Men are obsessed with hair. Where it’s growing, how much you have, how to disguise how little you may have, how to get rid of it when it’s showing up in places it really shouldn’t. People spend literally thousands of dollars per year trying either to grow hair in places where it’s falling out or to remove it from places where they wish it wasn’t.
Yet for all of the attention spent on growing hair or getting rid of it, when it comes to hair cuts and style, guys get lazy. How many of you have had the same hairstyle for years? How many times have you gone to the barber and just asked for “the usual”?
The truth of the matter is, most guys don’t really understand the basics of hair – what type of hair they have, what styles work best for them or even how to find a barber or stylist who knows what they’re doing. Considering the impact a proper hair cut can have both for your look and how people perceive you, it seems silly to treat hair as something of an afterthought. So if you’ve been wishing you could get a better, cooler style but don’t know how, now’s the time to start learning.
Girls Hate Your Hair
The first thing you need to do is understand that the odds are very good that your current hairstyle doesn’t look nearly as cool as you think it does. When it comes to young geeky guys, a number of hair styles tend to crop up more often than others… and they almost never work.
To start with: if you’re rocking any variation of a ponytail, or straight even-length long hair it’s time to lose it. You don’t look like the mighty barbarian king or rock and roll god you think you do. If you’re absolutely determined to keep your hair long – and you have a leaner build; long hair and chubby guys rarely works- then there are layered shag cuts that will look far better than your attempt at James Hetfield-circa The Black Album.
Similarly, if you have a center part, or the high-school era long-on-top, shaved-on-the-back-and-sides… all you’re doing is ruining your chances at sex and making your head look like a mushroom. Buzz cuts, crew cuts and high-and-tights aren’t necessarily much better. They can work for some, but if you don’t have the right facial shape, you’re going to look like you were just trying to save money at the SuperCuts or that you’ve just gotten back from basic training.
Know Your Hair
Before you spend too much time obsessing about what sort of hair style to get, you need to understand the type of hair you have. Hair comes in different textures, thicknesses and growth patterns, and very few hairstyles work across the board for all types of hair. More importantly, you need to embrace and accept the type of hair you have; trying to alter it is time-consuming and expensive, and the results rarely look good or last for very long.
Coarse or Thick Hair
Sometimes it has a natural wave, as though there is an ever so slight curl to it that gave up halfway through. This tends to be the average American white male’s hair, and it frequently works best with shorter, messier, cuts. The thickness adds body and takes texture well. The slight wave can lead to shorter cuts growing out in an uneven mess if you’re not careful.
Jake Gyllenhall, Adam Brody, Jason Sudekis, Chris Evans
Straight Fine Hair
This type of hair is incredibly versatile; the finer texture tends to have a silkier feel to it and it lends itself to a number of styles. This type of hair tends to be found in Hispanics and Latinos, East Asians and white men of Nordic and northern-European descent. However, the thinner hair usually requires a fair amount of styling product in order to control it and add body without letting it flop all over the place.
Chris Hemsworth,Harry Shum Jr., David Beckham, Bradley Cooper
Curly or Kinky Hair
Naturally curly hair in men tends to be thicker and coarser in texture with pronounced curls. When left on it’s own it ends up in what’s normally (and somewhat derogatorily) called a “white ‘fro” or “Jew ‘fro”. Because of the curls and texture, this type of hair doesn’t lend itself as well to many styles; men with this style of hair should try to find barbers or stylists who’re used to curly hair. Frequently found in men of Mediterranean or Jewish descent.
Andy Samberg, Jessie Eisenberg, Adam Grenier
Find Your Celebrity Spirit Guide
A number of factors are involved in a cool hair style, including the type of hair you have, how much hair you have, the shape of your face and the location of your hairline. Trying to keep all of this in mind – and then being able to explain what you want to your barber or stylist – can be maddening when you’re trying to find a style.
To simplify things, you want to find your Celebrity Spirit Guide. This is the celebrity who has the same face shape and type of hair that you have… and preferably one who’s played roles that match the “type” you want to project. This person is now your Celebrity Spirit Guide, and he will be the Virgil to your Dante as you try to find the cool hair cut you want.
You see, trying to visualize a new hair style with accuracy is difficult under the best of circumstances. It’s too easy to get caught up in the fantasy of what you want to have versus the reality of what you end up with. Having a Celebrity Spirit Guide gives you the benefit of seeing how that style – already the product of Hollywood style gurus and incredibly expensive salons – will look… and how realistically you might be able to pull it off.
But hey, speaking of realism…