Guys’ Hair Is Getting Longer. Here’s How to Work the Trend.

December 12, 2018 | 3:22 AM
Men’s trend alert! Fades are fading into longer shapes for guys.
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How long is too long? A guy’s long haircut must be able to sustain its shape.
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To keep long hair masculine the silhouette should be lean and mean.
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Long hair gets texture and support with a natural finish from American Crew Fiber Crème.
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Alternator spray allows guys to enjoy “hands-free” styling.
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Use Boost Powder to lift longer hair at the roots.
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If you want to know what’s happening with men’s hair, check with the men’s grooming pros at American Crew. They always have their fingers on the pulse of trends for guys. They pioneered the men’s barbering movement, the development of modern men’s grooming products and the creation of stunning men’s imagery. So when they say the latest trend is longer lengths in men’s haircutting—believe it.

“Barbering has been a strong trend for some time now,” confirms American Crew Global Artistic Director Paul Wilson, “and techniques like skinning and fades are still popular. But we’re starting to see a response to these shapes in the form of longer hair for guys. These are wearable lengths that give guys the opportunity to move into something new from the more aggressive fades and tapers.”

Ready to shift into the long game with your male clients? Here are tips and advice from Paul Wilson.

Long American Haircut How-To

See American Crew’s Paul Wilson demo one of the hottest, longer haircuts for men.

Remember That Length is Relative
We’re not talking flowing, Fabio hair here. Instead, this transition is about a little more length, with perimeters that aren’t as clean as crisply barbered shapes, and lots of internal texture. “It’s a way to transition out of a fade, for example,” says Paul.

Sustain the Shape
When choosing the length, keep in mind that long is too long if the cut can’t support and sustain a shape. “That will vary by hair type,” says Paul. “But a sustained long shape is what makes long hair modern. You also want to find the length that will give the client versatility. He should be able to wear it groomed or loose. I like shapes inspired by a blend of periods—like Bohemian rocker.”

Lean = Masculine
To keep long hair looking masculine, you must acknowledge the principles of masculine design. First and foremost, the shapes must be tall and lean. “That’s true even if you’re doing a shaggier cut with a ‘60s or ‘70s vibe,” says Paul. “If shapes are too round or too wide, we lose our objective and the look becomes too feminine.”

Customize the Silhouette
Again, long hair demands a visit to the basics of design when it comes to adapting the shape to each client. “If the client has a full or round face,” says Paul, “It’s critical to create a long profile with height on top. Razor cutting is ideal for this. If the face is elongated, keep the bottom lean but avoid fullness on top. Create texture but not height.”

Cut for the Texture
When it comes to technique, one approach does not fit all textures. “If the hair is thick, for example, use extended, anti-head shape applications which would be defined as the exact opposite of graduation,” says Paul. “Take vertical sections, go to the base of the fingers and slide the razor out from the head. This allows you to debulk without losing length. Cutting curly hair would be similar. Curly hair has its own support mechanism. The texture of the curl will determine if you should use a razor or shears. Fine hair is an individual situation. If the hair is so fine you can see through it, you don’t really have the luxury of extending the length. Keep it short.”

Choose the Right Styling Products
Longer hair definitely needs the support of grooming products, and Paul has some go-tos. “American Crew Fiber Crème is the hero for longer lengths,” he says. “It gives the hair a lived-in quality without a heavy, ‘too much product’ feeling. The finish is low shine. You can blow dry with it. It provides texture and support but not aggressively.” Other hits on Paul’s list? American Crew Alternator, a hands-free texturizing spray that sprays on and acts as a liquid wax; Liquid Wax, the perfect fusion of gel and wax that’s not sticky and is easy to work through the hair; and American Crew Boost Powder to lift and support hair at the roots.

Teach Him How to Use His Products
You have to educate guys about product usage. They aren’t born knowing how to apply pomade or grooming crème, and they probably didn’t get lessons from their dads. “Always tell them why you chose the product you did, how much to use, how to work it into their hands and press it into their hair,” says Paul. “If they blow dry, show them how to do it with their hands to create tension and support. Give them a mirror and let them see the back and sides to understand how it will grow out. These are usually ‘aha’ moments for guys!”

Rebook Wisely
Appointment frequency for longer haircuts may diminish, so Paul advises this strategy to compensate. “I will book my long hair clients for a bang or neck trim after four weeks, and re-texturize the hair if necessary during that visit,” he says. “Then four weeks after that, I’ll book him for a full haircut.”

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