A guide to everything you need to offer male clients the very best cuts and finishes for 2013.
Compared to styles for women, trends in men’s hairstyles seem to take much longer to evolve. For men, the shift is subtle. According to Kurt Kueffner, co-founder of Mensdept.—a new haircare line coming to Canada this spring—and whose career has been dedicated exclusively to men’s hair, “changes for men are always a bit slower and more deliberate. Small changes make a big difference with men. Sideburns, hair that’s half of an inch shorter, or a clean part and a different styling product, all make a big statement.”
Proper and polished
“Men do not wear makeup; facial hair is men’s makeup,” says Damien Carney. However, despite the resurgence of the traditional barbershop look and feel for some very niche salons in the past two years, Carney cautions that the new men’s look for 2013 is “very old Hollywood. It’s very polished and well put-together. You’re not visiting the barber, you’re wearing a designer haircut that is perfectly balanced, finished and refined.”
Kevin Murphy echoes this opinion as well, saying that the shape is much more polished for 2013. “We’re seeing a lot more graduation achieved with shears and less with clippers. It’s much closer to a Vidal Sassoon technique. It’s not a fade or an undercut but has more hair in it, while the front is more blunt.” Fringe is, in fact, a key trend at Kevin.Murphy this season. Even if the overall look is a bit more messy for the 20-year-old-crowd, it’s seamlessly achieved with the right styling products. “I always like hair that is nicely cut. In this day and age, men want a good haircut. It needs to be specific. I don’t like to spin the hair out,” says Murphy.
To keep the hair in tip-top shape, visits to the salon are becoming increasingly frequent, too. “We are actually seeing men go from an average four-week cycle to under three weeks in a lot of cases,” says Kueffner. Maybe a point to consider when trying to fill in those bookings, faster, in your own salon.
The key word this season is versatile. The shapes are clean and solid, enhanced with highly groomed finishes. At Mensdept., Kueffner says, “We are exaggerating the geometry in the haircuts, with shorter napes, longer tops and more aggressive fades. We are actually shaving in parts and finishing with shinier products, using a classic boar bristle brush on a lot of the work.” This is all aimed at achieving a look that’s distinct, while being able to change it on a dime.
The consensus amongst the stylists is for a natural look that is polished but definitely not wash-and-wear. Wavy or curly hair is left to dry naturally and enhanced with the right styling product. Some even recommend blow-drying. Yes, for men! According to Carney, “Blow-drying creates polish and, with the right product, it creates shine and control, so that hair looks and feels like hair; healthy and radiant.”
The mohawk with the exaggerated undercut is on a downslide. Even if hair is generally still longer throughout the top, sides are close and the whole head looks very groomed. A looser alternative is to leave more length on the sides, therefore creating a grown-out look that’s slightly longer but polished.
In a technique favoured by Carney, to achieve this look, “hair is sectioned from temple to temple, cut down short and tight using a square graduation. The top is layered lightly with longer lengths so it creates versatility on all hair textures.” Disconnection is key, without being overly aggressive about it. To finish hair, Carney likes Joico’s Texture Boost Dry Spray Wax. “It can be used as a “dressing” on the hair. The hair still looks and responds like hair.”
As hair is super refined and controlled, square graduation works on most head shapes and hair textures. It creates that movie star look and always looks modern. “We’re definitely seeing more hair that’s cut in a classical way but worn long on top, with the shorter back and sides. For younger clients, I like to style it to be messy and chunky,” says Murphy.