8 HAIRCUTS FOR BLACK MEN THAT WILL NEVER GO OUT OF STYLE

Afro hair has a reputation for being unwilling to cooperate: more often than not it seems determined to do the exact opposite of what its owner wants. But, while obedience isn’t this hair type’s forte, there are plenty of excellent haircuts for black men to experiment with. That’s because, when treated right, afro hair can shape up sharp and has an unrivalled ability to hold shape well.

The key to keeping afro hair in check is being a good listener, because like with any other hair type it has its own unique quirks which you need to work with, not against. Once you’ve got a grasp of what mother nature gave you though, half the battle is won.

If you’re feeling follicularly challenged and haven’t got a clue how to manage your mane then that’s where we step in. With the help of some barbers who are experts when it comes to black men’s haircuts, we’ve compiled all of the tips and tricks you need to make your afro hair majestic.

1. THE FLAT TOP

WHAT IS IT?

Of all haircuts for black men in the late eighties and early nineties, the flat top went viral, sending sales of spirit levels and hair clippers soaring (probably). “The flat top features hair on the sides of the head tapered to the skin, working up towards a flat top – think Will Smith as The Fresh Prince and you can’t miss it,” says celebrity hairstylist Jamie Stevens.Though the flat top was among the most popular hairstyles in its heyday, the cut can easily be tweaked to make it relevant for the modern man. “This style really works well on afro hair and offers such a striking look that I can’t ever see it losing its coolness in one form or another.”

Flat Top

HOW TO GET IT

As timeless as the flat top is, unless you’ve got the right natural hair type you’ll be fighting a losing battle. Case in point? Simon Cowell. “The most important factor here is ensuring you have very curly afro hair, because it’s those tight curls, once combed out, that gives the style its shape and definition,” says Stevens.

“For a traditional take, have your barber skin fade the sides and back, working up towards the occipital bone [the saucer-shaped bone at the lower back of the skull]. From there, they should continue to freehand cut the shape into your hair. To give the squared flat top effect, barbers often use a flat top comb to comb the hair out to stand on end so that they can freehand cut the shape for the sleekest finish.”

HOW TO STYLE IT

Unsurprisingly (because hair doesn’t grow into neat lines) maintenance of this haircut for black men is mostly a case of getting a cut on the regular, but you can take measures to keep this geometric style looking sharp in-between trips to the chop shop.

“Invest in an afro comb; this will allow you to comb your hair into shape easier and, as the teeth are long, allows more flexibility when working through the hair. You might also find a hairdryer useful to help mould the hair if necessary, and some hairspray will keep it in place, too,” says Stevens.

Men's Flat Top Hair Styling Products

2. THE BUZZ CUT

WHAT IS IT?

Even those with only a passing knowledge of men’s hair will be familiar with the buzz cut : this all-over shorn style is as low maintenance as it gets, hence its popularity among recruits. “The buzz cut is a short military style usually taken to a grade 0 or skin on the sides of the head with only a little bit of length on top,” says Nick Campbell, a barber at Ruffians Marylebone. If you’re looking for the most minimal-effort hair situation, this is the one.

Buzz Cut

HOW TO GET IT

The buzz cut is one of those haircuts for black men that it’s theoretically possible to take a DIY approach to, but if you want to nail it properly, put yourself in the capable hands of a clipper connoisseur. “Ask your barber for a traditional crew cut, for afro hair specifically this involves running the clipper with the grain on the top of the hair in order to remove weight and give a clean finish. A zero or balding clipper should be taken to the sides followed by a ‘shape up’ which involves outlining the contours of the hair with a cut throat razor for a super sharp finish,” says Campbell.

HOW TO STYLE IT

For the buzz cut, you don’t need to worry about styling per se, think of the task of keeping your sparsely decorated head looking its best as maintenance. “The buzz cut is pretty fuss-free, but it’s best styled with a matt finishing product wax or a low shine oil which should be brushed through your hair or applied with an afro sponge,” says Campbell. Keeping the buzz cut looking fresh AF is a cinch, basically.

Men's Afro Hair Styling Products

3. THE NATURAL AFRO

WHAT IS IT?

This was, of course, the go-to haircut for black men in the seventies, (incidentally, it was a time when subtlety didn’t rank high on anyone’s list of priorities). Back then afros swerved the natural look in favour of circular styling, but today the style has gone much more organic. “A natural afro is all about working with your natural hair texture, using products to enhance your curl to create length all over without too much uniformity,” says Stevens. With plenty of length but a rugged finish, the natural afro feels a million miles away from Saturday Night Fever.

Natural Afro

HOW TO GET IT

As afro hair has a tendency to break more easily than other natural hair types it can be difficult to retain length. As such the natural afro haircut for black men is best suited to those who are able to grow 2-3 inches of hair without too much trouble. “Mid-length or longer hair is best as this will give the most scope for styling,” says Stevens. “The best example of this style is classic Lenny Kravitz; his is a great afro – the perfect shape and length to work with everything.”

HOW TO STYLE IT

As its names suggests, the natural afro should be the best version of what your mother gave you. “Apply a product designed to enhance curls to damp hair to define and boost its natural texture. You could also try mixing in some moisturising oil for a healthy shine,” says Stevens.

Thankfully, drying and styling your hair is a doddle here as the natural afro works best when things feel a little undone. “The best way to style an afro is to avoid heat, allowing your curl to take its natural shape. So, once you’ve applied product, allow your hair to dry naturally. And if you have a looser curl, try twisting small sections of your hair while damp to help define it.”

Men's Afro Hair Styling Products

4. THE SHAPE-UP

WHAT IS IT?

For those men who like their journey from shower to street to be as rapid as possible, the shape up is a time-saving haircut for black men that doesn’t compromise on looking sharp. “This is a short, sharp-edged look that traditionally means the straightening of the hairline,” says Stevens. The shape-up’s closed crop (usually clippered at grade number 1 or 2) means there’s minimal styling involved, but precise cutting at the hairline saves the style from being a complete snoozefest.

