Some polarizing hairstyle trends come and go quickly—think the man bun—while others make a periodic resurgence. And as we start 2018, no such style has really surfaced just yet, and that could be for the better. Instead, the most common trends span various lengths and textures. They’re cleaned up, too—even the shaggier option of the bunch is red-carpet friendly.
If you’re looking for a new style this year, your best bet is to switch from one classic cut to another: Grow it out and layer it, keep it cropped with lots of texture, or opt for a tight fade to disguise any thinning.
Here are three looks to consider that cover those bases, as well as how to get each one—courtesy of Thom Priano, a celebrity men’s stylist and founder of hair care and styling brand R+Co.
“Men are moving towards long hair," says Priano. "This layered look can be created on straight, wavy, or curly hair.” He says to tell the barber that you don’t want your hair shorter than jaw length, but you can go as long as shoulder length. You’ll need full hair, and slight recessions can still pull off this look. Get your hair cut every six to eight weeks as it grows. This might seem counterintuitive, but you need it layered and texturized properly so that it grows out in the best way possible. (You won’t be cutting length, but will instead be trimming the bulk so that it’s easier to style.) Talk to your stylist about which products are best suited to your hair type, but Priano would recommend a moisturizing cream or a styling mousse for lightweight control and texture.
"This look works really well on men with thin or thinning hair, since it makes their hair look thicker,” Priano says. “If a man has thin hair and grows it long, you are able to see through it, which draws negative attention to the thinning. By cutting it short and keeping the hair close to the scalp, you’ll get the appearance of thicker hair.” Ask your barber for a tight fade. The amount of hair you leave on top varies depending on your taste, but it should be faded high on the sides. Finish the look with a light cream or smoothing oil to keep the shape without any added volume or product residue.
One medium-length trend (that has carried over from past years) is to keep the sides short with a longer top. “This look is best on men with medium to thick hair, and it works on both straight and curly textures,” Priano says. Ask your barber to use a clipper on the sides and back, and he or she will switch to scissors on top. You’ll need three inches or more up top to pull it off. Use a paste with medium to high hold to style the look and to give your hair texture.