Men's hair trends for 2019
Flowing mane or GI Joe-style buzzcuts? Men are going to extremes when it comes to the length of their locks
Textured crops and subtle fades might have ranked top of the list in recent men’s hair trends, but 2019 is all about extremes. From long locks to all-off cuts, this year’s most-wanted styles are starkly contrasting statements that let your hair do the talking. It’s time, gentlemen, to pin your colours to the mast.
Along with the popularity of men’s concealers, pink T-shirts and that recent Gillette ad, the number of men growing their hair proves we’re making short shrift of outdated notions of what it means to ‘look like a man’. Take Timothée Chalamet’s messy bob, for instance. Or look towards Jason Momoa’s Metallica-esque mane; a glossier, more groomed take on rock-god mops of the 1980s, which was probably the last time men were interested in sporting anything longer than chin-skimming styles.
The 2019 take is a lot less mullet, much more maintenance. Long hair gets sleek this time round, so there is a lot more to this style than, you know, just not cutting it. “Start growing the top first,” says Dexter Johnson, International Artistic Director, Educator and label.m Ambassador at Toni&Guy. “The hairline at the sides and back of the head is naturally lower, so you can start growing those areas a little later,” he says, adding that it’s imperative to consider hair density and growth patterns before committing to the long haul – if you’re starting to go bald, or have particularly thick, curly hair, then doing a full Fabio probably isn’t the best use of what you’ve been given.
You’ll need plenty of staying power, too. “When you get to that in-between period, where your hair is neither long or short, just persevere,” says Johnson, who also recommends asking your stylist for tips on how to style out the awkward stage – even if their suggestion is investing in a cap.
Once you’ve hit the sweet spot (where the hair falls down naturally under its own weight instead of sticking out as if trying to make a run for it), care is key. Johnson advises letting your hair dry naturally after washing and combing through a little wax like label.m Fashion Edition Wax Spray, which will add texture to give a sultry, yet slightly gritty finish.
If, on the other hand, you have neither the patience nor the follicular prowess to go long, this year’s other key hair trend could be the (short) answer. The buzz cut – that skin-tight style seen historically as a sign of either rebellion against or compliance with the status quo – is mounting a comeback, with style icons including Idris Elba and Justin Timberlake having sported the close crop. Whatever its connotations, there’s no arguing that this classically masculine style is as high on impact as it is low on maintenance.
Strictly speaking, a buzz cut is a clippered or razor-cut style that leaves the hair no longer than about a half-inch at its longest point on the head. Which means it’s worth giving your bonce a once-over before deploying the blades. “It’s important to do due diligence before committing to a buzz cut,” says Ahmed Zambarakji, a grooming expert and contributor to GQ, Mr Porter and Attitude. “Check your scalp for any hidden bumps or scars that might be exposed when your hair is clippered off, and also consider your face shape – buzz cuts look best on square or more angular face shapes as the style instantly softens and rounds features.”
Traditionalists should stick to a uniform length throughout, but for a more contemporary – and potentially more flattering – take, ask your hairstylist to fade the back and sides. Styling-wise, the buzz cut needs little in the way of products other than a tiny pea-sized amount of anti-frizz cream. label.men Grooming Cream will tame thicker hair, but it does require frequent trips to the barber’s chair. “As it’s such a bespoke style, the buzz cut needs a consistent fade to look its best,” says Johnson. Want to keep it looking strokably sharp? He recommends visiting your stylist every week or two to stay on point.