Shape-Up

HOW TO GET IT

As well as being a time-saving mop move, the shape-up is pretty democratic too, so if you’ve got hair you can get one. “There are so many variants of the shape-up that pretty much any head of afro hair can be catered for,” says Stevens. Not all shape-ups are created equal though. “To get the best out of this cut and some proper structure, ask your barber for a hard shape-up to really define your hair’s perimeter.”

HOW TO STYLE IT

Though the shape up is low-maintenance in theory, a few canny styling moves will keep this haircut for black men looking its best. “At home, you’ll want a good bristle brush to keep this look properly groomed and neat, and an oil to ensure your hair stays in good condition too,” says Stevens.

Men's Afro Hair Styling Products

5. BRAIDS

WHAT IS IT?

Though braid hairstyles have, in some form or another, been around for centuries, in relatively recent history men’s braids have reasserted themselves as a classic style worth considering again. Braids refer to any plaited style, while cornrows are braids plaited towards the head which don’t move freely. “Made up of organised rows of plaited hair, braids are a great option for guys who want a striking look while minimising day-to-day upkeep,” says Stevens.

Braids

HOW TO GET IT

No prizes for guessing that length is essential here: anything less than two inches generally won’t do, and nimble fingers are necessary, but they shouldn’t be your own. “At the risk of stating the obvious, the key to this one is getting someone who knows what they are doing. I’d recommend finding a specialist as it’s a tricky style to get right,” says Stevens. Take along a picture of the braids you want: whether that’s loose braids, cornrows or a combination of both.

HOW TO STYLE IT

Braids take a long time to fix into place, so once you get them there, you’ll need to do everything you can to keep them there. “To prevent braids from fraying or generally appearing untidy, use a hair wax to lightly hold your braids and keep them looking neater for longer,” says Stevens. Wearing a du-rag at night will also stop grime or lint getting caught up in your braids.

It’s not just your natural hair that needs to be kept in check when wearing braids either: you’ll need to keep on top of your scalp health too. “It’s essential to look after your scalp as it’s constantly on show and exposed to the elements. To minimise the weather’s adverse effects, regularly apply an oil, which will prevent dandruff and ensure your scalp doesn’t dry out.”

Men's Afro Hair Styling Products

6. DREADS

WHAT IS IT?

Most people associate dreadlocks with the sixties and seventies. The look is practically synonymous with Bob Marley, but the premise of the style stretches back thousands of years. Like braiding, dreads gather together hair into bigger strands, but unlike braiding, dreadlocks encourage the hair to grow into matted twists. “The hairstyle consists of twisted or tightly knotted hairs that over time form together to make dreadlocks,” says Stevens. Unlike braids though, dreads can’t be unravelled, so be prepared to commit or cut off.

Dreads

HOW TO GET IT

Getting dreads right should be left strictly in the hands of the professionals: making those twisted locks look uniform is no mean feat. “Seek specialist input for dreadlocks as there are many different ways to create and maintain the style,” says Campbell. “In afro hair, creating short or long dreadlocks involves twisting and palm rolling the hair with the incorporation of gel or balm sometimes even wax in order to form the dreadlocks. There are a number of specialist shops and stylists across the UK who can help you form the perfect dreadlocks.” Whether your aim to keep your dreads short or grow a longer style, you’ll need at least two inches of hair to get this style going, so bear in mind before you book yourself in.

HOW TO STYLE IT

Once you’ve got your dreads fixed in place, you’ve got a fair few styling options which all depend on the length of your dreads. “Long dreadlocks are best worn half up half down or loosely tied up at the back or even in a bun on top of the head. It is important not to put too much tension on the dreadlocks as this can be uncomfortable for the hair,” says Campbell.

For shorter dreads, you’ve got a few more options. “Short dreadlocks can be worn loose and natural or pulled up into the top in a loose bun. The most popular way to wear short dreadlocks is to undercut them which involves shaving the sides and back of your head and wearing your dreads loose on top.”

Men's Afro Hair Styling Products

7. THE SHORT AFRO WITH FADE

WHAT IS IT?

The short afro fade is an amalgamation of some of the greatest haircuts for black men, for those who want a bit of everything on their crown. “A combination of the classics, this style is both modern and versatile,” says Stevens. “It’s a great cut that can be tailored to suit both your look and lifestyle.” By riffing on the length of the classic afro and keeping things short and sharp on the side, the style is the afro equivalent to a short, back and sides : it’s never not a good look.

Short Afro With Fade

HOW TO GET IT

If your black male hair is on the short side, you’ll need to grow some inches before you can tackle the afro fade head on. “You’ll need some length on top to create the perfect contrast between the fade and your afro, but you can take the fade as tight as you like. For a sharp finish, I’d suggest a short tapered fade at the sides and back and a relatively short but still textured top.” This style looks its best when there’s a balance between what’s going on at the sides and up top: the fade should graduate into the top, which should be kept on the neater side of things for a less dramatic finish.

HOW TO STYLE IT

Adding a modern spin to the short afro with skin fades requires a textured, rather than uniform finish. “Try applying some sea salt spray to hair on the top of the head and either diffuse through the hair using a hair dryer and diffuser attachment or allow to dry naturally. Salt spray is a lightweight product that enhances texture and gives good hold – great for creating volume and defining curls,” says Stevens.

Men's Afro Hair Styling Products

8. THE HARD PARTING

WHAT IS IT?

Will.I.Am may be a relatively solitary wearer of the hard parting these days, but way back in the eighties, the sharply defined style was routinely adorning men’s heads. Although the style may initially seem like an A-list-only style move because of its sharp lines, subtler variations can easily be pulled off without a styling team on speed dial.

“A step up from a side parting, a hard parting is a shaved line in the hair. How defined it looks is totally dependent on how deep you choose to have it shaved in, with options scaling from a neat, office-friendly parting to a deeper, edgier take,” says Stevens.

