If you’re reading this, you’re no doubt looking for cool hairstyles for me to up your mane game this season. From ultra cropped ‘dos to length locks, rest assured that there are plenty of choices to consider for your hair.
However, we have to admit, it can be a challenge to find hot-off-the-runway and editorial looks that feel accessible to the average man. Which is why we’ve trawled through hundreds of currently-trending, cool hairstyles for men and narrowed it down to just 5 of the best so you don’t have to.
The 5 looks you need to know about
1. The wet look
What is it: Spotted on both the spring/summer and autumn/winter 2016 menswear runways, this ‘90s-inspired way of styling may take some getting used to (we know, last time you checked, it was almost illegal to have hair this slick, right?).
That said, it’s firmly back on the radar this year. Ideal for those with medium-length locks, it’s a cinch to style, too, so by our books, it’s definitely one worth giving a go.
How to style: First of all, let’s get one thing straight: the wet look 2.0 is not about suave, greasy slick-backs, but rather, a more casual, damp-from-the-sea kinda vibe that denotes you’ve made little or no effort with your hair at all this morning.
Try using a high-shine pomade (like the TIGI Bed Head For Men Slick Trick Pomade) on wet hair and style with a comb for a neater, more purposeful look, or ditch it and just use your fingers to give a softer, more natural-looking results with a bit of relaxed movement.
2. Modern French crop
What is it: Similar to the Caesar cut, which features short back and sides, and a slightly longer top section that’s combed forward into a fringe of sorts, the French crop is a classic style that promises a sharp, dapper look, even with minimal styling.
As one of the most versatile haircuts, the French crop has many variations. The classic rendition is all about balance and proportion, meaning the length on top is only slighter longer than the back and sides, just enough to add sharpness to the edges.
However, the modern version – which has proved a popular choice for men this year – involves a much more directional approach, with the back and sides getting even shorter (either with or without a taper/fade) to create a starker contrast.
How to style: Not only is this cool cut easily adaptable to all sorts of hair types – straight, wavy, curly and kinky can all work – it takes hardly any time to style, too. If you have fine hair, a light-hold product’s enough to give a neat, but more natural-looking, textured finish.
For a more structured look – which works better on medium to thick hair – try a stronger hold option, like TONI&GUY Mens Styling Wax Stick, for more grip and texture. If a glossier finish is what you’re after, the VO5 Extreme Style Groomed Grooming Pomade works well.
3. ’70s Bed head
What is it: With the hippie-tastic ‘70s shaping up to be a major menswear trend for 2016, it should come as no surprise that long hair will continue to reign as one of this year’s breakthrough men’s hairstyles.
But while last year was all about sweeping it back and putting it up (remember all those ponytails and muns?), making the most of those shaggy textures and letting it hang loose seemed to be the general consensus on the catwalks this time round.
How to style: For those who already have long hair, try a slightly shorter length. A shoulder length cut is so of-the-moment, plus you’ll dig the the fact that it saves a lot styling time in the mornings. And as for those growing out their crop, good news: it won’t take much longer!
Once you’ve reach the desired length, however, we suggest getting some soft layers built in to remove bulk, boost texture and really craft out that shape. And as for the styling? Think less is more: simply work in sea-salt spray at the roots and leave to air-dry for best results.
4. Freestyle quiff
What is it: Quiffs may have been on the hair style radar for many years, but never have we seen so many variations than on this year’s menswear catwalks. For this summer, though, a more relaxed, freestyle quiff – which, essentially, retains some height but is less structured and stiff – reigned supreme.
How to style: The good news is, with a more casual stance comes low-key styling. As long as you have a good base cut – a longer, subtly layered top section with shorter back and sides – the styling should be quick and virtually painless.
Medium-hold putties like the TONI&GUY Mens Styling Putty are just enough to hold the quiff, while promoting more easy-going, natural results.
Just pull your hair upwards and twist – in whatever direction you wish – then push the front up and away from the face to get a more pronounced height, or style it slightly forward to help balance out a larger forehead.
What is it: An ultra sharp and super easy to style option for black men, the shape-up is a hairstyle that involves the barber using T-shaped clippers or a razor blade to achieve a precision hairline at the front, back and sides, including sideburns.
A favourite of Kanye West and Usher’s, there are several variations of this cut to suit all tastes, face types and occasions. Strong, slick and masculine, it’s one of the sharpest hairstyles for black men we’ve seen this year.
How to style: Sharp, on-point men’s haircuts don’t come much more low-maintenance than the shape-up. You pretty much wake up ready to leave the house. All you need is a bristle brush to help ensure your hair and scalp stay in tip-top condition.