Cross long and loose hair with water-based pomade and what do you get? A cool men’s hairstyle that’s inspired by your client’s favourite athlete.
From fitness pros to soccer stars, more men are taking style cues from their favourite athletes. It’s been a growing trend that has been on the radar among men’s hairstylists. As Chad Taylor, co-owner of Moods Hair Salon in Vancouver, notes, it has been propelled forward thanks to the “resurgence of the sportswear esthetic gaining popularity in street fashion and is inspired by designers like Rick Owens.”
Here’s why you need to get on board with the current trend and boost your men’s clientele.
What it is: The athlete-inspired hairstyle trend
With classic, polished looks remaining popular over the past few years, many of Taylor’s clients have been looking for a new direction, and these athlete-inspired looks offer an undone esthetic. “A true athletic look is cropped but with a natural texture,” explains Paul Pereira, Essential Looks Artist for Schwarzkopf Professional, “and, depending on your client’s age, some will want it longer but with natural movement.” Soccer players, including Sweden’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic, have also inspired some men to be more adventurous, tying longer hair with pieces of leather.
Why this men’s hairstyle is popular
Without question, David Beckham paved the way for athletes who wanted to up their style game. “Soccer players like Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, Sweden’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Italy’s Graziano Pellè, are all really having more fun with their style,” says Pereira, adding that brands like Nike and Adidas have a cool factor that has translated to runway collections. Both Pereira and Taylor concur that the rise of the athlete-inspired look is due to the resurgence of athletic looks on and off the runway. In addition, Taylor says that these texturized looks have a lower maintenance factor that’s appealing to athletes and non-athletes alike.
Elements of athlete-inspired styles
As a stylist, you need to determine the length that’s suitable. Thinning hair tops the list of concerns among your male clientele, so it’s important to adjust the cut length according to the density of their hair.
When it comes to length, Taylor recommends that giving more density to thinning hair with a short crop is a good option, plus it’s easier to move around and style. For clients with wavy or thick hair who want a medium length, Taylor says it’s important to keep the sides clean, crisp and disconnected from the top for style versatility. For medium or coarse textured hair with a medium density, longer lengths, are a great option because the hair can be pulled back into an undone knot.
Who can wear the latest men’s hairstyle trend?
Regardless of age or lifestyle Pereira says that, “men want to look like an athlete, and 90 per cent of the time, they show me photos of soccer players.” That said, it’s a look that both Taylor and Pereira agree translates well at any age. “It’s about detailing and personalizing to the perimeters and textures of our client so that it’s age and lifestyle appropriate,” explains Taylor.
When considering face shape, most athletes have stronger facial features that your clients may not. Fabrizio Perciballi, Contessa winner of Men’s Hairstylist of the Year in 2015 recommends creating more weight in the hair with a longer, looser look for someone with a round face shape while emphasize a strong jaw line with a tight fade.
As Loretta Tom, a men’s hairstylist at Salon Haze in Vancouver says, “rocking the athlete look isn’t about being a certain age, but it has to do with the density and texture of your client’s hair, and working with what they have.
When can your clients wear this style?
For Tom, most of her clients want more versatility in their look. It’s not only about having one look, but they want to be able to wear it more casually and at the same time look professional and more styled when they need to be. According to Tom, the secret to the success of this look is instilling confidence in your client. “I always show my clients a not-so-perfect, textured look, which is much easier to style at home.”
How to sell the athlete-inspired hair trend to your clients
When it comes to products, both Pereira and Taylor recommend products that add definition but allow for natural movement such as sea salt sprays and pastes over waxes for a softer hold that’s easy to restyle. “If you’re an athlete or an athletic guy, you’re showering more frequently but I recommend a cowashing product over shampooing,” says Taylor, adding that he breaks down the look for his clients, step-by-step, which allows them to confidently recreate the look at home.
For a more polished look, Perciballi recommends a strong hold gel like one from Sebastian Professional because, “it is great for more of a high-shine hold, which you’ll often see with soccer athletes on the field. Alternatively Perciballi, who always takes the extra time when finishing hair, says applying gel to damp hair, then blow drying and finishing with a wax, offers versatility and is often easier for clients to style at home.