Stuck in the Middle

Honestly, I had plans for a couple more Hunger Games posts (a Sam Claflin Spotlight has been in the hopper as long as the Josh Hutcherson one, it will happen one day), but I’ll probably just redistribute at this point.

On one of my other recent posts, I got a question about growing hair out, but maybe not committing to man-bun length locks. Growing hair out can be tricky for anyone- there are always awkward stages along the way – but mid-length hair can also be some of the best.

So I picked a couple stages in the middle, starting with…

mid-length.jpgThe Shaggy Stage

Now, fair warning, I was in middle school in the mid-2000s, so I’ll always have a soft spot for that surfer boy vibe (I was over it by Bieber, but it is back in a big way with men like Bob Morley).

The main rule of shaggy hair is that it has to stay out of your eyes, and not because you’ve developed a hair-flip-twitch, like so many of my middle school classmates. If you plan to keep it shaggy, consider cutting it so it stays at your eyebrows or a tiny bit lower.

If you are in the process of growing it out, comb it or style it in a way that sweeps it out of your eyes.

If you are working a combo style, like an exaggerated quiff, either style it to be pushed back or be prepared to have your hands in your hair a lot, which might not be a bad thing.

Having naturally textured hair helps this look a lot. If you’ve never grown your hair out before, you may be surprised at the texture that presents itself, and that it will vary continually based on the length and day. If your hair is smooth and straight, you can try to add some texture with product or – and I hesitate to say this, although its what I do – you can try not combing your hair. My hair goes straight if I comb it, but has a wave/curl if I don’t, so after a morning shower, I just let it be. Do not do this if your hair tangles easily, it will just look unkempt and dirty. If you do try it, you have to wash your hair, often.


A Little Bit Longer

So, some of these guys could probably go with a man-bun at the length their hair is, but these show ways to wear it down.

Again, texture and body go a long way with longer hair, but basic rules still apply. Keep it clean, out of your face, and never ever go the mullet route.

If you’re looking to add some body to your hair, consider adding layers. This will lessen the weight and allow any natural texture and lift to flourish. Eoin Macken is a perfect example of this. His hair is relatively smooth, but it has a lot of movement because of its layers. (I have a post saved in my drafts from like three years ago that is about Eoin Macken’s hair…I might need to dig that back up, I’m not sure why I never published it).

I’m terrible at getting my hair trimmed regularly, and that is a huge understatement, but my rule is that when my hair starts to bother me, becomes unmanageable, or I’m constantly trying to get it off my neck and shoulders, then it is time for a haircut. You don’t have to cut it all off when you get to this point, but you at least need a trim or a new style.


Your Go-To Guy: Gaspard Ulliel

This French actor has had some variation of shaggy or mid-length hair for the past decade. He uses it to change his looks from boyish to manly to mildly terrifying. Most of the time he keeps it solidly away from smarmy and creepy – the exceptions being for roles (like a young Hannibal Lecter), this is done primarily by keeping it clean – even when it has product in it, you can tell the difference between that and just dirty – and keeping it out of his face without being totally slicked back.

If you are pushing your hair back off your face, please, please, do not make it slick and hard with product. Movement and some lift are key.

Good luck!



The Trendiest Hair Around

Alright, so this hair style. I have heard it called any number of things, but I believe the most correct term is the quiff. It’s a little bit James Dean, a little Morrissey, and a whole lot of on trend. I’d seen this around, but since hopping over to the UK it has been positively everywhere. Robert Pattinson notably donned one for his role in Water for Elephants and after flipping through Glamour UK’s Sexiest Men of 2012, you’re in good company (most of the men on the list either have, or have had a quiff). The basic break-down  of the quiff is simple: short of the sides and long on top, which makes it sound like just about any short men’s cut, but this is more defined.

Like I said, this hair is super popular right now, but I am going to set some stipulations. You know, guidelines, more than rules. This cut works with just about any hair type, which is a big plus. Straight or curly, it can be pretty low maintenance, or not, if you want to try your hand at styling. One thing I would say is don’t go too extreme. Now, I love Joe Brooks and I’m sure you will hear plenty about him, but when he tried this look awhile back, his stylist went a little too far. It is too short on the sides, especially considering how long it is on top. Good news: this haircut grows out quickly, and in Joe’s case got better with a little extra length.

Although this look is suitable for most hair types, it might not work for every man…type. The quiff has attitude built-in. That’s why it is seen on so many runways and rock stars. A subtler version could be great for the regular office guy, and might just spice up your life, but it is not a CEO style. This look says down-to-business if your business is looking great in front of a camera or behind a microphone. Be sure you can handle the hair, and the lack thereof, before you take the plunge. It seems to pair best with a brooding pout and a sick sense of style (but hey, that’s why you’re here, right?).

Hair grows, take the risk. It can be scary as hell (trust me, I know), but a new style can change your perspective.