Keeping Your Hair On Trend

Trying to get a handle on what guys are going to be doing with their hair this year is – to be frank – not easy. I had thought about asking my 12 year old son for some pointers just in case he had stopped following West Ham United and started following high fashion, but alas The Hammers come way above a J.Lindeberg Tweed Jacket. Even the small army of male fashion experts that are stashed on my mobile contacts couldn’t be crystal clear either.

I have talked before about how popular styles in men’s hair evolve gradually; like fashion there always tends to be strong underlying trends – such as 50s, vintage or British tailoring – but with so many different hair types, individual takes and a constant evolution, with a haircut you can’t just reach into your wardrobe and change it for a new one on a daily basis. However, you can play around with the way it is styled.

The Quiff – Not Dead Yet

The strongest look in both 2011 and most of 2010 was – and still is – the quiff. The great thing about this style is that it works well with most types of hair, and there are so many ways to style it and create your own personalised take.

If you have fine to medium texture hair, then look to have the sides and back taken down very short, whilst leaving the top extremely long and disconnected. This will help give it a more individual look and allows you to style slicked back in a 50s inspired style, or with volume that only serves to enhance the disconnection from the sides and back. We covered a version of this style in depth in our last article on updating the classics.

How you style your quiff really comes down to personal preference. You may want to keep your quiff slick and refined, because you dress that way on a daily basis. You may want more of an edgy Rockabilly inspired style, which means you will be looking for much more volume and a structured version. Get creative and play with direction, volume, finishing products and hair length in order to develop a trademark for yourself.

By leaving the length slightly longer on top you give yourself more options in terms of styling, but it can also become unruly and unmanageable if your hair is thicker in texture – this often leads to frustration. Your stylist can take some of the weight out of the hair in order to allow you to create the longer, slicker styles but be warned that it will need regular cutting and upkeep in order to preserve this.

2012 is about finding the quiff style for YOU, so make sure it fits in with your image, lifestyle, budget and personal hair type.

2012 Quiff Lookbook

The lookbook below features a wide variety of current quiff examples in order to give you some inspiration. Notice how different each and every one is:

How To Style: 2012 Slick Back Quiff

This take on the quiff hairstyle has been very popular on the runways and in many of the latest fashion editorials and advertising campaigns. Michael Pitt (Jimmy in Boardwalk Empire) was one of the very first adopters of the look (in part due to the role he is playing), and was recently hired to be the face of Prada’s upcoming spring/summer 2012 advertising campaign. The hairstyle has been inspired by the 50s, and looks set to become an iconic style for 2012 moving forward.

In order to style your new cut, first dry your hair using a thickening product. Try using a very small amount of OSiS Dust It Mattifying Powder, which can be applied to damp towel dried hair and then blow dried into it – either with the fingers or a simple vented brush. The Dust It powder is used to build up the thickness of the hair and help keep it in place. However, only use a tiny amount or you will create a mashed-up, sticky mess.

Try a Denman Large Tunnel Vent brush when styling – sweep the brush over the hair in the direction you want it to go whilst blowing air through the vents, it will give you much more control and a better result. This technique takes a bit of practice but is worth it due to the control and multiple variations you can create.

Once dry, apply a soft cream. Hairbond Sculptor Professional Hair Putty is perfect for sleeker or taller styles, where you want some gentle control and separated texture. Rub a thumbnail sized amount between your hands and apply by running your hands and fingers over and through your hair.

You can style this cut ultra flat and slicked back, producing a 50s American biker aesthetic, or taller and slightly more sculpted. Experiment and find what works for you.

  • Jack Black True Volume Conditioner 354ml
  • Hairbond Sculptor Professional Hair Putty 100ml
  • Osis Dust It Mattifying Powder 10g
  • Denman Large Tunnel Vent
  • Kent Tortoiseshell Effect Fine Pocket Comb – Small Fot
  • Tigi Bed Head Power Surge Strong Hold Hairspray 250ml
Extreme & Wearable

It does seem that the current trend in male hair is extreme and almost brutal in appearance, matching the period of austerity prevalent at the moment. Embracing these styles that are sometimes overly manish in appearance can be refreshing – and what could be more brutal than having your hair cut short to the skin on the sides and back?

Instead of leaving a really long length on top (such as with the new Quiff styles), have the length cut shorter but long enough to enable you to wear it back, forwards or to the side by using a wax or paste. The top will look best if it’s cut shorter at the crown, moving to a slightly longer length at the front:

This look is the natural progression from the Industrial Head hairstyle we featured in our article on updating the classics.

How To Style

To style this look simply blow dry the hair forwards and slightly to one side with your fingers or vent brush, then gently lift up the front. When it comes to styling product, for medium to thick textured hair use a wax – for a traditional finish there’s no finer product than Black & White Wax. This will give a slightly ‘lived in’ retro look but be careful to only apply a skim of this heavy wax or you will end up looking like Travolta in Grease!

Work the wax through the hair and try not to structure it too much – leave it looking a little bit undone. As with all petroleum based hair finishing products, you will need to use a deep cleansing shampoo in order to get rid of product build-up. Black & White Deep Cleansing Shampoo will not disappoint, and you should always try to wash these types of waxes out on the same day. Not only is Black and White a no nonsense man’s brand, the Wax is 90 years old this year, meaning that it is a vintage product with real heritage.

As always, don’t forget to condition in order to keep your hair subtle, healthy looking and your scalp in good shape. Truefitts Replenishing Conditioner is excellent if you are looking for a good all-rounder and like to use strong styling products frequently – they are also in keeping with the old school, vintage theme.

  • Black And White Wax
  • Black & White Deep Cleansing Shampoo 200ml
  • Truefitt & Hill Hair Management Replenishing Conditioner – 365ml
Wax Styling Tips

Here’s a few key tips to bear in mind when styling using a wax:

  • If it’s a hard wax, don’t do what a lot of hairdressers advise and make it more pliable by melting it with a hairdryer. This with actually cause the ingredients to separate and solidify, meaning that it won’t work as well – eventually it will end up sliding down your hair and onto your scalp or face.
  • The best way to apply a hard wax is to rub your index and middle finger in a circular movement on the surface of the wax until it builds up on your fingertips. This may take several attempts but believe me it’s worth it.
  • If you use a soft wax like Black and White then store it in the fridge. This will keep it slightly firmer and helps prevent you from skimming too much of the product from the pot when applying. Personally, I think it also improves the texture of the wax, making it easier to apply and stopping overload – which does not look good!