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African American man getting hair cut at barbershop

If we were playing “Family Feud” and the topic was, “What are the top 10 reasons why a Black man will fire his barber?,” the number one answer will more than likely be, “He pushes my lining back.” The lining is THE most essential part of the haircut. It separates the good barbers you’ll tip that extra $5 to from the ones who you walk past in the streets as if they’ve stolen $100 from you.

READ: The Ultimate Guide To 360 Waves

Honestly, some of us walk into the barbershop with some crooked linings and expect our barbers to work magic from the jump. But, if you look at the men in your family you can get a good glimpse of what your hairline will look like. Some men can keep it tight until the 40’s and 50’s and for others the decline of the line starts at 20. Father Time or your genes will rob you of a crispy lining, but you have a say so in the matter.

Here’s a list of tips to keep your hair healthy and full, despite your age and genes.

Keep the fades, lose the braids

I’m not going to call out any rappers or singers by name because I don’t want any diss songs aimed at me, but you know the rappers who rock cornrows and how their hairline looks. First album the cornrows start a few inches above the eyebrows and by the third album the cornrows start in the middle of the head. Braids adds a great amount of tension on your hairline. It’s not a good idea to rock cornrows if you’re concerned about keeping that lining intact. Think stress, think hairline back to the middle of your head every time you ask for somebody to braid your hair.

Go silky smooth

It might be cool to sleep on silk sheets, but they’re good for your hair, too. Cotton sheets don’t allow your head to freely move while you’re sleeping. The friction causes your hair follicles to become irritated. Throw away those cotton sheets from college and grab some 600-800 thread count satin or silk pillow cases. Silk fibers are similar to the structure of human hair, and will cause less friction on your hair, giving your lining a chance to get front (g)row treatment.

READ: 5 Essential Skincare Tips For Men


Use alcohol-free products. 

Ask your barber if any of the sprays or shampoos he uses on your hair have alcohol in them. Alcohol dries out the scalp which in turn promotes hair loss. Be sure to check out the labels on your products in your medicine cabinets as well. Parabens, hair dyes, bleaches and sulfates are bad also for your hair.

Avoid over-brushing

It’s cool to keep your waves intact by brushing your hair and keeping that pattern going, but don’t overdo it. When your lining is in a fragile place you don’t want to do anything that creates extra stress or tension on your hairline. Also, if you’re wearing a style that requires you to brush backwards, that also increases your chance of developing a receding hairline.

The Man’s Guide To Protecting His Hairline At Any Age  was originally published on

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