Hard parting afro hair

HOW TO GET IT

While most afro barbers will be familiar with the hard parting, getting this black men’s haircut exactly how you want it will take more than a forensic explanation of angles and measurements. “Your barber should consult with you on where you usually wear your parting before clippering in and shaping the hard parting,” says Stevens.

“With so many variations available, there is plenty of flexibility – you could choose a groomed, work-appropriate style or something a little more dramatic, like Tupac’s famous Juice look. It’s worth having some examples to hand, on your phone for example, so you can work with your barber to achieve exactly what you want.” In short, because of the multiple ways to wear this style, taking along an example of exactly what you want is invariably your safest bet.

HOW TO STYLE IT

Hard parting enthusiasts take heed: this is not a get-up-and-go style, working those angles takes a bit of a hands on approach. “A comb is essential to be able to separate the parting, use [an oil] to keep your hair conditioned and, for a groomed finish, apply a touch of wax, which will give hold and a subtle shine. If your hair is particularly unruly, give it a blast with a medium hold hairspray,” says Stevens.

Men's Afro Hair Styling Products

THE LOWDOWN ON AFRO HAIR

Before you get to the business of whipping afro hair into shape, properly understanding what you’re working with will help you to make the most of your mop: here’s where it gets a bit sciency. “Curls are often dry by their nature, so without the use of products that offer intense moisture, it’s difficult to achieve shiny hair,” says Michael Lendon, advanced master creative director at Aveda “Unlike other hair types, the structure of the hair is not cylindrical, which means that it isn’t good at reflecting light needed to achieve shine. What’s more, because of this hair type’s structure and lack of moisture, breakage happens easily, so gently does it lads.

That’s not all there is to afro hair through, there’s a lot more at play which differs from head to head. “Textured hair varies between each person – no two people have the same head of hair. Curls typically vary both in thickness and how loose or tight the curls are,” says Lendon.

The bad news is that this means that there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to afro and haircuts for black men. The good news is that most afro hair falls into one of three categories which will enable you to work out how best to style what you’ve got up top. To decide which hair type you have, look at a product-free strand of hair and see which of the below descriptions rings most true.

WAVY AFRO HAIR

Wavy afro hair has a loose curl pattern which forms an ‘S’ shape naturally.

COILED AFRO HAIR

Coiled afro hair forms loose or tight curls with a clearly defined shape pattern which is circular in appearance.

KINKY AFRO HAIR

Kinky afro hair has very small and tight curls which have a less defined ‘Z’ shape pattern.

AFRO HAIR DOS & DON’TS

Afro, and black male hair in general requires lots of TLC and is less get up and go than most other hair types, but by incorporating a few helpful habits into your routine, keeping your follicles fighting fit will become stupidly easy.

DON’T OVER WASH

Thinking that afro hair must be washed every day is a mistake: shampooing will strip your hair of essential natural oils and cause more dryness, so lather up once a week for optimum hair health.

DO ADD MOISTURE

Because of afro hair’s tendency towards dryness, regularly using moisturizing product is essential to ward off brittle, damaged hair and will add that all-important shine.

DON’T BRUSH AND BRUSH

Getting OCD with brushing is a fast track to terminally unhappy curly hair. Brush your hair gently with a paddle brush on shorter hair or a wide tooth comb for longer styles. Never brush afro hair vigorously or while it’s wet either.

DO CHOOSE A LOW MAINTENANCE STYLE

By choosing shorter haircuts for black men such as a crew-cut or a taper fade you’ll minimise time and effort spent on day to day maintenance, as keeping these styles in good shape is primarily down to the work of your barber.

DON’T USE TOO MUCH HEAT

Blasting afro or curly hair with heat is one of the fastest ways to cause irreversible damage so where possible, leave your hair to dry naturally or choose the lowest hair dryer heat setting when time is tight.

DO READ PRODUCT INGREDIENTS

Avoid products which offer a matte finish and instead look for products containing oils (such as coconut, jojoba or castor) which will increase shine, combat dandruff and reduce breakage. Products containing alcohol and sulphates are also no-nos for this hair type.

THE BEST PRODUCTS FOR BLACK MEN’S HAIR

Most men have to undergo plenty of trial and error before finding the best hair product but for those with afro hair, chancing on the stuff that’ll make your black hair look its best can be even more of a pain. If you’ve done your homework on the ingredients, tools and techniques to have at your disposal though, you’ll easily thwart the intentions of troublesome tresses.

SHAMPOO & CONDITIONER

No matter what cut you’re looking to achieve, before you do anything else, make sure that your washing and conditioning game is in turbo moisture mode. For this you’ll need a shampoo and conditioner (you should never skip the latter) which are full of ingredients to nourish parched locks. Avoid drying ingredients such as alcohol and sulphates and make sure natural oil and cream-based products are high up on your shopping list: jojoba, castor and coconut oils are all good shouts as is shea butter.

STYLING TOOLS

As dryness and breakage are the most common complaints for afro hair, every last strand needs to be treated gently. To reduce damage, make sure that you’ve got an afro comb and a paddle brush to hand which will go easy on your hair and will let you tame long and short styles respectively. Make sure that you invest in a dryer with a very low heat setting too which will ensure that intense heat doesn’t sap your strands of life.

STYLING PRODUCTS

The best styling products for afro hair should add plenty of moisture without weighing hair down. The golden standard here is a moisturising oil (again, jojoba, castor and coconut oils and shea butter are ideal ingredients) which will add shine without weight and can be applied to wet or dry hair. For onger hair which need to be held into place though, opt for a water-based pomade which will offer hold and a non-greasy shine.

Source: Fashion Beans

HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT HAIRCUT FOR YOUR FACE SHAPE

Like your clothes, haircuts aren’t one-size-fits-all. But unlike your clothes, you can’t take a crap haircut off after a day of fielding abuse from your colleagues. Which is why—before going under the barber’s scissors—it’s worth knowing which styles best suit your face shape. After all, an extra inch here or a smattering of facial hair there can make all the difference.

