Men's hairstyles in the post-lockdown era
Here we are, after 12 months of home-bound hibernation, of those endless Zoom calls, of intermittent interaction with your barber... its finally time to drag ourselves out into the open, to see our friends, our family, to hit the gym, to head to the pub, to maybe, just maybe, think about heading back into the office…
And whilst we are all undoubtedly excited at the prospects of a more relaxed 2021 and all the many things we need to tick off the to-do list, its time to take a look in the mirror and take stock of where a year of home-done buzzcuts and experiments with “growing it out” has left us.
Time for a fresh start
The really great news is that your local barber shop is either open (Wales, Scotland and this week, England) or nearly open (hang in there Northern Ireland) and that barbering professionals up and down the country are raring to go.
Feeling a little unsure on which men's hair style is best for you, how to ask your barber for the cut you want, or how to style your cut once you get home? We spoke to a collection of top barbers to bring you their take on the essential men’s post-lockdown hairstyles of 2021...
Shorter hair – the “post-lockdown buzzcut” look
One of the more positive aspects of facing weeks tucked away in our own homes was the chance to finally take on a style that we never would have thought acceptable before. That or you just couldn’t stand the thought of scraping back hair behind your ears any more.
Either way you won’t have been the only one to have finally given in to the temptation to reach for your beard trimmer, call in your dad’s hair clippers or go out and buy something to get the job done. The result…? More often than not, unfortunately, looked a little more Guantanamo inmate than Wentworth Miller (remember him?).
Professionally cut short hair can really amp up your style
Fear not though gents, having taken the leap of faith it seems that many have been pleasantly surprised with the look and many are willing to give it extra legs by asking their barber’s to replicate it…but perhaps with a little more precision this time! Marcus Feeley, Master Barber at Aura Salon Gents, Caerphilly, Wales, has seen his fair share of failed attempts in recent weeks, “We have been fixing many crew cuts since being back…surprisingly a lot of people love it once done professionally”.
Similarly, UK Lady Barber and educator Emily Le May suggests a buzz cut fade is the perfect pick-me-up for those guys heading in for their first cut for a while: “…in order to gain some form of style clients will request the back and sides faded up so that they can start the growing out of the top from a proper base”.
Buzz Cut Fade Essentials
- What is it? The buzz cut fade is a skin fade (blending the sides and back into the skin) contrasted with a buzzed haircut. It is short all over but still highlights the hairstyle on top.
- Is it for me? A perfect match for a more square face shape, the buzz cut fade works well when combined with a short length beard or stubble.
- What do I ask for? Ask your barber for a buzz cut fade and be sure to clarify this with a few specifics such as:
- where you would like the 0 taper to start - at your neckline.
- which grade you want your barber to fade to - we suggest a 2.
- the length of hair you want layered on top - just under finger length looks great for this medium length style.
- Check out Kevin Krupiak's youtube video here for tips on how to ask your barber for this style.
- Which product should I use to style? One of the benefits of this cut is its relatively low maintenance meaning that a small amount of Dear Barber's Shaping Cream goes a long way. Our Shaping Cream provides a soft, product-free feel, ideal for shorter styles, and the avocado oil extract inside will help to keep your hair roots and scalp well-conditioned.
Why not give it a go? Shop Shaping Cream here.
Medium hair – the “3 month’s growth” look
Photo credit: @cutsmith_leeds
Are you the proud owner of thicker, fuller hair? Lucky guy! Then you may have been tempted to grow out those locks. Like many of us this may be the first time you’ve grown your hair out and you quite like the possibilities.
One of the most popular cuts to re-emerge in early 2021 is the Classic Ivy League. When it comes to achieving an understated style statement, there is no better look. Endlessly tailorable the Ivy League can be adapted to suit most styles, mix it in with an undercut, add some texture on top or hit the hard parting, to really make your mark.
Endlessly reworkable, a time-honoured classic
Emily suggests it is the ideal style to kick-start your regular barber visit routine “being able to choose different lengths on the back and sides makes it the perfect style for many”.
