A Cut Above: The 4 Best Men's Haircuts
There was a time when men's hairstyles didn't change all that much: a "regular boys" cut, high and tight, flat top, shaved close, or a snazzy comb-over for Uncle Ben who isn't quite willing to embrace the fact that he's no longer in his 20s with a huge head of hair. Times have clearly changed, with limitless cuts, colors, and care options, and whether you love your hair dryer or just want to wet down your 'do and go, it's tough to keep up with all the ever-changing styles one sees on modern men.
Fortunately for you, we brought in some help.
Chris Bair (pictured here) is the owner of Shorty’s Barber Shop, one of the hottest go-to destinations for guys looking to get a trim in Hollywood. From celebrity clientelle to every-day gays, they handle more clients in a weekend than most LA salons handle in a month. Bair gave us four of the hottest options—and one really good bit of advice for the Uncle Bens of the world—to get you prepped for winter.
1. The New Rocker
"One of the most-popular, most-requested haircuts is aggressively close on the sides and back, and significantly longer on the top," Bair says. "Adam Levine has been currently rocking this look. It’s easy, simple and clean, which is always a hit with the active gent. Just throw some putty in for a bit of matte look and hold on that longer top hair."
Best For: Guys with longer, less wavy hair who have some time to style it out.
2. Retro Chic
With the success of shows like Mad Men and Pan Am, this classic retro cut has become popular once again. It's kind of like that side-parted "regular boys" style from when you were a kid, but sexed up for today.
"From George Clooney to Jon Hamm, the '50s cut is back," Bair says. "This haircut is a very professional and groomed look, but at the same time can be very versatile, so it can be worn more casually for those after work dates," Bair explains; check out the two variations Hamm is sporting here as an example. "Usually longer and neatly combed back, use of product on this style is a must. My recommendation is a pomade or wax."
Best For: Varying hair types and lengths work—even somewhat thinning hair— but always keep it neat or things can get out of control.
3. Bed Head
No one really believes you just tumbled out of bed with that perfect head of hair. We know it took a bit of work to make it look that messy. And yet it's still a hugely popular style but updated from over the last five years.
"Looking like you make no effort getting out of the house is still smoking hot," Bair observes. "This longer tousled look, sported with the new addition of a 5-7 day beard is sexy." Ashton Kutcher, who Bair says "is one of our faves," used to sport this look a lot and now lets it grow long in a hippie version; shorter-haired stars like Thomas Dekker are now making it famous with younger guys. "Throw a little hair wax in for that carefree, tousled style with a bit of hold."
Best For: Guys with a willingness to do the work of shaping their hair.
4. The Warhawk
The faux-hawk? That's for wimps (from four years ago). The traditional mohawk? Well, that's just plain crazy (and from the 1980s). But the Warhawk is just plain sexy.
"It's a very intense haircut that we have been giving a lot lately, and it isn’t for the faint of heart," Bair says. "It’s a military style warhawk, cause too much hair is just too much work. This look is short all over and has either a very short strip or a gradually waning strip down the back." Mark Salling (Puck) from Glee is the most well-known guy sporting this style, and Nelsan Ellis made it popular on this season of True Blood. However, if you want to wear it Bair advises, "Make sure you have a good conditioner for your head [because] you don’t want a dry, irritated scalp under a great cut!"
Your date won't want to see it, either.
Best For: Guys who have a job that will let them get away with it. And any hair type works since it's kept short.
BONUS FOR UNCLE BEN
Got a receding hair line, thinning hair, or a big bald spot? Buzz it down or buzz it off. A professional stylist will clip the hair close to the skin and then blend it out as the hair climbs up the scalp. Nigel Barker from America's Next Top Model and boxer-turned-model Rob Evans are handsome examples of how great this looks. Guys who can’t do a fade should just shave it all and embrace their baldness, because nothing will make you appear older and creepier than doing a comb-over.
But frankly, you don't need to be balding to sport this look. A buzzed or bald head is really sexy, shows a distinct level of confidence, and is the easiest cut to maintain.
Best For: Anyone except guys with seriously deformed heads.
For more information on Chris Bair, visit ShortysBarberShop.com.
Adam Levin pictures courtesy of Advocate.com
All other photos Getty Images, except where noted