The top ways to switch up your hairstyle this season
Just as you’ll be making changes to your wardrobe to prep for the sunnier months ahead, it’s worthwhile assessing the practicality of your current hairstyle.
Is your hair an appropriate length for the warmer weather? Could you try a less fussy style that’ll take you from festivals to formal summer events? Read on for a rundown of this season’s most popular haircuts and how to make them work for you.
1. The Buzz Cut
Classic and unquestionably masculine, the buzz cut has been trending for a while now and remains the style most requested by my customers. Easily achieved, suitable for pretty much everyone and practical once it starts to heat up, it’s a sharp and hassle-free haircut.
Before taking the plunge, it’s worth having an honest conversation with your stylist about whether they think a buzz cut will suit your specific face shape. It tends to look best on strong, square face types, although it can be adapted to others by manipulating the length and grade used.
Next, you’ll need to decide on whether you want a uniform length all over (known as a ‘butch cut’) or a slight difference between the hair on the top of your head and at the back and sides (a crew cut or flattop). If you’re looking for a haircut that’s low maintenance but still versatile enough to work for both the office and days spent beachside, then the former comes up trumps.
Adjustments to consider with this style include leaving slightly more length through top, for a modern take on the French Crop, or opting for a skin fade on the sides, which will produce a dramatic, disconnected appearance that feels extremely contemporary:
How To Style
The only product a buzz cut requires is a heat protector spray with SPF (try Aveda Sun Care Protective Hair Veil or Paul Mitchell Sun Shield Conditioning Spray), which should be applied if you’re going to be exposed to the sun. Using a product like this will reduce overall sun damage to your hair and scalp while keeping it hydrated and healthy.
It’s also worth noting that too much UV exposure can mean your hair ages quicker, leaving it looking and feeling thinner. To counteract this effect, make sure you regularly use a specialist after sun shampoo and conditioner such as Aveda’s Sun Hair Care & Body Cleanser or L’Oréal’s Solar range.
2. The Fringe
If having a little more hair to play with is preferable, then why not opt for a fringe? Although men tend to shy away from wearing their hair forward, the AW15 runway shows proved that this style is set to be a huge trend come October, so why not get involved now?
The downside is that a fringe can make you feel hot, sweaty and uncomfortable in the heat, depending on its length and thickness. However, a little prep goes a long way in making this type of hairstyle work for spring/summer.
Start by asking your stylist about possibly cutting your fringe a little shorter, or thinning it out to remove some of the weight that’s just not appropriate for the warmer months.
If that still doesn’t feel comfortable, when it comes to creating the look, try sweeping it across your forehead rather than pulling it down straight
How To Style
Try to keep this style as relaxed as possible (i.e. no heavy, strong hold styling products) so you can easily run your hands through your hair if it gets uncomfortably hot.
If you want to achieve an lived-in look that epitomises long summer days spent at the beach, apply some sea salt spray to damp hair and then either blow-dry into shape, or leave to dry naturally for a more dishevelled, unkempt appearance.
This cut is all about texture, so opt for styling products that offer a matte finish and plenty of definition. Just be mindful to avoid those that can ‘melt’ when they get hot or wet (typically white defining creams or extra wet gels), as you don’t want it running down your forehead.
3. The Slick Back
Don’t let this style’s high shine finish deceive you; the slick back actually works pretty well for the summer. Not only does it keep all your hair off your face, but – provided it’s achieved using a slightly wet, dense product – will also stay in place all day.
It’s best to ask your stylist for a reasonably tight fade around the sides and back for contrast, leaving a good deal of length through the top to allow you to slick back. Those with particularly thick hair will also want their stylist to remove some of the weight, either by point cutting into it or using thinning scissors – both of these techniques will reduce volume and ensure the hair is easier to manipulate.
In terms of modifications, not only can you use different products to achieve a different finish – from wet look to high shine – but you can also alter how you choose to style the hair. Quiffs and pompadours look great with a bit of sheen too, so don’t feel you are committed to rigidly scraping your hair back:
How To Style
When styling, it’s best to start with towel-dried hair so as to minimise volume and get a much slicker, smoother finish. As for products, if your hair is on the finer side, I’d suggest using a pomade or grooming cream to prevent it from clumping together (making it look even thinner) and exposing your scalp to the sun.
One of my favourite products for this is American Crew Superglue, which offers a super strong hold. Tigi’s Hard Head and Up Front also work well.
4. Wavy/Curly Hair: The Relaxed Quiff
The one thing you don’t want to do with naturally wavy hair during the warmer months is over-style it. Heat and humidity can exacerbate unruliness, causing carefully sculpted styles to lose their shape quickly.
If you normally straighten your hair, it’s probably best to avoid doing so where possible during the height of summer – the results won’t last long and it also dries it out even further, adding to the damage caused by sun exposure.
Therefore, keep it really simple and classic this season: try a natural, loose quiff (back on-trend for 2015) or push your hair straight back so that it’s kept off your face. These type of styles come across extremely nonchalant and ooze effortless cool
How To Style
If your hair is thick and wavy, then I’d suggest applying a smoothing cream or leave-in conditioner while it’s damp, which will help control the volume and also define your hair’s natural wave.
To style, try using Kevin Murphy Easy Rider or L’Oréal Liss Control – both of which are anti-frizz creams that will help tame your hair.
There’s no need to be too precise when creating this look; simply use your hands to roughly push, sweep or sculpt your hair into place
5. Afro Hair: Disconnected Sides
The following advice has been provided courtesy of afro hair specialist Jamie Stevens: This contemporary cut is ideal for spring/summer as it’s easy to style and maintain – perfect for guys that want to keep their hair short but not overly kempt.
To get this look, your stylist will need to clipper the sides and back quite tight (you could even request a skin fade), in order to create a dramatic contrast with the length of the hair on top, which should be left slightly longer.
Adjustments can easily be made when it comes to the length of both the sides and through the top – the latter can be left natural and dishevelled or sculpted with defined edges to produce a stronger overall shape.
How To Style
By keeping the hair longer on top, you have a couple of styling options. You can either towel dry your hair and go for a rugged, textured look using a little Matrix Play Back Workable Cream, or you can blow-dry it smooth using a small round bristle brush, then add some Matrix Loosely Defined or Kérastase Form Fatale.
If you want to accentuate your natural curl, be sure to use a diffuser on a low to medium heat setting when drying, taking care to use slow, circular movements.