Jamie Stevens is three times winner of British Men’s Hairdresser of the Year and a current finalist for the award again this year. He’s worked with high profile guys including Hugh Grant, Calum Best, Leonardo di Caprio and Olly Murs, and as the resident hairdresser on The X Factor for 5 years he’s well versed in producing on trend men’s looks in the public eye. We caught up with Jamie to find out where he sees the fashion in men’s hair going.
I’ve always loved men’s hairdressing, I think for a lot of us hairdressers, short technical cuts are a real joy to do and actually that’s one of the bonuses of working on gents. Peaky Blinders has been hugely influential on men’s hair trends recently, and that iconic shaved round the back and sides with a longer length on top is really cool – we’ll be seeing that influence guys for a while to come, and it can be made into a less extreme, more wearable version by keeping the shave slightly longer and the length slightly shorter.
But longer hair, more texture, waves and curls and more facial hair are also big trends shaping the market. We’re seeing an increase in men’s perming, think Kit Harrington as a major influence for this fashion.
Perms are especially popular with younger guys who aren’t blessed with volume and have no preconceptions of the 80s Keegan perm – to them it’s just a contemporary service that gives movement, volume and waves if they don’t want an actual curl (although some of them do want defined curls.) If you’re not already perming, and weirdly it is only an optional skill at NVQ level now, then I’d really advise you get yourself on a course or you’re missing out on good money from an additional service that complements your cuts and colour.
Advise clients that perms don’t necessarily have to be curly, a volume perm will just give the hair movement and lift. Go-to products include Salt Spray to enhance the volume of hair while imparting texture to the style.
As well as longer shoulder and jaw length looks, we’ll see an 80s influence to voluminous looks – think actor Joe Keery who plays Steve Harrington in Stranger Things as your style inspo. A 21st century take on the rockabilly twist is another strong look, and think Keifer Sutherland in Lost Boys, Draco Malfoy or Billy Idol as poster boys. Go for high shine on this look. If you’re taking your client short think slicked back preppy sweep – length on top, shaved at the side, or 90s influenced bleach blonde dark roots on a grown out crop.
I work a lot with guys who have thinning hair (and given that one-fifth of all men will experience some sort of hair loss by age 20; 25% of men start going bald by age 30; and 70% of men at some point in their lives will be affected by male pattern baldness, to be honest we all do!) and men are definitely more aware of what they’re putting on their hair and buying more male specific targeted products, especially in the thinning area. The typical male grooming routine has changed – gone are the days of in the shower and use whatever’s there – soap, shower gel or your partner’s products; guys now have their own products from face wash to charcoal toothpaste; the routines are the same but they’re using more advanced products; things like scrubs are more prevalent, face masks, teeth whitening, anti-age and wrinkle products… So for hair, we’re seeing shampoo and now conditioner and scalp treatments, as well as styling products and disguise products for thinning hair.
Don’t be shy to sell product to your gents, they’re just as likely to invest in something that they need and actually good product knowledge can make a significant difference to a man’s hair, and to their self-esteem and confidence.
In terms of grooming style leaders, Beckham is still right there for me – it’s all going on from eyebrow threading to stubble, he’s always changing his hair length and look and he remains a style icon. Falling off my radar is Justin Bieber – not cool any more!
I think we’ll see a move in men’s hair fashion to more pampering services under one roof, cosmetic surgery is more mainstream now and more guys are looking at procedures like hair transplants. Shows like Made In Chelsea and Love Island have catapulted us way past the age of the metrosexual – just think, not that long ago if men applied anything more targeted than Wash & Go they were considered metrosexual, now the idea of botox, tanning, teeth whitening and other procedures are part of our culture, especially among the younger generations.
For better or worse, social media means more scrutiny of our looks and even dating has changed so much with potential dates assessing a picture instead of real life. So I predict a forward move in men’s hairdressing fashion will stretch to encompass more grooming services and convenience for guys to get these done under one roof. Don’t forget to educate your guys – I teach all of my clients why conditioner is so important and how to use products properly – it’s all part of the job.