Thereʼs a new tribe of supermodels stalking the catwalks. They're fierce, and theyʼre not afraid to show some skin

For years, supermodel hair meant big, bouffant manes of Cindy and Claudia-esque proportions or Gisele’s enviably long, sun-kissed locks. Fast forward to the present day and a clutch of catwalk clothes horses have upped the ante with a closely shorn crowning glory that leaves nothing to the imagination, propelling a new beauty ideal forward into mainstream fashion.

On reflection, it’s a no-brainer. A shaved head is fresh, fearless and brazen all at once. It invites the gaze, and exposes the features, allowing a woman’s natural beauty to shine. It’s the ultimate blank canvas and the perfect foil for the long tousled styles that had reigned supreme for so long. Toni&Guy International Artistic Director Indira Schauwecker believes the cut has longevity with a myriad interpretations. ‘It’s a bold look, it shocks people – but I think this is paving the way for a revisit to an 80s-inspired style with more grown-out fringes to accompany a skinhead,’ she explains.

Cue a roster of impossibly cool models sporting skinheads: German model Kris Gottschalk, twins Camilla and Giulia Venturini and Tamy Glauser to name a few. Leading the pack is Ruth Bell, who started out fronting Topshop’s Summer of Love campaign with honey-blonde waist-length locks alongside her identical twin sister May. Then a chance shoot with photographer David Sims led to Ruth’s iconic cut (rumour has it she shaved her head upon request within half an hour of arriving on set).

‘A shaved head is fresh, fearless and brazen all at once; the ultimate blank canvas’

A few years ago such a bold move would have sidelined many models, but in Ruth’s case a buzz cut not only set her apart from her competitors, it’s seen her stock skyrocket – with major fashion houses such as Saint Laurent, McQueen and Marc Jacobs desperate for her to lend an air of tough, nonchalant beauty to their campaigns.

As for the haircut itself, while punk spirit remains at its core, it’s a departure from the skinhead tribes of the 1980s where a shaved head pigeonholed you, as Indira explains: ‘Back then, you could recognise these skinheads straight away, and immediately know what clothes they wore, what music they listened to. Today, the overall look is a lot softer. You may have a skinhead but it doesn’t set you out as part of a particular group. Everyone is an individual, that’s the difference.’

Indira’s top tips to get the buzz

A buzz cut can suit many different faces. We always talk about the perfect oval face, but I think if someone has more of a pointy or square shaped face a buzz cut can look even cooler as it’s more striking. You can either look pretty,  or you can look cool.

If you’re not feeling brave enough to go for the full cut, there are other options. You could opt for an undercut from the sides or the base of the hairline. 

Skinheads need a new haircare routine. Use product that won’t weigh it down like label.m Power Paste, £13.75, for a more polished finish; label.m Pliable Definer, £13.25, or label.m Sea Salt Spray, £14.25, for definition

  • Words: Catriona Taylor

  • Photography:, Philipp Haug, Skinheads by Derek Ridgers, Rex Features