In the past year, we’ve seen some pretty interesting hair styles on guys — hello, man buns and top knots — and even wilder colors (we covered the trend here). But now it looks like the pendulum is swinging back to the other side.
Need proof? Refer to the Met Gala, which was held earlier this month in New York. Arguably the biggest night in fashion, it’s a celeb-studded evening where the high-profile and heavily hawked flaunt their style smarts.
The men didn’t disappoint. While Idris Elba, Nick Jonas, Zayn Malik, Nas, and Robert Pattinson earned top marks for their sartorial choices, we couldn’t help noticing something else, style-wise, these men had in common: shaved heads and buzz cuts.
Perhaps it’s a natural backlash to the more recent crazy hair trends. But more likely, it’s a combination of that and a quality these men share: confidence. “What makes it such a style statement is that it says you don't need your hair to make a statement,” says famed men’s hair stylist Garrett Bryant of Garrett Bryant Studio in New York. “Even when you have a shorter haircut, you still have hair. And that provides a sense of security, something we have a tendency to hide behind. But when you shave it off, you’re baring it all. It shows guts, and a willingness to take a risk.”
There’s another interesting point Bryant brings up. All of these guys have the ability grow a full, healthy head of hair. (Meaning: shaving or buzzing it is a very deliberate decision.) Robert Pattinson’s ever-evolving hair styles, for example, stirred as much of a media frenzy as Twilight itself. When he arrived to this year’s Met Gala with a freshly-buzzed head, it felt like a slap in the face to some of his fans. “He was telling the world he didn’t need it,” says Bryant.
So, are you ready to take the plunge and make a new kind of style statement? Excellent.
First things first: anyone can wear this style. Anyone and everyone. The only thing you need, though, is a healthy dose of confidence. “As long as you own the look and fully embrace it, you're golden,” says Bryant.
But if confidence isn’t completely on your side, then consider your head shape. Because once your hair is gone, the shape of your skull and your facial features will be accentuated. While Garrett believes that stronger and more defined facial features work best with shaved heads and buzz cuts, you can balance a softer or weaker jaw line with a some facial hair.
Though this is a simple look, it’s best to leave the job to a professional. “Shaving it all over one length never looks the same as a nice fade,” explains Bryant. “Your stylist or barber is capable of creating some super subtle contrast in the length, to make it look a lot more polished than what you can do at home.”
But just because this look is low maintenance doesn’t mean it’s no maintenance. Buzzed hair can can have a tendency to get fuzzy or stick up straight, so Bryant recommends using a bit of matte paste or pomade to keep things under control. “Matte finish is key, because if you use anything with shine or wax, it’ll give you a greasy scalp. Which is not sexy.” And last but not least: always make sure your neckline is super clean and tidy.