Still doing this, are we? Right. OK. Week eight. Long hair. Let’s go.

First, a sad tale. My favorite hairstyle right now is A$AP’s braids. The guy just looks so fucking cool all the time and I feel like by copying him maybe I can be the same. But then, I’m quite pallid, from a town in Wales – specifically the ass end of the smallest point in middleoffuckingnowhere, UK – with a style ill-suited to such a haircut. I’d look like a viking’s weedy brother. Or some middle-class white guy who simultaneously discovered crack and rap at Spring Break.

My point – there is one, stick with me – is that just because you think a hairstyle is awesome, it doesn’t follow that you should copy and paste that shit onto your own head. It’s important to emulate the right hairstyle icons, ones that share your face shape, dress sense, hair type and so on. Not that you need to copy celebrities. But it helps to get an idea of how something might work for you by looking at someone a bit like you. Friends often say you’ve got the countenance of a competitive hot wing eater? Don’t ask your barber for a Jake Gyllenhaal high-and-tight. Unless Zangief from Street Fighter after the divorce actually sounds like a good nickname to you.

With that in mind, here are the best long hairstyle trends for 2016 and how to achieve them. Do try to pick the right one for your head:

The loyal Groom Service readers among you who read last week’s column will remember that neat hair is passé and letting your natural kinks, waves and curls do their thing is the future. (The rest of you who didn’t read it don’t even deserve a good haircut so fuck off). We can all agree there are few tasks more stultifying than overly styling your hair, so "tousled" being the look du jour couldn’t be more pleasing.

To achieve this, you need a barber who’ll work with the natural direction of your hair and a ton of patience in the middle phase of growth, during which you’ll look like a massive child who shouldn’t be responsible for dressing himself in the morning. But a few months later, be-mopped in hirsute glory, you’ll be a sexual tsunami leaving heartbroken towns ululating in your wake.

Style it: You’re working with what nature gave you here, so don’t go overboard and fight the natural direction of your hair. Simply pimp it with Sachajuan Ocean Mist Texturizing Spray.

Ocean Mist

Ocean Mist

$18

Sachajuan

Buy at amazon

If you hate it: Seriously? You need me for this? It’s loooong, man. Just choose another cut from this list or go back to last week’s article.

 

Brad Pitt and Charlie Hunnam have been rocking this look with aplomb. No fools they. It’s badass. Which is why this cut has made such a showing at the shows this year. Again, you’ll need patience with the growth – it takes a while. Ask your barber to keep the sides square while allowing some side growth to make its way behind your ears. You’ll also need a bit of height on top and to avoid too much length at the back – ignore this and you could end up looking like the type of guy you see on the news picketing against incest laws.

Style it: You need a product that'll add shine and hold. Apply Aesop's Violet Leaf Hair Balm to damp hair, pull it back and allow to dry naturally. If your hair is thin, dry it forward then pull it back with the product to add height.

Violet Leaf Hair Balm

$35

Aesop

Buy at Mr Porter

If you hate it: You could undercut the sides and back for a Brad Pitt in Fury kind of vibe. This is teetering on the hipster side of styles, so proceed with caution.

 

Kendrick Lamar. A$AP Rocky. Pusha T. Travis Scott. Braids. Braids everywhere. It’s one of the most versatile styles out there: you can experiment with parting shapes, braid length and number of braids. It’s important to go to your barber with a specific look in mind. Rocky, for example, has multiple square partings that make-up each medium-length braid, but actually doesn’t have many braids when compared to someone like Travis Scott, who has loads. You can also shave into the sides or even undercut for even more definition because you're crazy like that.

Style it: All the styling here happens during the braiding process. Rocky is on record as saying he only washes his hair once a week. So, yeah, look forward to that

If you hate it: I love the opprobrium I receive from commenter Do It For Lil Saint. So, here he is again with some sage advice: “Nah just shave the whole shit off like cam in paid in full”. You heard the man.

 

This cut sits somewhere between the natural long look at the top of this list and the short-and-textured style from last week. Whether you have thin-and-straight or tight-and-wavy hair, tighter on the sides and back with length kept on the top is fire. Again, you can ask your barber to undercut to give a more drastic distinction between top and bottom. The choice you need to make before getting this cut is how high and how tight.

Style it: You want a bit of mess, so apply something like Kevin Murphy’s Medium Texture Paste to damp hair. Tousle it with your hands with a vague sense of direction and walk out the door looking like a fucking hero.

Gritty Business

$27

Kevin Murphy

Buy at amazon

If you hate it: With a few inches taken off the top, pull it forward and you’ll then have a Caesar cut.

Hate that as well? I hate you.

Hit me with your grooming questions below so I don’t have to come up with column ideas for myself and can just answer them next week.
– Alex Harris

Knock, knock. Who is it? Groom Service.

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