As the countdown begins to closeout another season, for some it’s a time of reflection to determine what will be the next hair follicle adventure. Your barber can give his/her professional counsel every once in a while but the initiation of change starts with a simple look in the mirror. A quick look in the mirror can easily turn into a staring contest as you try to visualize a new cut. No matter where you get your inspiration from, whether you’re scrolling through endless social media profiles or admiring a coworker's new haircut, if you have the necessary framework and an idea of what your endgame is, you’re on your way. Use this guide to make the road to decision making a bit smoother.
Discover your head shape
We're identifiable by more than just our eyes, skin complexion, or smile. Our haircuts reinforce our overall look. Choosing the right haircut begins with understanding our head shape. Head shapes like oval, diamond, oblong, and square are common descriptions that become a clear indicator on how to proceed with a haircut. For example, if you have a rectangular face (or pronounced jaw line) you'll want to be aware that taking the sides of the hair too short can allow the head to appear longer than it is.
Another example would be for those with a rounder face choosing a haircut that includes length on top. The length on top will counteract the roundness of the face giving the cut a more chiseled look. Take a look in the mirror and observe your jawline, the corners of your head (from the recession point), and cheekbones; try to determine your head shape.
Note: For those of you with thinning hair, there is absolutely no shame in considering and embracing baldness. Many celebrity heartthrobs or recognized figures in history have modeled the crystal "bald" only to find it is the most comfortable (and manly) look for their head shape.
Ask yourself or your barber these critical questions when observing your head shape:
- Do I have a longer or rounder shaped head?
- Will growing out a beard provide more balance?
- Will growing out my hair compliment my head shape?
Discover the haircut
Once you've got a handle on your shape, you can begin to identify haircuts that fit you. Length on top plays an important role, it’ll provide balance for the cut. For example, a buzz cut may be trendy but not advised for someone with a rounder face since it’ll overexpose certain points on the head. Don't be afraid of a little growth, adding a couple of inches to the top can give you a little flexibility on how you wear your hair daily. It's important that your barber takes the time to fully examine the entire head before proceeding. Certain features on the head, like scars or indentations in the head may not look balanced with overexposure of skin or a "fade."
For certain clients, a skin fade can give a more youthful appearance but it's always good to think twice and realize that length on the sides can offset any of the inconsistencies throughout the head. Ask for a taper instead.
Ask yourself or your barber these critical questions:
- Should I start growing length on top and am I willing to work with my hair if I do? (Having hair requires some work)
- Does a fade work for my head shape?
- Should I consider growing a beard?
Discover the style
Before you slap on that pomade or pop open that bottle of gel, there's a couple of critical points to consider when it comes to style. It's important to remember that haircare is directly related to one’s health. How? Well, when hair is brittle, dry, or just unmanageable, a lot of that is predicated by how much blood flow is traveling through the head and if your hair cleansing techniques are up to par. With that, styling products can only produce maximum results when the hair itself is properly nourished. It's important to use hair products that are not high in alcohol content or may be free of it altogether. Scotch Porter's Hair Balm is a powerhouse home finisher that hydrates, moisturizes, and tames those fly away follicles without your hair feeling matted. Our local department stores are packed with shelves of creams, pomades and various gels but it's important to find the right products for your hair type. Based on the thickness of your hair, you may require a product with a much more intense hold that'll last through a typical work day or special occasion.
There are added hair accessories that can enhance at look, for example, a curl sponge. Curl sponges enhances curls and hair shape. It's a style technique that gives added "texture" and definition. Blow drying is another styling tool most men should become more acquainted with. Creating volume using a blow dryer and brush can be a visual asset to help create the perfect cut. Heat allows the hair to bend (expand) and cool air will cause the hair to stick or stay in place.
Ask your barber these questions upon your next visit:
- Does my hair feel dry or brittle?
- What products do you recommend for my hair? Pomade, gel, cream?
- Can you educate me on how to properly use a blow dryer for added volume?