Hairstyles that never go out of style
Few men have looked back on mohawks or mullets — or, indeed, man buns and braids — with the warmth of nostalgia. But somewhere among all the fleeting trends, five haircuts have stood the test of time. We unpack five classic cuts and explain how to go about styling them.
The Side Parting
The defining look of the '20s, the side parting has not waned in its popularity (mostly due to the popularity of Mad Men). “Classically speaking, the top would be a few inches longer than the sides, ” says Jack Merrick Thirlway, senior stylist at Neville Hair & Beauty. “The important thing is that the corners on both sides are square in order to maintain a more masculine shape, ” he adds. You do need more length at the front but this needs to be measured properly by a barber. Grow it too long and the cut won’t sit properly or look neat (or it will just look like a dodgy combover).
The actual parting should be done with a comb while your hair is still wet. Seek out the point at which the hair naturally wants to separate — this will be different for each guy — rather than attempt to enforce an artificial line. If there’s no obvious spot, Thirlway recommends aiming for around the middle of the eyebrow. “To style. I would put a matte wax on wet hair and blow-dry it into place. This will give hold and shine without making it look like your head is overloaded with product, ” he adds.
Celebrity Inspiration: Liam Hemsworth / Daniel Radcliffe
The Buzz Cut
A low-maintenance solution with a distinct don’t-mess-with-me vibe, the buzz cut works especially well on guys with a square or well-proportioned face. Those less lucky in the genetics department — or who have bumps and birthmarks on their scalp — can soften the look by leaving a little more length on top. A good barber should be able to adapt this classic style to suit your face shape.
If you’re going whole hog, then it’s a clipper job from start to finish with regular tidy-ups every four weeks or so. Anything under a grade 3 will reveal scalp and make the look more Fight Club than desk job. And while this is a relatively easy cut, we’d advise against DIY jobs as you won’t be able to attend to your neckline (or, indeed, the back of your head) with any kind of precision.
The buzz cut is ideal for guys who are starting to thin or lose their hair — do it early enough and onlookers will be none the wiser.
Celebrity Inspiration: Wentworth Miller / Matthew Fox
Modest takes on the quiff will feature a soft back and sides while more contemporary incarnations feature a severe “disconnect” between voluminous length on top and tightly clippered angles. Neither, unfortunately, will look right with a hairline that’s receding. Darren Fowler, Creative Director of Fowler35, says, “The thing to remember is that a quiff adds height and length to the face so you don’t want to overdo it if you already have a long face.”
Opting for a quiff means getting to know your blow dryer on a daily basis. Fowler suggests using “a gutsy product like a dry shampoo spray” (such as Crêpage De Chignon by L'Oréal Professionnel) and then blow drying it in, all the while lifting the hair with a comb or brush. “Don’t forget to keep lifting as the hair cools so it sets in place, ” he adds.