This year is the year where “good enough” isn’t cutting it anymore.
In 2016, you’re going to figure out how to ask for the haircut you really want, and learn how to style it properly.
Every guy knows how to get a haircut. Not every guy knows how to get the haircut they really want. There’s a specific jargon that you can use when talking to your barber that will make it easier for him to know exactly how you would like your hair to be cut.
Barbers are experts in their craft, but they aren’t mind readers. You can’t just expect them to fill in the gaps. Don’t just say, “short on the sides, long on the top.” That’s not enough for them to go on.
Here’s some terminology to use to get the haircut you want:
When specifying how long you want your hair to be, inches are the best figure (1 inch, 1 1/2 inches, etc.).
It can also be helpful to know the specific number of the clippers you want your barber to use. If you don’t know what setting of clippers you prefer, ask your barber to start with a longer setting and progressively get shorter until you find a style you like.
Men with longer hair especially need to be clear about how much hair they want cut off. Most will tell the barber just to keep the hair off their collar. This gives a neat, professional look.
Men with longer hair might also ask for a layered cut, which gives more movement and dimension to longer hairstyles.
If you don’t want your sides to be all the same length, ask for a tapered cut, which means your hair gets gradually longer toward the top of your head.
Make sure to specify how sharp you want your hair’s transition from long to short to be. For no transition, ask for a shaved part (long on top, buzzed on the sides). For a more conservative style, ask for a natural or blended transition.
For more manageable hair, ask the barber to add some texture to the top. Texturing will thin out the bulk of your hair and is great for anyone with thicker hair.
You can either ask for a tapered (natural) neckline or a squared (block)neckline in the back. A tapered neckline will follow your natural hairline, while a block hairline cuts straight across. Most men opt for the tapered neckline, which usually looks more natural.
Tell your barber how long you want your fringe (bangs) to be in the front, and if you sweep it to the side or style it in any way.
The goal is to be specific enough that your barber will know exactly what you’re imagining.
And once you get your perfect haircut, learn how to use hair product to keep the style.
You’ve probably heard a lot about hair product, but you’re still not sure what it is or what it does. This year, you’re going to figure out how to use the best hair product to complement your new hair cut and type.
There are really only three products men need to worry about: wax, pomade, and styling cream.
- Wax is best for guys with straight or wavy hair. It makes hair look effortlessly styled with a medium hold and the lowest shine of all hair products.
- Pomadescombine a lot of hold with a lot of shine and are the best product to use for a slicked-back pompadour look or “Mad Men”-style side part. Again, pomades work best for men with straight or wavy hair, especially if it’s on the long side.
- Instead of a waxy solid like our first two products, styling cream is more of a thick liquid and is suitable for all types of hair — even curly. It offers a light shine with no hold at all, and it takes care of the frizz and unruliness in your hair. In short, styling cream will leave your hair manageable without drying it out.
www.americancrew.com and blindbarber.com and www.fellowbarber.com and www.fellowbarber.comAmerican Crew Pomade ($13), Blind Barber 90 Proof Hair Pomade ($18), Uppercut Deluxe Pomade ($22), and Fellow Barber Strong Pomade ($22).
Have a burning men’s style or grooming question? Ask me, and I may answer you in a future post. Email me at email@example.com with the subject line “Men’s style question”.