WHAT FACE SHAPE AM I?

But how can you actually determine what shape your face is? It’s simple. First, arm yourself with a flexible tape measure. Then, take the following measurements, recording each as you go.

  1. Forehead: Measure across your face from the peak of one eyebrow arch to the peak of the opposite arch.
  2. Cheekbones: Measure across your cheekbones, starting and ending at the pointiest part below the outer corner of each eye.
  3. Jawline: Measure from the tip of your chin to below your ear at the point at which your jaw angles upwards. Multiply that number by two to get your jawline measurement.
  4. Face Length: Measure from the centre of your hairline to the tip of your chin.

Once you’ve taken these measurements, note which is the largest of the four, and then compare this to the seven main profiles to find out where your face falls.

  • Oval:Face length is greater than the width of the cheekbones, and forehead is greater than the jawline. The angle of the jaw is rounded rather than sharp.
  • Rectangle:Face length is the greatest measurement. Forehead, cheekbones, and jawline are similar in size.
  • Triangular:Jawline measures greater than cheekbones, which measure larger than the forehead.
  • Round:Cheekbones and face length have a similar measurement. They are larger than the forehead and jawline, which also have a similar measurement. The angle of the jaw is soft and much less defined.
  • Heart:Forehead measures greater than the cheekbones and jawline. The chin is pointed.
  • Square:All measurements are fairly similar. The angle of the jaw is sharp rather than rounded.
  • Diamond:Face length measures largest. Then, in descending order: cheekbones, forehead, and smallest is jawline. The chin is pointed.

HAIRCUTS FOR OVAL FACES

Oval Face Shape - MenSeen as the genetic jackpot for women, an oval may not be the most alpha of face shapes for men, but it’s a good canvas for experimentation. Symmetrical and well-proportioned, an oval face shape does pretty much any hairstyle justice, so—you lucky boy—the choice is very much yours. That said, there are a couple of minor caveats to ensure you optimise your ovalness. “The trick with an oval face shape is to wear your hair off the forehead to create some volume and angles on top,” says Aveda master barber Stelios Nicolaou. “The most suitable style is a classic short back and sides and slightly longer on the top, with a side-swept parting.” You’ll also want to avoid a forward fringe. “Too much heaviness on the forehead softens features and increases roundness of the face,” says celebrity hairstylist Jamie Stevens. And feel free to ditch the beard, says Ruffians creative director Denis Robinson. “You don’t need facial hair to fill out any disproportionate gaps in this case, so feel free to go clean-shaven.”

The perfect men's hairstyle/haircut for an Oval Face Shape
Men's hairstyles/haircuts for Oval Face Shapes
Hair Products Face Shape

HAIRCUTS FOR SQUARE FACES

Square Face Shape - MenConsidered the masculine ideal, a square face shape is characterised by a razor sharp jawline, even proportions and an overall chiselled appearance. Grrr. Like the oval, it’s a great foundation for most styles and is versatile enough to work with both extremely short and longer hairstyles—from buzz cuts to French crops to quiffs. Just bear in mind that the shorter you go, the more you look like you’ve just been conscripted. Not that that won’t serve you well. “Classic, neat haircuts complement a square shape best—think close fades, side partings and short layers,” says Stevens. Some light stubble also gives the sharpness of your jawline a little welcome texture without blurring its line.

The perfect men's hairstyle/haircut for a Square Face Shape
Men's hairstyles/haircuts for Square Face Shapes
Hair Products Face Shape

HAIRCUTS FOR RECTANGLE FACES

Rectangle/Oblong Face Shape - MenThe longest of the face shapes, a rectangular face falls somewhere between an oval and a square, but requires a subtly tweaked hairstyle to ensure the face doesn’t appear even longer than it is. “Because a rectangular face looks longer, it’s important to avoid taking the sides too short if keeping length on the top, as this would only accentuate the length of the face,” explains Nicolaou. “Try a well-proportioned style that doesn’t take the sides too short or leave too much length on top.” Taking that advice, try a style that lets the hair fall to the sides and/or across the forehead to add width and ensure your face doesn’t appear narrower than it is. Finally, never pair with a Duck Dynasty beard, says Robinson. “A full beard only elongates the face, so instead try facial hair that ranges in length from stubble to a short beard to fill out any gaps.”

The perfect men's hairstyle/haircut for a Rectangle/Oblong Face Shape
Men's hairstyles/haircuts for Oblong/Rectangle Face Shapes
Hair Products Face Shape

HAIRCUTS FOR ROUND FACES

Round Face Shape - MenCircular with a rounded chin and no obvious lines or angles, a round face shape benefits from a haircut that lends it some definition. “If you’ve got a round face shape, think square,” says Stevens. “Since round faces have little in the way of natural angles, you need to create the illusion of structure with your hair. A style with height on the top that’s taken tight at the sides such as a pompadour or a flat top works well to add structure, as do front fringes.” “Square corners in the high recession area of your hair will sharpen up any soft edges,” adds Robinson. “A full square beard will also help thin the chin area, giving the appearance of a more chiselled jaw.”

The perfect men's hairstyle/haircut for a Round Face Shape
Men's hairstyles/haircuts for Round Face Shapes
Hair Products Face Shape

HAIRCUTS FOR DIAMOND FACES

Diamond Face Shape - MenNarrow in the chin and brow, with width in the cheeks, the diamond is one of the rarer face shapes. Because of that, it has some specialist requirements to ensure it looks its namesake. “Hairstyles that add width at the forehead and chin area are your best bet,” says Stevens. “Fringes work well to add texture to the forehead, while longer styles that can be tucked behind the ears are great for accentuating a diamond shape’s bone structure.” Don’t, however, take the sides too short—given the width of the cheekbones, a hairstyle that’s particularly short at the sides will only make your ears look bigger. Softer lines and layers are better for this face shape, working to soften its natural angles. Try a side sweep or deep side-parting, and consider growing a 5 o’clock shadow if you want to add some size to a narrower chin.

