We sat down with our mate Nathan, Director of Pretty Vacant and an ambassador for ANTI Collective, and grilled him on what's what in the men's grooming space for 2022. This guy knows what he's talking about, having worked in the industry for over 10 years with some of Australia's leading salons and barbers.
We picked his brain on all sorts - from gender-fluidity within the salon landscape, to fashion week inclusivity, to what makes a great men's haircut all the way through to his favourite products and why really need to keep their hair clean and scalp healthy!
Why is a really good haircut important for men?
Although things are definitely changing, men generally don’t spend as much time on their hair, have had as much education around their hair or speak to their friends, stylist or watch YouTube on how to style their hair. This is why a great haircut is so important for men!
A great haircut should be able to stand on its own without product or tools. However, product is essential to enhance and define a great haircut and add versatility to style! One look for work one look for the weekends.
What colour trends can we expect to see for men in 2022?
I think more men are starting to look to colour to enhance or alter their style. But like most colour for men or women it is still very natural, effortless and lived in. Think the corporate surfer. Never gets to the beach but wants to look like he does.
Any colour care tips for prolonging fresh colour?
For men, it's mostly to keep your hair clean! Unlike women who heat style more and lose tone through over porous hair. Guys’ colour is more affected by a build-up of product, salt or chlorine. Or dust etc if you’re a builder.
What cuts and styles will be popular for AW 2022?
Although a crop or a fade will always be a classic, I think hair still continues to get longer, looser and more textured. I especially love this as it allows for more versatility in style, one look for the corporate setting with a shinier finish and higher hold, and a relaxed weekend look with looser texture and more matte looser hold.
Tips on how to style these looks at home.
Something I wish someone told me years ago with my fine limp hair, prep is essential, whether that’s product, heat or both, a hairstyle will rarely work if you put some matte wax when your hair is dripping wet or when it has fully dried under a hat.
Talk to your stylist or barber about what product to put in your hair when it's damp and where you should brush or move with your hands - and then what product to finish it with.
For me, I apply ANTI finishing cream in my hair while it's damp to add bulk and a base hold factor. Once it has dried I either manipulate with my hands to add volume, texture and not look wet or if I’m slicking it back, I will blow-dry the finishing cream in and get the shape I want and finish with working with the NEW ANTI Cream Clay to add hold and shine.
Is 2022 still about the beard?
Not sure but my instinct says it will be more about stubble…. everyone will start heading out to dinners and pubs again and dating in real life so I feel there will be a great range of ISO beards in place for well-manscaped jaws.
Are the men’s styling trends reflected in women's looks as well, is there a move towards more gender-fluid hair?
Great question, it has been thought-provoking for me to answer these questions in terms of gender. In the last few years, I have shifted my approach in terms of gender, service and pricing.
When I moved to the salon, I currently work at Lujo Studio in Brisbane I moved to genderless pricing, mostly to do my bit to eradicate the pink tax but more so I think that hair is hair. I use the same tools and techniques, no matter your gender.
I believe hair is becoming more fluid in terms of looks and expectations, I have had plenty of girls show me soccer players or tattooed dudes with fades as reference.
The shortest skin fade I do is on a girl, and have plenty of dudes with long luscious locks!
So, in answer to the question - yes, I think both genders are moving towards embracing natural texture, low maintenance styles and celebrating individuality. ANTI speaks so well for both of these points as it is a genderless styling range that salutes the individual!
What are your ‘can't live without’ products for 2022 and why?
ANTI finishing cream - I think it is hands down the best product I have come across in my whole time as stylist. It is so versatile, lightweight with the perfect amount of hold and shine. I’m also in love with the grittier dryer pastes that are coming out! I love where luxury meets the streets so I high quality product with matte finish adds that perfect amount of grunge that I aim for!
Which stylists do you look to for inspiration on Instagram?
I think I am Lyndal Salmon's biggest fan-girl, but I find people everywhere I go who think they are! Lyndal is hands down the coolest, most down-to-earth person I have met! She is the perfect mix of art and architecture!
The two other accounts I watch for hair inspo are: Jamie Furlan, Richard Kavanagh and for industry and social infotainment, Sophia Hilton is the voice our industry needs to hear!
Which celebrities are rocking the men's trends?
Bradley Cooper is always timeless; he has the best hair and is always at the forefront of style! I also saw pic of Steve Carell with grey hair, stubble and glasses and looked like the perfect middle-aged handsome hipster.
Which celebrities/ influencers/ fashion shows/ musicians embody the ANTI look or philosophy?
There are plenty of people that come to mind when I think about celebrities being congruent with the aesthetic these would include the Late Virgil Abloh, Billie Eilish or Machine Gun Kelly but for me, for somebody to embody the ANTI philosophy they are super individual, they are trail blazers and stand up for what they believe in and right now that is Grace Tame, Dave Chappelle and dare I say it Kanye and Liam Gallagher (Neither have ever backed down from being authentically themselves)
Special thanks to Nathan Yip director of Pretty Vacant ♥︎
Additional Product Recommendations:
Christophe Robin’s Thickening shampoo $68 - a unique clay-to-foam shampoo that adds density and a little bit of grit to fine, thinning hair.
Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying treatment $71- scrub that scalp peachy-clean boys!
ANTI EveryBlonde shampoo $49.95 - this hybrid shampoo treatment not only tones and nourishes all blonde tones, but it also looks the part too - it's ultraviolet hued liquid, packaged in a glossy, deep purple bottle couldn't be farther from the glut of pastel-toned versions more often found in this product genre.