Skip to main content
Basket Preview
Your basket is empty.
Back to Posts

Barbering - Keeping the male market well groomed

male model with curly quiff hairstyle The male market has not stopped when it comes to innovation and style trends. From the huge beard-loving bunch to the ever-present influence of David Beckham's style, now is the time to get your knowledge of the tools and trends on offer up to scratch. We've spoken to some of the best in the business to make sure you're fully armed.

Celebrity influencers

When it comes to the men’s market, the influence of celebrities cannot be ignored. So, who’s at the top of the pile when it comes to styling?

Wahl’s Simon Shaw says: “David Beckham always leads the way in setting male trends and has done for many years and will do for years to come,” and Mike Taylor, Director of the British Barbers’ Association, agrees.

“The simple answer to this question has to be David Beckham. He has been the style and hair icon for the last 15 years and is the guru of men’s grooming. But while he has dabbled with double leather, man skirts and posing in his pants, no element of his style has changed more often than his hair. His global status as a fashion and style icon can’t be topped. From his classic slicked-back look, which was of course made famous by Elvis Presley in the 1950s, to the ‘Spikey Crop’, David has set the trend. Becks has also rocked the James Dean look, the classic side sweep and the Mohican.

“Real Madrid footballer Ronaldo is another key influencer, I often get requests for his latest hair style and he changes it pretty much every month. Oliver Giroud, the Arsenal striker, has become famous for his hairstyle and an increasing number of lads are now asking for the ‘Giroud’.”

The essentials

We asked each of our experts which product is a must-have for every man…

Mike Taylor: It has to be the hairdryer. This is such an underrated and under used styling tool, possibly because men consider it to be mainly a female item. But using a hairdryer is the best tool for getting the style you want. Preparing the hair properly is the key to getting the desired shape and finish as it holds the hair in place.

Adam Carvin: Although it might not be the typical tool in a barber’s bag, a round brush is great for men’s hair too. Helping to give more lift, I use a mousse on the hair and dry this in using a round brush and dryer. Giving hold from the outset, this product makes it a lot easier from the start of styling process.

Simon Shaw: “It has to be a product that shows off texture: Wahl Academy Klay is my favourite.”

The styles

male model with curly quiff hairstyle

“This season I think there will be more free shaping of the hair. By this I mean grown-out Mohicans with sharp shaping around the hairline – Usher is a fantastic example of this. It’s more of a mature style. Recently I have noticed a real throwback going on with the comeback of the hightop fades for younger teenagers.”
5ive, Wahl Artistic Team Member

“The quiff (the classic slicked-back look) will continue to be the style of choice for men for the next six months. The ‘Elephant Trunk’ will also continue to be popular with guys. So the key styles for AW14 are going to be retro and vintage. I also see the pocket comb becoming more popular than ever. I can see more and more guys using one to do their hair in the pub on a Saturday night out.”
Mike Taylor, Director of the British Barbers’ Association

“There are two key men’s trends: undone effortless-looking hair and vintage inspired styles. Effortlessly healthy, glossy locks with an almost beachy feel which looks natural. This look is all about the condition of the hair and making sure that hair is well maintained. When it comes to the more retro trends we will see more clean side partings and 1970s-inspired, volumised backcombed sides – think David Bowie.”
Andy Heasman, International Artistic Director, Rush Hair

“The quiff has been a huge grooming trend for men in recent years, and this Autumn we’re going to see the fringe make a comeback; more often than not it’ll be teamed with a short back and sides. It’s an increasingly versatile style, making it wearable for a variety of different clients. Osmo Matt Clay Extreme is a key product to achieve this look; it provides supreme definition, helping to tame flyaway hairs with an extreme yet flexible hold and a matte look finish. Slick and shiny hair is back for 2014 – slick side partings and classic cuts that are very clean and tidy around the edges, inspired by the 1950s and Mad Men character Don Draper.”
William Gray, Osmo Brand Ambassador

