Already planning your new-year reinvention? New year, new you? New year, new body, new job, new car, new flat, new teeth? Sure, get back to us three months from now…
If you want an easy, cost-effective way to make a change to how you look in 2017, take a seat in the barber’s chair. Cheaper than a whole new wardrobe, easier than a punishing Crossfit regime and less sick-making than a mindfulness session, a haircut is your number one way to a new, better-looking you.
We caught up with some of London’s best barbers to see what 2017 holds for your hair, so you know which moves to make for a whole new lease on your locks.
Texture On Top
The world’s had a rough time of it in 2016, which – in a hair-raising instance of pathetic fallacy – might explain why super-slick, neat-and-tidy hairstyles are giving way to something a little more messed up.
“In 2017, we’ll see men keeping the sides of their hair short and creating the top as the main focal point, embracing longer, more textured styles on top,” says Stelios Nicolaou, Aveda’s master barber.
An easy way to achieve this style is to have your barber clipper your hair short on the sides and back of your head, fading into longer hair on the top that’s point-cut with a scissors for an uneven, nicely textured look.
“We’re going to continue to see longer hairstyles take prominence among men, as catwalks hint heavily towards ‘Mick Jagger’ swagger,” says Alex Glover, master barber at Murdock at Hackett King Street.
Pin it on Kit Harington’s turn as long-locked Jon Snow in Games of Thrones, or Alessandro Michele and his 1970s-flavoured excess at Gucci, but hair that hits your shoulders and beyond is set to be big next year.
“As men become more adept at using tools and products, we expect that there will be an increase in more complicated, longer styles – so, bouncy, voluminous [styles] will likely be popular,” says Tommy Cunliffe, manager at Ruffians Shoreditch. Best get growing.
Got a bathroom cabinet to rival Don Draper’s? It might be time to change tack, as traditional heavy pomades wane in popularity. “With more men moving away from slick looks and opting for lengthier hairstyles, we’re going to see lighter products come into greater demand to better achieve a more natural finish,” says Alex Glover.
If you too are turning towards styles that are big on texture but light on pin-sharp finish, look for innovative products which help texturise but won’t weigh it down.
Making Grey Great Again
This year might’ve left you ashen, but that doesn’t mean your hair should follow suit. If the past 12 months of your job – or, more likely, your genes – have left you with a lot more greys than you had in January, make 2017 the year you invest in silver.
“We’re beginning to see men [opt for] a more natural look, with many wanting to embrace their natural silver fox whilst still having a youthful, fresh look across the entire head of hair,” says Nicolaou. “In 2017, we’re launching Aveda Men 5-minute Natural Grey Blending service, which incorporates [different] shades to even out greying hair or discreetly blend greys for a natural, fresh finish.”
The Throwback Cut
2016 has been a great year for 1990s boybands. Not so much for big-money comebacks, or even hefty royalties pay-outs, but for their instantly recognisable, not-always-advisable style. We’re blaming Gosha Rubchinskiy, the Russian designer intent on making grown men dress the way they did back in year 8.
Part of this revival is the divisive centre-parting. “Parted brow-length fringes are already coming into high demand,” says Glover. Think less Nick Carter, more The Mummy-era Brendan Fraser. Make of that what you will.
“Pastel shades are definitely coming in fashion-wise, but colouring is [still] perhaps a touch limited to the likes of popstars, celebs, students and the self-employed – or those with easy-going bosses!” says Glover.
Still, changing perceptions towards facial fuzz in the office hint at the possibility of a more colourful future. “Just look at how accepting every workplace has become with beards over the last few years,” says Glover. “It’ll be interesting how it develops, [but bear in mind these dye jobs] are high maintenance.”
If you’re looking for something that leaves an impression, but helps you keep your job, try getting your hair bleached – either white blonde or a more grungy, Kurt Cobain-inspired straw blonde. Disclaimer: we can’t actually guarantee you’ll keep your job.
One To Miss
“Thanks to pop bands, we’ve noticed the mullet [trying for a resurgence], but thankfully none of my clients have asked for it yet which I’m very glad about,” says Chris Ward, owner of Shoreditch barbershop Huckle the Barber. Us too, to be honest.