A Guy's Guide to Getting the Haircut You Want
We’ve all done it. We watch some movie, see a magazine cover, or walk by some dude who has the hair we wish we had. It’s hard for guys to point out the things they like in other guys - mostly because we’re idiots - and even worse at giving compliments to others. But it’s really time to get over that, isn’t it?
Getting the haircut you want may seem easy, but if you’ve ever walked into your barber excited, and then walked out disappointed, you know that it’s often hard to get exactly what you want. The best thing to do is to find the right stylist who won’t let you down, and will keep you from looking the fool. You best take heed of these simple rules.
That mug of yours may be unique, but it’s not special. As it turns out, we have some fairly consistent shapes to our faces, and a big part of getting the hair cut you want is making sure you’re not taking your inspiration from Shrek.
There are a number of face types:
Rectangle / Oblong
You can learn more about these here. Learn what your face type looks like and find others with it. If you have a square “block” head, the kinds of hairstyles that look great on round and heart shaped faces may not line up. Nothing is ever a deal breaker, but keep it in mind.
Where your hair sits on your head is really important when it comes to getting the haircut that you want. There are a number of different hairlines as well:
Low - close to the eyebrows
Medium - 4 fingers
High - aka the large forehead
Widow’s Peak - think Paul Ryan
Receding - really need a description?
Not every hairstyle is possible based on how your hairline is situated. Some are more fortunate than others however, so bless your lucky stars if you’ve got a four-finger forehead. Bet you never thought you’d say that!
Now that you have a face and a hairline, you’ve still got your actual hair to contend with. The first two considerations are really about framing your face, but your specific hair type ultimately dictates what’s possible and what’s not. Trust me, there is no perfect hair type. Whatever you have, you’ll likely envy someone else’s hair because it allows for different (not necessarily better) possibilities.
So here’s what’s important to know, there are two textures and multiple types (read more about it here):
Straight Hair (texture)
Straight Hair (type)
Curly Hair (texture)
Wavy Hair (type)
Coiled Hair (type)
Kinky Hair (type)
Likely, you’ve imagined yourself with straight hair - it’s easy, flexible, and easy to maintain. Curly haired bros know how much work those curls can be, the tighter they get. Personally, I have just a little bit of wave to my hair, which means it sucks on both fronts.
Hair type matters because it basically dictates what you can do with your hair, easily. Most of us would love to wake up, never comb our hair, and have it be perfect. Let me tell you now, wake up earlier - it usually doesn’t work that way. Unless you’re one of those fortunate guys that somehow people love your look regardless of what you do (p.s. these dudes are unicorns and are not to be trusted), you’re gonna have to figure out how much sacrifice you want to make.
To that end, we all basically end up with the same 4-5 hairstyles. All you really need to figure out is which one is best for your mug, and you’re on your way. Fair warning, some effortless looks really aren’t that effortless after all. You may have to invest in some software (product) and hardware (devices) to get you all the way there. That’s too much to think about right now, so find something that you’re willing to do and make it yours - even if that means I just want to shower and pour a handful of L.A. Style hand sanitizer on my head.
To get you started, check out this great article by GQ UK (the best one IMHO). It talks about the best hairstyles for each face type. Essentially, if you can read a chart, you’re set. If not, how did you get this far?
Haircuts are highly personal and while there’s no right answer, there’s certainly a crapload of WRONG decisions. Find something that fits your face, your needs, and most importantly, your personality - hair doesn’t grow out of your head for no reason.
For more men’s grooming tips, check out these articles:
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