Want to tap into the curly-haired male market?
Check out these trends for 2011 and make
yourself a men’s texture guru.
Photo courtesy of American Crew
Regardless of the age or attitude of the men in your chair, most will want texture for spring, because it’s versatile, and it suits the new, longer lengths. While businessmen will favor refined, old-Hollywood styles—think tapered Mad Men cuts—younger guys will still only pretend not to have Bieber fever by calling their style “Beatlesque.” Urban ethnic guys will grow it a tad beyond skin-fades, while others will continue to give props to the Mohawk, Low Hawk and Faux Hawk.
According to Redken for Men consultant and stylist at NYC’s Cutler Salon, Jenny Balding, a spring/summer trend will be longer top with a disheveled look all around.
“Bradley Cooper’s hair is a perfect example,” says Balding. “The look is longer through the top and slightly shorter at the back and sides. It’s heavily texturized to create an unkempt finish, which keeps the look very versatile.”
Bradley Cooper. (Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Justin Bieber. (Chris McKay/WireImage)
Paul Wilson, American Crew’s artistic director, says curl and volume will make the strongest texture statements. “The combination of these two are the underlying trend in men’s texture right now,” notes Wilson. “It’s curl that defies gravity—something existing that has been loosely manipulated.”
Ouidad, who owns namesake salons in NYC and Santa Monica, California, says the Mohawk also remains popular. “Basically, it’s a strip of hair of varying length, starting at the forehead or further back and running to the back of the head,” notes Ouidad. “It can be long, short, spiky, wavy or any other creative shape. Usually, it’s a couple of inches wide, but that can also vary, depending on the desired look.”
You need a little extra length for any type of texture play, which is why the trends are intertwined. At Xena’s Beauty Company in New York City, Framesi educator Xena Parsons says that slightly longer tops and softer, wispier edges are the hallmark of the mod-feeling, Beatles- length look, and that it’s created, in part, with slide cutting.
“The edges are softer with a little less interior texture,” says Parsons. Even the classic men’s short cut is getting updated with a wispy edge.”
In Sturtevant, Wisconsin, 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,” says Zoot.
“The client who had his hair faded to the skin and now has half-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. We’re also seeing layered lengths with a ’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,” adds Wells.
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, Illinois, 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.
“For nighttime looks, we suggest forming cream and texture paste,” says Kossof. “You need two to three inches to create texture, and for that length, I like styling wax for light, medium or firm hold.”
To allow maximum texture play, Kossof offers two smart services:
• Volume Shampoo Treatments. For men who have thinning hair, which can limit options, Kossof creates immediate texture by adding perm solution to his shampoo. The basic ratio is four parts water to one part perm solution, then the mixture is added to the shampoo. “Distribute it evenly and leave it on for about 10 minutes,” he says. “Base timing on the hair’s strength, porosity, length and the desired results, and keep all your chemical steps in mind: protect the hairline, base the scalp and so forth.”Don’t forget the keratin retail companion, which can also be used to give men a temporary taste of texture reduction—it’s best for medium to longer hair.”
• Keratin Blow Out. Address the opposite texture challenge—like Seinfeld’s Kramer—by offering men with unruly texture a curl-controlling keratin express treatment at the backbar. Apply with a bowl and brush, place the client under the dryer for 15-20 minutes, then perform the cut with the product still in the hair. (There’s no shampooing for 8 hours.) “With zero flatironing, you get a 20-30-percent texture reduction,” says Kossof.
A little extra length goes a long way in men’s hair trends this spring.
Whatever the cut, the ultimate way to get texture play is with the right products for the goal and styling tricks you share with your client. Some texture experts share their tips.
At Ouidad’s salons, the Mohawk is created with a long-lasting gel, like Ouidad Clear Control Pomade. “Mold the hair into any shape, as long as it all flows in line,” says Ouidad.
For the versatile long-on-top, shorter-at-the-sides cut, Balding says it goes slick or textured, depending on the finishing product you use. “Redken For Men Get Groomed finishing cream is fantastic for medium-to-fine textured hair,” she says. “It’s weightless with a natural-looking finish, so it smoothes the hair without weighing it down. Mint Shape Forming Paste is best for medium-to-thick textured hair. It is a very moldable paste with a medium hold. Based on hair type, pick the one best for your clients hair type, and apply to dry hair for best results.”
In a nod to the texture trend, American Crew recently launched four new styling products: Boost Powder, Boost Cream, Curl Control and Curl Construct. They were created to control and enhance texture, allowing stylists to achieve all the spring runway looks. “Combine Boost Cream and Boost Powder to achieve enhanced wave and elevation,” says Wilson. “To detail natural wave or texture, start with Curl Construct as your foundation, then combine Curl Construct and Pomade to add shine and separation.”
As men become increasingly sophisticated and style conscious, last year’s barber shop to salon migration is expected to continue, and savvy stylists with diverse textural skills will reap the full benefit.