On Top Form: Five Refreshing Hairstyles To Go Back Out Into The World With

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On Top Form: Five Refreshing Hairstyles To Go Back Out Into The World With

Words by Mr Ashley Clarke | Photography by Mr Jack Johnstone | Styling by Ms Otter Jezamin Hatchett

9 September 2021

The time is ripe for reinvention. Nobody wants to go back out into the world the same person they were two years ago, pre-pandemic, and nor should they. Decided that you’re ready for a personal style rehaul? As a wise man probably once said, the best place to start is with your hair.

The gulf between knowing you want to switch up your hairstyle and knowing where to start can be vast, however, so it’s worth getting an expert opinion before you go for the chop. To help on this front, we drafted in one of the fashion industry’s most trusted hair stylists, Ms Yumi Nakada-Dingle, to give us some inspiration on which hairstyles to try out next. So, from the futuristic side-part to the Mr Kurt Cobain-inspired bob, here are the best men’s cuts of the moment.

If you’re blessed with curly locks, now is a great time to embrace them. “A curly style like this looks effortless and natural. It doesn’t have to be perfect curls or anything, it just looks cool,” says Nakada-Dingle. To achieve this look, Nakada-Dingle recommends applying a light mousse and then drying their hair with a diffuser attachment. “When the hair’s completely dry, use some Oribe texturising spray, which is great for fine hair because it adds a little bit of body,” she says. “On the other hand, if you have really thick hair, you need to use more moisturising products (for example, a leave-in conditioner), otherwise it gets too frizzy. And instead of using texturising spray, use a grooming cream to make the curls more defined.”

“This one is kind of 1990s – like curtains, but sleeker,” says Nakada-Dingle. “Adding a little bit more grooming cream on top of it makes it much smarter and you can wear it with more directional clothes.” To achieve this one, she blow-dried the hair and used a skeleton brush before applying a shiny wax. “I put it on the palm of my hands to melt the product first, then flatten with my hand, apply product only on the surface on the top of the head to get rid of any baby hairs and flyaways,” she says. “It worked well on the dark hair. The shininess is a little futuristic, but there’s something sharp about it.”

From Lemaire to Jil Sander and The Row, softly sculpted Afros were all the rage at the SS22 menswear collections. “This is a really smart and neat look,” says Nakada-Dingle. “To achieve it, I used a really long Afro comb for this, which is about 6in long, so you can go into the roots area and pull hair out, and you can also use that comb to shape the hair; you comb it out and then you tap it to make the shape you want.” She recommends applying natural hair oil all over to make the hair soft and easy to manage.

A bleached buzzcut is a surefire way to bring your look into 2021, and though it may look simple to achieve, a DIY approach is best avoided. “Doing the colour on short hair is not as easy as you’d think. Application can be tricky and can end up looking patchy, so it’s definitely best to see a professional,” says Nakada-Dingle. “I asked my friend, the amazing colourist Dominic Roach, who runs the Butchers Salon in Hoxton, to do the bleaching here. It took three applications of bleach to achieve this nice creamy blond look.”

This Kurt Cobain-worthy cut is the picture of cool, but it’s all about getting the finer details right. “For this one to work, the length is really key,” says Nakada-Dingle. “If it goes below the shoulder, it instantly looks a little bit dated.” To achieve a fresher (but still slightly grungy) look, aim for it to sit around the jawline. “I started with wet hair and applied texturising mousse, then I twisted the hair all over the head to give the texture and then used a diffuser when drying to give the hair a soft wave and achieve this kind of ‘S’ shape,” she says.

Hair by Ms Yumi Nakada-Dingle

Hair Necessities

There are plenty of drainpipe-skinny legs, too, along with crystal-embellished leathers, logo tees and a range of seriously desirable accessories, including next summer’s must-have sunglasses shape, the Bug. And we’re thrilled to announce that certain items are exclusively available at MR PORTER, including one of our personal highlights, a leather varsity jacket embellished with a motif by Upstate New York artist Mr Scott Daniel Ellison – part of the collection created in collaboration with 14 of the designer’s favourite artists. As ever, Slimane may be a dreamer, but he knows exactly what people want.