Skip to main content

The Only Two Back-to-School Hairstyles You Need for Pandemic Living

As the end of summer slowly begins to creep in on us, so does the reality of heading back to school – or wherever else you find yourself professionally once the warm weather officially departs. Regardless, we’re heading into that inevitable time of year where you’re expected to present a more polished version of yourself, and taking care of your hair should be a top priority.

But with the pandemic far from over, and the lingering effects of quarantine style still in full force, you’re certainly not the only one that might be questioning what hairstyle to have right now. Due to endless months of lockdown fatigue and event cancellations (like fashion week), there’s been a noticeable lack of new or trendy hair looks to take inspiration from.

So, perhaps consider simply refreshing your current hair situation, whether you’ve grown it longer over the months or continued to keep it short. Taking a pared-back approach to anything style-related is – funnily enough – very much in vogue.

Related Guides

What’s great about living in this era of anything-goes grooming is that there are countless hairstyles to consider. It’s just up to you to decide how much you’re willing to work and, for some, in keeping with what’s appropriate for whichever setting you find yourself in – for example, whether your educational institution or office has a strict dress code and hairstyle policy.

But considering the current moment, you can’t go wrong with these two tried and tested styles, both of which are versatile and suit all hair types, and chances are you’ve rocked at least one of these in the last 18 months. And now that barbershops and hair salons are open, you can get the look the way it was intended. Oh, and consider some options that’ll add a dash of personality if you dare. Here’s our choice of the two cuts to contemplate as you return from beachfront to the boardroom.

Buzz It Off

Pharrell rocking a buzzcut haircut.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

One of the leading lockdown styles of choice – or more specifically, the result of closed barbershops making it the only option for many – the buzz cut has been around since long before modern-day quarantine as we know it, and can stand on its own. It’s probably the easiest style to maintain (like, ever) and it suits all hair types. In fact, you don’t even need much hair to begin with, making it perfect for those who are embracing the follicular loss that comes with aging. You’d be hard-pressed to find a school or work environment where this style isn’t acceptable. It’s breezy enough to soak up the last bit of summer sun while simultaneously readying you for back-to-school vibes by providing an equally sharp look. And the best part? With barbershops now open, you don’t have to do the hack job yourself.

Read more: How to Cut Your Hair at Home

Looking for inspiration?

Take a style cue from Jaden Smith, who’s rocked not only a platinum blond buzz cut on several occasions, but takes the look one step further by going even bolder, previously opting for buzz cuts in a hot pink and a neon green. Frank Ocean, Zayn Malik, and Evan Mock are fans, too.

Grow It Out

Man with long blonde and wavy hair at the beach.
Phillip Suddick/Getty Images

During the lockdown, there was buzzing it all off and then there was what some may consider the other end of the extreme: Letting your hair grow out. Though not as universally suitable or easy to achieve for everyone – sadly, genetics dictate whether you’re gifted with long-growing hair or not – there is some level of extra growth that can mix up and even elevate your look when done right.

What’s more essential here is how you maintain and take care of your hair as it grows. One downside is that you will go through some awkward hair phases before you reach that glorious mane we just know you can picture right now. But persevere and you’ll thank us later. And of course, now that it’s possible, we recommend working with a hairstylist to help you track your progress, advise on care and styling based on your hair type, and most importantly, be able to execute that fine balance between adequate growth versus getting a trim when needed to keep things fresh and healthy along the way. There’s no reason why, when well-kempt, a longer hairstyle can’t look refined.

Looking for inspiration?

The likes of Brad Pitt and Trevor Noah both reached hair god status while growing out their ’dos during the height of the pandemic. With proper upkeep, both stars have made major style statements with their longer locks. Now go out there and do the same.

Read more: Best Mid-Length Hairstyles for Men

Bernd Fischer
Bernd Fischer is a freelance writer based in London covering style and grooming for The Manual. Before relocating to the…
Mineral vs chemical sunscreen: Which one should you actually use?
mens skincare routine changes to make man in sunscreen

Even on cloudy days or days spent indoors, wearing sunscreen every day is a non-negotiable part of a healthy skincare routine. Not only can excess sunlight cause premature aging of the skin, but it's also critical to wear sunscreen to protect against various types of skin cancer. When choosing sunscreen, you'll find two main types -- chemical and mineral sunscreen. The mineral vs chemical sunscreen debate has been an ongoing one, as both forms of sunscreens have their pros and cons. Below, we'll dive into the pros and cons of each type of sunscreen to help you choose the best option.

