The arrival of fall brings change. The leaves change, transitioning from green to orange. Your wardrobe changes, with boardshorts giving way to jeans. It’s also a good time to switch up your haircut.
The shaved dome or fade that served you so well on those humid, 100-degree summer days becomes less practical as the temperatures start to dip and you want a little more insulation. Besides, mixing up your look is a good habit. “A lot of guys stick with the same hairstyle for decades, where it’s ‘I’ve had the same haircut since I was 12,’” says Mike Sposito, who cuts hair at the cool-without-being-pretentious Fellow Barber, which has outposts in New York City and San Francisco. “But it’s like, nah, you should be changing. You should constantly be changing whether it’s a seasonal thing or a midlife crisis.”
One change that Sposito has observed is a move away from the super sharp, no hair out of place, look. In its place are haircuts that show a little bit more movement and texture in the hair. Sposito has always admired cultural icons like David Lynch and Jeff Bridges, whose hair has a real life to it that defines their look, and that style is definitely making a comeback.
It doesn’t matter the length of your hair. From short to long, straight to curly, you can get a cut that gives you a textured look that feels natural. It’s all about having a conversation with your barber and figuring out what your hair can and can’t do, and what works best with your lifestyle.
We caught up with Sposito on a sunny afternoon at Fellow Barber’s location in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, to find out what the coolest haircuts are for guys this fall and how you can maintain the look after you leave the barber shop without having to spend a ton of time fussing over your ‘do.
1. The Natural Buzzcut
Sposito has a lot of clients who are training for the New York City Marathon in November and the pompadour styles they’d been sporting beforehand don’t really cut it when you’re doing 18-mile training runs. The natural buzzcut is a great option for athletic guys. It’s short everywhere but the edges are not too precise. The length is similar to what you’d get with a number 3 length clippers, but it’s achieved mostly with scissors. That way “it’s going to have subtle imperfections and as it grows out you’ll see the texture in the hair evolve,” Sposito says. A traditional buzzcut, by comparison, grows out more evenly so you can end up looking like a fluffball. And with this more natural look, your hair is still long enough that you’re able to work a product, like Fellow Barber’s Texture Paste, into it for a little more structure with a matte finish. If your face is rounder, Sposito says, ask your barber to cut it shorter on the sides and leave it a little longer on the top to help elongate your face.
2. The Easy Rider
Coming up with the name for this style wasn’t easy. Wavy Gravy was also in contention. But basically it’s a less refined take on the classic pushed-over-on-one-side look, and it will give you the perfect amount of coverage for fall. It’s a little longer on the sides and in the back and there is significant volume up front. If you’ve got curly or wavy hair, this is a great look because it embraces your hair’s natural tendencies. It’s also a look that brings an air of cool when you’re wearing a suit, while also fitting right in with jeans and a T-shirt.
Getting the look after you leave the barber shop takes a little extra work, but it’s worth it. First off, apply a little bit of styling cream for a loost hold. Then you’re going to need to use a blow dryer, but don’t freak out. “A hairstylist would probably scoff if they heard me say this, but take the blow dryer, point it at your forehead point it straight up.” If your hair is leaning in one direction blow it in the opposite direction to help it stand up in front. Then add the styling paste and work it around your hair to break it up into pieces so it’s just the right amount of messy.
3. The Dapper Man
While not exactly a new look for fall, the clean, parted over hairstyle always feels current. But it’s especially appropriate for this time of year because it looks so good with fall staples like sweaters and bomber jackets. It also works with a variety of different hair lengths. You can go with it tighter on the sides or leave it a little longer for more movement. For the top, a length between three and four inches is good to get a proper combover style.
To achieve a really sharp style, Sposito recommends using Fellow Barber’s strong pomade and then using a comb to help your hair lie straight. For a more natural look, run your hands through the hair after combing it down. There’s nothing too complicated about it. “It’s just a gentleman’s haircut that looks timeless,” Sposito says.