As we take our first steps into 2018, we can’t help but wonder what it might bring: A smooth and effortless Brexit withdrawal? Don’t hold your breathe. How about jetpacks? We hope so. Perhaps a full blown Twitter war will break out? With Trump around, who knows! How to style men's beards.
Here at The Bluebeards Revenge, the one thing we can accurately predict is the amazing hair and beard trends that the next 12 months will bring. Below, we’ve asked some of Britain’s most influential barbers to embrace their clairvoyant sides and provide the all-important hair and beard insights for 2018.
“Recently I’ve had quite a few clients asking to keep their length on both the top and the sides,” says Adam Rossington-Smith of Scissor and Comb UK. “This opens up 2018 to some very versatile styles, with a blend of clean tapered edges and soft, textured waves on top.”
What does this mean for the super popular fade styles of 2017?
Adam says: “I highly doubt that we will see a massive reduction of fades next year. Part of the reason they became so popular was because they are clean and super easy to maintain, and lots of men still don’t like the thought of having to prune too much.”
Meanwhile, Tom Chapman, award-winning barber and founder of the Lions Barber Collective charity, believes that, “fades will remain fashionable, but more men will start to favour tapers; looking for a finish that is less sharp. More men will start to ask for their edges to be left a little more natural too.”
What hairstyling products will be in popular demand for 2018?
Adam says: “Medium and long hairstyles will give men more opportunities to experiment with products. Personally, sea salt sprays are my absolute favourite right now. They add texture and a light hold to fine hair, and volume to thicker hair. They help to create a natural look as well, which is very fashionable right now and will continue to dominate throughout 2018.
Small hair beard style
“Volumizing powders have become a big hit for men seeking a natural look too. They’re easy to use and pretty cost effective – a 10 gram container should easily bulk up flat styles for a few months.”
Tom says: “With the right education, I think a lot of men could return to hair gels this year. As a product, modern hair gels are massively undervalued for their styling capabilities: softer gels can be used as pre-styling products to give styles structure all day and barbers often use them while sectioning medium and long hair.”
Will barbers struggle with any of the new trends?
Adam, who graduated from Toni & Guy before specialising in barbering, says: “Barbers who have joined the industry in the last few years will probably find themselves facing styles that they have never really had to deal with.
“Shorter styles have dominated the barbering scene for so long now that new barbers have likely had little experience with anything longer than a clipper cut on the sides.
“Of course, with longer haircuts comes the chance to learn endless new techniques for adding texture and creating movement. The new fashions will help barbers to develop their scissor skills and will provide practice in handling and sectioning longer hair. They will also show the importance of proper blow drying techniques and require a better understanding of less conventional styling products.”
With the trends for the hair on our heads covered, it’s time to concentrate on the stubble and scruff that sprouts from our chins.
The masculinity, maturity and respect that beards give to men means they will never completely fall out of fashion, no matter how far into the future we go.
Simon ‘Bones’ Bethel, from Sandyman Chop Shop in Exeter, believes we will still continue to see a steady flow of beards throughout 2018. He said: “While there are fewer men sporting big bushy beards these days, we still do a lot of short beard trims in the Chop Shop. I don’t expect this to change for 2018.”
Over the past few years, rough-cut, lumberjack styles have dominated the look books, but the next 12 months will see changes according to Bones. “Men are starting to wear their beards shorter and with more shape,” he said. “These styles mean that creating strong cheek lines with razors, and tapering these into the sideburns and hair line will be the way forward.”
As beards get shorter, designer stubbles are likely to gain a little more traction too. Ex-serviceman and current Master Barber Liam Hamilton, from Hamilton’s Barbershop in Cornwall, says these looks are “ideal for men who want to add a little masculinity to their look.” They also work particularly well for men who are attempting to achieve a more “rugged” style, without the same timely maintenance of a full beard.
“The men’s grooming market is receiving huge investments at the moment, and products that were previously unknown to men are now becoming essentials,” said Managing Director of The Bluebeards Revenge, David Hildrew. “Now, more than ever, men are taking an invested interest in their appearance and this is causing beard oils, brushes and waxes to boom in popularity.”
Liam, a bearded barber himself, says: “The best beards have a shine and healthiness to them that can only be created with high-quality beard oils. A few drops of oil, combed through from the roots to the tips, will enhance any man’s beard and leave it smelling irresistible.”
2018 might just be the year for full and fuzzy moustaches. Finally, they’re seen less like Charlie Bronson’s and more like Tom Selleck’s.
Beard trim styles 2016
“The humble moustache can help to add balance to the right man’s face, soften a more dominant jawline, and compliment a man’s eyebrows,” says Liam.
However, lots of men still struggle to confidently wear this facial accessory. “If you’re lacking the confidence to wear a moustache in 2018, why not wait until Movember comes around? Then you can hide in the crowd,” suggests Liam. “Or, if you’re feeling brave, try growing your stubble out around it. This helps to frame your moustache and won’t leave your face feeling so isolated and bare.”
For the most up-to-date hair and beard trends, and for 2018’s most sought after products, stay tuned to The Bluebeards Revenge!