General Question

Ltryptophan's avatar

How should I manage my hair?

Asked by Ltryptophan (10191points) October 30th, 2011

The hair on my head is about 4” long now. It looks curly and wild and is just a mess! What do you think I should do? Typically, I cut my own hair by just clipping it all off pretty low or even with no guard.

Now, I certainly don’t have a lot time to spend maintaining my hair early in the day, or going to salons. I’d consider a barber, but I don’t care for sharing hair cutting utensils with others.

With this job market and super cautious world, I’d like to have a haircut that is easily maintained, attractive, and professional. I don’t want unkempt hair to be the reason I miss an opportunity.

So, just shave it off? Go to a stylist/barber? Where a hat until I can pull it back into a ponytail in a year or so?

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28 Answers

poopnest's avatar

I think that you mostly need to find the right kind of hair product. I don’t have much luck with hair spray or mousse but I found a hair product for myself that you might want to try. It’s Garnier Fructis Stlye SURF HAIR in a small 5.1 ounce round plastic canister. It’s a paste. You can use a little or a lot. Smells nice too and isn’t all greasy unless you leave it in for more than a day and happened to use a lot. I found it at Target near the shampoo and conditioner. Garnier has it’s own little section going on so it shouldn’t be too hard to find if it’s there. Well, hope this helps.

Jeruba's avatar

Just to be sure: male or female?

Approximate age? General area of the country?

And what type of work are you looking for?

A middle-aged woman looking for work in retail in the Northeast or a young woman seeking a receptionist job in the Midwest is going to face different grooming expectations from a guy of 28 looking for software engineering work in California.

bkcunningham's avatar

Hey, don’t knock barbers. One of the best haircuts I ever had was from a barber. He’d been to cosmopology school and did an okay job for $10.

I’d love to see a picute of you so I could tell what your hair looks like. What color is your hair and your eyes? How tall are you? Is your hair naturally curly? Do you have a small frame? ... And your bonestructure and how much time do you want to spend on your hair? lol Do you have a photo?

Sunny2's avatar

If it’s curly, this may work (male or female) First, pull all the hair away from you head and imagine how you would look with short curly hair.If you think it could look good Try this. Pull the hair on the top of your head and around your face straight up. Part by part, cut it so about an inch is left all over your head as far as you can reach. Ask someone else to clip the back the same way and trim the back of your neck. Wash it. Rub it almost dry with a towel. It’s easy to keep up and it’s very natural.
Note: This doesn’t work well for straight hair.

bkcunningham's avatar

OMGoodness, an Internet haircut. Fluther is on the cutting edge!

Pandora's avatar

First answer that came to mind was take 10 percent off the top. :)
Second answer was go to a stylest and get it cut properly. They can recommend a style and gels that will help keep the curls under control and make it look neat and proper.
My daughter has really curly hair and she just wets it in the morning and then applies hair gel and lets it air dry.on her way to work. Its usually pretty dry by the time she arrives at work and it last her the whole day.
For curly hair, you shouldn’t run a brush through it. Just towel dry by scrunching your hair and run the gel through your hair with your fingers and finger comb your hair. Brushing it will seperate the curls and give you a frizzy look once its dry.

lillycoyote's avatar

Go to a barber or a stylist and get your hair cut properly. If you don’t like the idea of sharing hair cutting utensils with others, fine, I’m not going to argue with you dear, :-), see if you can find a barber or stylist who will cut your hair if you bring your own “utensils.” They have a large selection of them here.. A good haircut is important, I think, it’s the one bit of vanity I splurge on, though I’m a little, may way overdue, but you’ll look better, feel better maybe even, and present yourself better to the world. Maybe you’re good at cutting your own hair but it’s usually pretty easy to tell the difference. Like you say, you don’t want to miss an opportunity just because of your hair and in an increasingly competitive world appearance count even more. At lease looking like you care enough to get a decent hair cut.

LiveWithNoRegrets's avatar

Have you thought about hair extenstions?

Ltryptophan's avatar

thanks for the answers. @Jeruba I’m a he! @bkcunningham My hair and eyes are dark brown but the tips of my hair shimmer gold. My hair is naturally wavy/prone to large ringlets, my face is round I guess, I have dark eye brows. I have a small frame. My skin is kinda a yellow olive. I think my hair is like Adrian Grenier’s.

I’ll let you know what a stylist tells me. Maybe I’ll go to a school where it’s cheaper?

@lillycoyote it certainly makes me self conscious not being able to know exactly what to do with my hair everyday. I’m getting too old/poor for that! :-)

Ltryptophan's avatar

@LiveWithNoRegrets I don’t think I’m up for all the effort of hair extensions…

lillycoyote's avatar

@Ltryptophan That’s why it’s great if you find a barber or a stylist who can cut your hair so it looks good and you like it. Then you don’t have to worry about knowing exactly what to do with it. Someone else takes care of that for you. And it took me a little looking around and a couple of bad cuts before I found someone I liked and could work with and a salon I felt comfortable in. I’m not a real high-fashion, girly-girl and there were some salons I felt really uncomfortable and out of place in, but I love my salon. I love my hairdresser/stylist. He’s been cutting my hair for over 15 years now.

