Fall is officially arriving this week and it seems the last hot day might be behind us. You may already be pulling out your denim jackets, sweaters, and work boots from storage. So, while you’re swapping out your summer wardrobe for cool-climate essentials, perhaps it’s a good time to rethink what’s happening on top of your head. Between sweltering temperatures foiling attempts at any semblance of a style, and plunging mercury forcing you to don a beanie, you have a short window of opportunity to show off a pretty sweet cut. We asked barber Alex Ruiz of Harry’s Corner Shop to recommend a quartet of fall haircuts to request the next time you’re at the barbershop.
While this cut has retro roots, the fade means it doesn’t look dated. “This will continue being the go-to trendy hair style for guys this fall,” says Ruiz.
What to ask for: “I’d advise going online and grabbing a few pictures with different angles and hair texture that best works for your own hair,” says Ruiz. “Depending on whether you have curly or straight hair or dark or light hair, you will have different pompadour outcomes.” He notes that someone with darker hair will likely get a Fade 1 on the sides while someone with blonde hair will get something closer to a Fade 2. (As an aside: as a blonde dude, this is very true)
Styling advice: “I recommend blow-drying after towel drying, and then taking a dime size of matte finish clay (try Baxter of California Clay Pomade, $20, mrporter.com) and running it through your hair.” He advises pairing the pomp with a clean-shaven look.
For a look that’s more of an all-season cut (including winter when it won’t get messed up beneath a hat) and requires less maintenance, Ruiz recommends this short on the top and faded on the sides cut. “Guys who want to be a bit more daring during the chillier months should try this military-style skin fade.”
What to ask for: “Tell your barber you want the skin fade and specify if you want a stubbled or baby smooth fade, but each barber will have their own POV on skin fade,” says Ruiz.
Styling advice: Because the hair is so short, you can go sans styling products. As far as facial hair, Ruiz recommends either sporting a clean shave or full beard, but avoiding anything in between.
As you can imagine, this is the most versatile, universally flattering, office-appropriate option. “A classic cut is the best go-to for men who want something that’s timeless and matches everything they wear.”
What to ask for: “This style is basically an even side cut and scissor cut to the top,” explains Ruiz.
Styling advice: Rub a medium hold pomade, like Byrd Light Pomade ($22 for 2.5, byrdhair.com) between your hands and then run them through your hair. Easy!
If you prefer your hair long, low-maintenance (only infrequent barber required), and lazy, this is the style for you.
What to ask for: “Make sure your barber doesn’t give you a part when cutting your hair,” notes Ruiz. “If needed, ask him for a Fade 3 on the side and some scissor-cutting on the top for the effortless, messy look.”
Styling advice: “You want it look effortless, so just toss your hair around with minimal product, like a lightweight styling cream (try Imperial Freeform Cream, $24, imperialbarberproducts.com).” Because this look is messy on top, Ruiz recommends the opposite on the face—if not clean-shaven, then at the very least, a well-maintained and trimmed beard.