Without sounding too obvious, 2010/2011 has definitely been a period of manlike hair styles. There has been no gradual decent from soft “razor-cut” outlines; the chopped up, messed up, face hugging lad badge of honour has been replaced by the “man head” – in the form of architectural shapes and geometric lines. In most cases these looks show more skin than hair, especially through the sides and back, whilst on top the length and style is optional – so long as it is top heavy.
‘Short back and sides’ I hear you say. It’s not exactly a new trend and I have written many lines about taking down the sides and back to the wood. What makes these a step up from the previous trend cuts is the brutish style they portray; no face shaping quiffs or soft sweeping fringes, we’re talking industrial strength haircuts. It’s like the difference between a boot and a shoe; a boot is the footwear of a coal miner, whilst a shoe is that of a dancer – so this season “Man up and get your hair cut”.
Get your hairdresser to bone off* the back and sides (if you’ve got any head scars then these will add kudos), as you really want to see some skin. The top is taken down to about 1cm, either cut to a slightly rounded head shape or a more angular 80s flattop – if you are under 28 years old ask your dad to describe.
There will be no sissy wisps or fringes hanging across the forehead; the front should be so short that it won’t go anywhere near you forehead. If you must have a fringe, wear it either to the side or straight down and make sure it is strong and heavy.
This look needs building up with some serious product. If you want to wear it flattened and to the side then use a paste or moulder, as these will work on both medium to thick and wavy textured hair. Try REDKEN For Men Work Hard Power Paste as this is great for control – performs best with thicker hair but works very well on all textures. To thicken up finer hair first utilise a thickening shampoo. Goldwell For Men Thickening Shampoo will help plump and thicken the density, whilst L’Oreal Professional tecni.art Density Material is a soft paste that will also help create a denser look and make it easier to control.
Wear this look bold!
*Bone Off: Shaving hair off with clippers – grade 1 or 2 should do it for this look.
I never thought I would still be talking about this look in late 2011 but this is a male style which is going to run for a while yet.
A lot of my male clients want to keep the look but change it – yes, that is “keep it the same but change it” – even Harry Potter would struggle with that request. As I mentioned in a previous article, hair – unlike clothing – can’t change as frequently, as there is only so much you can do. Obviously that would not be a good enough answer for a fashion savvy client, and that is why us hairdressers have got to be geniuses able to re-invent, be original and sometimes change something but keep it the same. It just so happens that this exactly what’s happening with the Quiff.
The quiff of 2010 to present has been a sophisticated and undramatic style. When it first returned after a long absence it was obviously a leap from some of the messy and textured looks a couple of years ago, with many quoting it as being the most exciting movement in men’s hair for some years; sleek, coiffed and grown up. Almost the opposite of what I have started to do to update this classic.
As with the Industrial Head style above, the length through the sides and back is skin short – right the way up to where the head starts to curve. The length on top is very long and disconnected from the back and sides, meaning it’s not joined or blended in from bottom to top.
Of course the choice on how to wear the top is purely a personal one and will depend on your hair texture and density. Worn up and back in classic 50s fashion gives it a masculine boldness and a rockabilly mood, with the disconnection and long length on top making it more eccentric but a haircut to be taken seriously. Leaving a long length on top but getting it sliced up a bit to create some different lengths and texture certainly makes it a hybrid but with pedigree – a combo 50s manish style and 80s youth.
This look can be finished by applying a soft pliable wax such as TIGI Bed Head for Men Matte Separation Workable Wax, or a dryer matt paste like Hairbond Moulder Professional Hair Shaper. The wax gives a clean, almost greased finish, while the matt paste gives more hold and a dry finish. So here is how to style:
For this particular style I’ve taken to applying shed loads of product (again this depends on hair type) so don’t mess around with a smear of wax, get stuck in and pull out a enough to cover all the hair. We are not talking a fist sized amount, just enough to coat the hair. Apply to the hair by pushing through with the palms of your hands and fingers then comb through – yes that’s right, a use comb. I know it is an item only men of 60 plus carry around in their back pocket but you need to get the product distributed through the hair evenly. After you have applied the product, separate out the hair with your fingers – keep it high and quiff like but give it some direction and dimension.
For those with finer hair or want a cleaner look, use a hairspray – I know this sounds a bit girly but bear with me. On dry hair, spray one area of your hair at a time with a small amount of hairspray and brush through your hair immediately before it sets in the direction you want your hair to be styled – upwards in this case. Do this until your hair starts to stay in place, and if needed spray a little directly onto the brush and brush hair. This technique can be a good way to finish off, when used with a hairspray designed for men such as TIGI Bed Head Power Surge Strong Hold Hairspray. If you think your hair will take it, apply a small amount of soft paste or wax for definition after.
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