How To Switch Up Your Haircut
Illustration by Mr Anje Jager
Mix up your style with our guide to getting out of a hair rut.
For the majority of us, breaking free from a hairstyle we’ve adopted since our late teens is an uncomfortable proposition. “Men tend to stick to the same styles because of their liking for familiarity”, says hairstylist Mr Matt Mulhall, who has been maintaining the manes of London’s most influential men for more than 27 years. “They think they know what works, but as the years go by styles change and they can be left looking out of touch and older than their years.” With this in mind, Mr Mulhall, who also coifs the hair of models at top menswear shows such as Lanvin and Burberry, has imparted some of his wisdom below to help men climb out of their hair rut.
“Before you head in for your next cut, take a good, long look at yourself in the mirror and think about what you like and dislike about your hair. Be honest. Like your skin, your hair ages and your style should adjust with your years. Trying to stave off aging with a mid-life mohawk is not advisable. If you are still unsure and want to see your hair the way others see it, take a photo or shoot a short video so you can see the back and sides.”
PICK YOUR CUT
“Once you have thoroughly assessed yourself, gather up some reference material by leafing through some men’s fashion magazines, looking at the advertising campaigns of brands you think are stylish and age-appropriate. It’s also worthwhile paying attention to smart men around you and scrutinizing how they wear their hair. Don't get overwhelmed – sometimes just a few small changes can make a world of difference to how you feel and are perceived.”
CHANGE YOUR HAIRDRESSER
“Picking the right hairdresser is extremely important. Ideally, you need to find someone who is on your wavelength and understands what you want and, perhaps more importantly, what will suit you. The best way of discovering who fits your needs is asking around and doing research. Don't be frightened to make enquiries with friends. The fact is, if you are forking out on a cut every four weeks you should at least be using someone you like and who delivers your requirements.”
DRESS THE PART
“Information is one of the most important things when it comes to getting a haircut. Don’t clam up and just say, ‘What do you think?’ Similarly, if you are happy with the result and want to know how it’s achieved, don't be shy about asking your hairdresser to explain which shampoo to use, whether you need conditioner, or for a step-by-step routine on how to style your hair and with what products.”
“One of the most frequent complaints I hear from the barber’s chair is, “My hair texture seems to have changed.” That’s probably because it has. Hair changes as we age, so it’s futile attempting to keep a hairstyle that was first cut during the flush of youth. It wasn't the hairstyle that made you anyway; it was the stress-free countenance.”
KEEP IT REAL
“Hair is one area in your life where transient looks are best avoided. Keep it masculine, keep it classic. Mid-life is not the right time to go get a statement haircut or colour. A short back and sides has been around for a long time for good reason: it looks great at any age.”