The perfect men's hairstyle/haircut for a Diamond Face Shape
Men's hairstyles/haircuts for Diamond Face Shapes
Hair Products Face Shape

HAIRCUTS FOR HEART-SHAPED FACES

Heart Face Shape - MenWide at the temples and hairline, gradually narrowing to a point at the chin, the (fairly rare) heart face shape benefits from a few optical illusions to make it appear better proportioned. “Avoid cuts that are very tight, as these will accentuate the narrowness of the chin and the width of the forehead,” says Stevens. “A medium-length swept look is the safest bet.” Mid-length and long hairstyles that are kept reasonably thin and light soften the heart shape’s strong forehead. Facial hair is also key in this case, adding some much-needed bulk to a narrow chin and jawline, says Robinson. “As with the diamond face shape, a beard helps a heart shape gain fullness in the lower, narrower half of the head.”

The perfect men's hairstyle/haircut for a Heart Face Shape
Men's hairstyles/haircuts for Heart Face Shapes
Hair Products Face Shape

HAIRCUTS FOR TRIANGLE FACES

Triangle Face Shape - MenDue to its narrow forehead and wide jawline, a triangular face requires the opposite treatment of a heart shape. “A style with volume is king with this one,” says Stevens. “Opt for longer, nose-length haircuts with fuller sides, which work to add depth.” As for the beard, the most you’ll look good with is some light stubble. But really, given the prominence of the jawline in this case, it’s best to steer clean-shaven. Grab the razor, fellas.

The perfect men's hairstyle/haircut for a Triangle Face Shape
Men's hairstyles/haircuts for Triangle Face Shapes
Hair Products Face Shape

THE BEST LEAVE-IN CONDITIONERS YOU CAN BUY IN 2021

Some grooming products are just too good to be true: like that 3-in-1 shower gel, face wash and shampoo that claims to reverse ageing, hide dark spots and generally turn you from a four out of ten to a straight-up seven. Leave-in conditioner doesn’t fall into the category of snake oil. Whether you dread the post-wash fluff, like to be in and out of the shower faster than an F1 pitstop, or just want to streamline your bathroom clutter, this is one piece of kit that genuinely could be the answer to a good handful of your grooming dilemmas. But what exactly is it, which ones are best and how do you use them? Here, with the help of six experts behind the locks of Hollywood actors, athletes and pop icons, is everything you need to know.

WHAT IS LEAVE-IN CONDITIONER?

“Leave-in conditioner is a lighter version of a regular hair conditioner as it is free from oils,” explains Davide Barbieri, a hair stylist with a client list that includes Ansel Elgort, Anthony Joshua and Robbie Williams. “It typically comes in spray or cream format, and it is used after shampooing on towel-dried hair. It helps hair to retain moisture all day long, keeping it soft and shiny without weighing it down. It is also a very good detangler, so if you wear your hair mid- to long-length, it will cut down time spent brushing out any knots.”

WHO DOES IT WORK FOR?

“Leave-in conditioner is good for all hair types as it’s lightweight, doesn’t weigh fine hair down and can simultaneously add volume to limp locks. It’s also ideal for coarse, curly or afro hair, which are prone to dryness,” adds Davide. “It’s great for those who live an active lifestyle, those who go to the gym or travel frequently, or are just generally on the go.”

mid to long hair lookbooks

HOW SHOULD YOU USE LEAVE-IN CONDITIONER?

“After shampooing, towel-dry your hair thoroughly – if hair is still too wet the product won’t be absorbed properly and won’t be as effective. Apply your leave-in conditioner to the lengths, avoiding the roots as this is where your hair is naturally oiliest. If your hair is longer, apply it to the lengths and brush it through with a wide tooth comb to the ends to help detangle. It really is a fool-proof hair product,” and one you could do with adding to your rotation.

towel drying hair

THE BEST LEAVE-IN CONDITIONERS

LABEL.M PROTEIN SPRAY

Not a fan of heavy styling products but want smooth hair? Use Label.m Protein Spray, a favourite of session stylist Lee Machin, who’s groomed Colin Firth, Jeremy Irvine and Benjamin Clementine. “It’s lightweight and works well as a styling tool for people who don’t like too much product, and for those with drier hair.” BUY NOW: £11.81

label.m Protein Spray

KIEHL’S CREME WITH SILK GROOM

Grey hair loses its lustre and often looks dull. To bring back a healthy shine reach for Kiehl’s Creme with Silk Groom. The non-greasy grooming aid has a thick consistency, and you only need to use a little to reign in frizzy ends, meaning it goes a long way. BUY NOW: £20.00

Kiehl’s Creme With Silk Groom

PANKHURST LONDON STYLING CONDITIONER

Want your hair to smell nice at the same time as looking good? Soho barber Brent Pankhurst’s award-winning Styling Conditioner has a signature bay rum scent that’ll no doubt win you over. Better yet, it contains wheat protein to nourish hair and is excellent for taming flyaway strands. BUY NOW: £18.00

Pankhurst London Styling Conditioner

KEVIN MURPHY THICK AGAIN

For receding hairlines, choose Kevin Murphy Thick Again. “It’s a leave-in treatment specially designed for men with fine or thinning hair,” says Davide. It achieves this with a blend of ginger root, parsley and nettle which work together to invigorate the scalp and promote, fuller, healthier hair while smoothing out any dry or wiry bits. BUY NOW: £28.00

Kevin Murphy Thick.Again

SASSOON PROFESSIONAL HALO HYDRATE

Heading somewhere hot? Joshua Gibson, a hair stylist with over two decades’ experience, suggests Sassoon Professional Halo Hydrate. “It preps the hair excellently before styling, enhancing the quality of the blow dry through its anti-static technology. It’s never heavy and has a UV filter, so it’s great for protecting your hair and scalp on holidays.” BUY NOW: £19.40

