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Illustrations by Ms Anje Jager

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 Mr Matt Mulhall, who has been maintaining the manes of London's most influential men for more than 23 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 including Lanvin and Burberry, has imparted some of his wisdom to help men climb out of their hair rut.

Some Common Mistakes

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.

Be realistic with the capabilities and abundance of your hair. If it's thinning at the front, chances are you won't be able to achieve a large quiff.

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 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.