Going for a haircut can be as terrifying as going to the doctors: the hair on our heads is part of our identity, and a major f*ck up is always in the back of our mind when asking for something new, meaning a lot of men don't branch out from their regular style.
But don't be afraid to mix things up, just know what to ask for. Don't just sit down and ask to look Ryan Gosling (because that is impossible, sorry guys), explain what you want in detail and even show a picture.
Still need some hair inspiration to take the step? Then here are the top five haircuts of the year so far according to the professionals over at Murdock London.
The contemporary crop
"This style has been the pick for men with distinctly short back and sides and less than a few centimetres of length on top to play with. A short crop with a clipper or skin fade can evidently really look the part – ideally finished with a blunt, chewed looking fringe which can be also be parted. (Think Lou Reed circa Velvet Underground.)"
Styling tip: Use a crème wax such as Hair Play to provide a soft, lightweight texture and leave a natural shine finish.
Traditional short back and sides
"The go-to short haircut for most men and a stone cold classic. Teaming a number two or three back and sides tapered down through the nape with a textured finish on top, it’s an easy and simple haircut that many men continue to wear.
"Make sure your barber doesn’t take the clippers above the occipital bone on the back of the head to ensure that the shape grows out nicely. Also to keep it choppy on top, ask your barber to point-cut or slide-cut through, which is always the better option rather than using thinning scissors which can obliterate a cut and make it grow out overly wispy."
Styling Tip: Apply Elastick (hair gum) when the hair is wet and dry it in with a hairdryer for a textured yet easy-to-manage finish.
The side parting
"A staple style. The side parting was truly revived by the likes of Mad Men and continues to inspire modern gents. It’s a classic for a reason and isn’t showing any signs of losing its appeal.
"With the side part, make sure your barber works with your crown as this dictates which way your hair wants to sit and there’s no point in putting your part on the wrong side. It’ll never sit right. A side parting can be worn in a shorter or longer style too, so it’s perfect for all hair types.
"A lot of gents get their partings shaved in either with clippers or a straight razor for added definition, but do bear in mind how quickly your hair grows back. It needs maintenance to stay sharp!"
Styling Tip: This style is best teamed with Hair Doh (shaping paste) for a natural and swish finish.
Mid-length & tucked
"This longer style has a light body on top and is complimented by heavier sides, helping to solidify a stylish shape whether you maintain this neatly pulled back look or opt to let it hang loose over the ears with a more textured finish. Worn with a dash of indifference, this is a prime example of this year’s long-haired revival."
Styling Tip: The longer hair gets, the more susceptible it is to look limp and lifeless, so shampoo and conditioner should not be avoided! The longer your hair is, the finer it is at the tip too - therefore more prone to tangling and dryness. Conditioner will soon become your daily saviour.
The textured crop
"This bulkier style has been adopted by chaps with short clippered and faded edges but with a heavier top and fuller-texture.
"This style offers more body to play with than the short crop and, for more adventurous men, can be worn with a longer fringe which can be parted slightly."
Styling Tip: Contemporise this look by applying Sea Salt Spray to bring further definition to the main body and bulk out with Matt Putty or Mudd for a firm, dry textured finish.