Men’s Hairstyles: The Dishevelled Look


A short, sharp back and sides was the hairstyle of the summer for the majority of men, with the light and crisp nature of the cut perfectly suiting the hot weather we experienced here in Britain. However, much like a style-conscious gent will adapt his wardrobe for the colder months, how should we look to alter our hairstyle as we approach winter?

The dishevelled look is a classic style that can be worn successfully by all ages and hair types. Not be confused with ‘messy’ or ‘scruffy’, it is a timeless haircut that is full of character and suitable for all occupations – meaning you don’t have to sacrifice professionalism in order to update your look. Think of it as sprezzatura for your hair.

Yet the most desirable aspect of this hairstyle is the practicality of it. The overall length of the cut is often longer, which will keep your head warmer during the colder months, but it doesn’t require a lot of maintenance. Imagine being able to wear your winter woollies – a fitted beanie or on trend trapper hat – to go outdoors, then simply rub your hands through your hair to style once you reach your destination.

It is the ultimate get-up-and-go cut…

The Dishevelled Look

This type of hairstyle looks great on most face shapes, although I would avoid leaving too much width on the sides if you have a rounder face. In this instance, simply ask your stylist to keep them slightly more tapered.

Even though I wouldn’t class this haircut as high maintenance, ideally you would get it tidied up every three to four weeks to keep it looking its best. For those of you who visit your stylist less frequently, try getting the sides cut a bit shorter than you usually would to stop them from growing out too quickly and ruining the proportions of the style.

Look to maintain some movement within the entire haircut. Having the style cut with a razor accentuates natural movement, especially if your hair is slightly coarser in texture. As a stylist, I would razor the back and sides and then point cut the shape on top.

Whether it’s been cut with scissors or a razor, it’s important that your stylist creates a strong shape with neat edges. There also needs to be a lot of texture through the top, in order to prevent it appearing ‘blocky’. By adding texture, I mean the hair should be ‘cut into’ and not thinned out. This is so the haircut maintains its density – otherwise it will look too ‘fluffy’ when styled.

Example Styles

As you can see below, you can choose to keep the length short or long through the top. The cut can also be styled back, in a loose quiff or even pulled down onto the face with a fringe. The key elements here are texture, neat sides and a strong shape:

Men's Dishevelled Hairstyles

How To Style

Before drying the hair it’s crucial that you apply some product. Again, as you should have grasped by now, this hairstyle is all about the texture. If it’s dried without any product you will struggle to achieve the definition that’s required and the whole concept of the haircut won’t work.

Start by scrunching some American Crew Ultramatte (if your hair is pretty straight) or American Crew Curl Construct (if your hair is wavier) into your hair, making sure you really work it into the root area, and then dry with a hair dryer.

To enhance movement, dry with a high heat and low speed and use your hands or a vent brush to push the hair in the direction you want to wear the style.

If your hair is a bit too curly and you struggle to get it to look natural, you can smooth your hair with small GHD stylers. The trick here is don’t be too fussy: go over the hair quickly, from root to tip, without closing the straighteners too tight – this will help stretch out some of the wave without making the hair poker straight and losing its natural charm.

After straightening, rough dry with a hair dryer to give it a bit more volume and texture, before applying your styling product.

  • American Crew Ultramatte 100mlAmerican Crew Ultramatte 100ml
  • American Crew Curl Construct 125mlAmerican Crew Curl Construct 125ml
  • American Crew Crew Boost Cream 125mlAmerican Crew Crew Boost Cream 125ml
  • Bangstyle Volumizing MousseBangstyle Volumizing Mousse
  • Kevin Murphy Hair.resort. Spray Beach Look Texture Spray 150mlKevin Murphy Hair.resort. Spray Beach Look Texture Spray 150ml
  • Vogetti Understudy BrushVogetti Understudy Brush
  • Babyliss Pro Gt Ionic Ii Dryer 2000wBabyliss Pro Gt Ionic Ii Dryer 2000w
  • Ghd Gold Mini StylerGhd Gold Mini Styler

This haircut can be styled with so many different products, depending on whether you prefer a natural matte finish or more shine.

For a more natural matte style that looks like it has no product in it, try Kevin Murphy Undressed. Although designed for longer hair, it works great with this type of cut.

Alternatively, for a natural shine, Kevin Murphy has recently launched Super Goo. This can be applied before and after you dry so it is a great investment for those searching for a multi-purpose product.

What I personally love about Super Goo is the way it creates texture and enhances movement without making the hair greasy. This is the product I would recommend to my clients who want to recreate this particular hairstyle at home.

Other excellent products to consider include American Crew’s Defining Paste and Molding Clay, Mr Natty Clay, L’Oreal Poker Paste, GO 24/7 Styling Cream and Lock Stock & Barrel’s Ruck Putty:

  • American Crew Defining Paste 85gAmerican Crew Defining Paste 85g
  • American Crew Molding Clay 85gAmerican Crew Molding Clay 85g
  • Kevin Murphy Super GooKevin Murphy Super Goo
  • Kevin Murphy Undressed 100gKevin Murphy Undressed 100g
  • Loreal Professional Homme Poker Paste 75mlLoreal Professional Homme Poker Paste 75ml
  • Clay Mr NattyClay Mr Natty
  • Go 24-7 Styling Cream 67gGo 24-7 Styling Cream 67g
  • Lock Stock & Barrel Ruck Matte Putty 100gLock Stock & Barrel Ruck Matte Putty 100g
Final Word

So there you have it, an easy to maintain, stylish AND practical hairstyle to consider this winter. Yes, the quiff and short back and sides are timeless classics, but a slightly less precise, dishevelled cut can help breathe new life and a sense of character into your look.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below…

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