The Shoulder Length Cut

Classic and refined, this style has featured in fashion for years, likely because it is versatile enough to be adapted to several situations. By keeping your hair longer and having your barber or stylist add in some layers, you can switch between a beach-ready textured look and a Gordon Gecko boardroom do.

Probably the toughest part of achieving this style is growing your hair. There will always be a day when you can’t stand it and want to cut it all off, but before making any rash decisions try setting a goal length and make a decision once your hair has grown to that length on whether or not you want to stick with it.

When getting your hair cut, take time to discuss it with your stylist, making sure you mention what your limitations are. There’s no point having a messy, choppy layered look when you have to appear smart and put-together for work.

Like with most cuts, the success of this style is dependent on the hair texture. Very straight hair won’t stay in place as easy as hair that has a subtle wave; equally, excessively curly hair will be difficult to keep smoothed out.

Keep styling products to a minimum, as this style is at its strongest when it looks completely natural. With that said, you could try some salt spray to add softness for a messier take, or apply some texturiser to soften very curly hair and make it more manageable.

The Pompadour

The pompadour has been popular in many different lengths and variations since its debut on Madame du Pompadour, chief mistress to the French King Louis XV in the 1750s. Originally a feminine style, this is a hairstyle with hundreds of years of history. You can’t get more classic than that.

The pompadour works for most but does require some degree of thickness to the hair so that the style can support itself once created. Different face shapes can be flattered by varying the style’s structure. For example, if you have a narrow face, you could wear your pompadour wider and softer; or if you have a round face, it’s worth slicking the hair at the sides of your head right down to slim the overall silhouette.

To get this style, you’ll need to start by growing the front out. Get your barber or stylist to cut in a graduated top for you. Then, each time you have your hair trimmed, the graduation should be altered slightly to retain all the length at the front, while keeping the back shorter.

Once you’ve grown three inches of hair at the front, you’ll be able to create height by using a hairdryer and a mousse or sea salt spray. Pull the hair up as you dry it to create root lift. Once nearly dry, use your fingertips, or a hairbrush to give the ends some movement, allowing the style to be pushed back on itself.

It’s worth experimenting with products to find the best fit but avoid overloading your hair with product. Add your product to the back and sides before working through the top – remember you can always add a little more in, but you can’t take any out without washing. Finally, groom into place using hairspray for hold for your chosen finish – whether an Elvis-inspired greaser style or a more James Dean-esque dishevelled take.

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