Men’s Hair Color Best Choices
How Is Men’s Hair Color Created?
Not all heads of hair achieve their color the same way. The same pale blond, for example, could be achieved by
a) thick strands of hair with a naturally light pigment
b) much finer strands of hair with a darker or more reddish pigment
c) naturally darker hair sun-bleached to a lighter blond or, of course,
d) artificial dyes All four of those are four different colors of actual hairs, but at a distance they all have the same pale yellow color. So what color is your actual hair?
To find that out you’ll have to get up close and personal with a mirror and spend some time checking out the individual hairs. They may not even be uniform — most people are darker
near the roots, and some people’s hair can vary dramatically from root to tip. You may also have a head of mixed hairs, particularly in the case of men who are starting to gray.
That means that most people’s hair is a blending effect. That’s useful for discerning dressers to know, since very starkly contrasted clothes look better with single-shade hair colors, while a more blended outfit that transitions smoothly from one color to the next goes better with hair made from blended colors.
But what Men’s Hair Color is Best?
The one that goes best with your complexion.
It sounds like a cop-out answer, but it’s true. Your hair should complement your skin and eyes. A lot of the time this happens naturally. Guys are fortunately more resistant than girls, in general, to the temptation to dye their hair blond no matter what they actually look like, but you still see some horror shows out there from time to time.
Contrast matters. If the rest of your complexion (eyes, skin, body hair, etc.) is high contrast — like a pale-skinned man with dark eyes and hairs — you don’t want to throw that off by dying the top of your head pale. Similarly, low-contrast men — think dark-skinned men with black hairs — look jarring with hair that doesn’t come close to matching the rest of their complexion.
Should Men Ever Dye?
Hair Men’s Color For A few generations ago the answer would have largely been “no.” Hair dye was seen as purely a cosmetic change for women. These days, everything from bright green mohawks to lightly-dyed tips are common on men, especially younger men.
Men who work in any kind of office job should obviously be cautious with non-natural colors like red or green. Those are unlikely to go over well in the boardroom.
But a bit of artistic streaking or dying at the tips? Those things are largely acceptable these days. Men should keep contrast in mind, as always; light tips on dark hair will look much better on a high-contrast man than a low-contrast man. Some very conservative settings may still view it as unnecessary or frivolous, so be cautious of wearing the look in financial, legal, and other very traditional circles.
Cosmetic hair dyes will mostly fall into two categories: at-home applications, which generally (but not always) dye the whole head the same shade, and professional salon dyes, which can achieve any number of varied effects like dyed tips, two-tone splits, layered colors, and more.
If your goal is to make a bold statement, or to blanket gray hairs out of existence, home dyes can work. There are hundreds of brands available, of varying quality. For a neater, more professional-looking result, however, a man should usually visit a salon — one that caters specifically to men, if possible. You don’t want a hairstylist who’s only done dyes for women doing your colors.
As to the dying of gray hair, it’s an individual choice. Some men swear by it. But the single-color blanket dyes used to hide them are often painfully obvious — the sort of thing where anyone can look at you and
say “yeah, okay, he’s dying his hair to hide the gray.” It’s not a very dignified look. It puts people in mind of television broadcasters from the early 1980s.
If you’re naturally ungraying, fantastic, but if not, put some thought into wearing your well-earned silver with pride, rather than blanketing it in the dye. This is especially true for men whose hair is also thinning — nothing is more painfully obvious than thinning hair with a bald spot that’s been dyed a bright, youthful color.
Apart from color, the most obvious trait of any haircut is its length. It’s also the one that comes with the most social expectations and judgments attached.
The Basic Lengths
You can break hair down into three basic style families: short cuts, medium cuts, and long cuts.
Short hair can stand up on its own. Buzzcuts are short, as, obviously, are shaved heads. Slightly longer hairs worn spiked with products still look to observers like short cuts, though they may appear more like medium hair cuts when they lie flat.
Medium cuts encompass most traditional side-parts and other business styles. The hair is out of the eyes and mostly off the back of the neck, but it might be long enough to lie across the top of the head or tuck behind the ear.
Long cuts fall into the eyes, over the ears, or past the back of the neck. This could include anything from an unkempt mullet to a neat ponytail to a massively spiked mohawk that falls to the sides of the face when it’s let down.
Men’s Hair Color Long Hair: Yes or No?
The meaning of long hair can vary dramatically from culture to culture. White, middle- and upper-class urban Americans usually consider it a gesture of mild rebellion against social norms. That said, it’s worth remembering that white, middle- and upper-class Americans are a minority of the population. If you’re looking to advance in conservative businesses like corporate law and finance, you probably need to avoid long hairstyles.
But a man in a more counter-culture industry like software engineering might not find a well-kept ponytail disadvantageous at all. And a punk rocker may actually have more trouble landing gigs with a traditional business haircut
So there is no firm yes or no for most men. But the majority of men in America will have an easier time in most mainstream interactions with a shorter haircut. Hair past the top of the neck might generate negative reactions from some people, while hair that stops at the neck is never going to offend anyone.
The “Safety Zone” Men’s Hair Color
Conventional hair length for men is easy to define. A safe default for any barber, from a $5 student cut to a salon, is to ask for a cut within the following boundaries:
- Off the back of the neck 2. Above the point where the ear separates from the side of the head
- Above the eyebrows when brushed straight down in front That range encompasses most “traditional” hairstyles for men who want to keep it within the safety zone.
Going Bald and Hair Length
“Male-pattern baldness” gets its name for a reason: there’s a pattern. Hair loss starts at the top and front of the scalp and spreads from there.
That means it’s possible to have quite long hair while still going bald. This is pretty much always a bad idea.
Long hair let straight down with a bald spot in the center gets into the “crypt keeper” look. Long hair on the sides combed over the bald spot isn’t fooling anyone and makes you look desperate). Keep it short when it starts to bald, or just get a jump on the game by shaving the head entirely. Cueballs have been sexy for years now.
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