All fashion trends are cyclical, and in recent years have gradually modernised the looks of the 20th Century and planted them firmly in the 21st. Such a modernisation of past styles is especially true of men's hair trends in 2011: it's out with the new, and in with the old. Or at least an old hair style with a new twist.
2011 sees men's hair styles fall into two distinct categories: school boy and rocker. But while the rocker look is certainly a 20th Century creation, the resulting hair style finds its roots (if you'll pardon the pun) distinctly in 19th Century Britain. And so it is in 2010; while the odd 2010 runway collection featured something akin to a grunge revival, the majority of us will live out 2010 with a refined, classically inspired hair cut.
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2011 men's hair trends: 2011 men's hairstyles
Men's fringe hairstyle trend
The men's fringe is the dominant hair trend for gents in 2011. And while it was also on-trend in 2010, 2011 offers up three variations on the men's hair trend:
Continuing on from last year's men's hair trends, the men's fringe remains a major feature of men's hair trends in 2010. But, naturally, this is a hair trend that has evolved. While the men's fringe in 2009 was all about close-to-eyebrow length, in 2010 we have more options.
How To Cut The Fringe
Thankfully, the men's fringe trend in 2010 comes in a variety of lengths, so you're going to be able to play with the look to suit your face shape. While you'll be looking to keep shorter back and sides (British grade 4-5), the way of truly making it your own is to play with the length of the fringe itself. No better example exists than the Bottega Veneta Men's Spring-Summer 2009 catwalk which provided two fringes in stark contrast to each other:
Of the two, the latter side swept fringe is the more preferential, with the cropped fringe looking a little too nondescript. If the side swept fringe does look like a hair style you might wear, be sure to check out Marni's menswear Fall(Autumn)/Winter 2008/2009 catwalk collection where it was a look sported by most of the models.
Personally, I'd recommend something far more current and cut your fringe with texture and at brow length as seen on Burberry Prorsum's Men's Spring/Summer 2009 catwalk (below).
How To Style The Fringe
Whether you take a straightening iron to your hair or enjoy naturally straight hair, the men's fringe trend in 2010 is all about texture. I'm not talking about afro-inducing curls akin to those spotted onAlexander McQueen's Fall(Autumn)/Winter 2008/2009 runway (those were horrible) but light, layered detail. And in giving us the best length, Burberry Prorsum also featured the best textured styling for the men's fringe:
This textured hair style, with its longer fringe, is the 2010 incarnation of the 'Caesar cut', named after the hair style Roman dictator perpetuus Julius Caesar who is frequently depicted wearing his hair in a similar fashion. For a similar reason, it's also become known as 'the Clooney Cut' after actor George Clooney. While cut to bring hair from the temples and crown towards the forehead, the overall effect depends largely on using a matte wax or pomade to create the rugged texture and is quite akin to something sported by men in the Regency era.
And if it's a rugged texture you're after, particularly if you have wavy or curly hair, then look no further than Gucci's Men's Fall (Autumn)/Winter 2008/2009 catwalk where the models oozed sex with a take on 2010's fringe hair style trend.
Regency men's hair style from Burberry Prorsum
Back in 2008 when a fringe wasn't school boy straight it was only ever one other thing: messy - think a messed up rocker post groupie session and you're shan't be far off the mark. That style came in 2008 and then it went. But amongst 2011's men's hair styles are looks that move away from the genteel and, thus, the messy fringe returns in another form: curly hair. While cut curly all over, the trend for men's curly hair in 2011 is to wear it with length in the fringe, which should be the dominant focus of the hairstyle.
As for the exact length of this curly hair trend, it's whatever suits you best. Chaps whose curly hair permits length without the need for a lot of hair product may opt for something 1970's (the decade with the biggest impact on 2011 fashion trends) inspired, while those in need of more product may opt for a less voluminous take on the hair trend. Both of these styles are pictured, respectively, directly below and were seen on Gucci's S/S 2011 catwalk.
If neither of those curly hairstyles are suited to your mane then the shorter version, with its ability to be styled with much more hair product than the former two styles, may be an option.
Though he's given his name to an incarnation of the fringe hair trend, actor George Clooney has been a larger influence of another of 2010's hair style trends for men: the slick back.
