Man vs. Hair

60 Tutorials for Handsome Hair and Stubble


By Kieron Webb

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Man vs. Hair is your step-by-step guide to the latest and greatest in men’s hairstyling and facial hair grooming.

Groomed hair is a red-hot street style for men, inspired by bloggers, sports stars, actors, and models. With Man vs. Hair you can learn just how they do it. This is a collection of sixty fashionable men’s hairstyles and facial hair looks. Step-by-step tutorials featuring simple how-to illustrations take the guesswork out of styling, while on-trend fashion photography demonstrates how to wear each ‘do. With advice for different haircuts, types, and lengths, plus plenty of grooming tips, Man vs. Hair is the ultimate resource for amazing beards, braids, sideburns, mustaches, man buns, buzzcuts, and much more!
Sharply packaged and easy to use, this is an ideal gift for any man of style.




I cut and style a lot of hair, and one of the things I notice a lot is that while guys will often have a very clear idea of the style they want, they are usually really surprised to discover the tools and products it will take to achieve it. There is often a lot more to a style than you think. But the good news is that this can all be learned.

It all comes down to practice, and not being afraid to have a go. I may travel the world, styling celebrity hair, but it took me 15 years of hard work to get where I am now, so if anyone knows the value of experience, it’s me! But I have also tried to keep things simple because I wanted the styles in this book to be achievable. This is why you will find very few looks classified as “difficult”—I know plenty of people will see that word and be put off having a go (although I have included one or two in there for those of you who like a challenge). I have also broken down each style into no more than five stages so that you can follow through step by step, and at your own pace.

You will see a variety of different models throughout this book, too, so you’re sure to spot someone who has similar hair to you. Some of these guys are friends of mine—professional models that I’ve worked with for years—but you definitely don’t need to be in the industry to achieve similar looks with your own hair. In fact, I would stress that the most important thing is to respect your own look and personal style.

With trial and error, you’ll get very familiar with your own hair. You can choose to wear it longer or shorter, but the one thing that you won’t be able to change is its natural texture. You need to respect what you can achieve, and then work with that. Make sure, too, that you take into account the shape of your face, and how your hairstyle will work with that. Some styles will work on all hair types, too, so don’t be afraid to experiment and try something different, even if the model’s hair isn’t the same as yours. It’s your choice.

Above all, make the most of your strengths, and express who you are, not someone else. And have fun!



Shorter cuts

Longer cuts

Fades and undercuts

Styling tools

Styling products

Dos and don’ts

Hair and beard care

Finding a good stylist

Finding a good barber


Men will always want short hair—it’s a classic “masculine” look that will never go out of style. However, there are many options to choose from, depending on your natural hair texture and your lifestyle. And, as you’ll discover in this book, having a short cut won’t mean that you can’t express yourself in lots of different ways!

A short cut can range from the shortest of all—a buzz cut that takes it right back to a few millimeters—through to styles like crew cuts, and then on to fades and undercuts (see here and here), where the hair on top can be as long as you like. And, within these categories, the length of the hair and the style can vary hugely.


The main consideration for any successful cut will be your hair texture. You should always work with what you’ve got, not against it. Although tools and products can achieve a lot, they can’t work miracles.

If you have straight hair, for example, you may decide to go for a classic, short cut that is easy to maintain. If you have curly hair, then why not leave a bit of length on top so that you can create textured looks that take advantage of your hair’s natural volume? When it comes to Afro hair, there are dozens of different lengths to choose from, right down to a tight Afro, depending on what works with your face shape.


Always take your lifestyle into account when choosing a style. If you work outdoors, for example, and don’t have much time to spend on your hair, there’s no point in going for a complicated cut that needs lots of styling. But having one cut definitely doesn’t restrict you to just one style.

For example, take a look at the two different looks I created on my friend Tommy—the Textured Crop (here) and the Sleek Crop (here). These demonstrate just how much can be achieved with styling, even on very short hair. You can wear it as a neat forward crop during the day, then add a bit of product to transform it into the textured look for an evening out. Short hair like this also allows you to make a strong statement with your facial hair.

Above all, don’t be afraid to experiment. Try a new cut, then play around with products to see what variations you can achieve. Look through this book, pick out something you like, and try it at least once. It’s only through trial and error that you will learn what suits you best.


