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More than anything else, hair is what defines the look of a decade. In the '80s, it was about volume. In the '90s, severe parts and greasiness. In the early 2000s, slightly-too-deliberate shags and emo cuts that hung constantly over one eye became inexplicably trendy.

Next year shows a return to sophistication and adulthood, and a different quality of manliness than other eras - one that incorporates a degree of softness, and style-savvy that doesn't require hours of standing in front of the mirror with a tub of wax to get that lock of hair to drape just just just juuuuuust right.

Image from menshair.about.com
The most effortlessly sexy style of the year is a variation of the pompadour, with the same close-cropped sides and long top, but it's touchably soft instead of greasy and hard with just a hint of gel or pomade. This cut allows for major variety, too. You can wear the top curly, tousled or straight, you can slick it back or let it hang over your forehead like fringe, and you can buzz the sides instead of cutting close. Best of all, it works with just about every quality of hair (although African American men run the risk of looking a little '80s if the top gets too much longer than the sides). Wear this cut with a denim shirt or a sharp suit and you will never be lonely again.

Image from en.paperblog.com

This next look probably already has a name, but I'm going to call it the Don Draper because it's reminiscent of the same left-hand part and shellacked look worn by Mad Men's leading man. It's a look we've seen before in decades past, but this variety is softer and looser than its predecessors. It's a grown-up look that goes perfectly with a suit, or even just a plaid or checked shirt with rolled-up sleeves and a tie. This cut has just the right degree of retro chic. It's also easier to style than it looks - just apply gel and comb into place. Don't worry about getting it perfectly even - a little bit of texture is sexy.

Have you tried wearing these looks before, or maybe your own unique variety? Tell us about your style in the comments!






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