Kayak8's avatar

I have to admit I am still stuck on the not sharing utensils thing. I work in public health and am dumb-founded to think of a single thing your dead protein can get from someone else’s dead protein . . . Figuring out the issue with the utensils will likely go a long way toward your fashionable presentation in the job market.

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Ltryptophan's avatar

@kayak8 i guess they attempt to sanitize them for fun.

Ltryptophan's avatar

@kayak8 that was condescending and inaccurate. I hope it made you feel better to attempt to fire a dart at me. If that attitude is what’s fashionable I think I’ll stay out of vogue.

Ltryptophan's avatar

For anyone else feeling flip about my avoiding infection or sharing infection, maybe you should redirect your passion to the makers of Barbicide, a ubiquitous antiseptic commonly found in barber shops used to sanitize shears, combs, etc.

JLeslie's avatar

My husband has wild and curly hair. When he keeps it short it is about two or three inches I guess, and he controls it with mousse or gel. He looks fabulous. As it gets longer it starts to become too puffy, hard to control. He still can slick it back with lots of gel, but then he has a slicked back look, with almost no wave. He does this when he is growing it long and is in an in between stage. As it gets longer, sometimes in the summer I put straightener in it.

My husband does brush his hair, not just towel dry.

JLeslie's avatar

@Pandora 10% off the top? Do you mean cut the top of his head shorter? Or take 10% off all over his head?

JLeslie's avatar

I just saw you said your hair is like Adrien Greenier’s, that’s like my husband too, but most people compare him to Antonio Bandares. You have fabulous hair. My husband has had a couple bad cuts, sometimes looking like a mushroom head having to resort to cutting it very short and starting all over. His best luck has been with hair dresser’s who are from the mediterranean area, whether they are born in America or not. People who have curly hair in their culture. The best was an Italian-American woman who had wild curly hair herself, and the other an Iranian woman.

Ltryptophan's avatar

@JLeslie it’s just unruly.

Kayak8's avatar

@Ltryptophan No intention of being condescending. I just don’t understand what you think you are going to get (Barbicide or not). I make my risk decisions based on facts and approach most problems from this perspective.

Barbicide kills bacteria, fungus, viruses (including HIV, Hep B and Hep C) and barbers apparently, (judging from the name). They use the stuff because state law frequently requires it. Disinfecting tools is never a bad idea. The biggest risk I can think of (both siblings are cosmetologists and I have been mulling this over all day) is the stylist cutting the webbing between their fingers. Unless you had an open wound on your scalp (probably shouldn’t be getting a haircut then anyway), your unbroken skin is terrific protection.

I did find one article that documented transmission of syphilis by barbers (using styptic pencil to treat bleeds after shaving and tweezers used to pull out an ingrown hair) from this source (page 486 of the Illinois Medical Journal from 1903). I also found this from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy. Alumni Association (page 51, published in 1908). Barbicide was invented in 1947 at a time when shared razors and other tools now considered single-use items might have been more common.

It seems equipment used for nails (cuticle scissors in particular), shaving (particularly straight razors and cups and brushes for mixing up shaving cream) and removing callouses (shavers) are the real threat when shared between customers. But I can’t find any medical journal reports on diseases transmitted through a hair cut (lice and ringworm being the exceptions, but Barbicide on the combs should take care of both of those). I am open-minded and would love to read anything anyone can find.

Pandora's avatar

@JLeslie I was being facetious in the first line. The rest was in earnest.

JLeslie's avatar

@Pandora I was afraid you were giving the guy a mullet.

Ltryptophan's avatar

@Kayak8 I tell you what…for Halloween, I’m gonna let it slide. Treat.

lillycoyote's avatar

@Kayak8 The inventor of Barbicide apparently hated barbers because of some issues he had as a teenager, so the name was kind of his little joke. It really does kill just about everything. So, @Ltryptophan, if you have issues with the utensils now, you really would have had problems in the era before Maurice King invented Barbicide. The descriptions of pre-Barbicide barber practices are pretty disgusting.

Ltryptophan's avatar

@lillycoyote my point exactly. Let’s look at it this way: Say that there is zero risk of any transmission of disease, infection, or other illness by any practice that could be performed by a barber(etc.) So, in that rosy world, the only thing that the Barber would need to clean from his cutlery and other implements, would be, what, someone else’s hair and skin!

I don’t want the last guy’s dead skin and hair on me even if it is absolutely sterile, and since it is certainly not, I would rather not share a sharp instrument that comes in contact with another’s skin at all!

And, since @lillycoyote is bringing it up…even though I gave him a pass for Halloween, I simply can’t help but note that the inference was that my avoidance of such a situation was the bigger psychological problem that underlied my ability to compete in the job market!

Such sweeping assumptions about the very nature of my thoughts! I don’t see a great error in my ego for wanting a disinfected haircut! I do see a problem with people as a whole thinking that if you aren’t marching lock step with the “norms” that they perceive as correct, that your thoughts don’t count or need to be bent in order to achieve success!

My success in life should certainly have nothing to do with whether I want to have disinfected haircut tools…


There is a time and a place for following the herd! Sometimes that involves allowing yourself to get sheared.

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si3tech's avatar

I agree with those above who advised a stylist or barber. (school may be cheaper but…) When I found a stylist who cuts my hair so that I like it I stay with them. A small luxury, a treat.

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