Long hair comes in all shapes and sizes, from a mop top, as first worn by the Beatles, all the way through to hair that reaches way beyond the shoulders. And the look can range from tailored to messy. For the purposes of this book, I have classified longer styles as those where the hair is at least chin length—long enough to create looks such as ponytails, braids, and buns.


Longer cuts obviously require a bit more maintenance than a simple wash-and-go cut, simply because there is more hair to take care of! If you are wanting to create super-clean, sharp looks, then you’ll need to make sure that your hair is in good condition, with no split ends to spoil the effect of a slick style. Choose a good shampoo and conditioner, especially if your hair is coarse or prone to dryness, and be sure to get your hair trimmed regularly.

It is also worth asking your barber or stylist for advice on how to create a look that best frames your face. Long hair doesn’t have to be all one length.


If you are prepared to take on the maintenance of long hair, then the payoff will be maximum versatility when it comes to styling. Once you’ve read this book and mastered the techniques I will show you, you will be able to braid your hair, tie it back, and coil it up—or all of the above, and in any combination.

Wear your hair down and messy, or slick it back and tie it in a tight pony paired with a suit for a groomed, formal appearance. You don’t need short hair to look sharp and classic! And there are plenty of options for adding extra interest with no extra effort—see, for example, the “samurai” styles on here and here for just two quick ideas.

Even hair that reaches only to the middle of your face will be long enough to attempt something interesting. For example, one of my best-known clients, Zayn Malik, got a lot of attention for a topknot that I created for him one year. At the time, he had an undercut (see here), and the hair on top reached only to his ears. It was the contrast between the shaved area at the lower part of his head, with the tight, sleek topknot above it that made this “long” style so striking.


These are styles where the hair is longer on top and shorter below, although they can be created with all sorts of variations in actual length. They are incredibly popular right now because they are a very effective way of adding visual interest for very little maintenance.

Although fades and undercuts often overlap, there is a difference between these two terms, which is worth knowing before you visit your barber.


An undercut is any haircut that is longer on top and shorter below. A “disconnected” undercut is where there is a strict contrast between the two—with hair much longer on top, and the sides consistently much shorter. A fade describes any sort of graduation, so when this appears on an undercut it means that the hair on the sides gradually “fades” or tapers as it progresses down toward the ears and neck. There is a smooth transition in length.


The first thing that you need to decide on is the overall shape. With a high fade, for example, the short sides come right up to your temples. This will create a strong look, especially if you have some length or texture in the hair on top. A mid-fade starts around halfway up, so this is a slightly less extreme look. A low fade starts lower down.


The first thing to decide is how close to the head you want your sides to be—anything from around 13 mm (using a number 4 guard) right down to shaved!—and what degree of graduation you prefer. There are no rules, and you can always play around with variations every time you get it trimmed.

You also have lots of options when it comes to the hair on top. You might want to keep this short and messy, or you may prefer to keep a bit of length in it so that you can create slicked-back styles, perhaps with a side part, or maybe long bangs. Try to take your hair texture into account, though, because although the sides will be fairly maintenance-free, this is the part of the haircut that will need to be styled.

Take a look through this book and you’ll spot a few looks for inspiration, or go online and see what other variations are possible.


I can’t count how many times a guy has come to me with a photo of a style they’d like, but when I’ve told them what they’ll need to use to achieve it they’ve been shocked—they’re usually expecting to be able to add a little product and go!

For this reason, I’ve kept it simple for the styles in this book. I know most of you will already have a comb, and probably a beard trimmer. And I daresay you’ll have access to a hair dryer, too, even if it’s something that you’ve done your best to avoid up til now! Here is a roundup of some of the basics…


A wide-tooth comb will glide easily through hair. It’s perfect, too, for combing wet hair. A small-tooth comb is good for creating neat parts.


There are lots of different brushes available, depending on the task. A round brush, for example, is great for creating a gentle curl in your hair while blow-drying; a plastic vent brush has wide-spaced bristles that allow for air flow when blow-drying; and a nylon/boar-bristle brush has amazing grip, is soft on the hair, and produces really smooth results when creating a ponytail.


The long, thin teeth on a pick are great for reaching right through thick layers of hair.


A flat iron straightens and smooths out hair by clamping it between two metal plates. This process can also add texture to the hair, as you will see in some of the styles in this book.