In being a part of 2010 hair trends the slick back drives home one major point: men's hair styles in 2010 are all about the classics. In fact the slick back may actually be a little too classic for most men, with its popularity in the likes of Ralph Lauren catalogues it actually conveys a real American style that will guarantee it success in the States but probably little outside.
How To Cut The Slick Back
If you're after the slick back look there's one important thing to first consider: is your hair wavy or straight. From there on in it's easy.
Guys with straight hair: stick to a longer cut on top. Guys with wavy hair: go for short hair on top, perhaps a few inches in length depending on the strength of your wave. The two models below, both from Jil Sander's Spring-Summer 2010 catwalk, best demonstrate the different cut lengths for the two hair types.
Partless slick back on Jil Sander's Spring-Summer 2009 men's catwalk
For both straight haired and wavy haired men: short on the sides.
And for those who have neither straight nor wavy hair? Consult your stylist. You're going to have a real time getting the slick back hair style with curly hair, and unless you're willing to dedicate vast amounts of time each morning to your hair you might want to seek a chemical curl relaxer.
How To Style The Slick Back
Looking at it, you already know it's not going to take a lot of effort to style the slick back (provided your hair is suitable, and cut appropriately). Using the right product, like good old-school Brylcreem if you're after a classic wet look, the real trick is to make sure that the side you choose to slick the hair back towards actually suits your face. Try both ways, and don't forget that your mirror doesn't show your true image.
The other major choice is whether to add a part or not. Clooney wears it with one, as did many a model on Moschino's Fall(Autumn)/Winter 2008/2009 catwalk, while the models at Jil Sander's collection launch (above) wore the look partless.
Wearing the slick back hair trend partless might not be the way to go, however, given that the traditional part figures in so heavily into men's hair trends in 2010.
But while a part my seem simple enough, plenty of options still abound.
How To Cut The Classic Part
This one, I'm well and truly leaving alone. No, this is not a white flag of surrender. There are simply too many ways to cut a hair cut worthy of a part. See your stylist, but before you do so, here are some tips on the styling.
How To Style The Classic Part
There are so many options here, as you can apply a part to most any hair style. However, the classic part in 2010 is very much about traditional styling - the sort worn de rigueur by the likes of actor Cary Grant and The Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor; the 20th Century's ultimate trend setter. And it is from the Duke (middle and right, below) that we can see two classic stylings: the side sweep (right) and the slick back (middle).
Cary Grant and HRH The Duke of Windsor
Grant too wears the side sweep though, unlike the Duke of Windsor, this is no ordinary part but rather the scalp revealing kind that arguably hasn't been truly fashionable since Grant himself was setting the silver screen alight. You can also take your queues from another of 2010's men's hair trends, the fringe, and combine it with a part as seen on Roberto Cavalli's men's Fall (Autumn)/Winter 2008/2009 runway.
A word of warning, however: avoid the soft part we saw on Calvin Klein's Spring/Summer 2009 men's runway (below). It's far too effeminate, and doesn't cast a sleek nor stylish figure.
The soft part at Calvin Klein Spring/Summer 2009
As with styling the slick back, the trick here is to find a part that suits your face shape. Though some will argue that the side you part your hair on reveals great details about your personality (it doesn't, some people just have too much time on their hands) the truth is that making the part look sexy really comes down to cohesion between your hair and facial structure.
For 2008's hair trends we spoke with celebrity hair stylist, and inventor of the pob, Ben Cooke for his suggestions on which hair colours guys should wear. His answer was short: obvious blonde.
And it's much the same story in 2010. That is, if you're going for a really sharp look. 'Obvious blonde' is a color that will work for a sharply cut, well polished hair style but not in a more dishevelled style. Nor will it work if it's verging on on white blonde. Consider the photos right. The first from Dsquared2's men's Fall (Autumn)/Winter 2008/2009 catwalk is spot on in both colour and style for 2010's hair trends, where as the second look from Moschino's men's Fall (Autumn)/Winter 2008/2009 runway misses the mark for its over-blonding and lack of sharp styling.
Of course, with 2010's hair trends for men all about classic, traditional styles the best colour for the year is your own.