The Mans Guide

Picking the best hairstyle for your hair type.

There are many things that affect whether or not a certain hairstyle suits you. Your face shape is one. How you style it is another. If you’re considering a top knot, whether you’re actually a practicing samurai warrior should be a third. But the main one is the hair itself.

The genetic makeup of your locks determines what you can do with it and how obedient it is when styling. And while some men (terribly annoying sorts) have a full, shiny mop that could rival Samson’s locks, others have to work hard to keep their follicles looking semi-presentable and semi-present.

If you want to do your crowning glory justice, then you need to get personal and give your hair the bespoke treatment. That’s why we’ve tapped the advice of industry experts to find out what you can do with your hair type, no matter what your mama gave you.

Thick Hair

Thick hair is the poisoned chalice of hair types. Superficially, it’s something to be envied, with no hint of male pattern baldness.  What the haters fail to understand, though, is that with great body comes great responsibility not to look like you’ve placed on the podium at Crufts.

“Thick hair comes in many forms (wavy and soft, thick and wiry, or curly and coarse) but it is mainly characterized by fullness,” says Ruffians artistic director Denis Robinson. “That means this hair type can often feel unmanageable and requires regular cuts to keep in ideal shape.”

The Best Haircuts For Thick Hair

Managing thick hair is all about maintenance. If you’ve got a lot of mop up top, you’ll need to hot foot it to the chop shop on a regular basis. The good news is that you’ve got plenty of options for haircuts.

Short haircuts work really well. However, long hairstyles are also good for thick hair,” says Robinson. “The weight when it gets longer will help with keeping it in place. Hidden internal layers are also a good way to add shape to longer lengths and gentle texturizing will soften the ends.”

In short (or not) if you’ve been graced with a thick thatch, you’re able to master a man bun, bask in a halo of shaggy layers or rock a slick pompadour.  Make the most of it.

Fine Hair

Fine hair is pretty hard to make the best of because it feels like there’s not much to work with. Unfortunately, you won’t get even a fraction of the sympathy that those with diminishing locks do. You’ve still got a full head of hair, it’s just a bit more shy and retiring than other types.

“Fine hair lacks volume and density, is limp and often you can see the scalp,” says hair stylist Joseph Lanzante, owner of Manchester barbershop The Men’s Room. Your problem is that you’re not dense enough, which in this case is not a good thing.

The Best Hairstyles For Fine Hair

“Men with fine hair should leave it longish to add weight as short hairstyles will ultimately look like they’re lacking body,” says Lanzante. Sounds counterintuitive, but we’re siding with the experts on this one.

In practice, ‘longish’ hair is considered ear-to-shoulder length, so layered millennial curtains or a mid-length swept back style are both great options to minimize the tyranny of lifeless locks.

Wavy Hair

Wavy hair is a bit of a fence sitter, not able to make up its mind on whether it’s curly or straight, leaving those with this hair type utterly confused as to what the hell to do with it. Add to this the fact that all waves are different and you’ve got yourself a pretty changeable barnet, says celebrity hairstylist Oliver J. Woods.

“Wavy hair is the mid-point between straight and curly hair but can vary massively in terms of the size and texture of the wave,” he says. “Because of its irregular growing pattern compared to straight hair, cutting and styling require a little more attention to keep in shape.”

The Best Hairstyles For Wavy Hair

Leave wavy hair to its own devices and it ends up looking a bit of a mess, like you’re an extra in Game of Thrones. It needs purpose and direction.

“The best way to style wavy hair is to go short on the back and sides and longer on top to give the hair some movement and shape,” says Woods. With that in mind, make messy crops or short, textured quiffs your go-to.

Unruly Hair

Mavericks are good in certain vocations (fighter pilots, homicide detectives) but one place you don’t want to find one is your hair follicles. Refusing to be put in a box, unruly hair is hard to manage as it doesn’t usually lay flat or straight and has a rough cuticle layer, says Ruffians barber Stevie Warwicker.

“Unruly hair will typically need some sort of styling aspect to keep it looking presentable.” There is a silver lining, though, as unruly hair has plenty of texture, which is beneficial to its overall finished appearance – so your glass is kinda half full. Ish.

The Best Hairstyles For Unruly Hair

Unruly hair stops being a pain to work with when you’ve got the right combination of cut and product, says Warwicker. “Shorter and longer hairstyles work better than medium-length hairstyles, and cuts should have weight and texture to increase manageability.”

Think shaggy face-framing mops or a textured short, back and sides. If it feels middling, it’s not the one for you, son.

Thinning Hair

By the age of 50, it’s estimated that more than three-quarters of all men will have thinning or receding hair or to some degree. If that’s you, this is the bald(ing) truth. “Thinning hair can be prone to feeling extra silky and floppy, which will make hair feel lank and lifeless,” Lendon says. “It can also become difficult to gain volume and add bulk to. In some cases, the length of hair may be uneven.”

When you’re working with such temperamental tresses, we get that it’s tempting to throw in the towel and reach for the hair clippers, but don’t be so hasty.

The Best Hairstyles For Thinning Hair

“A cut that is blunt and above the shoulder will maximize bulk at the perimeter of thinning hair,” says Lendon. “If the hair is thinning at the crown, a rough crop of about 1-2 inches is best, and if thinning occurs on the sides, a closer cut can help blend lengths.”

So if your hair is packing its things but not yet out the door, ask your barber for a medium-length blunt chop and coax it to stay a while. If things have advanced, try a short French crop or buzz cut instead of succumbing to baldness prematurely.