As Father Time takes his inventory, some obvious things start to change—fine lines mature into wrinkles and jawlines sink into jowls. Yes, there are measures you can take to tackle these inevitable aging honors, but often there is something much quicker and easier than Botox or liposuction: a haircut. Believe it or not, men’s haircuts can do wonders for men’s faces. You hair, regardless of your hairline, is what is framing your face. Imagine a photo—nice, clean, good looking—in an old, cheap, frame. Now imagine that same photo professionally matted in a clean, polished, handsome frame. Which do you think looks better?
There are many different ways you can go about picking a hair style that frames your face well. A good place to start is with a hairstylist. Yes, a hair stylist. Don’t get me wrong, a man worth his salt will have a good barber he trusts. I’m not disputing that one bit. But, when certain challenges arise, such as strategizing around a reseeding hairline or figuring out a new haircut to camouflage a balding crown, a stylist will come in handy in between your regular barber visits.
These styles below will all help disguise the years by framing the face well, while not erring on the side of trying too hard. Find the right one for you and you may just start getting compliments you haven’t gotten in years. And for more ways of boosting your personal style, check out the 7 New Watches That Are Instant Heirlooms.
The Blowdried Brushed Back
For those with a little wave, Matthew McConaughey’s style is a great way to keep your receding hairline a secret. By leaving a little length on the sides and blow drying the top back with a diffuser, you keep the face looking trim. The slight volume that’s a bit tousled on top helps to trick the eye into looking like a fuller hairline than you may actually have.
Gray-headed men’s haircuts can either make the face look much older, or in this case with Anderson Cooper, make it look dramatically younger. Here, the trick is the fade from the slightly longer hair at the front of the forehead to the back. Not only does this down play the full head of silver hair he has, it keeps a bit of length upfront just to remind us all that he may be gray, but that hair is here to stay. For more ways to nail gray hair, here are the 6 Keys for Nailing Perfect Silver Fox Hair.
The Messy Chop
The trick with Matt Damon’s hairstyle here is to fool the eye into believing your hairline isn’t receding quite as much as it may be. Using a matte paste, push the hair forward and style while still a little damp. Finish off with a soft-hold hairspray and you instantly have a style that covers light spots and stays in place in the wind.
The Trim Flip
If you can still achieve good, thick length on top, but your crown may be thinning a bit, this is a great style to make the best of what you have. Trim the sides short, not buzzed, but close. This creates a symmetry to any thinning while the length in the front adds a youthful appearance to the face. A soft grooming cream along with a little hair paste keeps this youthful and not weighed down.
The Side-Part Quaff
Tom Cruise’s latest style—the guy could really have his own men’s haircuts hall-of-fame by now—is achieved by using thickening cream (which should be your new best friend). By adding it to your damp hair, then blow drying in the most flattering direction, the hair looks thinker and fuller while still looking effortless styled (read: youthful).
The New Hollywood Side-Part Slick
Guys with thin hair, be careful. Using anything such as a thick pomade or gel (which we obviously don’t recommend) will make hair appear thinner because more of your scalp will show through. Using a light hold pomade and brush in a part. Then, run your fingers in the direction of the hair to loosen up some of the definition from the comb. Light, flexible hairspray added as a final step will avoid looking too old Hollywood and get you the new Hollywood look Ryan Gosling is rocking here.
The Very High and Very Tight
If you are thinning on top or balding in the back, the tried and true remedy for that is to shave it off. Nothing helps hide not having hair like not having hair. If you are on the early side of thinning, go a little shorter on the sides and fade up. That slight fade (we mean very slight, like Idris Elba here) will keep the eye fooled into more on top and less on the bottom. Babies are bald. You may not look that young with a shaved head, but it’s a start.
The Scissor Side-Part Cut
If you are venturing into salt-and-pepper territory, like former iconic bachelor George Clooney, but have a head full of hair, a simple and classic barber style will make sure you look as young as your hair will allow. This is a low-maintenance style that keeps your time free to do what’s really important.
The Low Pomp
The pompadour was a hair style that had a lot of popularity a few years ago. So, if you’re doing it now, you’ll probably look like you missed the boat a little bit. Instead, opt for a more timeless version, like seen here on Ryan Reynolds, and you will look like you know exactly what you’re doing. By pulling some of the hair up at the corners of the hairline, it camouflages any receding while still achieving youthful volume.
Thick, dense hair that isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, such as Donald Glover’s, is made even more dramatic by fanning out at the top, like seen here. Small twists to men’s haircuts like these help to add instant fullness if you do happen to have less-than-dense hair that could use the illusion of a little thickening. Make sure to keep it moisturized with a great coconut, jojoba or argan based oil, so it will be strong and look healthy.
The Longish Loose
Guy Pearce here is a great example of covering up a receding hairline while also avoiding a comb-over. Using a great grooming cream to add thickness and letting your hair air dry will achieve a messy-on-purpose style that looks like you know exactly what you’re doing.
The Blow Out for Men
If you’re going gray, but you’re looking to keep some length, this is the way to go. This clean and neat style plays up the natural hairline that may be a bit receding. The sleek part along the side will keep you looking polished and professional while the length helps add a youthful charm to your face.
The Easy Does It
When it comes to older men’s haircuts, sometimes less in more. In this case however, more is more. John Slattery trimming the sides short but adding a little more length and volume to the top echoes a playfulness often lost with age. Investing in the right cut that allows him to not take his hair too seriously says he means (funny) business.
The Grownup Undercut
Listen, undercuts are one of the men’s haircuts for kids. Unless you’re a professional skateboarder, it just makes you look like an old man who is trying too hard—or worse, like a member of the Hitler Youth. The style that men can use instead to show off their cool is something a bit more poised. Ricky Martin has super short sides and just enough length on top to mouse it up and blow dry it back. This thins out the face while adding a bit of length.
The Messy Man with a Plan
OK, if you really want to go against the grain and proclaim your youth through the art of hair, go with something like this Brad Pitt style. Not one of the men’s haircuts for your everyday 9-to-5’ers out there, this style does create just enough cranium chaos to blur the lines between badass and balding. Don’t let looks deceive you though, this requires thought as to where you want your mess to land (ie covering thinning or balding spots). That said, if you’re too thin or bald on top, and you want to be the wild guy, just shave it off. It works for Bruce Willis, it can work for you too.
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