Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Hair Care Tips for Men and Women with Very Short Hair

This post will cover hair and scalp care for men and for women who have very short hair. I am also going to cover some questions I get repeatedly over emails.

Hair Care Tips for Men and Women with Very Short Hair
Image Source (L), Source (R)
There are both pros and cons of maintaining short hair and a majority of men keep short hair. The pros are that you save on both time and money. You need very little time to groom your hair and a very little amount of shampoo, conditioner or hair styling products. You may not even need some of them.

The cons are that if you color your hair, you end up coloring your entire head as it is difficult to do just root touch ups on short hair. You understand what I am saying, right? Again, a lot of people ask how to use conditioner on short hair and I agree it is tricky. Because conditioners are not supposed to be used on the scalp. And with short hair, you will surely end up with some conditioner on your scalp. Another con is that if you have graying or dandruff, these are easily visible in short hair. 

So with conditioner regularly touching your scalp and chemical hair color reaching out to your entire head, even where it is not required, you end up with hair loss soon. Balding is increasing day by day and even women complain of bald patches developing in their heads. So here are a few tips. Hope you find them helpful.

1. If you end up wetting your hair everyday while taking shower, simply take a few drops of any oil on your hands, rub them together and run through towel dried hair the same way as you apply hair gel. This will give you silky soft, well-groomed hair without greasing or weighing them down. You can use any oil, right from mustard oil to a more nourishing Jojoba oil. The same can be done to soften your beard or moustache.

2. If you color your hair, do NOT wet your hair everyday as water is one of the enemies of hair color. Read more HERE. But you can also follow step 1, except that you will use wet hands for spreading the oil instead of wet hair.

3. If you follow step 1 or 2, you will NOT need any other hair conditioner after shampooing. Still if you prefer using a hair conditioner, apply it exactly the same way after you have rinsed out your shampoo properly. Take a very small amount of conditioner on your hands, rub together and spread like hair gel by running fingers/hands through your hair. This way you can avoid it reaching the scalp. Leave for a minute and wash off.

Now the problem is, when you rinse it out, it is bound to come in contact with your scalp. So rinse thoroughly to make sure all the conditioner is removed from the skin. Rinse till you see no bubbles in the water running out of your head. Make sure to thoroughly rinse it out of your palms too.

4. For root touch up with chemical hair colors, first thoroughly browse each section of your head in front of the mirror to check where all you see grays. Then mix only that much color and developer as will be required to cover up those grays. Most times people end up mixing more quantity than required and then just because they don't want to throw it away, they will apply it all over the head. Now let me tell you why this is not good.

As I have explained here, permanent hair colors first remove your natural hair color (natural melanin pigments) from your hair and then deposit their own color. So when color reaches your other hair which are not gray, natural melanin/color is removed even from those hair strands and chemical color is deposited in them too. So when the chemical color fades or washes out, these hair strands will be left colorless or gray. Your salon people will always deny this, but actually this is why people complain that their graying has increased after they used a chemical hair color.

5. If you use Henna and Indigo to cover your grays, you can go for a full head application without any worries as these natural hair colors do not have any side effects or harm. Read more on this procedure HERE.

6. People with short hair are more prone to sun-damage. Hair have been given to us by Nature to prevent our scalp from direct heat or cold. When you have short hair, both heat and cold easily reach your scalp. All the hair volume being centered on the head only, the sun rays are more damaging than when you have layers of long hair.

Using a hair oil with antioxidants will prevent your hair from environmental damage and premature graying. Olive, Castor, Jojoba, Argan, Avocado... all these carrier oils are a rich source of antioxidants.

7.  Since for short haired people, the scalp is exposed to sunlight, heat and cold etc, changes in mini temperature zones not only affect your skin but also your scalp. Change in mini temperature zones means when you move from AC to the normal air outside, or when you move into the house right from direct sun exposure etc. So you need to take as good care of your scalp as you do for the rest of your skin. Again antioxidants will help keep your scalp healthy against these factors.

8. People with short hair are also more prone to scalp infections if they don't pay attention to hygiene. While short hair allow easy movement of air through the hair and helps keep the scalp fresh, the scalp also comes in direct contact with your pillow. It is important that you regularly change your pillow cover to a clean one and also change your pillow at least once in 10-12 months. Else, colonies of microbes develop in your pillow and not just you but a lot of microorganisms will be sleeping on your pillow every night.

