Shag is a kickass salon in Southie with a real, vivacious vibe. It employs an impressively talented group of stylists minus the Newbury Street snootiness (plus gorgeous old architecture, bumping fun music, and a busy, bustling atmosphere). To top it off, it’s a convenient ten minute walk from my home abode here in South Boston.
Last Thursday night I enjoyed a fabulous balayage done by hairstylist, Kelsey, over a heavy pour of wine (another plus, obv). As I began inquiring about the latest men’s hair trends she called over the owner, Sandy, to help me keep you wonderfully stylish men informed. While I tried to casually rock a crazy mane of plastic-wrapped hair, Sandy filled me in on what’s hot, his forward thinking in the industry, and what you should probably think about moving away from. Here’s what you should know, straight from the source.
Surfer Boy is Hot
Growing out your hair is exactly what you should be doing, and luckily it requires you to do, uh, nothing. Sandy wants to “see more surfer boy,” which he described as a “a longer, more deconstructed look that’s not so high and tight,” and “ less barber-y looking.” Translation: stop being so up-tight about your hair and let loose a little by growing some length. Consider growing out the bottom and going even longer on the top.
This statement did prompt me to ask about his opinion on the latest looks for business men since I know this isn’t something everyone can easily adopt. I had to weave the clean cut population of men into the conversation because all I tend to see between 9 and 5 is men marching in suits with short, gelled hair. He clarified by saying, “we still do the short cuts, clients still want that, but the longer look is for the more fashion forwards.” We discussed that the gentlemen’s cut with that hard part and the Pompadour (short on the sides and long on top) are still being requested and worn, it’s just that the trend is beginning to move away from this.
So, surfer boy is hot and not just ‘cause it’s summer (plus from a woman’s perspective surfer boy is always sexy). Shag stylists have recently been doing the longer style in a more modern context, of course, but there are many different variations to play with.
Alex haircut by Sam Kane; Photo Credit: @Sandy Poirier
Play with Color
A growing trend is the incorporation of color – yeah, COLOR (not brown). Men are really embracing fun colors this season – we’re seeing silver, pastels, and platinum to name a few. Full disclosure though, the funky colors are more “for the edgier clients,” but it’s refreshing, nonetheless. So, if you’ve got the balls to add some color now is the time!
Another perhaps more relatable group of men in the color category are the men who need to cover up some grays. If your salt and pepper look is starting to look a little too salty, there’s a lot going on in the color category for you too, gentlemen. Since you’re not looking for purple hues and aren’t willing to stoop as low as a box of shampoo for grays crap (my dad calls it his “special shampoo” – news flash, not special) then your colorist can do some serious work.
Sandy got straight to the point by saying “it’s not shoe polish, it doesn’t look black,” because the color is strategically blended to look natural. Sometimes when you try to cover grays the color can be too bold and look like you painted your hair with shoe polish. With the new blending treatment the color gradually fades and it doesn’t have a hard stop as your roots grow out because of said blending technique. So get rid of your special shampoo and go see a professional, STAT.
Hudson haircut by Sandy Poirier & hair color by Kate Mooney; Photo Credit: @Sandy Poirier
Beards are Re-defined
Beards still haven’t left yet, but “guys who are growing them are growing them longer,” (at which point Sandy grabs his long beard and shows me it’s actually tied up at the bottom and is pretty f*ckin long). He recommends using beard oil because it softens it up so it’s not so dry and frizzy looking (he uses OI Oil by Davines). It’s pretty obvious that if you’re going to take some beard advice, this guy is the man to take notes from.
Another neccessary point to make on beards is that growing them out doesn’t give you a license to grow a bush on your face – one must keep it in control through proper grooming. Make sure you’re taking care of it, brushing and trimming it up, and using oil to improve the texture. If you have wirey neck hair and whiskers sticking straight out of your cheeks, you are failing in the beard game (you guys know who you are with those whiskers). Take care of your facial hair daily because you’re doing yourselves a disservice by letting it grow wild. Just a little clean up around the neck line can make a world of a difference, and can say “sexy woodsman” instead of “straight hobo.”
One last piece on the beards: there is actually a happy medium you can adopt between a four footer and a fresh-outa-the-barber. The scruff look is always something women appreciate and it’s really easy to maintain. Just use a short trimmer once or twice a week and you’re good to go. Whatever you do, just make sure you are cleaning up on the reg, please.
Overall, take up Sandy on his hair wisdom and try going for “a more sculptured, textured look.” Start by going a little longer on the bottom and growing out the top. Keep in mind, “you can wear the top back and down” while it grows. Don’t be scared of a little color, and if you’re going gray there’s some really fantastic techniques you can take advantage of (and all you have to do is book an appointment). And lastly, length in your beard is totally in as long as you can stay on top of the grooming part. If you’re not exactly a fashionisto and still want to keep up with the latest, just remember the hard part is fading out and according to Sandy, “we’re trying to get away from that” so clean cut doesn’t need to be so defined! Get a little loose with the ‘do and you’re on trend, regardless.