Top styles for black men right now all seem to incorporate a low, mid or high-fade haircut with some kind of fresh styling on top. From buzz cuts and waves to box and Afro fades, curls and twists, the options are limitless. Here are our 8 favourite trends:
1. BOX FADE: This iconic style symbolic of the golden hip-hop era brings all kinds of nostalgia. You may know it as the hi-top or flat-top and its made a huge comeback. It combines sides that taper down to a short length with a sharply defined rectangular top – hence the name. The length on the top depends on what suits you and your head really and can be as tall and dramatic as you want it to be. For a more subtle box fade, opt for a shorter, tight top with a gradual taper on the sides.
2. AFRO FADE: This is all about short sides and a wild, curly top. This style requires less maintenance than the box fade and allows more natural hair growth on top. The sides and back of the hair are faded high, low or bald.
Obviously, looking slick and ultra-suave starts from the top down and luckily there’s a whole lot more choice out there than just a shave, 'fro or dreads. Talented barbers these days are making masterpieces out of men’s haircuts – it’s truly become an artistic trade.
3. SHORT PART WITH FADE: No matter how short and thick your hair might be, a part line can be used as a very deliberate design feature in any hairstyle. The part line acts as a point of asymmetry and adds a point of interest to any standard haircut. The addition of faded sides makes this style very relevant now.
4. LINE UP: For those of you sporting a buzz cut, waves or a great fade haircut, the line up is a distinct and effective way to accentuate a strong jawline and chiselled features. Also known as an edge or shape up, a line is shaved straight across your forehead and around your temples to create a look that frames the face. Be aware though, this cut requires frequent maintenance.
5. BUZZ CUT: This classic, minimalist and sleek style always looks neat and requires very little maintenance. As with any super-short haircut, the look will draw attention to your brow and make your face look more refined. The buzz cut combined with a beard is always a winner for men with thicker hair. For the neatest look, buzz your beard to a length that is consistent with your hair, manicure your beard's shape around the side-burn area and keep your cheek line consistently well maintained.
6. CLEAN SHAVE: This is not just taking the easy way out or a killer solution for a receding hairline, it’s still legitimately one of the sexiest and freshest cuts – on the right head. The clean shave is a bold and confident style message. Keep in mind that if your hair is particularly coarse, you may be prone to razor bumps, so ideally, you should shave with wet hair, a moisturising shaving oil or decent shaving cream – and always shave with the grain.
7. POMPADOUR: This is a haircut traditionally worn by men with fine, straight hair but this type of cut is also a perfect option for men with tight curls because you have a lot of control over the shape your hair takes. By shaping a “coif” at the front of your hair, you create a very gentlemanly alternative to the standard box cut.
8. TWISTS WITH FADE: Twists have always been a popular style for black men, so adding the fade just makes this popular choice more modern, updated and current. But before you get the cut, you will need some substantial length on top of your head. The fade on the sides allows for your own variation – choose from high, low, skin or burst fade for a unique, polished look.
Whatever hairdo you choose, make sure it’s held properly in place while your hair (and scalp) remain in tip-top condition.
KEEP IT TIDY
Jabu Stone Natural Hair Care Beeswax
This natural product has beeswax with holding properties to lock hair into place, aloe oil that nourishes the hair and carrot oil – a natural conditioner that keeps hair strong. R33.99 at Clicks, Dis-Chem and other retailers nationwide.
LET’S TWIST AGAIN
Jabu Stone Twist-Out Clay
Formulated to give you shiny, elegant-looking twists without using chemicals or heating irons. Twist-Out Clay is enriched with acacia extract that conditions and moisturises your hair, plus, a fusion of beeswax gives you smoother frizz-less hair. It is also rich in fatty acids for a natural hold with a low sheen finish. R47.99 at Clicks and Dis-Chem stores.
LOVE IT & LEAVE IT
Cantu Men’s Leave-in Conditioner
Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioner provides intense moisture for curly, wavy and coarse hair. A unique blend of caffeine, hemp seed oil and shea butter encourages growth, while hydrating hair and combating brittleness. Does not contain sulphates, parabens or mineral oils. R129.99 at Clicks
Moroccanoil Texture Clay
This moldable clay defines and sculpts to create natural looks with a matte finish and strong hold. Moroccanoil® Texture Clay features a blend of argan oil, shea butter and bentonite clay for piecey, roughed-up styles. Tames and controls frizz all day with a non-sticky, non-greasy finish.
R435 online from www.haircity.co.za
JUST FOR CONTROL
American Crew Pomade Hold and Shine
For medium hold with a high shine, this extremely versatile water-based formula gives excellent shine and control, and shampoos out easily without residue. This pomade gives tremendous shine and a pliable hold. R355 online from www.mantality.co.za
We’ve spotted some amazing works of hair art here:
Floyd’s Barber Shop 011 467 1150; www.floydsbarbershop.co.za
Rockets Man 071 170 7631
Nev The Barber 083 248 5150; www.nevthebarber.co.za
061 605 0724; www.bonafidebeards.com
Hines & Harley 079 417 1424; www.hinesandharley.co.za