So you’re getting married – congratulations! Your missus has organised several pampering sessions, spa dates and blowdry appointments for her and her bridesmaids and you’re left at a bit of a loose end with scratchy stubble, a botched barnet and the secret worry that you’re going to pale in comparison to your wife on the big day.
Don’t worry though – there are ways to sort yourself out in a relaxing, masculine and stylish way, without too much hassle and with these tips from Ruffians’ resident barbers.
1.THINK A-HEAD (PUN DEFINITELY INTENDED)
Book yourself in for a haircut about a week before your wedding. If you’re organised enough, you could make an evening of it with some mates – Ruffians can get the beers in for you, sort you out a little ‘Grooming for the Groom Section’ at the back of their shop and make sure you’re all getting your haircuts/shaves together.
It’s good to get your hair done a bit in advance just in case a) something comes up the day before the wedding (it inevitably will, and your bride will not want you spending hours drinking beers with your mates during this time…) b) you may decide you want a change of style at the last minute (you will be photographed on your wedding day roughly 25828 times more than your average night out. Make sure you look exactly how you want to be remembered).
If you are hoping to get a cut throat razor shave on the morning of your wedding but haven’t had one before, make sure that you get a couple done in the months preceding the wedding – going so close to the skin for the first time will usually cause irritation and blood spotting, so it’s best to have a proper cut throat shave 2 or 3 times to toughen up the skin before the big day.
2. STICK TO WHAT YOU KNOW
Don’t try any new products, shampoos, face creams, barbers, scissors, clippers, hair gels, foot sprays, Haribo flavours. Who knows what allergies may conveniently emerge at the most crucial moment of your life so far, cratering your face in red splodges, or turning your beard blue, or giving you some kind of inexplicable limp.
3. APPLY THE FINISHING TOUCHES AT THE LAST MINUTE
If you have the time, willpower and energy, try to get back the barber shop on the morning of the wedding. This is the perfect time to sort out your facial hair, whether you are opting for clean shaven, designer stubble or fully bearded. This is the best way to look and feel fresh on your wedding day, even if it does take you a good 2 weeks to grow stubble less than half a centimetre long.
This is also the best time to get a final hair tidy-up, which should only take about 15/30 minutes – your barber can sort out the hairs on your neckline, properly wash, dry and style your hair while giving you a dram of whisky and distracting you from the jittery sensations going on in your stomach by talking about their latest Tinder dates or the mystery subplot occurring in Game of Thrones. These guys cut grooms’ hair on a regular basis, so hopefully can set you on your way with the knowledge that you’ll look as sharp as ever.
Now the fun part – decide how you want to look. Your optimum haircut/hairstyle will depend on a number of factors: your hair type/thickness/density, your suit, your overall style, your facial hair, your face shape, your hair colour, your wedding’s vibe/guestlist… it’s a toughie to sum up categorically but we’ve got a few general ideas for inspiration below.
If you have short hair (ie. No more than 1 inch in length), you should go for a cropped look. This is essentially a short ‘Short Back and Sides’, with the hair kept very tight around the ears on the back and sides, and left a little bit longer on top. A nice contemporary look that has been gracing the catwalks and magazines of late is the ‘Modern French Crop’, which is textured and choppy but maintains neat and tight proportions which frame the face correctly and accentuate good bone structures – for this reason, cropped haircuts go very well with a clean shaven look. If you have thinning hair, or a receding hairline, this haircut gives the illusion of thickening the hair density and concealing sparse patches, so you don’t have to worry about that either.
It’s a low-maintenance look which doesn’t require much product – ideal for weddings, when you’ll be going through a variety of sweat and temperature stages, where you won’t want to worry about melting hair products cascading down your face. Use a dry product like ‘hair dust’ to give it some thickness and hold.
Most people will have this length hair on top (between 1-3 inches) and shorter hair on the back and sides. This is versatile, and there is a variety of styles for you to play with here. For a classic wedding look, go for the side parting, which can look very dashing and can give you the confidence to pretend you are a Disney Prince, or that you actually CAN pull off that pocket square your trendy cousin insisted you wear. Goes nicely with some designer stubble, or a short beard kept tightly in around the face and neck.
Now the only issue with this is keeping it looking good all day. However, if you have had it styled by your barber on the morning of the wedding, it should be fine: blowdry some salt-spray into your hair and style into the parting; finish with a paste or clay for a glossy matt finish and use a hairspray to set. This should last you until your first dance – after this, any extreme movements (like the inevitable twerking your best man will goad you into doing) will probably loosen the look.
If you hair is longer around the back and sides (more than 2 inches), maybe go for a quiff. Not an Elvis quiff, but a Modern Pompadour, which keeps the back and sides scissor cut and textured, and the quiff high and voluminous. This look encourages the quiff to fall nicely over the forehead if need be for a rockabilly-inspired look, which would go especially well if your wedding has a 50s/60s theme (by any chance…). Keep it clean shaven to properly replicate The King.
Blowdry the hair with a salt spray in it to instigate a decent hold, and finish with a wet look pomade while combing the hair back. A water-based pomade is helpful, as you can always add extra water and restyle as the day goes on. Just make sure you carry a pocket comb with you at all times.
For proper long, shoulder length hair you should make sure your barber has experience in women’s hairdressing – as then they will be able to layer it nicely and give it a soft, natural look.
The only product needed here will be a light mousse which is applied during the blowdry otherwise unwanted greasy residue will certainly appear as the day rolls on. If you’re bold enough, go all out with a man-bun and long beard (but remember to trim it and apply a beard oil so you don’t look like you just woke up).
If you’re getting your first cut throat shave, do it two or three times in the months preceding the wedding, otherwise your skin will be too sensitive and will erupt in irritation and blood spotting.
Make sure you have prepared your skin properly before with hot towels and an exfoliating scrub – this will open up your pores and make the stubble softer, and therefore easier to shave.
Perform two passes with the razor and close up the pores with a cold towel and rehydrate with an alcohol free moisturiser or aftershave balm. Only apply your cologne or Eau de Toilette to your wrists and the back of the neck – never to your face, as the alcohol will irritate and dry out the freshly shaved skin.
Keep it short and natural looking (no Craig David/Ali G lines please) and make sure the style suits your haircut/face shape. Shave upwards from the cheek-lines and the Adam’s apple and don’t create any severe lines.
This has got to be trimmed to suit your face shape otherwise it will look scruffy. For rounder faces, square it at the edges and make it boxy, and for more square shaped faces, opt for a Henry VIII style pointed beard. Keep it clean and tidy around the lip, so your new wife doesn’t have to nibble the crumbs of your wedding cake later on.
Tidy it up around the lip so you have no overhang, unless you are sporting a handlebar (takes about 9 months to grow properly) in which case, twizzle the ends with wax. You ought to have the rest of your face clean shaven or it will just look messy.