Most guys hate the idea of using a hair dryer, but this is one of the most useful tools of all, so learn to take advantage of it. The regular nozzle on your dryer will give a fuller, more directional blast of air. You can use this in combination with a brush to blow down the hair shaft, making the hair cuticle lie flat so that you get a smooth finish. Doing the opposite will ruffle the hair cuticle, creating a more voluminous effect. A diffuser attachment allows heat to come through, but not too much airflow, which is why it’s good for curly hair, or when you want to avoid frizz.


All beard trimmers come with a variety of guards (usually around eight) that you can swap to achieve your desired length. Make sure that you keep your blade oiled. All you need is three small dots of oil along the blade to maintain smooth movement between the moving metal parts.


A safety razor is so named because the blade is covered slightly—there is a buffer between the blade and your skin. A cut-throat razor is an open blade, so it can be easier to cut yourself, but as long as you are careful, this type of blade will give you the perfect close shave.


You may be surprised to discover what you’ll need in terms of products to achieve most styles. Hair doesn’t just magically do what you want it to! But you’ll also be surprised at how quickly you can get to know the habits of your own hair and what works best for you.

A professional will have access to a huge selection of products, but for this book I’ve tried to keep it simple, so that you won’t need to make a major investment to get started. What I’ve listed below are the products that I found myself reaching for most when creating the styles in this book, although I do mention other things along the way that aren’t listed here—and, of course, you may also already have your own trusted favorites.

When it comes to quantity, this really depends on the length of your hair, and how thick it is, but gauging this for yourself will soon become second nature.


I am on a one-man mission when it comes to hairspray. Most men think hairspray is for women: this couldn’t be more wrong. The sooner you embrace this styling product, the easier your life will be. Sprays range from soft to firm hold, and flexible hairspray is good when you need to be able to comb through the hair and layer on more spray as you go. Hold the can around 8 inches (20 cm) from your head and spray evenly. Go lightly, too—you can always add more.


This is a great all-rounder, combining hold with a high-shine finish. Water-based pomades are lighter, whereas oil-based options are creamier and heavier. (The black product in the pot opposite is an example of a pomade—it’s the exact one I used in this book.)


Beeswax-based products lock in moisture and give the hair plenty of shine. A little goes a long way. A matte wax will give a pliable but drier finish.


This sticky paste is used to add texture, so is perfect for messy styles. Warming up the paste between your fingers will make it easy to work with; it will then cool and thicken on your hair, so you must apply it evenly.


As the name suggests, this will give you a textured, tousled look, like you’ve just got back from the beach. It’s very easy to apply, too.


This is a very useful product—it will define natural curls and prevent frizz.


This is crucial step after shaving, to cool down the skin, reduce any irritation, and restore moisture. Look for a formulation to suit your skin type.


Both of these grooming products will soften and moisturize your beard—it depends on your preferred texture. A balm is a dense, creamy product that will also hold any stray hairs in place. Beard oil is lighter and more quickly absorbed. It will moisturize both your beard and your skin, so is great for shorter beards.


I’m really passionate about education. When it comes to hair, getting the results you want is all about knowledge—knowing what tools and products are available and how to use them, as well as how to work effectively with the strengths and weaknesses of your own hair.

When I work with a lad who’s looking for something new, I always make sure they go away with a clear understanding of the techniques I’ve used to create the look. This puts the power in their hands—they can then go away and recreate that same look by themselves at home. And that’s why, with every style in this book, I’ve included practical tips for how to achieve the best results possible. But before you dive in, it’s worth discussing a few basic dos and don’ts…


Get to know your hair dryer

I cannot stress this one enough, and it’s something that you’ll hear me repeat many times throughout the book. But I make no apologies for that! A hair dryer is one of the most important tools that you’ll use. If you take the time to practice the techniques I describe, your hair dryer will end up doing a lot of the heavy lifting for you. It’s always a matter of using your dryer in tandem with the correct brush, and working toward the desired shape right from the start, rather than trying to create it once your hair’s already dry. And take note whenever I recommend using the diffuser attachment—this is for styles where you will need to use the heat of the dryer to set your hair in one position rather than blowing it all over the place.


Don’t cut your own bangs…


On Sale
Oct 3, 2017
Page Count
176 pages
Running Press

Kieron Webb

About the Author

Kieron Webb is the founder and creative director for the male grooming education brand The London Barber. He works regularly with a number of celebrities including Zayn Malik, Joe Sugg, and Jim Chapman and has worked on key editorial shoots for publications such as GQ, Clash, Gay Times, and Hunger magazine.

Learn more about this author