And its not just on these shores where this timeless style has re-emerged. Over in Athens, Greece, the team at famed Hell’s Barbers are noticing an influx of clients requesting the look, usually with a twist “in this case you can see how well a medium length haircut can be structured both in a classic and in a more modern way”.
Classic Ivy League Essentials
- What is it? Not to be confused with a crew cut, the Classic Ivy League is typically a tapered back and sides with a longer length on top. Dapper and smart, yet flexible enough to be styled in several ways.
- Is it for me? Luckily, this cut isn’t reserved for the high-flying American academics its name refers to. Ideal for anyone who wants a smarter look that can suit any occasion, work or play! Think Ryan Reynolds when he’s not in a red face mask! Check out this list of the 19 Best Ivy League Hair Cuts For Men (2021) from the team at menshairstylesnow.com to see which one you like best.
- What do I ask for? Ask your barber for a gradual taper on the back and sides, usually from a 2 to a 4. Then ask to keep at least 1 ½ inches on the top, styled your way. Discuss with your barber if you would like a side parting, hard part, or a more textured finish.
- Which product should I use to style? Depending on the overall style you want to use there are a number of products in the Dear Barber range that could work. Looking to rock a slicked back side part, then try our new formula Strong Hold Pomade. Alternatively, our best-selling, award-winning Mattifier would be ideal for providing a matte-effect with strong hold for more textured looks.
All set on that classic preppy style? Make sure you have the right styling products at home to work that look day in, day out.
Longer hair – the “you never know when the next time you can grow it out will be” look
Always wanted to grow out your hair? It’s a common theme that most barber’s are seeing amongst their clients. “Lockdown took all the excuses away” says Marcus. And since he’s been back at the tools he’s noticed that “a lot of people took advantage of their long hair and went for a more tapered look, not getting too excited and getting it all cut off but maintaining the length that they worked so hard to grow”.
That clean cut feeling with ultimate styling potential on top
But which style to go for on that all important first visit back to the barbers? “When it comes to cuts like the Long Top Skin Taper where you can add a nice texture and style in an elegant way…we say YES!” is the advice from Christos and the crew at Hell’s Barbers.
The Long Top Skin Taper gives you the ideal combo of that close cut whilst giving you and your highly-skilled barber the one chance to experiment with some length on the top. That can mean combining the short sides with a fuller length comb over, quiff, faux hawk or pompadour as Emily suggests “being able to blow dry it back and have some height at the front, yet still have the fresh fade feel”.
Long Top Skin Taper Essentials
- What is it? The Long Top Skin Taper is a skin fade (blending the sides and back into the skin) graduated into a longer hair style on top. It can be combined with various longer length top styles such as a pompadour, quiff or curls. Check out The Trend Spotter's list of 24 stylish taper fade haircuts for gents for some inspiration.
- Is it for me? Best for guys with a more rounded head shape, the contrast of short sides with volume on top helps to elongate your features. Effortlessly switchable for your first day back in the office (shock, horror!) or to make an impression on that first restaurant outing.
- What do I ask for? Ask your barber for a skin fade making sure to agree on where you want the taper to start and what number you want to fade to. For a more disconnected fade we recommend to move from 0 to 1.5 to 3mm, leaving around 3 inches on the top to give you plenty of hair to play with.
- Which product should I use to style? With that added length we recommend a combination of products to get the best overall look. Spray 3-4 rounds of our texturising Sea Salt Spray onto wet hair then blow out to create volume and texture, then add in our super strong and elastic hold Fibre to ensure your new style maintains its hold despite the length.
All in on a longer length up top? check out our recommended products to complete your new look:
Settled on the cut you love? Great! Drop us a comment below on what you will be going for.
Better still, go get that cut and tag @dear_barber or #dearbarber on Instagram to stand a chance of featuring in our feed.
And watch out for our next blog post with more great tips on how to communicate the cut you want to your barber.
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