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Hello Hairman,

I'm a 28 year old male trying to grow out my hair to shoulder length.  My hair is currently between 3-4", and the problem that I have is that it is wavy/curly ( curly especially on the back) and thick.  My hair is thick and "puffy" after taking a shower and using shampoo, and curls up when I use gel or get it wet.  When I use a flat iron I really like how my hair looks, but because I have so much hair I need to use some sort of a product like gel or wax to tone it down.  

I need some help picking products suitable to my situation.  What would be a good shampoo, conditioner, hair spray and wax/pomade to keep my hair short? There are tons of options out there and don't know what to choose.  Also, is there another product that you suggest I use to make my hair straight (for ex. relaxers or those 3-day temporary treatments)?

I also wanted to ask if you recommend I go to a salon and thin it out, because I heard that the shorter hair underneath might make it look worst and add volume.   

I'm not very familiar with hair care and this is frustrating for me.  I'll appreciate your advice. Thank you!

Answer
Nash,
 First of all, my apology for the delayed response. I don't like to recommend specific products because this is very subjective. Something that works great for one person, another will find terrible, due to may factors like individual hair texture, preferences and even your water. Instead I will recommend some types of products for you.

 The first thing I'll suggest is a keratin treatment or a smoothing treatment. The keratin will eliminate frizz and remove a lot of bulk from the hair by making it appear smoother. This will also make it easier to style and manage. The keratin shampoos out over a period of 2-3 months. A smoothing treatment will remove more of the wave and curl and in some cases grows out like a chemical relaxer instead of shampooing out. The third option in this area that I would suggest is a thermal (or Japanese) straightening. This will make the hair very smooth and easy to manage and grows out. As it is growing out you would only have to deal with the new growth with regard to curl, making it  much easier to manage. since your hair grows about 1/2 inch a month, you would probably have it retouched at the new growth about every 6 months to maintain it.
 
 Do NOT get your hair thinned out. That is one of the worst things you can do. As the shorter hairs grow back in they create more uncontrollable puffiness than you had before.

 For daily care, even without any of the above options, start with a moisturizing or smoothing shampoo and conditioner. Towel dry and add a small amount of a nourishing oil, either with or without silicones. This can be argan oil, Morroccan (a brand of argan oil) Biosilk, Loma, any nourishing oil. Many are blends of different botanicals and such, some with silicone for additional shine. Work it in well and then a smoothing serum. Many of these are also thermal protectants as well. Follow with a light hold mousse if you like, before drying.

Although there are some differences between the different brands of products, most of your professional salon lines are just fine and work very well. It's just a matter of which you will prefer, and on one can predict that for you, unfortunately.
Best of luck to you.
Stephe (Hairman)

Hairstyling

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Hairman

Expertise

I have been a Licensed cosmetologist in New York state for over 26 years, and am well versed in many areas of the cosmetology and appearance enhancement profession.Specialties however, are hair colour, corrective colour and permanent waving,including the chemical and technical aspects of these services and their effects on the hair.I`m glad to consult on any problems you are having concerning your hair.If I don`t have the answer, I`ll try to get it for you.

Experience

I've been licensed for cosmetology in New York State since 1974.I am a salon owner, and very active with the National Cosmetology Association and New York State Cosmetology Associaiton.I am one of only a few hundred people in the United States to be certi

For the field of cosmetology, to become acredited as a state educator for the New York State Education Committee or HairAmerica, you must submit to a full day exam, encompassing written exam, practical segments, lesson plans and presentations to prove our knowledge and teaching skills.The same applies for HAirAmerica.I also becam board certified as a coulourist in the same way, by submitting to a full day exam process.I am also antionally certified for cosmetology by the National Cosmetology Ass

I have received several educational awards from New York State for my educational work on a state and national level.
My web site, still under construction, in www.hairman.net

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