Sassoon Professional Halo Hydrate

PUREOLOGY COLOUR FANATIC MULTI-TASKING HAIR BEAUTIFIER SPRAY

These days, it’s not uncommon for guys to have chemically treated or highlighted hair. If you fall into this category, Tim Pateman, director of London salon The Lion and The Fox, recommends Pureology’s Colour Fanatic Hair Beautifier Spray. “This is a good one for protecting coloured hair, especially from regular heat styling. It’s vegan, too.” BUY NOW: £18.91

Pureology Colour Fanatic Multi-Tasking Hair Beautifier Spray

PHILIP KINGSLEY DAILY DAMAGE DEFENCE CONDITIONING SPRAY

Good for all hair types, Philip Kingsley’s Daily Damage Defence Conditioning Spray is one of the best all-rounders on the market. It also has UV filters, so it protects against environmental damage and heat styling. “It instantly boosts overall condition, manageability and shine,” says Davide. BUY NOW: £16.50

Philip Kingsley Daily Damage Defence Conditioning Spray

REDKEN EXTREME ANTI-SNAP TREATMENT

Hair prone to breakage? Award-winning barber Carmelo Guastella likes Redken Extreme Anti-Snap Treatment. “This really nourishes and strengthens the hair, especially if it’s very dry or stressed. It gives hair a healthy feel.” BUY NOW: £12.35

Redken Extreme Anti-Snap Treatment

MEN-Ü SLIC SMOOTH LEAVE-IN CONDITIONER

The sky is a desert. Inside an aeroplane cabin, humidity levels drop to lower than the Sahara, which can be bad news for your hair. That’s why Bradley Smith, of Bradley Smith Hair at Heathrow Terminal 5 Arrivals, is a fan of Men-Ü Slic Leave-in Conditioner. “It leaves hair recharged, nourished and hydrated for a natural shiny finish while adding texture. It’s enriched with nutrients, and the formula has a long-lasting effect. It also comes in 100ml, so it’s fine to stick in your hand luggage.” BUY NOW: £12.95

Men-Ü Slic Smooth Leave In Conditioner

Source: Fashion Beans

HOW TO GROW A MOUSTACHE YOUR DAD WOULD BE PROUD OF

It’s official, Tom Selleck fans, now is finally the time to put your stubble where your mouth is and try on the manliest face mask available: the moustache.

While the grooming world has been happy to pay lip service to beards for over a decade, this season it’s the turn of nose curtains to have their moment. Which is why we’ve put together a comprehensive how to grow a moustache guide,  from picking the right style for you to maintaining the beast.

So, if your idea of manual labour is chopping veg without the need for a blender, but you want to at least look like you know your way around a tool shed, this is how.

WHY GROW A MOUSTACHE?

Until recently, growing a moustache was a relic of its time. A trend started by King Charles in the early 1600s, rakish whiskers once adorned the faces of men across the globe, reaching their heyday in the 1930s and ‘40s, with leading men such as Clark Gable and Errol Flynn opting for one both on-screen and off. Spurred by Hollywood and the appeal of the armed forces British troops were at one point all required to sport one as part of their uniform the look filtered down to the general public, coming to represent hardy masculinity and a certain suavity.But along with the monocle, bowler hat and cane items that were immensely popular in their own right once upon a time the moustache fell out of favour in the 1980s, having been hijacked by the adult film industry. Soon enough it was seen as quaint, unnecessary and at best creepy, which begs the question as to why you’d want to grow one today. Well, like with fashion trends such as the cross body bag and bucket hat, the moustache is trending unexplainably.

Henry Cavill has been sporting a moustache

Perhaps it’s down to stylised films such as The Nice Guys or Netflix’s Narcos, or maybe because of the new wave of actors who’ve adopted them – Henry Cavill, James Franco; we blame you. Either way, it’s won over the style set and is now creeping down the high street, one wisp of hair at a time. So don’t let your lip get left behind.

HOW TO GROW A MOUSTACHE

Here’s our five step guide for how to grow a moustache:

STAGE 1: CAN YOU GROW ONE?

There are men in this world who were born to have a moustache Hulk Hogan, for example and those who were not. It’s important to establish early on which group your face falls into.

The aim is to have as much to work with as possible before you decide on a shape or style – it’s like pruning a hedge: you wouldn’t start cutting it into a shape before the bush is a proper size.If you already have a beard, you have a head start. If you don’t, grow one. This helps to avoid that awkward in-between stage and will reveal any patchy areas that could be a problem.

STAGE 2: PREP THE GROWTH

The main thing you need when growing a moustache is patience.

Facial hair grows at a rate of about 0.4mm a day, so it can take several weeks before you’re ready to start trimming.If while growing a beard in anticipation you find that your stubble barely grows beyond 6-8mm, it’s unlikely that your moustache will be anything more than a thin line on your upper lip.

If, though, you can cultivate a beard relatively easily, after a couple of weeks you’ll start to see which way the hair is growing so you can decide whether you want a toothbrush moustache (Tom Selleck), a handlebar (George V), or something else entirely.

STAGE 3: THE EARLY DAYS

Persevere through the early awkward stages by keeping your beard neat and uniform. This will ensure your facial hair looks good even before you get to the business of growing a moustache.

Once the hairs below your nose start to descend over your upper lip, grab the clippers and trim a line to remove the strays. Or, if you would like a handlebar and the hair further up is longer, you can train it out to each side in order to maintain the length.

Ideally you want the moustache hair growing just underneath the nose to be longest so that it eventually catches up with hair on your upper lip.

