2009 sees men's hair styles fall into two distinct categories: school boy and rocker. But while the rocker look is certainly a 20th Century creation, the resulting hair style finds its roots (if you'll pardon the pun) distinctly in 19th Century Britain. And so it is in 2009; while the odd 2009 runway collection featured something akin to a grunge revival, the majority of us will live out 2009 with a refined, classically inspired hair cut.
The Slick Back
Though he's given his name to an incarnation of the fringe hair trend, actor George Clooney has been a larger influence of another of 2009's hair style trends for men: the slick back.
In being a part of 2009 hair trends the slick back drives home one major point: men's hair styles in 2009 are all about the classics. In fact the slick back may actually be a little too classic for most men, with its popularity in the likes of Ralph Lauren catalogues it actually conveys a real American style that will guarantee it success in the States but probably little outside.
How To Cut The Slick Back
If you're after the slick back look there's one important thing to first consider: is your hair wavy or straight. From there on in it's easy.
Guys with straight hair: stick to a longer cut on top. Guys with wavy hair: go for short hair on top, perhaps a few inches in length depending on the strength of your wave. The two models below, both from Jil Sander's Spring-Summer 2009 catwalk, best demonstrate the different cut lengths for the two hair types.
For both straight haired and wavy haired men: short on the sides.
And for those who have neither straight nor wavy hair? Consult your stylist. You're going to have a real time getting the slick back hair style with curly hair, and unless you're willing to dedicate vast amounts of time each morning to your hair you might want to seek a chemical curl relaxer.
How To Style The Slick Back
Looking at it, you already know it's not going to take a lot of effort to style the slick back (provided your hair is suitable, and cut appropriately). Using the right product, like good old-school Brylcreem if you're after a classic wet look, the real trick is to make sure that the side you choose to slick the hair back towards actually suits your face. Try both ways, and don't forget that your mirror doesn't show your true image.
The other major choice is whether to add a part or not. Clooney wears it with one, as did many a model on Moschino's Fall (Autumn)/Winter 2008/2009 catwalk, while the models at Jil Sander's collection launch (above) wore the look partless.
Increasingly, current men's fashion trends are being based upon last season's women's fashion trends so it comes as no surprise that the fringe will be a major feature of men's hair trends in 2009. Thankfully it won't take all it's cues from the women fringe trend of 2008, nor will it be long enough to warrant accusations of being a medieval-bowl-cut revival.
How To Cut The Fringe
Thankfully, the men's fringe trend in 2009 comes in a variety of lengths, so you're going to be able to play with the look to suit your face shape. While you'll be looking to keep shorter back and sides (British grade 4-5), the way of truly making it your own is to play with the length of the fringe itself. No better example exists than the Bottega Veneta Men's Spring-Summer 2009 catwalk which provided two fringes in stark contrast to each other:
Of the two, the latter side swept fringe is the more preferential, with the cropped fringe looking a little too nondescript. If the side swept fringe does look like a hair style you might wear, be sure to check out Marni's menswear Fall(Autumn)/winter 2008/2009 catwalk collection where it was a look sported by most of the models.
How To Style The Fringe
Whether you take a straightening iron to your hair or enjoy naturally straight hair, the men's fringe trend in 2009 is all about texture. I'm not talking about afro-inducing curls akin to those spotted on Alexander Mcqueen's runway (those were horrible) but light, layered detail. And in giving us the best length, Burberry Prorsum also featured the best textured styling for the men's fringe:
This textured hair style, with its longer fringe, is the 2009 incarnation of the 'Caesar cut', named after the hair style Roman dictator perpetuus Julius Caesar who is frequently depicted wearing his hair in a similar fashion. For a similar reason, it's also become known as 'the Clooney Cut' after actor George Clooney. While cut to bring hair from the temples and crown towards the forehead, the overall effect depends largely on using a matte wax or pomade to create the rugged texture and is quite akin to something sported by men in the Regency era.
And if it's a rugged texture you're after, particularly if you have wavy or curly hair, then look no further than Gucci's Men's Fall (Autumn)/Winter 2008/2009 catwalk where the models oozed sex with a take on 2009's fringe hair style trend.