Recently, a man approached me for some guidance on what to do with his hair. The question sparked an internal debate. How does a man (outside of the learned barber) determine how best to shape up a “Cousin It” (aka full on food catcher beard and shambolic head of hair)?
With my usual curiosity I threw myself headlong into research. The following atrocities (ahem) case studies were recently sighted at my place of work.
Case Study 1: A middle aged man – early 50’s, dark complexion wavy type 3a hair. Which he insists on wearing long (to the nape of the neck) and slicked back (yuck).
He’s also experiments with varying lengths of decidedly unsexy facial scruff with heavy helpings of gray. This man IS good looking although really you have to peer… like stare… like search to see it... under all - that.
Case Study 2: A middle aged man (clearly stuck in the year 2002) early to mid-40’s, fair complexion type 1 hair (although I can’t tell due to the following).
This unfortunate soul insists on making his hair STAND ON END. I tell you his hair is perpendicular to his scalp in what I can only say is an unsightly unwanted and unnecessary homage to some long defunct boyband.
Compounding the situation, he toys (on occasion) with an immaculate 5 o’clock shadow. So confusing.
I have restrained myself from rushing up to say,
“Sir, since you harbor delusions of boyband fame, “TELL ME? (...Why I never want to hear you say, I want it that way”) Tee-Hee!:
1) Do you use an entire bottle of LA Looks hair gel (remember that???!!!) every week to achieve this ....style?; and
2) What does your partner, family members, small opinionated filter-less children who happen across you have to say about this...style?
Positive note - This man is indisputably CLEAN. I mean there is not one stray strand anywhere! I always appreciate a clean looking man. The same cannot be said for Case Study 1.
Case studies over.
I have seen many a decent looking man ruined by a disturbing the lack of grooming and maintenance (Case Study 1). I have also seen many a decent looking man ruined by an over attention the same (Case Study 2). While some men are better suited to a highly groomed look, (we’ll discuss another case study soon and LORD this man is the TRUTH with his pompadour and tight shave)...sigh.
Overdone looks, well… overly done. Underdone looks, well… a mess.
Fortunately, most men fall in the land of “Yes, I can tell you paid $8 - $13 for that mediocrity, and you really don’t care (too much) what happens on a daily basis.”
How do we tackle this problem arriving in a space of, yes I look presentable in 5 to 10 minutes” without a veritable arsenal of hair products/weaponry involved?
The key is the cut and the key to the cut is twofold:
1. Face Shape
2. Hair Type (1 – 4)
We will cover hair type in a separate article but for now, we are only going to cover face shape. That being said, the underlying advice is and should always be, choose a style that fits you like a glove, rather than one that’s trendy but MEH on you.
Measure up! :
But how can you actually determine what shape your face is? It’s simple. First, arm yourself (or a wiling participant) with a flexible tape measure. Then, take the following measurements, recording each as you go:
1. Forehead: Measure across your face from the peak of one eyebrow arch to the peak of the opposite arch.
2. Cheekbones: Measure across your cheekbones, starting and ending at the pointiest part below the outer corner of each eye.
3. Jawline: Measure from tip of your chin to below your ear at the point at which your jaw angles upwards. Multiply that number by two to get your jawline measurement.
4. Face Length: Measure from the center of your hairline to the tip of your chin.
Once you’ve got these measurements, note which is the largest of the four as this will be the giveaway.
Hope this helps you or your significant other or your mom... reign you in.