Though many think that it’s women who have all the fun when it comes to cutting and styling their hair, these days the world of men’s hairdressing is equally varied, covering a wide range of different cutting and styling techniques. You may choose a hairdresser that has been specifically trained to cut men’s hair; though you will also often find stylists who cut both men and women’ hair; it’s all down to your preferences and whether you just want to freshen up your cut or get a total makeover.
Is it for me?
The main deciding factor when it comes to men’s haircuts is whether you want to go down the scissor cut or clippers route.
Clippers are an electric styling tool used to trim hair to a uniform length, leaving an extra neat and precise finish on the edges of the hairline. Inside the cutting area is a pair of comb-like zig-zag blades, which when powered up, move rapidly from side to side in opposite directions. A guard is usually placed in front of the blades to protect the scalp and to channel the hair between the cutting edges. Depending on how short you want to go, the blades can be adjusted for a longer or super close cut. Simple clipper cuts are also often referred to using numbers. These refer to the guard length used on the blades and therefore the subsequent hair length created. #1 – 3.4mm, #2 – 6.4mm, #3 – 9.5mm, #4 – 12.7mm, #7 – 22.2mm, #8 – 25.4mm.
Scissors also have a number of different blade types, and are used by barbers and stylists to manually and precisely thin and trim hair. A scissor cut may take longer, but it allows for a greater variety of lengths and textures in the finished style, so if you are after a more intricate hairstyle and want to add texture to your cut, a scissors cut is the best option.
A scissor cut may take longer, but it allows for a greater variety of lengths and textures in the finished style, so if you are after a more intricate hairstyle and want to add texture to your cut, a scissors cut is the best option.
Good to know
If you are not a pro at hairdressing lingo but want to make sure that your hairdresser knows what you want from your haircut here are some terms you need to know:
the ‘arch’ is the area above and behind the ear, beginning at the top of the sideburn area and ending at the side of the neck towards the back of the head.
The ‘nape’ is where the hair meets the back of the neck - a ‘blocked nape’ is where the hair is shaved to create a blunt end to the haircut, whereas a ‘tapered nape’ involves hair being gradually cut shorter and shorter as it reaches the back hairline.
A ‘crown’ is the area on the top of the head towards the rear where the majority of hair growth appears to begin. And just like with women’s haircuts, a ‘part’ or ‘parting’ is where slightly longer hairstyles are divided and the hair falls in opposite directions, usually exposing the scalp.
A ‘crew cut’ is a type of close-cropped haircut where hair is kept comparatively long at the front and then fades to a shorter length towards the crown.
A ‘fade’ on the other hand, (also known as taper) is a style that involves a change in hair length from one part of the head to another (e.g. long at the top, shorter as it approaches the neck).
‘Layering’ involves using scissors to cut the hair at different lengths (usually on top or towards the back of the head) to allow for a messier, more textured look.
Although many think mens’ cuts are lower maintenance than women’s styles, if you want to keep the definition and proportions of your haircut intact we recommend you visit your barber every 3 to 4 weeks depending on your hair growth! If that’s too much for you, a trip to the hairdresser every couple of months to counter the damaging effects of pollution, weather and chemical dyes will not only leave your hair looking neater, but it will encourage new growth too. So what are you waiting for?