“You can tell a lot about a man just by looking at two things: his hair and his shoes,” says stylist Adrianne Johnston. They’re the first things she notices, at least, and it certainly makes sense. A nice pair of shoes and a good haircut can make a T-shirt and jeans look as good as a suit.
So, footwear aside, what makes a good men’s haircut? Stylists Adrianne Johnston and Severn Dorre broke down the art of men’s hair cutting for our blog, an art that—as it turns out—is a lot harder to pin down than a lot of our other subjects.
Sweat the small stuff:
First of all, “Sweat the small stuff.” That’s the mantra of stylist Severn Dorre, which is why he continues to build a following of male clients who only trust their hair to Severn. “You’re working with a lot less hair than with women, so your margin of error needs to be much smaller.” It’s about having a strategy and a game plan so that when it comes to points of precision (Severn’s all about the details), you know where you’re going next.
“The perimeter says it all,” says Severn. “It’s the first thing you see in the haircut and it really says something about the man.” So having a clean, decisive line is important. According to Severn, some cuts do call for a little length, in general, on top–as long as the hairline and the transition from hair to skin is perfect. “So many stylists tend to block men off,” says Severn, going on to explain that the quality of the cut lies not in what you cut, but what you don’t cut.
Make the haircut fit the man:
Adrianne’s of a similar mindset: “The thing that makes a difference really is in the details—it’s about tailoring what I do to the individual.” The texture of the hair, the client’s lifestyle and preferences all must be taken into account. “Walk into an in-and-out hair chain and you’ll see that they give every man pretty much the same cut,” says Adrianne, “But it’s rarely a good fit.”
When Adrianne first met her client Akash (shown in photo), he was looking for a haircut that was hip without being a hindrance. So, Adrianne’s primary goal was versatility. “I wanted to create a cut that was young enough to stay modern, but still have that really classic appeal to it.” Basically, the kind of cut that looks polished on its way into a boardroom, but can be tousled into weekend mode easily—think effortless, messy, rocker.
“It has a really lightweight hold, so it doesn’t look overstyled or stiff. He’s able to create a shape that he can change ten times in a day without adding any more product—just by moving the hair.”
BAIN CAPITAL FORCE
“This is perfect for creating the thick texture that Akash has naturally. This shampoo actually leaves hair looking and feeling thicker.” (And it also smells really, really good.)
PÂTE CAPITAL FORCE
“One of Kérastase’s styling products for men, this is a densifying modeling paste that also helps hair appear thicker and stronger.” Best of all, it doesn’t leave behind that sticky residue.
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