STAGE 4: ‘TACHE TIME

This is where things get serious. Where you go from here all depends on what moustache style you’re aiming for and how realistic you are being with your growth.In addition to not maintaining it, one of the biggest mistakes when it comes to lip ticklers is not choosing the right style, which will largely be dictated by your face shape As a general rule, guys with a strong jaw (see Mr Superman himself) will find it the easiest to carry off a full moustache, while others, particularly those with square- and oval-shaped faces, should opt for more subtle ‘beardstache’ instead,

FIVE KEY MOUSTACHE STYLES

1. THE FULL PACKAGE

If you’re going for a ‘tache, you may as well go all out. The full moustache shows commitment, because why do things by halves? You’ll need good length here – aim for no less than 10mm – and plenty of density for it to work. You don’t want it too shaped, however – the idea is for it to look natural and borderline unruly. Think Robert Redford as Butch Cassidy, and you’re on the right track. 

2. THE BEARDSTACHE

Grow a beard, and then take everything down to a grade one (3mm) with a pair of clippers, but leave the moustache for a rugged look with less contrast. This is a good entry into the world of growing a moustache and an easy way to sample it before committing to clean-shaved cheeks.

Beardstache

3. THE PENCIL MOUSTACHE

Grow stubble, then use detail trimmers to shave around a thin line of hair above your lip to achieve an elegant, refined moustache. This was the look favoured by golden age Hollywood stars, and is, admittedly, slightly more tricky to pull off today but is perfectly possible with a devil-may-care attitude.

Pencil Moustache

4. THE STANDARD MOUSTACHE

The moustache that you kind of don’t notice – it just is. There’s no dramatic shape or style here, it merely looks like it’s always been there. Wet shave your face every other day for a finer finish.

Standard Moustache

MOUSTACHE MAINTENANCE TIPS

USE THE RIGHT TRIMMING TOOLS

Depending on the moustache style you’ve gone for, you’ll need a good beard trimmer , a pair of facial hair scissors, or a combination of the two. Just as you would with a full beard, once you’ve grown your ‘tache to the desired length, trim it every three to four days, ensuring pesky stray hairs are tamed. Always do this when your moustache is dry, as hair expands and relaxes when wet, contracting to its original length after.

TO COMB OR NOT TO COMB

Sure, a moustache comb screams hipster – and we’re certainly not suggesting you use one in public – but for longer styles it’s a helpful tool, particularly for straighten out the hairs before trimming. It also comes into play when styling, allowing you to spread any wax used evenly while brushing the hairs in the desired direction.

STYLING

Moustache wax isn’t a necessity, but it will add definition to your ‘tache and give the individual hairs a healthy looking sheen. It’s always wise to start with a small amount, working the product through with a comb, and adding more if needed. Go overboard, and your lip appendage will look greasy and weighed down.

TREAT IT LIKE REGULAR HAIR

Just as you would with a beard, or indeed the hair on your head, it’s important to shampoo and condition your moustache regularly. Facial hair is coarse and can become dry if ignored. You should also look after the skin underneath – for shorter styles apply moisturiser to nourish the skin, and with longer moustaches use a beard oil, which will seep through the hair where a thicker moisturiser wouldn’t. Above all, keep it clean. Hair likes clean skin.

MUST-HAVE MOUSTACHE PRODUCTS

To keep your moustache in tip top shape, these are the products we recommend you keep handy to stay looking your best. 

BEARD TRIMMER

A trimmer is what you’ll need to keep your moustache hairs at a good length. It’ll help you clip hairs along your lip and keep things looking nice and tidy. You’ll also find a trimmer especially handy if you plan on dabbling further in the world of facial hair, as they’re pretty essential for beards, too. 

FACIAL HAIR SCISSORS

A small pair of sharp scissors will be your best friend when shaping your moustache, so long as you don’t get scissor happy. Keep things neat with a little snip here and there, and get an ultra precise cut with this must-have moustache product. 

MOUSTACHE COMB

For styling your moustache, you’ll likely need a comb, especially when you’re gearing up for a trim. Bonus points for a folding comb that you can keep in your back pocket for styling on the go. 

MOUSTACHE WAX

When it comes to holding your moustache in place or creating twisted tips, you’ll be grateful to have some moustache wax. Just a little bit of this product should create an all day hold, keeping each of your moustache hairs exactly where you want them.

BEARD OIL

If your moustache hairs start to get scraggly (which they will), use a couple drops of beard oil on a daily basis and your facial hair should become less coarse. Beard oil will also make your moustache smell good and considering it sits below your nose, we’ll call that a big win. Just don’t overdo it or you’ll end up with a greasy looking ‘stache. If you have a naturally oily face already, you may prefer to use beard balm instead. 

Source: Fashion Beans

Dua Lipa & Billie Are Fuelling The Appetite For #Regencycore 2.0

Dust off your corset, the second instalment of #Regencycore is here. But it isn’t Bridgerton that has inspired people to dress like a debutante: Dua Lipa and Billie Eilish are the poster girls of RC 2.0.  

Marie Antoinette would surely approve of Dua’s “Demeanor” music video, which was awash with references to the French queen. The singer swapped out her typically kitsch Y2K staples for a wardrobe brimming with frills and bows, masterminded by her stylist, Lorenzo Posocco. He cherry-picked a corset from Jean Paul Gaultier’s iconic spring 1998 couture collection, entitled “Les Marquis Touaregs”, for Dua to wear in the clip, teamed with a full-bodied white skirt. Searches for corsets spiked 43 per cent, while page views for corset tops rose 31 per cent after the release of the video. 

Billie Eilish has also been responsible for the rise; her June 2021 British Vogue cover prompted a 74 per cent surge in searches for corsets. Eilish has since worn styles from Miaou, including its satin Campbell corset that she wore for her Happier Than Ever launch party, and the patterned Figaro Campbell corset she shared with her 88.9 million IG followers back in July. 

Below, Vogue’s edit of the chicest corsets to buy now.