9. I have seen men often styling their hair using any tap water available. The stored water from the tanks is not clean and may lead to scalp infections. If you wish to do this, prefer to use clean drinkable water. Also, avoid running your hands or fingers through your hair out of habit or unnecessarily. Doing so is an open invitation to bacteria and infections, especially when you have not washed your hands.

10. If you have dandruff, it will shed and be also clearly visible in short hair. Tea tree essential oil will help cut down the dandruff in a 100% natural way. You can simply add a few drops of tea tree essential oil to any oil of your choice and massage into scalp. 

For dry scalp, Jojoba carrier oil is the best; for normal scalp, Castor or Avocado carrier oil and for Oily Scalp, Castor or Argan carrier oil works great. However, if you do not want to buy a carrier oil, you can add 2-3 drops of Tea tree essential oil to some shampoo on your hand, mix and then rub the shampoo into the scalp. Else mix a few drops of Tea tree oil in some clean water, dip your hands in it and massage into the scalp.

11. If you have mint in your garden or mint leaves easily available from a vegetable vendor, you can easily make a decoction and refrigerate it. Clean and wash some mint leaves. Boil some water and switch off the stove. Throw in the mint leaves and cover the utensil. The mint leaves will leave their essence in the water and once cooled, you can filter the water into a bottle and refrigerate. Use this as a final rinse after your shampoo or use this alone to freshen up your scalp without shampooing. One decoction should last a week or more if refrigerated.

For more tips on treating damaged scalp, please refer to THIS article.


  1. Awesome tips Gagan. I always enjoy reading your articles! Will try tea tree oil :)

    1. Thanks Megha :) That's a lovely compliment. Tea tree oil will help you in multiple ways besides the scalp usage. Since you have oily skin, it will be benefitial for your skin too.

  2. awesome dear.. me wanting to try jojoba and argan from a long time. currently on castor and virgin coconut :)

    1. Even Castor is great Supriya. Soulflower's Jojoba oil is a very small bottle and for longer hair and multipurpose use, the quantity is not sufficient. I have beem requested them for bigger packing for a few months now but to no avail. Have found another source. I will let you know if that turns out equally good :)

  3. Great Post! Dandruff can be unforgiving with small hair. I use Jojoba oil on my wet hair so as to tame the frizz and it works really well without making my hair sticky or anything. I rely on this oil more than any other oil now.:)

    1. I completely agree Niesha. Jojoba works great for my dry hair ends too. But you also got Castor oil, you can use it the same way and it will work the same way. Castor too has antioxidants.

  4. greatt post gagan!....i really have to make my father read this.....he is been losing a lot of hair lately....he blames it on stress.,but i think his excessive use of shampoo and conditioner is a major contributing factor,not to mention chemical hair coloring....lately he has switched to herbal shampoos....but it is making his hair super dry and coarse,nowadays his head reminds me of a dish scrubber(no pun intended)....

    1. Dear Ruku, check with him if he would be interested to get natural black color with Henna and Indigo and I will email you the steps. You can easily buy it locally and for men, the procedure is extremely easy since they have short hair. It will not only check his hair loss but will also help recover from whatever chemical damage he has had so far.

      For stress and hair loss both, I highly recommend investing in Rosemary oil. You can buy from Soulflower or Aroma Magic. You have already read the usage method in one of the previous posts. It will help calm his senses, relieve stress and also help with hair regrowth. Herbal Shampoos are also sulphates based and not all are mild. Henna and Indigo will give him luxurious shiny ans soft hair.

  5. Great tips Gaganpreet!
    You are Super Brilliant as always :)

    1. Thank you dear :) So glad you read every post with such interest.

    2. hai gagan
      please tell me , if AC can have a bad effect on hair as i see in many IT firms many young guys go partial to severe baldness and people who colour hair also experience the same effect particularly the male sect.

    3. guru
      tell me can i use henna and indigo simutaneously , as the usual guidelines predicted by you is time consuming also can i use neutral henna with indigo.

    4. Hi Gokul, while people say AC is drying and may cause wrinkles, I have never heard anything in terms of AC being bad for hair. In fact, my personal experience is that my hair were healthier and thick when I used to be in the AC for most part of the day in the office. The baldness etc comes from the tension and poor food habits when being in a sedentary job.

      Henna and Indigo can be used simultaneously but do you have any idea how that is done?

      Will it give black color? - No
      Will it cover grays properly ? - No
      Will the color stay long? - No
      Can you use Neutral Henna with Indigo ? - Yes, but color results will be very different.
      Can you use neutral henna with Indigo WITHOUT using actual orange henna ? - NO

      Hope that answers all your ques.


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