Your impeccable layering game is for naught if your hair won’t behave. But wandering into Supercuts with a tear-out of David Beckham won’t fix a double crown that leaves you looking like you styled your hair by sticking your finger in a socket.
But deploy the right tools and you can whip even the wildest manes into line – so long as you know what you’re fighting against. Let Adam Brady, trends expert at London’s Ruffians Barbers, be your guide through the follicular fog.
The Problem: Cowlicks
The cow’s contribution to your look should be as a jacket, not a hair stylist. These swirls of hair grow against the direction you want to style it in, creating the whorls that cow’s tongues imprint on their calves, and which stick up when everything else lies flat.
Though most common at the crown, they can appear anywhere, to taunt your hair wax’s claimed effectiveness.
The Fix: Go With The Flow
Slicking on product won’t help, so know when to beat a tactical treat. “Choose the right hairstyle to embrace the natural direction of your hair,” says Brady. If your cowlick sticks up from the back of your head, a switched-on groomsman will cut it short, then sweep the hair in that direction.
“It all depends where your cowlick is,” says Brady. If it’s at the crown, ask your barber to keep more length there to help weigh it down. If it’s the front that’s unruly, a longer fringe has the same taming effect. If you’re more Vin Diesel than Poldark, a buzzcut is equally effective.
The Problem: Widow’s Peak
The hair of choice for those considering a career as a Bond villain, the widow’s peak (or temporal recession to those in the trade) occurs when the hairline begins to recede on either side.
Like male-pattern baldness, the peak is unavoidable for some men – bar expensive treatments like hair transplants and oral drugs like propecia.
The Fix: Forward-Facing
“The alternative to treatment is directing your hair forward into a fringe,” says Brady. Grow your hair slightly longer and ask your barber to taper your new fringe, to disguise the sharp peak. And ward off early comparisons to Poirot.
The Problem: Unruly Side Parting
You’ve watched a few too many 1920s period dramas and you’re gunning for the Great Gatsby side parting, thinking it’ll be just the dapper touch needed for your new smart-casual ensemble. So why is your hair refusing to play ball, old sport?
The Fix: Go Natural
One of the main problems with upended and abandoned side partings is that your hair is not supposed to bend that way. “Ensure you’ve found your natural side parting,” says Brady, by trying both sides and seeing which sits most naturally.
Another key could be that the lengths between side and top are uneven, creating a fan effect as your shorter hair tries to cope. Once both are fixed, blast wet hair into place to part your barnet like Moses.
The Problem: Overgrown Crown
Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown. As your hair stretches towards the back of your head, an ill-suited style will work against the hair, forcing it to stick up on end when you least want it to.
“The crown always seems to grow a bit more quickly than the rest of your hair, making it tricky to sweep your hair back,” says Brady.
The Fix: Taper Your Do
Take advantage of the crown’s growth speed and taper towards the back. “If you are growing out the front section of your hair, ask the barber to leave it longer there and gradually go down to a shorter length at the crown,” says Brady.
You’ll still get some sticking up, but because there’s more volume at the front you’ll look even all over. And it’s looks that count.