  • Printed handmade corset from 149 available to preoder at Elliemisner.co.uk.1/21Ellie MisnerPrinted handmade corset, from £149, available to pre-oder at Elliemisner.co.uk.
  • Image may contain Clothing Apparel Tank Top Underwear and Undershirt2/21Alexander McQueenSweetheart neckline corset top, £990, available at Farfetch.com.
  • Image may contain Clothing Apparel Corset and Coat3/21Agent ProvocateurSatin corset, £395, available at Agentprovocateur.com.
  • Lace corset 950 available at Vestiairecollective.com.4/21Vivienne WestwoodLace corset, £950, available at Vestiairecollective.com.
  • Image may contain Clothing Apparel and Corset5/21AlaïaAutumn/winter 1991 corset vest, £3,200, available at 1stdibs.com.
  • Sleeveless modal camisole 81 available at Farfetch.com.6/21Maison CloseSleeveless modal camisole, £81, available at Farfetch.com.
  • Image may contain Clothing Apparel and Corset7/21Victoria BeckhamStrapless lace corset, £750, available at Farfetch.com.
  • Image may contain Lamp and Lampshade8/21AreaCrystal-embellished corset, £1,020, available at Farfetch.com.
  • Denim corset top 850 available at Mytheresa.com.9/21BurberryDenim corset top, £850, available at Mytheresa.com.
  • Image may contain Clothing Apparel Swimwear Underwear Lingerie and Bikini10/21KsubiSatin-crepe thong bodysuit, £74, available at Net-a-porter.com.
  • Image may contain Clothing Apparel Diaper and Footwear11/21MiaouCampbell corset in Figaro print, £205, available at Endclothing.com.
  • Vintage silk corset 452 available at Vestiairecollective.com.12/21Jean Paul GaultierVintage silk corset, £452, available at Vestiairecollective.com.
  • Bustier corset top 115 available at Brownsfashion.com.13/21Danielle GuizioBustier corset top, £115, available at Brownsfashion.com.
  • Image may contain Clothing Apparel Lingerie Underwear and Bra14/21GucciGG tulle boned bralette, £520, available at Mytheresa.com.
  • Grosgrain detail lace corset 560 available at Farfetch.com.15/21Kiki de MontparnasseGrosgrain detail lace corset, £560, available at Farfetch.com.
  • Image may contain Clothing and Apparel16/21Dion LeeCropped corset top, £370, available at Farfetch.com.
  • Image may contain Clothing and Apparel17/21Dolce & GabbanaLace detail corset top, £525, available at Farfetch.com.
  • Underwired corset in Italian jacquard lace 365 available at Laperla.com.18/21La PerlaUnderwired corset in Italian jacquard lace, £365, available at Laperla.com.
  • Peplum hem strapless satin top 280 available at Selfridges.com.19/21Rozie CorsetsPeplum hem strapless satin top, £280, available at Selfridges.com.
  • Image may contain Clothing Apparel and Corset20/21SpanxUnder sculpt corset, £150, available at Selfridges.com.
  • Preowned 1970s bustier top 360 available at Farfetch.com.21/21Saint LaurentPre-owned 1970s bustier top, £360, available at Farfetch.com.

Source: Vogue

Flaws as Fashion: Expression or Exploitation?

It seems all too easy to become inundated by the ever-changing fashion and makeup trends of today’s society. The internet and social media provide instant accessibility to whatever is ‘new’ and ‘trending’, and the chances of something going viral is nothing far from the usual these days.

Features such as ‘for you’ and ‘explore’ pages on social media platforms tend to thrust the latest trends to users, and the ‘endless scroll’ effect only makes this more and more compulsive. Though we are free to present ourselves in our own way with regards to fashion and makeup, it seems important to consider how we go about it, and whether following trends possibly disregards people who cannot control or change their natural features.“

There are constant changes in what is ‘on trend’, which in turn, suggests what is considered desirable and attractive in that moment

Platforms like Instagram and TikTok allow users to express and share their creativity and individuality in all types of ways. When it comes to fashion and makeup trends, social media appears to be the ‘go-to’; makeup techniques and tutorials are able to be demonstrated with pictures, videos and text boxes, and shared with hyperlinks and hashtags. This is all very positive, and ideal for viewers to learn new ideas and be provided with some inspiration.

The most recent trends in makeup have been somewhat a mimic of some people’s natural features, such as freckles, reddened cheeks and under-eye circles. Eyeliner, heavy blush and bold eyeshadows have been used to create these effects, however it can be questioned whether these seem to undermine people who naturally have such features and would perhaps feel insecure about.

That is one thing about the nature of social media and the internet – there are constant changes in what is ‘on trend’, which in turn, suggests what is considered desirable and attractive in that moment. In this sense, it is difficult to decipher whether this is a move towards body positivity or one that ignores those who perhaps, at some point, had been shamed for naturally having such features.“

It is difficult to decipher whether this is a move towards body positivity or one that ignores those who perhaps, at some point, had been shamed for naturally having such features

On the one hand, it is important to embrace and normalise features which some people may feel diffident about. Fortunately, the modern world is becoming increasingly aware of normalising people’s flaws and insecurities, and attempting to dismiss the notion of being ‘perfect’.

Makeup, on a basic level, is art, and is something which has no rules or requirements; we are free to use and wear it however we want. Therefore, these makeup trends are not necessarily something which we are obligated to follow, but rather an imaginative expression which offer a different approach to makeup styling.

The other side of the coin is that the term ‘trend’ suggests that it will at some point become unpopular, which therefore undermines people who naturally have features such as under-eye circles or rosacea. It is may read as derogatory to label their appearance as ‘on’ or ‘out’ of trend.

This can be likened to the way in which bodily features seem to fall in and out of trend, and the paradox which this subsequently causes. It is possible for people to become confused and conscious about their physical appearance, if it does not complement the current trend, and whether society considers it worthy enough. Even when the trend is eventually brushed off, it is not guaranteed that such feelings will disappear too.“

Makeup, on a basic level, is art, and is something which has no rules or requirements; we are free to use and wear it however we want

As such, it is clear that trends in makeup can spark some controversy. Whilst makeup continues to be a fantastic creative outlet for many people, we should keep in mind what trends we follow and whether they are showcased in a considerate and mindful way towards other people who may perceive them differently.

Source: Red Brick