scalp, incorporate a gentle dandruff shampoo like this one, or add this pre-shampoo treatment to his routine.  These specialized products contain active ingredients that target the underlying causes of dandruff and alleviate symptoms, while remaining non-toxic and safe for tweens and teens.

To ensure maximum effectiveness, also encourage him to practice good scalp hygiene by using a scalp scrubber regularly, and thoroughly rinsing out both the shampoo and the conditioner used every time he washes his hair. With consistent care and the right products, managing dandruff can become a minor concern rather than a major headache.

The Bottom Line

For tween and teen boys, hair and hairstyle hold a significant place in their journey of self-expression and identity. At this age, fitting in while standing out becomes a delicate balance, and hair can serve as a personal statement and a way to experiment with independence, making choices about their appearance without making permanent changes. With the right routine, products, and know-how, he can make sure that every day is a great hair day – and we know how much that means to self-confidence, don’t we?   

You are doing an amazing job mom!  Keep up the incredible work.