Time for Change

Apart from the many articles in magazines – including my own – who proclaim to be the oracle of the next trend in hair for a fashion aware readership, we all know in our wisdom that changing your Barnett Fair requires more than a liking for the on trend haircut of the season. There are so many factors that come into play that need to be considered; suitability, will it work for your face shape, hair texture and your lifestyle.

As I wrote in a previous article, a new haircut can’t be tried on and exchanged like a shirt or jacket if it doesn’t go to plan – so making the right choice involves imagination, a bit of research and having a bit of knowledge about your own hair.

Texture and density

Texture describes the diameter of the individual hairs on the head; density refers of the amount of hairs on the head. If you describe your hair as thick, this usually means the density and the texture combined. Perhaps your hair is very dense, but fine in texture – in this case your hair could still be described as thick.

Movement and direction

Hair movement is a description of whether your hair is straight, curly or wavy. Some of the main considerations to look for are; how does your hair grow around your hair line? If it grows up and to one side, normally referred to as a cows lick, a style with a sweeping fringe that lies flat across to one side will probably cause you a few problems and will require some very skilled styling. More obviously, with curly or wavy hair, choosing a haircut with a straighter finish, although achievable, can mean you need to spend a lot of time styling it and perfect some skills.

Face shape

It’s recognised that there are different face shapes, although the most common for men is a square face. The difference with men to women is our facial structure is determined by the position and prominence of our facial bones; commonly our jawline and chin are stronger. We all start life with a rounded face shape and sadly at a later stage in life some of us lose the square jawline due to weight gain or age but the square features remain.

The most common male face shapes:

  • Oval
  • Round
  • Square
  • Rectangular

Although face shape is an important consideration please don’t make it an obsession. Your stylist should be able to come up with hairstyle ideas that will or will not suit, usually without a mention of your face shape. Personally, unless I had looks resembling George Clooney, I don’t really want to be told by a (normally young) overly confident hairdresser, that to wear a particular haircut, I would need to lose at least one of my chins. Joking aside, it is those hairdressers that really care which see it as poor salon etiquette to discuss in detail with a client why a haircut wouldn’t work for/suit them, rather than, complement them by suggesting what would look great on them.

As a rule of thumb, due to our bone structure and regardless of face shape, men can get away with most lengths and shapes. But it’s worth considering the following:

  • Round faces – especially those that are fuller – should avoid fringes, framing shapes, rounder styles and mid length shapes. Aim for shorter but not too closely cut styles which are slightly higher on top which will narrow and lengthen the face.
  • To soften a long face shape, opt for mid length hair worn away from the face which will give the effect of widened the shape. If you prefer a shorter style then avoid very short cuts or extreme differences in length between the sides and the top – again the idea being to broaden the face by creating width at the sides.

Follow the advice in my article on finding the right salon and once you find the right stylist you should be able to rely on them to get it right for YOU.


If you are like me, time is a luxury and spending time on my hair is limited. This means I always choose styles that are going to work for my hair, take minimum fuss to get right each day and the most difficult – improve the way I look. The obvious thing is to ask the stylist is exactly how much work is involved in looking after any new cut you have discussed. Using the right hair products is also very important and sometimes changing your hair style may mean changing the products you use, especially the styling and finishing products.

Some Extra Help

If you really want to get the very best from you hair, then using the right products will make a big difference. For thick wavy unruly hair you need to use a moisture shampoo and conditioner; Philip Kingsley moisture balancing shampoo and conditioner are some of the best out there. Try a leave in conditioner if you want to reduce the fullness of your hair; men-u slic smooth leave-in conditioner is perfect; apply small amount to damp towel dried hair, either allow to dry naturally or slowly dry with a hairdryer. For fine hair use Jason thin to thick extra volume shampoo and conditioner plus try a thickening crème which will plump up (swell) each individual hair, making the hair thicker and easier to style.

Recommended Products:

  • Philip Kingsley Moisture Balancing Shampoo 250mlPhilip Kingsley Moisture Balancing Shampoo 250ml
  • Philip Kingsley Moisture Balancing Conditioner 250mlPhilip Kingsley Moisture Balancing Conditioner 250ml
  • Men-u Slic Smooth Leave In Conditioner 100mlMen-u Slic Smooth Leave In Conditioner 100ml
  • Jason Thin To Thick Extra Volume Shampoo 237mlJason Thin To Thick Extra Volume Shampoo 237ml
  • Jason Thin To Thick Extra Volume Conditioner 227gJason Thin To Thick Extra Volume Conditioner 227g
  • Osmo Extreme Volume Thickening Creme 150mlOsmo Extreme Volume Thickening Creme 150ml
Example Look book

Now we have got the technical bit out of the way, I’ve put together some looks which cover the whole range of hair types and face shapes we have mentioned. These aren’t categorised, as the key guidance you should take away from this article is making your cut work for YOU and no-one else. Most of the time having the latest trend cut is not the way to make you look your best, it is finding a hair style which makes the most of your current features and hair type. The most important person to help you decide is your stylist, so this is why finding one who really cares about how you look is imperative. If you are not getting the right service from your stylist, then it is time for a change.

Men's Hair Styles Look Book

Jargon breaker

Thinning scissors – Thinning scissors look like a pair of scissors with teeth. The blades come together and only cut in the sections between the teeth leaving length but reducing the amount of hair – sometimes over used by stylists.