Five Head-Turning Haircuts To Try This Year

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Five Head-Turning Haircuts To Try This Year

Words by Ms Jess Punter | Photography by Mr Iain Anderson | Styling by Ms Otter Jezamin Hatchett

26 February 2020

If 2020 has you itching for a new haircut and you’re looking for inspiration – look no further. Since hair trends come and go, we’ve compiled a list of what’s coming and what’s going in the new decade. And if the runways are any indication, we’re saying goodbye to the precision styles that have come to dominate the streets. Short back and sides, quiffs and tight crops are out for 2020. “We’re seeing the return of lots of late-1980s hairstyles, such as the mullet, the flick and the flat top,” says Mr Matt Mulhall, a hairstylist whose work can be seen on the runways of Hermès, Dunhill and Dolce & Gabbana. “They’ve not been around for a while, so today they look modern and fresh. The fade is fading out. Overall, men’s hair is getting longer and we’re seeing a lot of statement shades in vibrant tones.” This year, it’s all about curls, colour, longer lengths and natural texture. To this end, we asked Mr Mulhall to style five inspirational hairdos for 2020. Go ahead, take a risk. Express yourself and let it grow.

01. The long bob

There was more than whisper of rock ‘n’ roll on the runways of Celine and SAINT LAURENT. To wit, there were various iterations of louche hairstyles, including a long bob inspired by, among others, musician Mr Bobby Gillespie. This elongated bowl cut has a grown-out fringe that hovers between the eyes and cheekbones and gentle layers around the face. Wear it smooth and polished or mussed up, bed-head style. “Finer hair should have less layering to enhance the fullness,” says Mr Mulhall. “This cut works best on medium to fine hair, but it can suit natural curls and waves, too.” To style, start with towel-dried hair. Apply a little mousse and comb through. Centre-part the hair and blow-dry in sections using the flat nozzle and a round bristle brush, starting at the roots and directing the air flow down. To finish, rub a few drops of serum between your hands and smooth down the ends and any flyaway hairs.

02. The scissor crop

The scissor crop was well represented at runway shows, including Craig Green, Sies Marjan, Margaret HowellOfficine Generale and Berluti. A natural-looking, free-hand haircut is the perfect partner for handcrafted clothes and heirloom fabrics. This style maintains a strong shape, but requires a solid inch or two in length. To create this look, Mr Mulhall ditched the clippers and cut the hair with scissors following the contours of the head. To style, Mr Mulhall advises starting with damp hair. “Using a long wide-tooth comb to pick out the tight curls, straighten the hair and brush out any knots,” he says. “Then pat into shape and push down the sides using your hands.” On set, Mr Mulhall used a hair net to hold the shape around the base of the hair line. He then applied gentle heat using a diffuser to set the style. Finish by combing down, lifting the front section and a giving it a quick spritz of hairspray. Model Mr George Okeny (pictured) gave us his own tip for avoiding dry locks: mix a few drops of castor oil with water for a nourishing spritz.

03. The new mullet

Punk inspiration and vivid colour were on display on the catwalks at Dries Van Noten, Jacquemus, VetementsPrada and Versace, which paid homage to the late firebrand of the rave scene, Mr Keith Flint. Add a dash of Stranger Things’ Billy Hargrove and you’ve got the spirit of the new mullet. “The original mullet was very short at the sides,” says Mr Mulhall. “This version needs an inch and a half at least. Leave it choppy and short on top, not too precise.” Style from damp, apply a little gel, brush sections up into spikes and lift the sides using a round bristle brush, flattening the middle section down towards the fringe. Blow-dry using a diffuser and mist hairspray lightly to set the style.

Colour-wise, think of bleached hair as a blank canvas and switch it up whenever the mood strikes. From your natural base colour, this blue hue takes two stages. “Start by bleaching the hair to a very pale yellow,” says colourist Mr Benjamin Madle. “The lighter the hair, the more colour it will take and the brighter the result.” Be warned, though. Your roots will need doing every six weeks to maintain the colour. Mr Madle applied Crazy Color in Bubblegum Blue to Mr Milo Kester’s peroxide-blond hair. This semi-permanent dye lasts up to three washes. Comb through in sections, leave on for 10 minutes, then rinse. Always use a toning shampoo and conditioner and a hair treatment mask once a week to maintain coloured hair. The best results will always be achieved by a professional hairdresser, but if you’re tempted to experiment, start with smaller sections such as a fringe piece, or dip-dye the ends to get a feel for brights.

04. The clean slick

Wondering what to wear with this season’s pared-back tailoring and minimalist essentials? Model Mr Hidetatsu Takeuchi (pictured) perfectly demonstrates the new smart slick. “This look can be done with most mid-length hairstyles, provided it’s long enough on top,” says Mr Mulhall. If you’re growing out a quiff, this is a natural progression and cultivating longer lengths at the back will help you achieve the gentle flick around the nape of the neck. Start with towel-dried hair. “Then section the hair and, using a super fine-tooth tail comb, generously apply some wet-look gel, starting underneath at the back, from root to tip,” says Mr Mulhall. “If your hair is thick or wavy, do this consistently to keep it flat. With finer hair, it’s better not to overload the hair with so much product.” Comb the hair off the face and keep the sides tight. Smooth with your hands to remove any comb marks. Lift any stray hairs using the metal end of the comb. Without touching, blow-dry with a diffuser or leave to dry naturally. “Once it’s set, it’s set,” says Mr Mulhall. “To remove it, wash out with a good clarifying shampoo to prevent build-up.”

05. The cherubic curls

In a nod to “David”, Michelangelo’s sculpture of bodily perfection, a mop of celestial curls is high on the wish list this season. Curly-haired men know it’s all about the cut. Your barber needs to use scissors to point-cut the hair and follow the outline from crown to neck. This simple technique will remove weight, add shape and create seamless layers by softening the ends. The length should be determined by the tightness of the curl. Mr Mulhall styled model Mr Callum Stoddart’s damp ringlets by “teasing out individual curls and twisting them around the finger. I then worked a cream-based styling aid through the curls at the front section. You can blow-dry with a diffuser or leave your hair to dry naturally.” Mr Mulhall says curly hair always looks better a day or two after shampooing. “Don’t wash it more than every third day to maintain the curl,” he says. Finally, let the fringe gently overhang or separate into a parting for definition.

Hair by Mr Matt Mulhall