How To Achieve Your Perfect Hair & Beard

WITH THE HELP OF HIS MATE, FITNESS GURU DAN CONN, GROOMING EXPERT AND VSFORMEN AMBASSADOR AIDEN XYDIS TELLS US HOW TO DIY YOUR MANE AND STUBBLE, MAINTAIN IT AND GET IT LOOKING THE WAY YOU WANT IT TO — AT HOME, WORK OR ABROAD…

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“I often see men let their hair grow out completely, so that the great haircut they once acquired becomes shaggy and unkempt,” says all-round hair specialist Aiden Xydis. “With short hair styles, in particular, the aim is to maintain and manage your hair,” continues the boss Barber from The Men’s Grooming Room at the Valonz salon in Sydney. “Sometimes a simple trim is all that is needed.” And what of beards? Where does Aiden think men go wrong when it comes to their facial fuzz? “With beards, I often see ones that are not shaped correctly,” Aiden explains. “If you are going to have a beard, take care of it! Learn how to trim and groom your beard correctly. And, if you don’t feel confident doing it yourself ask your barber.”

What should men always do to maintain a healthy head of hair? 
Hair is like skin – you need to nourish it. There aren’t specific foods that will cause your beard to sprout like Jack’s beanstalk, but eating a balanced diet generally promotes healthy hair and skin. Take a multivitamin if consuming fruits and vegetables feels too wimpy.

How often do you think men should wash their hair?
I am a big believer in only washing your hair once a week – the oily presence of sebum on your scalp provides a layer of protection that is essential to keeping the skin from losing its moisture and drying out too quickly. I am also a big believer in coconut oil and using a small amount to rub into the scalp, especially in the cooler months when it’s prone to drying out. Having a bit of texture in your hair also makes it really easy to style.

What’s your top tip for men prepping their hair prior to clipping it themselves?

Make sure your hair is clean and combed so there are no tangles that will interfere with the motion of the clipper.

What’s the best way to hold a clipper when cutting your own hair?
Hold the clippers firmly and comfortably, and use it with the blades facing up to ensure you’re actually cutting the hair.

What’s the most effective method to tidying up around the ears and back of the neck?
Use an ear comb guard to tidy up around the ears. To tidy the edges, remove the comb guards. Hold the clippers upside down, so the front of the clipper is facing towards your head, and hold it straight onto your sideburns or neckline moving the clippers downwards. Sideburns should be in line with the tragus and shaped as desired using the same technique as with the nape and around the ears.

What are the big trends in men’s hair in the next six months?
High, fade quiff haircut. Translated, this is basically short back and sides and long on top. This is a versatile style as you can wear it undone or slicked back and you can create a side part or brush it straight back. Looking at the collections this season, there is also a strong trend to crew cuts — which, if you have the right head shape, can look amazing.

What’s the best way for men to maintain a healthy, clean beard? 
Just like the hair on your head — eat right, wash it, dry it, apply some beard oil, I personally like plain old coconut oil or a fragrance free nut based oil, and use the right tools to keep it in order.

What are your top tips for a guy prepping his beard prior to trimming it himself?
Prior to any kind of beard trimming and shaving I always recommend using a wet towel to moisten the skin and open the pores to avoid irritation. If you’re trimming your beard I would suggest back combing the hair first — this will enable the trimmer to catch the hair more precisely and give you a more even finish.

What’s the best way for men to trim their beards themselves?
For guys using a trimmer at home or away I would recommend using a longer comb guide when starting and then working down from here to get your ideal length. You can always go shorter but can’t grow it back overnight once it’s gone. So, it’s best to be safe not sorry. Also, don’t forget to oil the trimmers to ensure best results.

There are so many facial hair styles — moustaches, goatees, etc… How does a guy know which look suits them best?
Face shapes play a big role. People with rounder heads should elongate their faces by having more length on the chin and less on cheeks – this creates more of a distinct jawline. Men with longer faces should have a stubble style so as to not draw attention to face length. If you’re not sure what will suit you best, play around and try different styles – it will always grow back!

Where are the big trends in facial hair taking us in the next year? 
Beards are here to stay but probably more groomed than some of the wild man looks we’ve been seeing. Facial hair is now a constant rather than a trend, so to maintain it is key. Beards are a really personal thing, dependant on individual style and face shape. They also require quite a bit of upkeep, so be sure to keep that in mind if you are keen to get your beard going.

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