Bradley Cooper's textured hair is pleasantly unkempt
“The edges are softer and there’s a little less interior texture,” says Parsons. “We use energy cutting to take out the weight and leave more solid volume in the interior. This leaves more hair to style. Even the classic men’s short cut is getting updated with a wispy edge.”
In Sturtevant, WI, Andis’ director of education and customer engagement Ivan Zoot agrees that younger guys are still going long and mop-topped, while the traditional texture market is stepping up from super-short fades.
“Length is relative,” notes Zoot. “The client who had his hair faded to the skin and now has half-an-inch on the sides thinks that’s a lot more hair.”
In addition to men opting for longer looks, styling is either intentionally uncontrived or highly polished, according to Terry Wells, founder of Seattle-based TowelDry.
“One look is slightly un-styled with a subtle part,” says Wells. “Men who have curl are starting to use a flat iron or a straightening product with a blower. We’re also seeing layered lengths with an ‘80s retro teardrop shape swooping across the front. The third main trend is the slick, styled look that requires more product to avoid lines and marks, and to add shine.
“Our gel styler is great for this slicked, polished style,” he continues. “As men get more sophisticated, they are even cocktailing our crème with our gel. The starting point is a 50/50 proportion, but it’s adjusted for the amount of curl or the level of hold. The heavier the hair and the more hold required, the higher the proportion of gel.”
Special Salon Services
Celebrities are always the biggest influence, and most men are going a little longer because the stars are. To help his clients grow it out, Alan Kossof, who co-owns Teddy Kossof Spa Salon in Northfield, IL, says he does not charge full price for maintenance cuts (perimeter, neckline and ear-area trims). Once guys have the length they need to get a little extra texture, they’re opting for slightly casual looks by day (slightly gel-slicked) and, yes, “romantic,” looks by night.