In case it wasn’t already marked in your diary, today is National Men’s Grooming Day. We thought this was a perfect opportunity to talk to a grooming expert – yep, that’s a job, and we kind of wish we had it.
Adam Brady of Ruffians Barbers gave us his take on what’s happening in the world of male style and beauty. Ruffians Barbers is so classy a joint (with branches in London and Edinburgh) that it even has bespoke whisky and coffee bars in their stores – the perfect accompaniment to your trim.
We really wanted to get down to the nitty gritty of what hair and beard styles men are sporting right now, and why this is.
“Men’s hair trends can come from previous fashion weeks and campaigns,” Adam says. But perhaps most importantly: “I think they come from practical value – weather can really change what a six-month hair trend will be.”
Hair trends in particular are very cyclical: “We’ve been seeing a lot longer hair over the past six months, so in a few months it’ll be mid-length hair,” Adam says. So perhaps it’s worth getting the chop now to be ahead of the curve?
What’s interesting in recent years is the fact that men are increasingly less bothered with a pristine look. Less cool is The Only Way Is Essex not-a-hair-out-of-place look (thank goodness) – “it’s not particularly practical to have big quiffs all the time, it’s a bit of a pain really!” says Adam.
We can’t say we miss the overly “done” look, because in its place are more natural, textured styles. Men are looking more towards classically trained hairdressers to cut their hair, as opposed to the tattooed bearded barbers that have been all over Instagram in recent years. Now that these types of barbers are getting less popular, “people are realising that you can get better quality haircuts from really skilled stylists”, says Adam.
There’s been a huge amount of chat in the grooming world about whether we’ve reached “peak beard”. Whilst beards were popular in the media a couple of years ago and this hype has died down, it’s still true that more men are growing beards than ever before.
The major change in beard trends is the length: They are much shorter than we’ve seen before. This is again because men are increasingly looking for more low-maintenance looks. Beards have exploded in popularity because it’s become more acceptable in the office environment: “In a lot of offices you don’t have to be clean-shaven, so long as your beard is smart,” says Adam.
Not only this, but “a beard can instil a lot of confidence in a guy – it can conceal a small chin or bad skin or whatever it is,” Adam says. “Having a beard can give that extra bit of confidence to make up for that. With hair what we see is basically simplifying.”
A stressed-out customer in the barbershop can be dealt with so much more easily now, with “classic styles that are easily adaptable and versatile, and can suit any kind of face shape”.
So there you go: There are no hard and fast rules in grooming, but these are where the general trends are going, and from an expert no less. What should your take-out be from all this? If you want to have the coolest style around, go for a more relaxed, easy haircut, and remember – a good beard can hide all manner of sins.