Keeping abreast of menswear’s changing trends can be a mission: wide leg or slim-fit trousers? Notched or shawl lapels? Subtle or statement trainers?
With big-name creative directors and emerging designers unveiling a smorgasbord of sartorial ideas each season, you’d be forgiven for feeling a little overwhelmed. But what if we told you there are easier ways to show you’re up-to-the-minute style savvy? Making a subtle tweak or wholesale change to your hair can bring your look bang up to date instantly, without the need for a near bottomless bank account and an overworked personal shopper.
Following the recent London Collections: Men spring/summer 2016 showcase, we caught up with John Vial, creative director for hair styling team Fudge Professional, to talk the key men’s hairstyles for the season and how to get them.
1. The Textured Quiff
From Katie Eary’s My Little Pony-themed escapade to Burberry Prorsum’s re-interpretation of lace, this season proved the iconic quiff is a keeper.
The classic style also made an appearance at Belstaff, where the Fudge Professional team designed a hairstyle ruggedly masculine enough to match a collection of modern-day, military-inspired utilitarian staples.
“The look was inspired by the iconic quiff but made softer, dryer and more textured,” says John Vial. “To create the base for the perfect quiff, you need to ask your barber or stylist to gradually build length at the top, as well as for short, clean barbered edges.”
Without getting this foundation down pat first, you won’t be able to construct a quiff properly, so ensure your hair is left longer through the top and comparatively short, but not disconnected, at the sides.
How To Style
When it comes styling, Vial recommends guys with thicker hair use a firm hold product like Fudge Professional Matte Hed Extra to manipulate the hair into place, while those with fine or thin hair should look to prep it by applying a product such as Fudge Professional Expander Jelly (available September 2015) first. “This will amplify any sparse areas, making your quiff look denser and fuller while still retaining its natural texture.”
Sea salt and root support sprays offer a similar volumising effect while also giving hair that desirable ‘day at the beach’ feel. If you find your hair needs extra support and has a tendency to flatten easily, consider working a hair dust (try L’Oreal Techni Art Super Dust or Fudge Big Hair Elevate) through the roots too.
After you’ve built up a solid base to style from, Vial recommends using a firm hold product like Fudge Professional Matte Hed Extra to sculpt your quiff. Massage it into the root area to create a dry matte texture, then work your way up through the mid-lengths and ends with your fingers to create shape and definition.
Try not to overly style your hair; you want a quiff that is natural-looking and slightly dishevelled, tying in with summer’s laid-back vibe, rather than anything too precise.
2. Natural/Undone Texture
In contrast to Belstaff’s windswept elegance, hair at Craig Green was relatively lo-fi, with a clean, almost untouched appearance to match with the raw beauty of the designer’s signature uniform-inspired pieces.
“We created head-hugging, anti-volume shapes with a natural and undone texture,” explains Vial. “This look suits all guys, whether your hair is short or long, and it’s also especially quick and easy to achieve if you’re in a rush.”
To get the look, you’ll want to ask your barber or stylist to layer your hair to maximise movement and texture – an essential step, given that this style’s unvarnished effect really lays your hair bare.
The Inspiration: Craig Green
How To Style
When it comes to styling, start by wetting down the hair with a blow dry spray like Fudge Tri-Blo (available October 2015), and then blow dry flat.
Those looking to achieve the flattest possible finish – and who are willing to go the extra mile – can apply a hair net before blow drying, like the Fudge Professional team did to the models at the Craig Green show.
Once dry, add a light spray, like Fudge Light HED-ed Hair Oil or Wella SP Luxe Light Oil Spray, and gently shake out the hair (removing hair net beforehand if necessary), taking care not to disturb the flat texture and natural wave of the hair.
3. The Wet Look
Following on from Christopher Shannon’s sweaty-browed ravers of autumn/winter 2015, this season saw designer James Long’s models sporting hair slicked forward over their foreheads for a look intended to evoke the heady days of early 1990s Brighton.
Suitable for all hair types, the wet look is ideal for making for a statement on a night out – though your degree of slick will depend on whether your hair is fine and straight or thick and curly.
“This is the ultimate wet look, featuring glistening hair and lots of shimmer,” says Vial, who recommends that you ask your barber or stylist to leave plenty of length through the top and front at the cutting stage, to increase natural movement.
As well as Long, other designers to opt for the wet look included Matthew Miller (tight, slick side partings), Casely-Hayford (slick with a slight pompadour) and Bobby Abley (hair slicked back extremely tight).
How To Style
To style, begin by wetting the hair down with some blow dry spray. Then, apply plenty of hair serum (try Fudge Professional Gloss, Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum or Mizani Spradiance High Gloss Serum), which will add a generous dose of shine to the hair and give the effect that you might have just stepped out of a nightclub.
Finally, sculpt your desired look – whether you use a comb to craft a slick side parting or use your fingers to pull your hair forward over your forehead – and then apply a strong hold styling product such as American Crew Superglue, Korres Styling Gel or Fudge Hair Gum to the hair and leave it to set naturally.
Although life’s too short to slavishly follow trends, there are easy, relatively fuss-free ways to show you’ve got your finger firmly on the pulse – and keeping your hairstyle up to date is definitely one of them.
Will you be trying any of these styles for summer? Or are these looks best left for models on the runway?
Comment below to let us know what you think.