“Longer textured hair will prove popular with male clients this Autumn/Winter. Messy, undone hair is a huge trend that will take the place of barbered haircuts. It’s a universal style which can be tailored to suit the individual client; older clients can wear hair in a sleeker style, pushing the hair back off the face, whilst younger clients can leave it looking messy and undone and still be on trend. Game of Thrones actor Kit Harrington wears this look very well; he always looks effortless but cool at the same time.’
Suzie McGill, Artistic Director, Rainbow Room International

On and off the catwalk

Adam Carvin, HOB Man Franchisee, gives his take on how the catwalk trends translate to the street, for men and boys of all ages. Men’s style has changed a lot, thanks to the likes of Alexander Wang, Raf Simons and Rick Owens. As men’s styling moves towards longer t-shirts, skirts and dresses to add length and layers, this will be reflected in their hairstyling too. Less harsh and groomed, men’s hair is becoming softer and less barbered as we opt for more length and greater movement.

Teens: More creative with their look and keen to experiment, the teen market is opting to take the trends further, by choosing harsh partings, disconnections and zero fades. This style keeps the sides ultra-short and neat, whilst giving length through the top to work with and even tie up.

Young professionals: Young men are opting for softer versions of what the teens are sporting, wanting slightly more length around the sides and back but only marginally as they sport 1 and halfs. Teamed with short blunt fringes and textured tops, these styles are the perfect combination of freshness yet are still presentable.

Mature gents: Polished and groomed, the mature gent is working swept-back styles but with a more tailored finish. Slightly quiffed and more stylised, this look is barbered and clean but still has a cool edge.

Spotlight on: new to Capital Hair & Beauty – The Bluebeards Revenge!

We had a chat with Nick Gibbens, PR and Marketing for The Bluebeards Revenge, a new range in-store now.

Tell us about the ethos behind The Bluebeards Revenge range?

the bluebeards revenge products

The Bluebeards Revenge prides itself on being the ultimate shaving and grooming experience for ‘real men’. With our very distinctive skull and crossbones logo and tongue-in-cheek marketing approach we try and stand out in a very conservative and, quite frankly, boring market. Underneath the surface we are all about delivering a great quality product that barbers can use and sell in their barbershop or salon – we wanted to develop a brand that barbers should be proud of. The brand is developing and we are now positioning ourselves as the complete male grooming range. We have added a salon quality shampoo and conditioner to the collection and have plans to launch three hair styling products in the next few months.

How much has the shaving market changed in recent times?

An increasing number of barbers are now offering traditional wet shaves as more and more men are asking for it. Figures commissioned by the British Barbers’ Association and The Bluebeards Revenge in August 2013 showed the number of barbers performing traditional cut-throat shaves in Britain had jumped by 50 percent from August 2012.

Our research shows that there are now an estimated 14,100 barbershops in Britain, with 5,076 (36 percent of the total) offering cut-throat shaving to their male clients, up from just 3,384 (24 percent) in August 2012.

We attributed the dramatic surge to a number of different factors, including rising barbering standards and greater innovation, better marketing of services, the rise of the ‘metrosexual’ male, the need for men to look good at work and guys wanting to look dapper in tagged photos on Facebook and Twitter!

male model with curly quiff hairstyle

More and more guys are also getting fed up with the cost and performance of multi-cartridge systems and as a result are searching the internet for better quality products and methods of shaving. They are becoming more sophisticated in their approach and want shaving products that deliver a quality shaving experience.

Are men taking shaving more seriously, thanks to the recent beard trend?

Fortunately for shaving brands like ourselves we have reached ‘peak beard’. According to new research, the more men who grow beards, the less attractive facial hair becomes to women, proving that it doesn’t always pay to follow the pack. The improving economic climate will also ensure more men go clean-shaven, as they are prepared to spend more of their disposable income on shaving products.

Big beards came about for a number of reasons but manliness was at the heart of it. First musicians got on board, then actors and footballers until all the rest followed suit. But now we’ve reached saturation point. It’s time to ditch the unkempt, lazy-looking face fuzz and stand out from the crowd. Plus, let’s face it, the clean-shaven man stands a far better chance of getting noticed by the ladies amongst the sea of beards.

First published in the Capital Hair & Beauty magazine.