This struggle is more common than you might think. It definitely affects certain hair types more than others, but whatever it may be – there are ways it can be helped.
Here are some great ways for men to get rid of puffy hair.
Let’s get to it.
1. Reduce Bulk
Puffiness tends to be a problem for men with naturally thick and dense hair. Not always – but most of the time.
The reason for this is that thick hair strands prop themselves up and refuse to lay flat. Instead, they layer on top of each other in clusters.
While this high-volume aesthetic often looks appealing, it can sometimes just look too big, too full, or too frizzy.
So, an effective way of reducing puffiness would be to reduce bulk and to reduce layering.
To do this, the haircut you get is essential.
Let the barber know of the problems you have with bulk and frizz. They’ll probably know exactly what you’re talking about and help you with it.
They’ve got ways of reducing bulk, including thinning shears or even feathering with a razor.
They can also avoid putting too much layering into your haircut, as this can also make the hair look fuller than you may like.
While it’s possible to use thinning shears yourself to try to reduce bulk, it’s not recommended. Always get a professional to do it as you’re bound to get a better result.
2. Use Conditioner
Many men avoid or shy away from using conditioners. It’s usually because they don’t see it as necessary.
After all, it’s an added step in the grooming routine.
But its benefits shouldn’t be ignored, especially for men trying to get rid of puffiness.
A common misconception is that conditioner is only useful for building volume and producing fullness.
Conditioners are actually more useful for producing a silkier and softer finish. This alone can help reduce frizz.
But in addition, they tend to weigh the hair down as they’re quite heavy products.
By weighing the hair down, it can actually help to reduce volume and puffiness.
3. Microfiber Towels
This tip is to do with how you dry the hair after washing it.
It’s something that most men don’t even think about. They just hop out of the shower, grab their towel, and have at it.
But the trouble with drying your hair with a towel in a rough and haphazard way is that it’s a recipe for frizz.
Rubbing the hair back and forth until it’s dry may seem harmless, but it’s creating static, and static creates frizz.
One solution would be simply wrapping the towel around the hair gently and waiting until it’s dry. It’s more effective than simply air-drying, but it’s still pretty time-consuming and won’t be an option for everyone.
Microfiber towels are worth considering as they’re gentler on the hair strands and also less likely to cause static and frizz.
They’re often very absorbent, doing their job effectively while reducing the risk of puffiness at the same time.
4. Smoothing Lotion
A pre-styler is a product that’s used before styling in order to make it more responsive.
They usually perform a specific function. Common ones include increasing volume and reducing frizz.
Volumizing pre-stylers aren’t great when you’re trying to reduce puffiness.
Smoothing lotions are a better option.
Exactly as the name suggests, they smoothen the hair and make it more likely to lay flat. They reduce frizz and flyaways.
They often contain oils such as argan oil, as well as ingredients such as shea butter.
MoroccanOil Smoothing Lotion is a good example (Amazon Link).
So, when do you usually apply smoothing lotion?
Most pre-stylers are applied to damp hair post-shower. This would usually be after towel-drying (ideally with a microfiber towel as per tip #3).
Working it gently into damp, towel-dried hair before moving onto your final styling steps.
Many do choose to blow-dry after applying the lotion as it helps to activate it. It’s up to you whether you choose to blow-dry or simply let it air dry.
But blow-drying can be surprisingly effective at reducing puffiness when done the right way.
5. Blow-Dry The Right Way
Blow-drying may be better known for its ability to increase volume and fullness.
But when done using the right technique, it can actually be used to do the opposite.
Flat wrapping is one way in which this is done. This is just a fancy term for blow-drying while brushing hair, but doing so in a specific way.
Paddle brushes work especially well for this, as do round brushes.
Essentially, you brush the hair in the direction it grows while following it with a blow-dryer in your other hand.
Using a concentrator nozzle on the end of the blow-dryer is important. It’ll help to focus the heat and pressure onto specific parts of the hair in a much more controlled manner than you’d be able to otherwise.
Getting these two motions in sync (brush + blow-dryer) can be tricky at first, but once you’ve got it down it can be very effective.
Don’t hold the blow-dryer too close to the hair or brush – around 7 or 8 inches away should be fine.
But flat wrapping in the direction the hair grows is what helps keep it flat. Brushing does the hard part of detangling while the blow-dryer locks it in place.
When trying to reduce puffiness, try to avoid doing anything against the grain. In other words, avoid pushing the hair against its direction of growth – this tends to increase fullness and can make the hair look puffier.
In general, work the hair in the direction it grows. For the hair on top, this will usually be forward and downward.
So, when flat wrapping, you’ll usually be brushing the hair forward and downward, while closely following it with a blow dryer.
6. Oil-Based Styling Products
We’ve discussed washing, drying, and pre-styling. Let’s talk about the actual styling itself.
The product you use for styling is crucial when it comes to the finish.
When trying to reduce puffiness, going for a shinier and heavier product is usually a better option than a lighter, more matte product.
Oil-based products are often a great way to go.
Hair waxes and oil-based pomades are good options. They’re effective at producing a slick and defined finish.
In addition, they often weigh the hair down. While this shouldn’t be done in excess, it can be exactly the finish some men want.
Hair gels can also produce a shiny and slick finish, as can water-based pomades.
However, these water-based products often produce a stiff and sometimes crunchy finish that often doesn’t appeal to a lot of people.
They do have the benefit of being easy to wash out, however. This is unlike its oil-based alternatives.
It really depends on the end result you want.
Products you’ll usually want to avoid are those which are simply too light and low-shine for your puffy hair.
Pastes, creams, and putties probably won’t give you the end result you’re looking for.
Hair clays may be an option, despite being low-shine. The reason for this is that it’s quite a heavy product that should help to weigh the hair down a little.
But overall, oil-based products such as waxes and oil-based pomades are probably your best options.
7. Styling With The Grain
I’ve mentioned this already in the context of blow-drying.
But even when it comes to your final step in the styling process, strongly consider working the hair in the same direction in which it grows.
In other words, style with the grain.
Doing so can help to reduce fullness, volume, and puffiness.
Hair that’s styled with the grain likes to lay flat. It’s less stubborn, more responsive, and more likely to stay the way you’ve styled it for prolonged periods of time.
This principle is the same no matter what product you’re using.
Certain areas may seem to puff up no matter how hard you try. The hair at the sides can be tough to flatten, as can the cowlick.
A common reason for hair puffing up in these areas, as well as elsewhere on the head, is due to hair being styled against its direction of growth.
It’s always worth seeing whether simply working the hair in the same direction it grows will help to flatten it.
The trouble with the cowlick at the crown is that hair tends to grow in several different directions here. It can be tricky to style with the grain here because “the grain” is in multiple directions in this area.
But pay extra attention here – try to gauge the different directions of growth and use a mirror to figure out which directions lead to the flattest and least puffy result here.
Overall, the principle of styling with the grain remains the same no matter where you’re styling.
8. Flat Iron
A flat iron is an option for those who find that their puffy hair is simply too stubborn to fix using some of the other tips.
They’re a quick and effective way to make hair straighter, smoother, and flatter.
It’s important to use them the right way. Heat protectant spray is essential as excessive heat can do damage over time.
Use a low-heat setting and try to minimize the amount of time your hair has with it.
Done correctly, it can be another quick and easy way to reduce puffiness.
Ready Sleek founder. Obsessed with casual style and the minimalist approach to building a highly functional wardrobe. Also a fan of classic, vintage hairstyles.