Spotlight on the latest men’s cutting and styling techniques, so you can up your game for 2018 in the barbershop, and create the cool new looks everyone will be wanting in no time!

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If you’re following any trendy barbers on Instagram (particularly the ones based in Europe), go take a look at your feed right now. What do you see? Texture, longer hair and fringes? Yes, we’re definitely at a crossroads when it comes to new shapes and haircuts for men.

The European Influence

This latest transformation for men (like so many other big hair trends over the decades!) has taken off in the U.K. more than in any other country, it seems.

“I’ve been seeing this coming out of the U.K. for over a year and a half now,” says Tay Atelier (@TayAtelier on Instagram), Redken for Men artist and Y.S. Park Canada brand ambassador. “We’re seeing hair transition from very defined side parts and undercuts to a modern crop with much more texture on the top.”

There’s a big shift in fringes coming, too. “It’s really short now, with a length of about two inches and sitting high on the forehead, definitely above the eyebrows. The inspiration comes from the Caesar haircut, but it’s done in a really modern way.”

“There’s a very fresh look in barbering right now coming from Europe,” says BaBylissPRO educator and freelance barber Sofia Pok (@staygold31 on Instagram). Traditionally, we’re used to seeing more of a square outline for men’s haircuts but now the shape is rounder and not based on cutting structure anymore. “That being said, hair is definitely longer but cleaner on the sides,” adds Pok.

Hybrid Styles

“At the salon where I work in Brampton, Ontario,” says Atelier, “we’re seeing very young, cool high school kids come in and want something drastically different they’re loving on social media that’s reminiscent of the ’80s. Perms are high on their radar and there’s a lot of movement in the hair.”

For Pok, barbering is entering a new phase and merging with more traditional hairstyling. “Yes, there’s still a bit of that old 

style barbering, but with a new finish and feel. A lot of the modern haircuts are not standard, and hybrid styles are really coming on strong.”

What exactly are “hybrid styles”? The merge between barbering and hairstyling techniques are still making their way in the industry, and barbers should learn how to work and perform better with longer hair, says Atelier. “For instance, if your client isn’t ready to go for a perm, start working with hot tools—say a flat iron or a wand—to create those curls.”

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Texturizing is King

Pomade used to be the big thing to finish a traditional barbering hairstyle. But, according to Pok, the trend now is for a puffier haircut, which you can easily achieve with point cutting. “Hair on the forehead is bigger and worn forward. So, to balance all that, you need to create more texture on the top of the head.”

To create these looks, focus on clays, putties and sea salts, as well as curl lotions and products to retain curls while eliminating frizz.

Also fading away are pompadours, particularly for the type of client who wants the latest and boldest hairstyles. “Keep in mind, though, that it always depends on the style of the client you have in your chair. The clean cuts do have staying power for the more classic and traditional man,” explains Atelier. 

The main thing to remember is to make a point of learning something new every year that takes you out of your comfort zone. Taking classes for cutting and styling longer hair may also be prudent as it’s an important time to cater to the very specific desires of a discerning male clientele.

Fading and blending are still super important, says Pok, but the main thing is to understand the use of all the tools you have at your disposal and to practice as much as possible. “For instance, sometimes you don’t need to apply that much pressure on a clipper to get that kick-ass fade, but that’s learned [with much time and experience].”


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