The #menswear circus has officially packed up and gone home. The final fashion week wrapped up in New York this month, giving us all some much-needed breathing room to sort the wheat from the chaff and swot up on the street style.
Though, unlike the clothes shown, which we’ll have to wait for several months to drop in stores, hair trends are far more immediate. This means that now is the time to replace your 2016 buzz cut with a 2017 French crop, à la Christopher Shannon, or start growing out your locks to achieve some Acne-inspired seventies shag come summer.
All that leaving your head hurting? Don’t worry, get clued up on the cuts from London, Paris, Milan and New York, and find out from some of the UK’s best barbers how to recreate the runway looks at home, with our guide to the five standout snips.
1. 1970s Shag
Gender-bending barnets were the order of the day at big hitters like Acne Studios, Prada and Alexander McQueen this season.
As predicted for 2017 by our experts at the end of last year, shoulder length locks in the style of Game Of Thrones’ Kit Harington are becoming increasingly common for men. “It’s a modern version of the 1970s and 1980s shag style,” says Ruffians artistic director Denis Robinson.
To achieve the look, you’ll first need to grow your hair, after which Robinson suggests asking for “an Alexa Chung for boys”. Any stylist worth their hairspray will understand that this means: “Internally cut layers, where texture adds volume to the hair, maintaining a heavy feel,” he adds.
The good news about this style, Robinson continues, is that “layers are cut to work with the head and face shape of the individual.” This means any man whose hair is more Alessandro Michele than Andre Agassi can have a personalised version of the style.
Depending on the hair, two different approaches need to be taken when it comes down to styling. For fine hair: “Apply some salt spray to the roots when wet and blast dry away from the scalp until almost dry,” says Robinson. Those with thicker hair are advised to towel dry until just damp then “scrunch pomade into the hair and complete the process with a diffuser [attachment on the hair dryer].”
On The Runways
2. Choppy Crop
Short and severe military-inspired hairstyles such as the buzz cut are typical fashion week stalwarts. However, this season designers that focused on urbanwear, rather than tailoring – including Lanvin, Oliver Spencer and Topman Design – also opted for slightly more length through the top. “There were plenty of cropped styles: some short, others textured,” says Mikey Pearson of London men’s salon Manifesto.
To achieve this sharp look, Pearson advises asking for a short crop: “This will accentuate your bone structure and create a more angular silhouette. Or, for something softer, go for a textured crop”.
As with any hairstyle, it’s important to consider both your hairline and head shape before sitting in the chair. “Textured crops suit guys with a receding hairline as it will help to cover it up,” explains Pearson. “Meanwhile, short crops suit those with a good hairline and symmetrical head shape.”
Fortunately, both looks are rather easy to style. If working with a short crop, simply add styling cream to take away fluffiness. Alternatively, adding salt spray to a textured cut helps create the desired matte, choppy look.
On The Runways
3. Blunt Fringe
Over the last few seasons, fringes have been a growing trend in the hair world, but it’s a look that has always been quite difficult to replicate at home. This season, simplified, easy-to-wear options popped up at the likes of Barbour, Christopher Shannon and Dries Van Noten.
Brent Pankhurst, of the eponymous barbers in London, spotted that the most popular variation was, “a classic French crop, with the fringe cut very bluntly”. Put simply, this is a scissored cut, with the top and front left longer so that it can be brought forward across the forehead.
“This fringe wouldn’t suit a fuller face,” says Pankhurst, suggesting that the cut works best on lean and angular face types. “It’s also best suited to a young man with a healthy level of confidence in his look.”
Having made a foray into fringes, use a moulding cream to give the cut some texture. To do this, apply the product to the roots, and bring your hand forwards, raking through with your fingers to create additional movement and definition.
On The Runways
4. ‘Drugstore Cowboy’
It might be time to let those locks grow if shows like Yohji Yamamoto, John Varvatos and Ralph Lauren are anything to go. These designers all sent out models that could be mistaken for Matt Dillon’s character in the 1989 film Drugstore Cowboy.
While you won’t have to rob any pharmacies to achieve this mid-length style, you will have to allow your hair time to grow. “You want to keep the length throughout – about four to six inches minimum, but ideally longer,” explains Joe and Co. founder and head barber, Joe Mills. “You are after a layered style, but the best way to articulate this [to a barber] is by bringing in a visual guide”. IMDB, here we come.
Granted we don’t all look like Matt Dillon, but your face shape shouldn’t be a problem. “However, ideally, the hair needs to be on the thicker side, as fine hair would need too much product to support it,” adds Mills. The look is also one that is versatile enough to work well on curly hair, too.
Better yet, Mills says you can do the styling without a four-man team armed with hairspray and big brushes: “Apply a salt spray to towel-dried hair and use a scrunch in styling cream to finish [adding shine and increase hold].”
On The Runways
5. Natural Afro
As with straight and wavy hair, afro hairstyles were also far less precise and manicured than in previous seasons. There were plenty of natural ‘dos and loose curls on the runway, particularly alongside smarter, sophisticated looks from Hugo Boss, Casely Hayford and Hermès.
Interestingly: “The look is an old American Philadelphian cut, popularised in the States by famous sportsmen,” according to the master barber at Ted’s Grooming Room. Today it’s a style best suited to those working in less formal environments but can also look great when contrasted with smarter pieces.
Translating this into barber speak isn’t too difficult, either: “It’s a natural style, so all you need to request is removing any excess hair growing outwards,” adds the master barber. If you want to keep the sides shorter, there’s also the possibility of opting for a low high-top instead.
The finished look doesn’t so much come from the styling as it does the maintenance. You will need to wash and condition your hair to loosen it. Beyond this it’s not suggested to use a hair dryer, rather allow it to dry naturally before gently brushing it out using an afro comb. Apply a shine spray to keep it in place and to remove any fluffiness.