The Only Way Is Grow It

As male hair trends go, long hair has always been a bit hit and miss. It used to be reserved for boho types; worn in dreads or left unwashed for days in order to portray a ‘free’ festival going lifestyle. Not forgetting the Warhammer playing behemoth who believes he lives in a fantasy world of long haired and bearded warlords… well, you get the picture.

We guys find it hard to “do” long hair, what with all the washing, combing and drying, it’s torture. And please, as I have said before, no ponytails! (With one exception, which I will go into later.)

This is obviously a trend that won’t be easy for many to take on, especially if you are cultivating one of the various shorter styles that are currently strong within the industry. This predicted trend also shouldn’t be confused with the surfer look or the overdone and seriously outdated “Mod-for-it” Gallagher style. This new long length is groomed, clean and worn to portray a defined image of an informed wearer. When teamed with some carefully created facial ornamentation, you can forget hippy – this is 19th century gothic for the contemporary and cosmopolitan gent.

If growing your hair fills you with fear, or even just fear of the unknown for those of you who have never experienced hair length longer than the top of your collar, the read on. With some patience, careful up-keep with the right products and regular haircuts – yes, that’s right, I did utter regular haircuts – you can avoid the hobo look and look like you stepped straight off the catwalk.

Finally, growing your hair needn’t be six months of unstylish struggle, it’s possible to create a variety of different looks whilst cultivating the length. There are just a few things to steer clear of in the process, so make sure you read my check list below in order to avoid car crash hair.

Long For Life, Get It Right
  1. When you start getting a bit of length, don’t be tempted to get a square line cut at the bottom (anywhere between the earlobe or jawline), unless you are lucky enough to have chiseled features and don’t possess jowls of a gerbil.
  2. Have your hairdresser soften the edge of the length and wear the front and side pushed gently away from the face in a side or middle parting.
  3. This long hair trend is just that, long hair, so stay away from elaborate layers and chopped up texture. Keep it simple, go for length and definitely no fringes.
  4. Try and keep a balance between the front, sides and back, so there are no extreme differences in length. We are not aiming for a mullet.
  5. Although you will need some kind of finishing product, don’t overload the hair. Use just enough for control and to softly define the natural texture.
Men’s Long Hair Lookbook

More Hair Please: Recommended Hair Types

I wouldn’t recommend long hair for extremely fine or thinning hair – it’s never going to be flattering and could actually make your hair look thinner than it is. As I have mentioned in previous articles, shorter and neat cut styles will make fine or thinning hair look thicker.

However, if you are determined to give it a go, keep the layers long, as this will bulk out the density of finer hair. Avoid wearing with no layers, as it will just sit too flat, and keep the overall length above the shoulders.

It really is worth investing in specialised thickening treatments; one which I recommended a few friends use is Nioxin System 2, a pack containing a volumizing cleanser, lightweight conditioner and a leave-in treatment. Nioxin guarantee a noticeable difference in 30 days, but this product should not be confused with hair replacement or for treating male pattern baldness, it purely is a very effective thickening system and apart from your hair looking thicker, it will also make it easier to style and control.

To achieve a thicker look to your hair, gently blow dry it using your fingers at first, then finish with a brush. Here are the steps:

  1. Towel dry your hair.
  2. Comb through use a volumizing styling product. Root Lifter (showcased below and also by Nioxin) will give you root lift and help keep your hair looking thicker.
  3. Once you have combed the product through, switch your hairdryer to a low speed with medium heat. With your head tilted to one side, blow through the hair with the dryer at the same time run your fingers through your hair away from your face. Continue on the other side. At the back, blow the hair across the back of your head, again using your fingers to style.
  4. When your hair is almost dry, continue the above with a styling brush. A vented brush works best, as the vents allow you to blow through the back of the brush head – the Denman Hyflex Vent is one of the best and is designed to gently style your hair without pulling or catching.
  5. Finally, finish with Hairbond Moulder Professional Hair Shaper. This is a real all-time favourite of mine – it has a clean finish and will give fine hair a thicker look, as well as control and texture.
  • Nioxin System Kit 1 – Fine Natural Hair 3 Products
  • Nioxin System Kit 2 – Fine Natural Hair 3 Products
  • Nioxin Root Lifter
  • Tigi Catwalk Your Highness Root Boost Spray 250ml
  • Hairbond Hairbond Moulder Professional Hair Shaper 50ml
  • Denman Hyflex Vent
Long Distance Hair: 2013 Men’s Hairstyle Trend

If you have the patience, then ultra-long hair is the way to go. Yeah it’s going to take some time to get it there but it’s being predicted as the coolest trend for men’s hair in 2013, so you’ll be there at the beginning.

Hair texture isn’t really a problem here, although wavy or straight will be on the button for this particular trend. As I have already mentioned, keep it looking good whilst you’re growing your hair: Have it cut regularly and, just as importantly, keep it clean – long unwashed hair looks pretty unattractive and because of the amount of extra hair it’s going to have a stronger smell.

Most of us should be shampooing every other day to maintain a healthy scalp. So many times have I been asked or listen to some ‘Earth Mother’ on a daytime TV show try to convince whoever is willing to listen, “It’s not necessary to wash hair as it damages it and besides, hair cleans itself after a while”. OK, let’s get this myth sorted once and for all – hair doesn’t clean itself! Running water and a decent shampoo does though.

Ask yourself this, would you stop washing your face hoping it would clean itself!? Hair needs regularly cleansing or you may end up with an assortment of scalp complaints reminiscent of the Middle Ages.

To prevent damage, select a shampoo designed for your hair type. L’Oreal Professional Homme Tonique Revitalising Shampoo is perfect for maintain and protecting normal to coarse hair against day-to-day abuse, and it is a daily cleanser. Team it up with TIGI S-Factor Leave-In Moisture Spray, which being a leave-in makes it easy and quick to use. If you’re doing the festivals this summer, or “Rain-Fest” as my 17 year old son quoted, then take a TIGI Rockaholic Dirty Punk Festival Pack, just in case the sun comes out.

When your hair gets ultra-long, don’t over complicate it – if it’s wavy, wear it wavy and let it dry naturally with a good leave-in conditioner. Just to rub in our serious lack of summer some more, try KMS California MoistRepair Leave-in Conditioner for control and KMS California HairPlay Sea Salt Spray for a beached hair look. Come on guys, at least it smells like summer.

  • Kms California Hairplay Sea Salt Spray 200ml
  • Speciality By Bumble & Bumble Styling Surf Spray 125ml
  • Tigi Rockaholic – Rockaholic
  • Loreal Professional – Homme
  • Kms California Moistrepair Leave-in Conditioner 150ml
  • Tigi S-factor – Conditioning
Final Word

Last word, ponytails. They can actually look great if you’re creative about it. So wear them low and loose: put the band at the base of the neck (not too tight) and then pull the band away from the head a few inches… perfect.

Overall, long hair has always sparked controversy on men, but that’s exactly the reason why I like this trend so much – it pushes masculinity to the edge. And why not? We are all man enough to take it.

Any questions, drop them in the comments box below…

My New Salon

Sorry for such a long break since my last article, but I am in the process of opening my own salon, so life has been a bit hectic. I open mid-August 2012 and it’s all very exciting. If you’re in town, please stop by – it would be great to see any FashionBeans reader.

14 Regent Street,
Clifton Village,

Tel: 0117 973 0050