For all our talk about smart layering and the sweat-stopping virtues of breathable fabrics, sometimes it’s just too damn hot for clothes. Home or away, summer’s bound to bring days so sweltering that wearing anything more than a pair of swim shorts is suffocating.
Which is why your hair needs to be ready to save your style from sinking. So no matter if you shed your shirt and shorts, your Fred Astaire still keeps you looking fresh.
We asked some of London’s top stylists to share their two cents on what’s on happening in hair this season. These are the trends to know:
The Textured Crop
Part French crop, part Damon Albarn, this unfussy style is one of this season’s easiest to execute – and ideal if your wardrobe’s already turned back to Britpop, Ellesse and washed-out denim. (It works even if your wardrobe hasn’t, though.)
“This is a messy, textured style suitable for those with short to mid-length hair,” says hairstylist Matt Hookings from Fish salon in Soho. “You’ll also need to have some length at the front to work with.”
Depending on your preference, and your face shape, you can vary the contrast between hair at the back and sides and hair on the top of your head. “The back and sides can be scissor or clipper cut,” says Adam Brady, Ruffians barbers’ Trend Expert. “The stronger your bone structure is, the shorter you can go on the back and sides to emphasise the angles of your face.”
How Do I Style It?
Start by applying a pea-sized amount of a texturising cream to towel-dried hair to create a choppy, messed-up look. Then, lightly blow-dry your hair, and finish off with a matte paste to further enhance your natural texture.
“Choose styling products that offer firm hold but that don’t dry hard so you can rework the style throughout the day,” advises Hookings. Or, for an even more flexible finish, Brady recommends a texturising dust. “Apply from the roots, and spread evenly over the head.”
The Textured Quiff
Good news for those of us who couldn’t colour within the lines to save our lives: the era of slick, perfectly sculpted Ex On The Beach-ready quiffs is over – and this season’s giving rise to a new take that’s much less faff.
“While slick-backs and pompadours have reigned supreme over the past year, this quiff with a difference is to be a stand-out style for spring/summer 2016,” says the team at Ted’s Grooming Room.
Ask your barber or stylist to leave some length through top (point cutting to create natural movement and texture), ensuring the fringe is kept longer. A number four on the back and sides will provide a nice contrast, but cutting the hair even shorter in these areas makes for a more dramatic look.
How Do I Style It?
“Work a little hair putty or paste into towel-dried hair,” says the team at Ted’s Grooming Room. “Then, use your fingers to clasp your hair and shape a rugged quiff, finishing off by slanting your hair at a slight side angle.”
Need extra hold or volume? Try applying a sea salt spray before drying your hair.
The Side Parting
When it comes to trying new hairstyles, it’s all well and good to push the boat out. But not if it means losing your job. Which is why classic, versatile styles like the side parting continue to prove popular.
“A low maintenance cut that won’t fall flat throughout the day, the side parting allows you to head straight from your desk to the dancefloor,” says the Ted’s Grooming Room team.
You’ll need your hair clippered to about an inch long on the back and sides, with at least four inches on top to play with so that your hair sits in position once parted.
How Do I Style It?
“Slick a comb through wet hair to set a natural parting [following the direction your hair grows in], and then apply some gel or a pomade to create a slick, professional look that doubles up as an elegant party style,” says the team at Ted’s.
Think long hair is for girls? Think again. Samson-length locks are fast becoming a key contemporary men’s hairstyle.
“Great paired with stubble or a short beard, this style suits guys who look masculine enough that the length doesn’t make them appear more feminine or youthful,” says Adam Brady.
But be prepared to put the work in. “This style takes patience and perseverance – about 8-12 months without cutting the length, conditioning properly and wearing lots of hats. At which point, it should ideally reach the bottom of your neck, while your fringe should be long enough to be brushed behind your ears.”
How Do I Style It?
Provided you’re eschewing the man bun (and please do), there’s no better way to style long hair then leaving it to fall naturally, with as little product as possible.
What’s key, though, is care (“Use a moisturising conditioner, particularly on the tips, as it takes longer for the sebum (hair’s natural oil) to move away from the root,” says Brady) and ditching the tech for nature’s own: “Allow your hair to dry naturally after washing, as hair dryers will make it frizz up.” (You can cheat with a hair dryer on a cool setting, but tread carefully if your hair’s default state is dry and frizzy.)
If you do want to add some product, then try a little texturising cream or a water-based pomade, rubbing it between your hands to make it malleable and then scrunching into the hair to give greater volume and a healthy shine.
Top tip? “Use a little wax on the ends to add even more shine,” says Matt Hookings.
Will you be overhauling your hair this season? Or will you be sticking to what you know?
Give us the long and short of it below.