Long hair can look casual and effortless. Getting there can be anything but. So if you like the look, and you’re thinking it might work for you, how do you deal with the process of growing it out? You have the inspiration—maybe you’re thinking Josh Holloway in “Colony” or Jason Momoa in… basically anything. You could just stop going to the barber and wait for it to happen, but then you face an awkward beehive phase. You need a strategy. Here are three ways to approach your hair-growing project without letting your hair ruin the rest of your look.
1 / 4 BY PATRICK HUGUENINRead more
2 / 4 STRATEGY: KNOW WHERE YOU'RE HEADEDRead more
Before you start, think about what you want it to look like in the end. Sounds obvious, but because hair only grows about a quarter of an inch a month, a lot of guys put off planning.
“I have guys who want to grow their hair out and I’m like, ‘Okay, what length are you trying to grow it to?'” says Daniel Alfonso, stylist and owner of Daniel Alfonso Men’s Salon in Los Angeles. “And they’re like, ‘I don’t know.'”
His advice, if you wanted to get ripped, you’d have a celeb inspiration in mind. So do the same thing here. And think about how similar you are to that person.
“There could be a style you want to do, but it won’t work because your hair is really coarse, or you have a widow’s peak,” says Alfonso. “Find out the foundation of your hair.”
3 / 4 STRATEGY: LONG ON THE TOP, SHORT ON THE SIDESRead more
Growing your hair out doesn’t mean quitting your trips to the barber. In fact, regular haircuts can be a way to cheat your look along the way.
Your solution is an undercut. You keep things relatively trimmed around the back and sides, while building up length on top.
“While growing out your hair, you still have to have a good haircut,” says Alfonso. “I grew out my top super long, to where it was actually down to my chin, and then I grew out my sides probably about two to three inches. It actually looked like all of it was long because it just blended in.”
From there, he cut the top and waited for the sides to catch up. Eventually everything is the same length, and you’ve avoided the awkward phase.
4 / 4 STRATEGY: ROCK EACH "IN-BETWEEN" LOOKRead more
Another option, roll with each in-between length and use each to experiment with a different look.
“You just have to have fun with those in-between moments,” says Alfonso. “First you slick it back like Al Pacino. Then it’s a little longer, it’s a Brad Pitt look. Then it’s Johnny Depp. Then you have an ’80s rocker look. Then it’s ’90s—that’s where it gets really out of hand and people ask, ‘You can’t afford a haircut or what?'”
Once you can pull your hair into a ponytail, it’s smooth sailing. You can keep growing it and your man bun gets bigger, or you can go for a Jared Leto vibe and wear it down.
So, if you’re curious, you might as well try it.
“I think every guy should grow his hair out at least once,” says Alfonso. “Because that’s how you find out when you need to cut it. If you’re like, ‘Oh my god, this looks ugly,’ then you’ve found out how long is too long. You will come to a point where it’s either yes or no.”