So you’re on the hunt for a new look. We feel that. A new decade is rapidly approaching and now is the best time to step into the new year as a leveled-up version of your former self. Since we’re living in an age of ultra-fluid style, one that isn’t weighed down by the aesthetic tribalism of the previous decades, your options on what to wear are virtually limitless. Hit up a music festival in a bucket hat and shorts, wake up the next morning and layer up in some sensible seasonally-appropriate gear, go for a mid-week hike in a boots-beanie-pullover combo, and wear your most fly streetwear staples to hit the clubs and bars on the weekend.
Point being: Dressing is situational. Your hair, on the other hand, reflects something essential about you. It’s your biggest natural style asset.
That said, there are virtually limitless ways to cut your hair — so much so that it can be daunting to take on a new look. To help you out, we came up with five modern hairstyle ideas that’ll keep you looking fly and fresh. They’re based on lifestyle and demeanor, helping you define yourself through your biggest passion points. Best of all, when you have a few tools like a Wahl Elite Pro Clipper and a little bit hair-cutting know-how, you can maintain these haircuts yourself.
The Far-Flung Adventurer
You’re the Far-Flung Adventurer — you need a hairstyle that is simple, short, and clean. Why? Adaptability. Nobody knows where you’ll be next weekend, but there’s a good chance that wherever it is, you’ll be the envy of your Instagram followers as you scale an epic mountain or show off the sweeping valley you’re about to explore.
With all the places you’ll go (from the heart of the Amazon to Hollywood boardrooms to pitch your newest project), you’ll need a hairstyle that is adaptable to all sorts of different climates and a short cut will ensure comfortability no matter where you are.
Clip Tip: This is a cut that’s going to require regular maintenance. Expect to keep it touched up every one to two weeks. To be safe, use an attachment guard with a high number and work your way down until you find the right length for your cut.
The Food Obsessive
If you’re the Food Obsessive, there’s a good chance that you’re the most comfortable when you’re entertaining a small gathering of friends. You’ve probably been called a “social butterfly” more than a handful of times. Whether your place is in the kitchen with the knives, or at the table as the wine flows, the Food Obsessive knows that presentability is 50% of what makes a meal work. You need to put the same attention to your own look as you do plating the perfect dish or pairing the right wine.
Give your hair a little length at the top, but keep it short on the sides for a style that always looks great for any social gathering, whether you’re standing in line at a taco truck or sitting down for a multi-course feast.
Clip Tip: That hair at the top is going to stand-out more with some texture, so use a clipper-over-finger technique to add some dimension.
The Hip-Hop Head
Hip-hop is a culture forever in flux and all about the flex — so naturally, we’ve seen our favorite rappers sporting all sorts of different hairstyles throughout the decades. From afros in the early days to the embrace of multi-colored punk-influenced hair dyes of today, hip-hop never stays in one place too long.
Right now, the hottest hair in hip-hop is a clean fade on the sides with some lengthy dreads and twists at the top. This long/short cut adequately reflects the extreme high and low frequencies of all your favorite beats.
Clip Tip: If you want an even blend on your fade, use your clipper in a rocking motion. Move away from your scalp in fluid strokes as you cut upward.
The Hypebeasting Skater
Skateboarding is more popular than ever. As a result, so is streetwear.
Right now, skaters and the style heads who want to look like skaters have returned to the sport’s first golden age — the ’90s. If the place you’re most comfortable is atop a board, barreling across the pavement of your city, then it’s time you pay some respect to the generations that came before you that made the whole act of skating as cool as it is.
The Hypebeasting Skater needs considerable length at the top with maybe even a bit of an undercut to thin out the sides. This ensures your hair is always tossing in the wind as you carve bowls and grind rails. Look toward ’90s heartthrobs, with their middle parts and casual approach to style, as your ultimate style inspirations and people will think you ride whether you know what you’re doing on a board or not.
Clip Tip: To get the most from your undercut, learn about the different sections of your head to locate the best division point.
The Sophisticated Barfly
The Sophisticated Barfly is deserving of a look that is as timeless as booze itself. This is the least manicured of all the looks, but the Sophisticated Barfly goes for the classic over the “now.”
You won’t need any lineups, or complicated blends here, instead you’ll be oozing with liquid courage, leaning into your natural hairline and parts, relying on pomade and curl enhancers to add the needed boost to the top of your hair. The sides and back will be nice, easy, clean fades that fit your face. Like a stiff Manhattan, this look is a classic that will never go out of style.
Clip Tip: Just because this look relies on your natural hair growth, it doesn’t mean it’s free from manicuring. Keep those sideburns, back of the neck, and hair around the ears clean with the inverted clipper technique.