Praise ye, follicular gods, it’s time for a snip, a proper haircut, indeed, which, for the vast majority of us, will be the first time our mops have met the business end of a barber’s shears in six months. Hairdressers are opening on 12 April and, as such, it’s high time you started thinking about the cut you intend to get when the joyful day finally arrives.
To help you in your planning, we’ve scoured social media, dived deep into the SS21 fashion show archives and consulted our resident barbers, Joe Mills, Tariq Howes and Craig Meggs, to unearth all of the biggest spring hair trends you should be trying out for size as the weather gets warmer.
From the new New Romantic to the big-boy E-boy, we’ve got something to suit every hair type (and then some).
1. The big-boy E-boy
The E-boy haircut, for those not in the know, is so called because the most digitally preoccupied young men of Generation Z are the ones sporting the look right now. Perhaps more widely recognised as a plain old centre parting (AKA curtains) as favoured by the lakes of David Beckham and Kavana back in the 1990s, these days, king of the E-boys Timothée Chalamet regularly rocks a centre parting, as does his e-friend Justin Bieber or our handsome boy RM of BTS.
When it comes to your own middle parting, the key to getting it right is to ensure your hair is of sufficient length for the style to hang properly and, of course, you regularly engage in all-important maintenance. The glossy symmetry of the style means the length needs to be perfectly balanced on each side to ensure optimum bounce and avoid looking lank. Likewise, washing daily is essential to prevent grease build-up, as is the correct application of product and regular blow-drying. “Of course middle partings will be kicking about for a while. They’re a thing,” says barber Joe Mills. “If you’re lucky you’ll also get a bit of mullet action. Either way, the 1990s influence will be a key hair trend this spring for sure.”
What to ask your barber for: “When asking for this cut please make sure you know what length and shape you are after,” says Mills. “If you have curly or wavy hair it will need more length than if you have straight hair. You also need to consider how short you want the back and if you want it disconnected or blended down the neck. Take a picture with you as this will help you to get what you want right.
2. The lo-’fro
A wide array of the most prominent menswear designers, including Miuccia Prada and Alessandro Michele at Gucci, sent their models out wearing their Afro hair slightly looser and freer than in previous seasons, but still kept relatively close to the head. It’s a look which no doubt mirrors the good few months of cut-free growth achieved by many over lockdown. “I’ve definitely noticed this trend a lot on the men’s runways,” says barber Tariq Howes. “There are more natural-looking lo-’fros out there with a softer, more natural grown-out look, which stand opposed to the usual short, sharp street trends.”
What to ask your barber for: “When asking for this type of cut from your barber just ask for the hair to be combed out and for the ends to be removed,” says Howes. “It’s not about cutting in any hard shape, as this type of look is slightly more distorted and textured. So you want to avoid the solid, round Afro shape, as the texture can be added after with various techniques, such as picking hair out or using a curl sponge.”
3. The return to roots
If you were one of the braver locked-down souls who decided to taking the colouring of your hair into your own hands, you’re probably starting to rock some impressive roots by now. That’s no bad thing, in our opinion, given that the grungey, root-rocking thing has a low-key, Kurt Cobain-infused appeal, which feels particularly modern when worn on shorter hair. “Colour is starting to creep back in more and more,” says Howes. “Good examples of people wearing the dual-colour, extra-rooty look particularly well include Odell Beckham Jr and Paul Pogba.”
What to ask your barber for: “Ask for a medium-to-low skin fade, slightly dropped to a mohawk fashion at the back, leaving the length on the top, depending on current length, with a sharp shape-up on the hairline,” says Howes. “The dye job is down to you…”
4. The demi mullet
Thanks to the likes of Miley Cyrus, Bimini Bon Boulash, V of BTS and Australian crooner Troye Sivan (and maybe, possibly, Joe Exotic, who first graced our screens exactly a year ago) mullets are back. But these mullets aren’t the fuzzy great things propounded by the likes of Pat Sharp in the 1990s and David Bowie circa Labyrinth; these cuts are altogether lower-key and easier to maintain. “The demi-mullet has been building for a while but now has its place. Soft, textured length at the back with short clipper-cut sides gives it the shape and statement it deserves,” says Mills. “This goes against all the traditional rules in hair but with the right balance and shape works really well.
What to ask your barber for: “The key here is to have some length at the back. How short you go on top is down to how you want to style it,” says Mills. “The shorter the sides are, the more extreme and more of a statement you are making. Ask your barber to leave the length but to chop in to it to create movement and texture. The sides work best with a bit of clipper action. Decide how close you want to go and if you want it disconnected fully from the back. The top should be shorter than the back and, once again, heavily texturised.
5. The new New Romantic
Thanks to the proliferation of growth we’ve all achieved over the latest lockdown, our heads of hair are heavier than ever before. Far from an extra weight you should attempt to sweep back Patrick Bateman-style, however, a pushed-forward, New Romantic-inspired look, according to a number of the world’s biggest designers, is the one you should be repping.
The style was shown most notably on Dunhill’s Spring/Summer 2021 runway, where suits were worn oversized in a nod to the 1980s mood. For true inspiration, however, you want to look to the kids of the Blitz Club for a purer guide to getting the new New Romantic cut down pat. “I’m seeing a lot of heavy fringes and textured crops from those guys who have grown out their home haircuts,” says Mills, “once again utilising the texture and movement they’ve gained over lockdown.”
What to ask your barber for: “This is all about the length you have and what kind of hair,” says Mills. “If it’s really thick and straight it will just hang over your face, so make sure you ask for a lot of texture to be added and to reduce the weight in it. What you need to ask for is a scissor-cut back and sides – you can leave it soft if you want more length – and then the top needs to be cut with the length building up towards the front. It has to be layered and texturised or it will look to bowl-like.
6. The grown-out twists
“I’m definitely seeing more braids, plaits and twists, as this is something that can help the hair grow out while looking tidy,” says Howes of the burgeoning grown-out twists trend, which is exemplified by the one and only John Boyega. “At first it it was more out of necessity, as hair had to be grown, but now I’m seeing people cultivate the styles purposely. I’m seeing more and more people embrace length, staying traditional with faded sides and leaving more of a textured look with coil twists on top.”
What to ask your barber for: “For John Boyega’s style of grown-out twists ask for the sides’ fades to your desired length and disconnected from the length on top to separate the fade from the twists,” says Howes. “Also, ask for comb twists to achieve this kind of style.”