If you’re looking to buck tradition and try a new hairstyle this year (besides the overdone high-and-tight), there are plenty of ways to mix up your style without steering too far from the norm. Vaughn Acord, celebrity stylist and the guy behind V76 by Vaughn hair products, for the men’s hair trends he’s been seeing in his studio. Some are modifications of the more polarizing runway looks from recent fashion shows, all adjusted for everyday wear on guys like us.
So, consider any of the five styles below if you’re looking for something new—this year.
The 2018 Trend: The New Undercut
Why you should try it: “We moved away from 2015’s severity of the disconnected undercut, one that can’t exist without styling product to hold it in place,” Acord says. “Now, we’re revisiting the finesse of a true undercut.”
What to tell the barber: “Don’t shave the sides or back—do a gradual fade to balance the look. Avoid shaving off the sides and back completely, like the previous trend that left only the crown.”
How to style it: “I really love paste for this look because of its high-memory flexibility,” Acord says. “Work the product in with your fingers in the morning, comb, and go. To easily refresh the look throughout the day, just run your fingers through your hair. It will hold the hair, but won’t be restrictive.”
Best for: Short hair, all hair types
Why you should try it: “Short hair with a little movement looks great on just about every guy,” Acord says. “Whether it’s length behind the ears, sideburns, or fringe on the forehead, a touch of length looks lived-in, making your short style less severe than a buzz cut
What to tell the barber: “Tell your barber or stylist that you want to experiment with hair coming forward with movement,” he says. “Be explicit about not tapering down to the skin, but that you want flexibility with a shorter length.”
How to style it: Use a pea-sized amount of wax, which will give you texture and definition without any stiffness for such a short style.
The “Modern Hollywood”
Best for: short or medium hair, straight or thinning
Why you should try it: “This is super universal,” says Acord. “It looks casual but polished at the same time. The length in front and up top gives hair movement and options.”
What to tell the barber: “Tell him that you want length on the crown but groomed on the sides and back for a classic Hollywood look.”
How to style it: Pomade will let you style and restyle throughout the day, should you want to go from work to a more laid-back happy hour.
Best for: Medium hair
Why you should try it:You can visit the stylist to have this done for you, and to give your stubborn-to-style poofy or rigid hair a break. It involves layering the hair, plus some heat and products to relax everything into a more stylable form, lasting a few days before it nestles back into place. Which makes it ideal for when you want to shake things up for a couple of days, like a wedding weekend or a quick vacation.
What to tell the barber: “What is done to your hair all depends on its natural shape and texture, so it’s important to get a professional consultation specific to your needs,” Acord says. Show him or her photos of wavy-haired celebrities that you like, such as Timothée Chalamet, a long-haired Zayn Malik, or Kit Harrington.
How to style it: “Forget what you think of gels,” Acord says. Find a conditioning gel, for a modern take on a gel that gives a flexible finish.” You won’t get the crunchy stiffness of other gels, instead getting more controlled movement and hydration.
The Ear Tuck
Best for: Long hair (including straight, wavy, or receding)
Why you should try it: “History repeats itself, so there is something current, cool and modern about men growing their hair out.” We’re past man-buns, though, and will see more guys wear their hair down, and tucked behind the ear instead.
What to tell the stylist: “If you are growing your hair out, a barber might not be the best” person to style this look for you, Acord says. “Look for someone, like a stylist, who’s comfortable with longer hair on a man. And then tell that stylist you want to ‘remove weight but create movement while leaving length.’ You’ll probably only get a cut every three to five months for upkeep until you reach your desired length.”
How to style it: “I really like a hair tonic for long hair, because it refreshes and nourishes the scalp while also prepping for more styling products like a lightweight cream,” Acord says. “You want your hair to look unfinished and touchable.”
So choose your preferred hairstyle, and be the best version of yourself!
Define Your Excellence!