Styles come and go.Their temporal fragility lends power for the briefest of moments before stripping it away. One of the most important styles a man can master is that of his hair.
Having a hairdo that’s not only trendy but fitting of the look and feel of the wearer’s features can sometimes do more for improving a man’s self-confidence than the most well-tailored suit money can buy. So, please, don’t sit there saying “I don’t care about my hair,” you’re not only lying to us, you’re lying to yourself as well.
The only men that don’t care about their hair are those without it. Embrace the fact you care about the way your hair looks and consider these popular styles.
Masterfully executed by American footballer Kyle Beckerman during the World Cup, dreads have shed their limiting legacy to become a style capable of transcending the barriers of race and culture. Though they’ve been in existence for centuries dreadlocks, as they’re more formally known, burst onto the modern hair scene during the 1970 reggae music movement. Since their informal induction into western society, dreads have commonly been associated with the Rasta-style promoted by famous singer Bob Marley.
Due to a slow assimilation process into the mainstream, dreads earned an unfortunate association with marijuana and delinquency, creating social constraints on the adaptation of the hairstyle by the masses. However, the gradual liberalization of western culture has significantly aided the popularity of dreads to the point where they have become a socially acceptable hairstyle for many modern men.
Like any hairstyle, proper maintenance is an absolute must—Your dreads can’t look like they belong at the Woodstock music festival. Weekly washing and proper combing are absolutely integral to the formation of clean, socially-acceptable dreadlocks. Do know that growing good-looking dreadlocks requires commitment and effort—sometimes years of both—so don’t pursue this style half-heartedly.
Pro Tip: Contrary to popular belief, not washing hair actually makes it more—not less—difficult for dreads to properly form.
What do Silvio Berlusconi, Humphrey Bogart, Christian Bale and David Beckham all have in common?
They’ve all masterfully pulled off a fabulously classic and utterly timeless haircut: the slick-back. As a style, the slick-back oozes suave sophistication and peerless power. Consequently, it has been a pervasive men’s style for well over a century. To properly attain this look, practice patience and discipline: allow your hair to get at least 2 inches long all the way around before consulting with a stylist to have it properly cut and shaped. Realize that with this look a proper comb, blow drier, pomade and styling gel will become indispensible staples of daily life.
Yes, this sharp and clean harido takes more effort to achieve than a tossed or messy look, but once you’ve successfully pulled it off it will be damn difficult to look better in anything else.
Pro Tip: The slick-back can help conceal thinning or balding hair towards the back of the head.
Difficult to describe, the Retro style is a mixed-bag: it takes bits and pieces of different hairstyles and combines them in an entirely unorthodox fashion. Consequently, it has become the default hair-style of choice for the modern gentleman-hipster.
Hair’s version of Rebel Without a Cause, retro hair traditionally consists of tight, respectable organisation on the sides with loud, audacious looseness on the top—Think Adam Levine, Macklemore or even a young Sean Connery. Get your barber to trim the sides and back with a clipper to a discernibly tight length while keeping the top longer to allow for moldable style.
Like the slick back, pomade or hair gel—as well as a comb—will generally be necessary for this look, although not as absolutely required.
Pro Tip: Consider rocking some facial hair, or even a full blown beard to charmingly complement this popular look.
On the surface, this look doesn’t leave much to the imagination—after all, a hairstyle that features shaved sides does sound pretty self-explanatory.
However, much like the retro look, the formality of the sides doesn’t carry over to the top of the scalp and that’s where some creativity can come in.
Keep some flow and go for something akin to French footballer Olivier Giroud or chop the top as well and try to mimic Will Smith. For a clear picture on how to perfectly pull of this style, look no further than David Beckham and Christiano Ronaldo who’ve both worn it on more than one occasion. Using clippers on a #1 or #2 setting, mow down the hair on the sides and back of the head to a fine, bristly length. For the bold and daring, use a razor and completely shave these areas down to the skin for a smooth, shiny finish. Like the Retro gel or styling putty will become indispensable. Try lower holds for a messier, matte finish or stronger holds for considerably more volume and a wet-look.
Pro Tip: A permanent five-o’clock shadow provides a great touch of ruggedness to this hairstyle, so try shaving only once every two or three days.
The Thick Beard
Speaking of facial hair, the beard has become THE men’s fashion accessory for 2014. A well-grown beard adds not only richness to a man’s face but body and depth to his entire character. Unfortunately, not every man can actually grow a thick beard and as such only those with a know proclivity for facial hair should attempt it. Though hair gel or pomade won’t be necessary for proper maintenance, a good beard trimmer will end up being a must so invest in something that will provide consistency and reliability.
Pro Tip: Generally it takes 4-6 weeks to grow anything resembling an attractive beard. As such, start the lengthy process a few days before going on a long vacation and spare yourself most of the indignity of going to work during those awkward, intermediate stages of cultivation.