A number of things influence hair trends – runway fashion, whatever David Beckham’s doing. But the biggest influence on your barnet is above your head. Sunshine means you need to keep things light and practical. Cooler months permit some experimentation, since your cut won’t collapse because you sweat through your wax.
Slightly Centralised Side Parting
If you feel that a side-parting is a bit passé, but centre-partings are just too boyband, you’re in luck – this autumn’s go-to look is their bastard child. Taking influence from Paris and London AW16 collections, where centre-partings featured heavily, this look allows more length and gives the impression of flow and movement, says Joe Easton, barber at London salon Man Made. Which makes it perfect for windier weather.
“Spritz a salt spray into damp hair for grip and texture,” says Easton. Then blowdry backwards – create a parting with a comb and apply a paste from root to tip. “Using your fingers, comb your hair backwards to create loose natural movement and texture.” It’s best with straight or naturally wavy hair and, as a modern twist on a classic, won’t annoy your boss.
Texture On Top
If you prefer things messy, the textured top is a versatile cut that plays nice when the weather doesn’t, since a hood or hat won’t kill the finish. You can also play with contrast: whether you want a skin fade on the back or you prefer scissored sides, it’s ideal for guys not wanting their hair to look too groomed, says Easton.
Start with salt spray, then scrunch the hair with your hands. “Try to create a messy texture,” says Easton. If you’re prone to frizz, a hair oil keeps things neat. Next, warm a cream in your hands and continue scrunching. If rain does affect your new style, just towel dry and tousle back into shape – no mirror needed.
Label.men Grooming Cream, available at Label.m, priced £10.50.
High Top Fade
They say that fashion cycles repeat themselves every 20 years. Which explains why the Fresh Prince is on every barber’s mood board this season. “It’s a skin fade on the back and sides, going into a tall, squared off silhouette on the top,” says Richard Tucker, afro-specialist at Ruffians Shoreditch.
Unless you’ve got sharp topiary skills, the high-top can be a tricky one to prune so best to visit your barber every three weeks. Apply a paste or pomade into your hair to prevent dryness, then use a bristle brush to straighten any flyaways. It’s best for round or square faces, says Tucker. “The extra height is a great way to elongate and square off your silhouette.” If your mug tends towards Shergar, opt for a low-top instead.
A short back and sides with some edge. “Not like those sweepy, ex-Bieber side fringes,” warns Tucker. “It should be cut above your eyebrows and left choppy.” If you feel the urge to sweep it over your forehead, put your hands back in your pockets. Seen all over AW16 runways, it’s ideal as the weather gets a bit cooler since the extra coverage will keep heat in.
Tucker recommends salt spray into damp hair, for elasticity and bounce, then blowdrying forward from the crown: “Scrunch a bit of pomade into the fringe and work into place with your fingers for a tousled finish.” Fringes are the best match for long faces, as they get rid of all that forehead. Less so if you have thinning hair at the crown. “It will just emphasise your bald spot.”
For those who have been growing out their hair, the good news is that autumn is an ideal time to let your locks shine. “Make sure your barber takes some of the weight out of the hair to aid styling,” says Alan Jones, of the eponymous grooming room. Having a thick mop of curls can look a bit unkempt; less boho, more hobo.
First, wash. “Give it a good towel dry and apply a mousse or sea salt spray,” says Jones. You can blow dry it into place, but be careful not to get too big or boofy. (“That’s a technical term”). Alternatively, you could just leave the hair to dry naturally, then let it fall into a relaxed look. Thick or fine hair can look end up either bird’s nest or lank – somewhere in the middle, with a natural wave is ideal.
Hairbond Texturiser Sea Salt Spray, available at Hairbond, priced £13.50.