Five Weapons in the Hair Battle for Men

Recently one of the most popular posts I wrote has been a look at some tools for guys with thinning hair. I figured it was time to take another look at some tools I use to keep my hair under control. I struggle with fine hair these days. My hair, while not too thin, certainly isn’t as thick as it used to be. There are definitely more than a few pics of me rocking that mushroom poof, center part haircut in high school. No, I won’t be posting them here. I wish, back then, someone had talked to me about the right way to use hair product, how to style my hair based on my face shape, etc. For me, grooming and self-care were never discussions I had with my parents. I think a lot of fathers think it’s frivolous or that you’re supposed to figure it out on your own or something along those lines. I know that I’m going to teach my son how to shave and how to groom with a “hands on” approach. I think knowing how to do those things builds self-confidence as well as strong personal hygiene habits.

Today, I want to talk about hair for a bit. These tools are not for guys with thinning hair; they’re just for guys in general. I use every one of these on a daily basis, and I’ll run through how and why I use each.

Shampoo Bars

At this point I’ve pretty much given up on liquid shampoo and conditioner. No matter how gentle they claim to be, I always feel like my hair ends up dried out and stripped of any natural oils. Shampoo bars have saved my hair. My hair feels healthier and is more manageable. These bars are also ideal for travel, as they pack easily and can be carried on planes. I have most recently been using the D.R. Harris “Arlington” shampoo bar, and the tin case makes packing a breeze. When switching over to a shampoo bar, your hair will go through a period of adjustment where your hair might feel a bit “waxy”. This is normal and typically lasts about a week or two while your healthy oils are rebuilt.

Tailor & Barber Recommends:

D.R. Harris

J.R. Liggett's

Hair Tonic

Using a hair tonic is a relatively new practice for me. I’ve tried gels, mousses, clays, waxes, pomades, and even hairspray. Nothing has gotten me hair that stays in place, but lets someone run their hands through it like a hair tonic. It’s incredibly lightweight, but has a surprising amount of control. Like my shampoo bar, I use the D.R. Harris tonic, specifically the Eau de Portugal. I love the citrus scent! Normally, I towel dry my hair, use my comb to get my hair roughly where I want it, then let it dry while I shave. After shaving I’ll dash about a teaspoon into my palm, work it into my hair and scalp, then re-style it with my boar brush. After that, I’m good to go for the day with an occasional re-brushing. Be advised, there are hair tonics that contain oil and some that don’t. I use the oil for a little more control. If you want a looser hair style or have thin hair, I recommend using a non-oil variety.

Tailor & Barber Recommends:

D.R. Harris

Pinaud Clubman

Taylor of Old Bond Street


It seems like the preferred method of styling hair today is to let it air dry, then work some product in, and use your hands to get the look you want. I have no issues with this method. But I want a little more control over my hair and a little more definition to my part. A quality comb is the only way I can achieve this. A comb is necessary for creating a real part, helping to separate the hairs creating a thicker look.

Tailor & Barber Recommends:

Baxter of California

D.R. Harris

Bristle Brush

I think one of the biggest secrets in styling your hair is letting the natural oils do their jobs. They protect and heal your hair, but they also help control your hair keeping it where you want it. A natural boar bristle brush lifts those oils off your scalp and distributes them over the shaft of each hair. For me, this is the most important component in caring for my hair, and should not be overlooked. Brushes usually come with either stiffer bristles for thicker hair or softer bristles for thinner hair.

Tailor & Barber Recommends


Acca Kappa


I’ve said it before, your barber has a wealth of knowledge regarding men’s hair. He/She should, considering they spend the majority of everyday working with it. Make sure you talk to your barber. Ask them questions. Have you ever struggled with recreating the style they so effortlessly used for your hair? I know I have. Ask them to teach you how to do what they did. Use their experience to your advantage. If you can’t or don’t feel comfortable, find a new barber.


Tailor & Barber