Last year has been a wild ride, and one full of all sorts of new trends. Some of these trends are simply old school ways being brought back, while others are never-before-seen styles that made themselves known only recently.
Among the many trends people look out for are trendy hairstyles for men. With 2021 fast approaching, it’s important to know the fashion forecast for men’s hair. We’re here to provide it.
1. The Fade
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The origin of the fade is a bit tricky to track down, since some say that it came from military haircuts from the 1950s while others point out that it’s been around as early as the 30s (year of the hair clipper). All we can really be sure of is the fact that it’s been gaining a lot of popularity in recent years.
So what’s so special about the fade and what makes us so sure it’ll carry over to 2021? One major indicator is its versatility and adaptability.
The fade can simply be described as a transitioning cut that starts off very close to the skin and getting longer as it nears the top of one’s head. That’s really it.
With this being the only thing fade variations have in common, there’s a ton of options to play around with. This is a hairstyle that can be worn by men with curly, straight, neat, or messy hair.
What’s important when it comes to forecasting trends is that it should be something that people believe they can pull off themselves. We can see just how flexible this style is - from the curly, modern fade of the NBA’s “stylish” player Kelly Oubre Jr., to the boy band-esque taper fade of Zayn Malik that girls swoon over.
When it comes to cool hairstyles for men that you should expect to see next year, place your biggest bet on the fade.
2. The Buzz Cut
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The buzz cut is a no-strings attached, straightforward hairstyle. When seeing this cut, many people think of military men who are right about to enter the service, but this simple close crop is seen on some of society’s most attractive men today.
Simplicity is a timeless fad, and with concepts like minimalism becoming a heavy factor in upcoming trends, the buzz cut is as simple as simple gets. The hairstyle can’t adapt to you, so you’ll have to adapt to the hairstyle.
Unlike the fade, the buzz cut has little to no room for variation, which is why not everyone can pull it off. Hollywood star Chris Evans and famous singer Justin Timberlake manage to rock this look, and with their face structure, it isn’t much of a surprise.
If you want to drag the buzz cut with you into 2021, make sure you have what it takes.
Once your barber takes a buzzer to your head, the world is going to see what’s underneath that mane of yours. Having a head shape that you’re confident in is key.
For those who have facial hair or plan on growing some, keeping your locks cropped is also a good option, since it’ll add up to that masculine look.
3. Wavy Medium Length
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The former One Direction member Harry Styles took the pop music world by storm with his iconic hairstyle, which was composed of curly, flyaway locks. Men with curly to wavy hair often have a hard time coming up with a way to style their hair due to how difficult it is to manage.
Sometimes, the best way to deal with what doesn’t want to be tamed is to simply let it be. The acceptance of both longer and shorter cuts for men in the modern day is what makes it easier for guys with wavy hair to find a cut that suits them and is still considered stylish.
So why let your hair grow out for 2021? If you take a look at celebrities like Johnny Depp who have gone through minimal hairstyle changes throughout the years, it becomes quite clear.
The tousled, shoulder-length cut is timeless. You can see just how men from the 70s and early 80s sported shoulder-length mullets (sometimes with a perm) which later evolved to the wild waves that crowns the head of Marvel’s Thor.
4. Modern Spiky Curls
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When thinking of cool hairstyles for men in 2021, we don’t just keep our eyes focused on trending styles that have dominated the male hair industry for several years. Come next year, fresh cuts like modern spiky curls are the next predicted hit.
Not many men have been seen walking around with these eye-catching locks, given the fact that some of the most notable names to wear the style around are rappers. As rising musician The Weeknd claims, he does so to be noticed and stand out among the rest.
What can we draw from this statement of his? Musical talent aside, a celebrity’s look is another reason that can help them rise or stay in the dark.
2021 is going to be a year where most people will focus on improving, based on the numerous bad happenings throughout the last year. Improving isn’t just confined to society of course, as this could definitely be the time when you change your self-image.
Most suited for African Americans because of their naturally curly and unique hair, modern spiky curls are a hit or miss. Some follow after the style that hip-hop artists introduce, and others hate it.
You’ll also want to think about the new responsibility you’re going to have once you do decide to go for this outlandish look before asking your barber to go at it.
5. Slicked Back/Pompadour
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The thing about classics is that they tend to carry an air of style and sophistication no matter what the situation. The slicked back style and pompadour are old-school survivors that continue to thrive when it comes to the image of sophistication.
