The Skin Fade
Traditionally, most men’s short haircuts have taken a number 2 or 3 buzz cut to the back and sides, but throughout 2015 and moving into 2016, we’ve seen a rise in men asking for a skin fade. The skin fade leaves the scalp showing through on the haircut, or in some cases (where men have asked for a razor fade) the scalp blends into the hair effortlessly. The best way to approach this is first asking your barber whether your hair will actually suit this look. If you have fine hair or sparse hair density, it’s probably best to avoid a skin fade otherwise it could look like your hair is patchy. Determine how far up you want the skin fade to go and perhaps start with a low skin fade if it’s your first time having this done. It should blend into a square shape through the corners and you then have the option to create a part in the hairstyle on top or keep it choppy and casual.
As seen prominently on Peaky Blinders, the undercut can be considered an extreme style by some men as it leaves a disconnection between the top and the sides. However, it’s a timeless classic and can be teamed with a part or an angular fringe. Be careful not to take the undercut too high and rounding the head off, otherwise the haircut won’t grow out into a great shape. You can team an undercut with a skin fade for a sharper finish too. Also, make sure to consult with your barber on the length on top as you need to make sure you have enough hair to hang over the undercut, otherwise it could look like you have a wedge just hanging loosely on top. Apply Murdock Hair Play (a good moulding crème) and Sea Salt Spray for a textured finish.
The Side Parting
A staple classic. The side parting has been seen in programmes such as Mad Men and films like The Great Gatsby. It’s a classic for a reason and will never lose its appeal. With the side part, make sure your barber works with your crown as this dictates which way your hair wants to sit and there’s no point in putting your part on the wrong side. It’ll never sit right. Take cow’s licks (hairs that stand straight up or lay at an opposing angle) into account too as this can affect the final finish. A side parting can be worn in a short or long style too, so it’s perfect for all types of hair. Some gents get their partings shaved in either with clippers or a cut-throat razor but do bear in mind how quickly hair grows. It needs maintenance to stay looking sharp! This style is best teamed with Hair Doh (shaping paste) for a natural and swish finish.
The High and Tight
Commonly associated with military haircuts, this style requires the clippers to be taken high on the side of the head but not rounding off, as this can affect your natural face shape. These haircuts are normally taken to a 1 or 2 and then tapered down to a 0 at the nape to create a clean and sharp finish. Also, if you are aiming for a military look, the top should be cropped with a heavy texture to allow movement. Apply some Matt Mudd (hair clay) to keep it looking natural and understated.
Traditional Short Back and Sides
The go-to short haircut for most men. Teaming a 2 or 3 back and sides tapered down through the nape with a textured finish on top, it’s an easy and simple haircut for men to style and maintain. Make sure your barber doesn’t take the clippers above the occipital bone on the back of the head to ensure the style grows out nicely. Keep it choppy on top by asking your barber to point-cut or slide-cut through, which is always the better option rather than using thinning scissors which can obliterate a cut and make it grow out overly wispy. Apply Elastik (hair gum) when the hair is wet and dry it in with a hairdryer for a textured yet easy to manage finish.
The Thank You Bit
Cheers to Murdock for their help with this blog post. If you’d like to read more excellent advice from some of the coolest barbers around, check out their editorial site – The Murdock Man.