Making the move from summer’s sun-drenched terraces to winter’s rain-lashed streets is straightforward when it comes to your wardrobe. In fact, it’s as easy as A) swap the vests for ribbed long-sleeved tees; B) stow away your swim shorts in favour of some insulating wool trousers; and C) swathe your naked ankles in some warming socks. Sorted.
For your barnet, however, it’s just a hair more difficult. Which styles look the part but won’t be ruined by a few strong gusts of wind as soon as you step out the door? And which shapes show you know what’s current without coming off fashion victim?
We’ve scissor cut (clippers are so last season) our way through the tangle of hair trends to bring you AW15’s top styles to know. So, what’ll it be, sir?
Youthful and fuss-free, a fringed hairstyle lets everyone know you’re in the prime of your life – whether you’re in your early twenties or pushing forty.
“Fringes are great for guys with long faces or high foreheads, as they make the face appear more in proportion,” says Jaymarie Winkler of Ruffians Art Team. “Inversely, if you have a round or square face, it’s not ideal.”
That said, those with a 50p jaw and an undying fondness for the fringe can try styles taken shorter at the sides. Says Winkler: “Such styles work with faces that are squarer, as they accentuate the jawline well.”
Unlike tightly clippered styles and buzz cuts, a fringe affords you a little more flexibility when it comes to styling – whether it’s free and easy or neatly angled that you’re aiming for.
How To Style
Start by applying sea salt spray to damp hair and then either blow-dry into shape, for maximum volume, or leave to dry naturally for a more dishevelled, unkempt appearance.
This cut is all about texture, so opt for styling products that offer a matte finish and plenty of definition. Just be mindful to avoid those that can run when wet, such as gels or grooming creams, as you don’t want it trickling down your forehead when you’re inevitably caught in a rain shower.
A clay, putty or volumising powder will produce the textured, dry finish we’re looking for.
The Sweep Back
Now that the slick back and undercut is basically synonymous with the casts of UK reality TV shows, we’re moving on. Introducing the ‘Sweep Back’, all of the dramatic curve of a slick back without the oily mess (or the Geordie Shore connotations).
“The most important aspect to consider here is shape and that is determined by layering,” says Amanda Davison, stylist at Pall Mall Barbers. “Cutting the hair at different angles to the head, i.e. creating layers, allows it to sit at different points on the head rather than all falling into the same area. The angles the hair is cut at ultimately determine the shape of the style.”
For best results, hair around the ears and at the neck should be cut around two inches shorter than the hair on top, with a layered approach used to blend the two lengths together smoothly. Again, texture is key for this style, so a good stylist or barber will point cut your hair to vary lengths and weights, and maybe even use a razor to reduce volume in areas where the hair is particularly heavy.
How To Style
Unlike a slick back and fade, this style requires mid- to long-length hair that’s gently coaxed into place rather than tightly slicked. “It’s a style that suits most men [with long enough hair to achieve it] and doesn’t take long to style at all.”
Once washed, blow dry your hair while using your fingers or a vented brush to push the hair backwards into shape. Add a little American Crew Boost Powder or L’Oréal Texture Dust to the roots as you do this if you’re looking for added control and volume.
Then, apply a little Pall Mall Light Dressing Cream (pliable hold, healthy shine) or Pompadour Paste (medium hold, textured finish) and either use your fingers or a comb to create your desired look.
Not since the 1980s have full-on hairstyles been so in favour. “Where men with curly or wavy hair may have once kept theirs short to make it more manageable, they are now allowing their natural texture to show through,” says Stelios Nicolaou, Aveda Master Barber. “Done correctly, longer lengths can make hair appear a little fuller and can give you more options for daily styling.”
Whether you have medium or long length hair, it’s all about creating a natural-looking style that accentuates your curls or waves. That said, it still needs some shaping.
How To Style
Once washed, blow-dry your hair on a low speed setting, to stop it going too soft and fluffy. If you’re into the look but your hair’s not particularly wavy, try using a diffuser attachment to accentuate your hair’s natural movement.
To achieve that all-important texture and definition, add a little product – something like Aveda Shampure Dry Shampoo works well – to the roots of your hair as you blow-dry.
Once dry, you could choose to use some curling tongs (or twist your hair with a mini GHD straightener, if you have the time and patience) to create even more clearly defined waves.
Finish off by applying some Aveda Thickening Tonic, which will not only instantly add volume, but also give your hair a full yet pliable finish. Brush a little through from root to end, and then use your fingers for finer-point styling.
You’ve probably gleaned by now that this season men’s hair is relaxing a little. Clean-cut, sharp-edged shapes are being swapped out in favour of richly textured, looser styles that allow for plenty of movement. It makes sense – why would you want to try and maintain a perfectly sculpted cut during winter when the elements are always conspiring against you?
The same goes for afro hair. Where clearly defined (almost geometric) shapes once reigned, fuller, more natural styles are now beginning to take hold. “It’s a great look as it’s easy to wear and allows afro hair to really adopt its natural form,” says celebrity stylist Jamie Stevens.
That said, fuller afros aren’t for everyone. If you’d rather give your hair a little more definition or contrast, try taking the sides tight while leaving the hair on top to grow naturally rather than being overly shaped.
“This is great for guys who want to look a bit more groomed day to day,” says Stevens. “It requires regular cutting to keep it looking its best, but has a natural texture and softness while maintaining a sense of structure and definition.”
How To Style
For a fuller ‘fro with an undone finish, firstly wash with Mizani Tru Texture, a sulphate-free curling shampoo which is great for adding moisture to hair and giving definition to its natural curl. Then, leave to dry and add some Kérastase Beauty Cream to give it some shine and create a carefree finish.
Or, for making the most of a more groomed style (like the bottom right example above), apply a mixture of Matrix Smooth Setter and Matrix Exquisite Oil to the hair when dry. Not only will this add shine and control, it’ll also help keep flyaway hairs in check.
Will you be switching up your hairstyle this season? Is the trend for longer, more relaxed cuts something you’ll be rolling with? Or is short and structured still the way to go?
Share your thoughts below.