Hairstyle Inspiration from the Team

January 18th, 2013

Reader:

Hey Articles of Style Team,

Love the site. Check it everyday and all that jazz. One thing I can’t find is info our your different hair styles. You all seem to have great “dos”, and I’m struggling to find one that I like.

Hope you can advise on what to tell the barber, how to style it, what products to use, etc.

Thanks again and keep it up!

Articles of Style Team:

Well, hair advice is difficult. It’s such a personal thing that’s it’s nearly impossible to advise on a large scale. In general, though, I think tight on the sides and longer on top is a flattering look on most guys (because it lengthens and slims the face). But again, that’s a pretty severe generalization (and not fair to those who already have long, narrow faces).

Rather than giving “advice” on hair styling (we are not hair care professionals), we can simply discuss our personal experiences and strategies to achieve our desired look.

So here is a break down of each of our hair situations.

1. Dan

DAN1

1. Who cuts your hair?

Caesar at Raul’s Barber Shop on Avenue B & Houston. It’s a kind-of-grimy Puerto Rican spot that specializes in sharp fades for cheap prices.

2. How much does it cost?

$15. $20 if he trims and lines-up the beard. I usually tip him $5.

3. What do you tell them to do?

He’s been doing it for years, so he already knows. Very low taper (#o.5 guard, or sometimes bald) at the very bottom, faded to a #2 guard on the sides, blended with scissors toward the top. He also reverse-fades the top of my beard so there are no harsh lines.

It’s clean cut on top and a little ‘hood toward the bottom – just the way I like it.

4. How often do you get it cut?

I try to go every two weeks, but usually it’s more like every three.

5. Do you touch it up between barber shop visits? If so, what do you do?

I clean up around the ears and edge/trim the beard as needed, using this handy device.

6. How often do you wash it? With what?

I rinse my hair daily in the shower, but only use shampoo and conditioner about once a week, sometimes less.

Stripping products like shampoo remove the essential natural oils in hair, which is why I hate the way my hair looks the day after shampooing – all poofy and corny looking.

The natural oils keep my hair sleek, and if some product is left over from my last application it’s much more agreeable.

7. What styling products do you use?

I typically use American Crew Grooming Cream.

8. Describe the styling process. 

Soak the hair. Gently dry with towel. DRY HANDS COMPLETELY. Grab a finger full of grooming cream and work it into hands. Rub all over in hair.

Part hair with comb over the eye – swoop it more straight back than to the side. Use fingers to tousle so it’s not too perfect (no visible comb lines).

9. Any other tips?

If you’re seeing a new barber, bring a picture of what you want. Nothing you say to him will be more descriptive than a photo.

Wes

WES

1. Who cuts your hair?

NJ from Geno’s Barberia on Greenwich Ave between Charles St & Perry St. It’s the definition of a traditional barber shop.

2. How much does it cost?

I don’t get a shave or anything special, just a regular haircut for $35. I always tip NJ $5 because he’s meticulous with my hair and doesn’t let me leave unless I’m %100 satisfied with the cut.

3. What do you tell them to do?

I ask NJ for a side part, with tightly tapered sides. Usually the taper starts with a #1.5 or #2 clipper guard. He takes it from there.

4. How often do you get it cut?

I usually go every three weeks, unless there’s a special occasion or event I’m attending

5. Do you touch it up between barber shop visits? If so, what do you do?

No, it took me forever to find a great barber like NJ so you won’t catch me f-cking up my own hair.

6. How often do you wash it? With what?

I shampoo and condition my hair every three days. Days in between I just run water through it to clear out any product. Similar to Dan, I hate the way my hair looks immediately after shampooing. There are always some hairs that don’t want to cooperate and the part isn’t as prominent because of it.

7. What styling products do you use?

The two products that have worked well for me are American Crew “Fiber” and Redken for Men “Texture Putty Outplay“. With either product I use a little more than is recommended because my hair is so thick.

I also use American Crew “Grooming Spray“. Now you might think, hairspray for men?! As I mentioned, I have thick hair that is difficult to manage, so after I comb-in the side part I hit it with a touch of hair spray so it won’t fall down in my face within 20 minutes.

8. Describe your styling process. 

I start with a plastic spray bottle full of water, similar to the one at the barber shop, to dampen my hair. I create the part with a fine tooth comb, making sure the small annoying hairs are on the correct side of the part – I don’t want to risk looking like Alfalfa.