Pros and cons of chemical sunscreen
Chemical sunscreens, often made of chemicals such as oxybenzone, avobenzone, octinoxate, or other similar chemicals, are absorbed into the skin when applied. This type of sunscreen is generally easy to apply to the face and body and absorbs UV rays that touch the skin.
Pro: hydrating for the skin
Due to the thin and blendable nature of chemical sunscreens, they are generally hydrating for the skin and can be added to cosmetics such as moisturizers, skin tints, or foundation products.
Pro: sweat and water resistant
Many cosmetics that market "SPF included" contain chemical sunscreens. People also like chemical sunscreens because they are quite sweat and water-resistant.
Pro: no white residue
Chemical sunscreens also blend well into the skin and do not leave any white residue. If you think back to the sunscreen you used as a kid, chances are it was a chemical sunscreen. Mineral sunscreens have become more popular in recent years as consumers are paying more attention to the ingredients in their skincare and health products.
Con: not the best for sensitive skin
Although chemical sunscreens are easy to use, they are not always a great choice for those with skin conditions or sensitive skin. The chemicals found in this type of sunscreen can cause allergic reactions or worsen conditions such as melasma.
Con: chemical ingredients and environmental impact
In addition, some of the chemicals used in these products may be linked to cancer, as trace amounts get absorbed into the bloodstream. Another con to consider is the environmental impact of chemical sunscreen, which may damage reefs and other marine environments.

Read more
Why everyone is saying bakuchiol is the new (natural) alternative to retinol for your skin

Expected to reach USD 1.79 billion by 2030, the global retinol market has been on the rise recently -- offering an easy and accessible way to achieve brighter, more youthful skin at home. Retinol works by helping to increase your skin's proliferation (creating new skin cells) and helps increase your skin's collagen production to help target acne, fine lines, wrinkles, and other common skin concerns.

Although many people find they have great success with retinol, it's not for everyone. Not only can retinol be harsh on certain skin types, but it's not always the best choice for those who prefer a more natural skincare routine or one that is plant-based. That's why many people opt for Bakuchiol, a natural retinol alternative. Below, we'll break down the hype about Bakuchiol and its potential benefits for your skin.
What is bakuchiol?
Bakuchiol comes from a plant grown in India known as Psoralea corylifolia. Also known as the "babchi" plant, this botanical extract has been used in ancient Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic practices for centuries. Recently, Bakuchiol has gained popularity in the skincare world, offering properties similar to those of the well-known retinol. Bakuchol extract is offered in many forms to add to your skincare routine, such as in serums or moisturizers. Sometimes, Bakuchiol is also combined with other botanicals, such as jojoba or rose hip, to help improve effectiveness.
What are the benefits of bakuchiol?

Read more
My 5 favorite (discounted) Tom Ford colognes in April 2024
Someone spraying a Tom Ford cologne on themselves.

When you buy a Tom Ford cologne, you get one of the best men’s colognes around. However, understandably, such fragrances come at a premium. If you’re keen to save money while also scoring some great new fragrances this month, we’ve got all the best cologne deals on all things Tom Ford. Once you’ve chosen the right cologne for you, dive into our highlights below to see the best Tom Ford cologne deals that are available this month.
Tom Ford Grey Vetiver -- $122, was $235

Launched in 2009, Tom Ford Grey Vetiver aims to encapsulate the modern man’s spirit with timeless elegance. It has top notes of grapefruit which blends with the aromatic freshness of sage. There are also notes of orange flower, orris, and a hint of spicy nutmeg and pimento. Base notes of amber woods and oak moss add earthy depth which last throughout the day in a manly yet sophisticated way. For a more traditional and classic scent, you can’t go wrong with Tom Ford Grey Vetiver.

Read more