Laid Back Hair For The Renaissance Man

One trend in men’s hair that has been quietly plotting a mini revolution for a while now is what some would call Brit Rock or Indie Hair. These easy to wear cuts are suitable for most hair types, capturing a broad range of both length and style. This is hair with shed loads of character and charisma, with few restrictions and doable on any texture hair – from super fine to thick, straight or wavy – so no one need feel left out.

With a forehead hugging fringe, short sides and tapering length through the back, this is a cut that oozes British style; seen on poets and artists of every decade within the last century to intellectuals and indie musicians; it is an enduring haircut that subconsciously signals to the world around you that you are of a certain type; a man who believes in all he’s about.

This introduction probably sounds a bit over the top, but this style does have a casual confidence about it, worn slightly ruffled or swept over as if you have been pushing your hands through your hair in angst and artistic frustration.

The 2012 Indie Hairstyle

To get this look right you will need to take your hairdresser in hand and arm yourself with some pictures. Unlike the stronger looking more brutish styles that I wrote about last month, these are – although short – gentler on the eye. The length on the sides can be military short or enough to pinch between your fingers, but it should be blended into the longer top length with no hard lines (or a very soft undercut).

2012 Indie Hair Lookbook

Mens 2012 Indie Hair Lookbook

The Cut & How To Style

The hair on top should be long enough for the hair to hug the head, but not anything above mid-length. This look is so laid back that you are best letting it work with your hair rather than trying to make it do the impossible. For example, if you want a side parting, gently push it to the side using a light pomade, rather than meticulously sculpting and combing it – this isn’t a hairstyle that should look pristine.

Pomades are great for thicker hair types as they give good light control, allowing you to achieve that textured and messy effect. Most also offer a slight shine, which will give your hair a healthy appearance – hopefully making women want to run their fingers through it. Bear in mind however that due to this shine, a little goes a long way, so only use a small amount of product initially and add more if necessary – you don’t want to look like an oil slick.

One of the best pomades for light control is Redken Get Groomed Finishing Cream. This product feels great on your hair, leaves no residue after shampooing and, as always with Redken, you are buying into a established brand with quality ingredients. I personally use this for styling at photo shoots as it stays workable and has a clean appearance.

If you have finer hair, adding more density to this style will prevent it becoming too flat to the head throughout the day. Start by using a thickening shampoo – such as Tigi Bed Head for Men Charge Up Thickening Shampoo – which (after regular use) will help to plump each individual hair, giving an appearance of fuller and thicker hair, whilst providing the added benefit of making finer hair easier to style.

To finish off, try using a thickening styling product as well – a really good all-rounder is TIGI Bed Head Cocky Thickening Paste, which apart from having a great name, will double up as a wet styling thickening paste and one that can be applied to dry hair.

Recommended Products
  • Redken Get Groomed – Finishing CreamRedken Get Groomed - Finishing Cream
  • American Crew Pomade 85gAmerican Crew Pomade 85g
  • Tigi Bed Head Cocky Thickening Paste 150mlTigi Bed Head Cocky Thickening Paste 150ml
  • Tigi Bed Head For Men Charge Up Thickening ShampooTigi Bed Head For Men Charge Up Thickening Shampoo
  • Tigi Bed Head Charge Up Thickening Conditioner 200mlTigi Bed Head Charge Up Thickening Conditioner 200ml
  • Lock Stock & Barrel Pucka Grooming Crème 100gLock Stock & Barrel Pucka Grooming Crème 100g
The Curly Hair Alternative

If, like so many men, you have felt left out over the years because you have been blessed with curly or wavy hair, then you have just landed in the lucky house. Nothing in my mind looks cooler than a mop of curly hair atop a short back and sides; believe me when I say that this is going to become an envy cut amongst your friends. However, you need to make an effort getting the right cut, and you will also need to use a bit more than shampoo and some wax to shape this baby up.

You will need to have more of a discussion (rather than a quick chat) with your hairdresser about this one – the detail (see ‘the cut’ below) is make or break. This is definitely not an “off the shelf” style, it needs to be personal to you and hopefully have some individuality.

Mens 2012 Indie Curly Hair Lookbook

The Cut & How To Style

Back to the detail. Firstly, the top will control how eccentric and individual look this look is, so don’t opt for just a little longer than the sides and back, it needs to be a lot longer. It can be worn with a long “tear drop” fringe [indie lookbook bottom centre | curly lookbook bottom right] which, in case you are interested guys, enhances the cheek bones and strengthens the jaw line – creating very masculine appearance.

Secondly, don’t go for the disconnection from bottom to top. You want your hairdresser to eliminate any hard lines, as these will make the haircut look like your Mum did it for you, or render you looking like a badly turned out 1980s football casual, minus the shell suit. Remember that these looks are all about precision and balance.

The final bit of crucial detail is what to do with your sideburns? Get rid of them. As a general guide, sideburn length will look best level with either the bottom of the brow bone or corner of the eye, depending on your preference.

Styling this is a cinch and requires little maintenance, just some carefully selected products. If you have tighter, smaller curls; keeping them supple and encouraging some light separation is a good place to start. With this in mind, for fine or thicker curly/wavy hair, go straight in with a moisture shampoo to soften the hair. Philip Kingsley Moisture Balancing Shampoo is such a high quality product that it will suit all hair textures where you need moisture and leaves your scalp feeling clean and healthy.

Next, instead of using a conventional rinse out conditioner, use a leave in – for finer or softer less frizzy wavy hair, TIGI Bed Head for Men Leave-In Conditioner comes as a spray and provides enough control without feeling too heavy or oily.

If you want to tame thick, textured wavy or very curly hair, using a heavier leave in conditioner will give you more success. There are a handful of these that I like and one of my favourites is Label.M Leave In Conditioner. My way of looking at it is that this product is going to be on your hair and possibly your scalp for over a day, so it’s worth investing in one that’s going to be healthy to wear.

To apply a leave in conditioner:

  1. Towel dry your hair.
  2. Take a thumbnail sized amount of the product and rub it up in your hands.
  3. Run the conditioner through your hair using your fingers and comb it through to get an even coverage.
  4. Loosen up your hair with your fingers.
  5. Put into place and then leave to dry.

If you want to add more control, use a soft styling product first and then opt for Hairbond Sculptor Professional Hair Putty, which will also help you shape the style.

Recommended Products
  • Hairbond Sculptor Professional Hair Putty 100mlHairbond Sculptor Professional Hair Putty 100ml
  • Tigi Bed Head For Men Leave-in Conditioner 250mlTigi Bed Head For Men Leave-in Conditioner 250ml
  • Philip Kingsley Moisture Balancing Shampoo 250mlPhilip Kingsley Moisture Balancing Shampoo 250ml
  • Label.m Leave-in Conditioner 300mlLabel.m Leave-in Conditioner 300ml
  • Label.m Curl Cream 150mlLabel.m Curl Cream 150ml
  • Men-u Create & Shape 100mlMen-u Create & Shape 100ml