Are you the suit and tie kind of guy? Trying to project that suave image? Put some pomade to it then.
Sports star David Beckham carries a different style compared to previously mentioned NBA player Kelly Oubre Jr., with one being the young and playful and the other being mature and refined. Aside from age, you’re likely to see this in the way they keep their hair.
Beckham is known for his high-in-the-front pompadour that isn’t as big as how men wore it back in the day. He’s had this style for a while now, and by last year, he’s only changed it up slightly.
Given the example above, you can ditch the confines of a traditional pompadour and instead just get your hair slicked back in a similar manner. Grow out your hair and tame it back for the classic “poof,” while changing other aspects of the cut.
You can try out this style with an undercut or even shoulder length hair.
6. Long Hair with a Defined Part
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While Fashion Week is a great time to look at outfits that change the runway game, Menswear Week Fall/Winter has given us new insight for new haircuts for men as well.
One of the styles we snagged was the strong, defined hair part paired with medium to longer length hair. Giorgio Armani and Raf Simons models went down the catwalk with blatantly straight hair partings without a single strand out of place.
You can try carrying the high-fashion look with you into 2021 but be warned, this style isn’t the easiest to keep under control despite its simplicity. Imagine how to keep your hair in place on windy days in the city or during sports (if you happen to play).
Jared Leto’s iconic mane with its waves and perfect middle part was sorely missed when he had to cut it off for a role in the movie Suicide Squad. Come next year, there’s a chance that people will be trying it out for themselves to follow in the footsteps of his long locks.
7. Short Neat Side Part
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The short, neat side part is what many masculine celebrities choose to keep on their heads despite the boyish image that comes to many people’s minds.
This style dates back to older times, when men like Atticus Finch from the movie To Kill a Mockingbird kept two sides of their hair gelled to opposite sides without a single loose strand.
Today, stars like well-known James Bond actor Daniel Craig keep things classic with the side part in the same way that Timberlake can’t let go of the pompadour. It makes you look like a gentleman while still maintaining a masculine image.
If 2021 is to be full of fades and undercuts, then deviate from the norm and go for the path of neat, fixed hair.
Don’t mistake this look for being too formal, as this will suit casual situations just fine. They say more formal events will call for more shine and letting loose the tips of your hair (not pinning them back with too much product) will give you the everyday look.
Flexibility is the main difference between this and the similarly-styled pompadour, which is formal to look at no matter what the angle.
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Not long enough to be the average length of hair for men but not short enough to be a buzz cut is the suedehead. Describing it in words can be tricky, but imagine the look of a skinhead that’s been growing their hair out for about a month.
This hairstyle is one for people looking for a casual, boyish look. It’s like a playful take on the buzz cut, which is why more baby-faced stars like Justin Bieber, Dave Franco and Nick Jonas have taken the liberty of modelling it for us.
We see this on the 2021 charts due to how easy it is to create the look. Not much maintenance is needed throughout the day and the only time you’ll be seeing your barber again is just to have it trimmed once it gets too long.
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Nailing the quiff are rising star model Lucky Blue Smith and fangirl favorite Zac Efron. Genetic blessing aside, another qualification for their good looks is their hair.
The quiff, like the fade, can be styled in so many variations that a plethora of men can pull it off.
Grow it long and wavy the way Lucky Blue Smith does and achieve a modern, sensual look that gives off a hint of mystery. Keep it short and playful for a casual and approachable image.
When asking your barber to give you a quiff, he’s likely to ask what kind of quiff you want it to be. Contemporary quiffs integrate undercuts and classic quiffs look similar to a neat side part but pushed up in the front.
10. Wavy Brush Back
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Ever wondered what Johnny Depp would look like if he decided to slick back his hair? Looking at Avan Jogia would help you get a better image.
The wavy brush back is what happens when not-too-curly, shoulder length hair is brushed away from the face. Variations include tucking it behind the ears.
This look, although very natural looking, will require you to use products to keep your hair in place.
The difference between this and a slick back is that you won’t be using a lot of pomade so that there is still a few hairs coming loose to frame your face. This mature, almost wild look is what cool hairstyles for men are sure to include.
The trendy hairstyles for men in 2021 are both a mix of the old and new. Some styles such as the fade and quiff can be branched out to numerous other styles while the buzz cut and modern spiky curls are straightforward.
The key to achieving a style that is sure to be a hit next year isn’t in conforming to certain standards but looking for what suits you most. Find a style that can adapt to you instead of the other way around.