At this point I apply product and use a combination of my hands, a brush and a blow dryer to hold everything in place. Finish with a touch of hair spray and I’m good to go.

9. Any other tips?

User-review sites like Yelp and Citysearch are great for finding well-recommended barbers in your area.

Alex

ALEX1

1. Who cuts your hair?

Well here’s the thing, I used to have long flowing locks with beautiful waves and curls… then I let my girlfriend cut my hair. Unless your girlfriend is a barber, don’t let your girlfriend be your barber. Now, in her defense, she was basically just doing whatever I told her to do, but the thing with that is, I’m not a barber either. Unless you are a barber, don’t let yourself be your barber. It turns out there’s actually a pretty good reason why a lot of men pay upwards of $40 for a decent haircut, because your hair is really easy to f-ck up.

So I went with the buzz and, to be honest, I’m so glad I did. I forgot how freeing a buzz cut is. I no longer have to shower every morning. I no longer spend ten minutes putting sticky pomade in my hair and styling it just so. And, best of all, I no longer have to worry about how my hair will look when I take my beanie off. People think the buzz cut is for the summer, but this sh-t is so convenient in the winter.

2. How much does it cost?

You know how much this cut cost? Yeah, I know you do. It’s FREE NITENY NINE. I’m saving $40-50 every three weeks – that’s like $700/year.

3. What do you tell them to do?

Well, now that I cut my own hair I usually say something like “Alex, just cut your hair, stop popping z’s in the bathroom mirror. You’re a beautiful man-boy and you’ll reach puberty some day just like the big kids.”

4. How often do you get it cut?

I buzz it every fortnight or so.

5. Do you touch it up between barber shop visits? If so, what do you do?

Touch up, hair cut, same thing.

6. How often do you wash it? With what?

I shampoo and condition roughly once a week.

7. What styling products do you use?

N/A

8. Describe your styling process. 

N/A

9. Any other tips?

Yeah, get a buzz. I didn’t even have to answer the last two questions in this questionnaire. You know why? Because having a buzz cut simplifies your life.

Townsend

TOWNI1

1. Who cuts your hair?

Depends. When I’m in NYC, anyone available at The Blind Barber. When I’m in CT, I see Dawn at Montana for Men. She helped me big time in a pinch last summer (after a particularly butchered cheap cut), and she’s now my go-to if I’m around.

2. How much does it cost?

40 bucks, both places. Standard men’s specialty barber price. I usually tip $6-10, depending on the amount of work I need done. Oh, it comes with a beer/whiskey too.

3. What do you tell them to do?

Well right now I’m letting my hair get a bit longer, so it’s all about keeping it even. I have the back trimmed to avoid the mullet and thin everything out, since my hair is pretty thick.

4. How often do you get it cut?

With this style, roughly every 7-8 weeks.

5. Do you touch it up between barber shop visits? If so, what do you do?

I occasionally trim the back, and take my trimmer to those scraggly hairs that extend down the back of the neck.

6. How often do you wash it? With what?

I rinse it with hot water every time I take a shower (which is usually every day). I shampoo roughly once a week with Baxter of California and instead of conditioner, I apply Moroccan Oil once my hair is almost completely dry.  The moroccan oil is awesome!  It keeps my hair well conditioned and super soft (cheap shampoos/conditioners tend to really dry my hair out).

7. What styling products do you use?

For the look above, nothing.

I use Blind Barber’s 90 Proof Pomade if I’m trying to achieve a more “clean cut” look and sweep my hair back (see below).

8. Describe your styling process. 

Usually I just go with the cleaned-up “bed head” look (above). I literally roll out of bed, brush my teeth, get dressed and go to work – no real styling involved.

For the more “clean cut” look (below), I work a quarter-sized amount of pomade into my hands and finger/comb it through my slightly-dampened hair.  I use a comb to establish a clean part line, but otherwise shape it more with my hands.

9. Any other tips?

My hair is straight and long-ish, so it can be styled various ways. I’ve found a couple different styles that work for me (as shown here), and it’s surprising how much it can change the overall feel of a particular look.

TOWNI2

 

Hopefully this was helpful.

Thanks for reading,

The Articles of Style Team

 

Photography by Alex Crawford.

Check out more of his work at alexcrawfordphotography.com.