Long hair seems intimidating—there's so much more length, and how exactly do you grow it out, anyway? Once you get past the growth stage, though, long hair can be fairly low maintenance and, for men, can be styled in several ways. "I’m seeing many of my male clients interested in growing their hair out this year," notes Giovanni Vaccaro, GlamSquad's artistic director for hair.
Meet the Expert
• Giovanni Vaccaro is the artistic director for hair at Glamsquad, an in-home hair, makeup, and nail service based in New York.
• Patrick Butler is the director of technical education and academy at Floyd's Barbershops, a chain of traditional barbershops.
The trick, notes Vaccaro, is to choose a style that corresponds to your hair type. "If you have fine hair, keep it on the shorter side," he says. "Long hair on men looks great if the hair is medium to thick in density. If you have wavy to curly hair, go for more length! But if your hair is pin-straight, it’s really hard to maintain a shape rather than having hair just hang, so I recommend keeping pin-straight hair on the shorter side."
We rounded up 20 long hairstyles for men, along with Vaccaro and Butler's tips—on styling the looks below.
Curl and Wave
Voluminous and free-flowing, wear your wavy mane with pride by wearing it long. The longer length will show off your curl at its finest, but be sure and have your stylist cut a shape into your mane. Once shaped, you can wear the waves au natural, or for a variation as shown in this picture, create an off-middle part, take a flat boar-bristle brush to the bang area, and blow out the front smooth. This will relax the over-all effect of a wavy style.
Use products that will fight humidity and control frizz. Finish the look with a few drops of a liquid shine product dispensed into your palms then dispersed through your wavy locks.
Dreadlocks are essentially hair that is matted or knotted into strands of coils. The matted coils can be narrow or wide, depending on your preference. You can certainly allow your hair to matte naturally over a long time, but it is best to seek a stylist specializing in dreadlocks, coils, and twists. A peppermint shampoo will help keep the scalp feeling itch-free, and be sure to steer clear of products as that can create buildup. Keep in mind that if you decide you no longer want to sport your dreads, they'll have to be cut out.
You do not have to live near the ocean to have beachy hair. Grow your hair out to about chin length and mostly one length all over. Have your stylist chip into the bottom with a light layering or texturizing to create added movement. Create a sun-kissed look to the hair by asking your stylist for an ombré highlight or balayage. The key is that it should look as naturally sun-lightened as possible. Traditional highlights using foils or a mesh cap can look too strategically placed. Finish your hair with a sea-salt spray like Herbivore Coconut Sea Mist Texturizing Spray ($20) for added texture.
Long and Textured
Jason Momoa's hair practically has a life of its own. To achieve texture, the best route is to air-dry hair, but blow-drying and using a texture spray works, too. Keep in mind that heat will also cause damage to your hair, so look for a blow dryer made with a ceramic heating element. The internal ceramic unit smoothes down the hair cuticle rather than blowing it open and actually cuts down on drying time.
Thick and Shiny
If you’ve been fortunate enough to be blessed with a thick, full head of hair, show it off by growing it out. Consider long layers cut all over, with layers also framing your face. You can do a severe part by blow-drying the hair into one direction heavily off to the side that naturally flows. Roughly blow-dry the remaining hair by tousling with your fingers while it dries under the heat. Typically, the lighter your hair color, the less it shines, and the darker your hair, the more shine comes through. If you feel you need additional shine, use a shampoo and conditioner that specifically adds shine. Once dry, use a light hold shine pomade for control and added brilliance to ensure your thick head of hair does not look dull and dry.
A$AP Rocky's center-parted braids are artful and edgy. With this look, protection is key. Try covering the head with a satin handkerchief at night while you sleep, which will prevent the roots from drying.
Simply Straight and Long
Classically long, straight hair can look good at any age. The key thing to remember is the texture of your hair. If you are thinning, either on top or the sides, do not try to pull off long hair as it will only emphasize hair loss. Be sure to keep your mane looking healthy by regularly washing and conditioning with moisturizing products. Regular trims are also important, as you will be susceptible to split ends that lead to breakage of the hair.
Indeed, a little shaggy can be sexy. If you have a natural wave to your hair, this is an excellent option to create a style with a longer length. You can play with wearing your bangs forward, off to the side, or pushed back. Wear the style full around your face or tuck the sides behind your ears. Longer lengths allow you to switch up your style, all with the same haircut. Your stylist should cut long layers for movement with the sides slightly shorter, graduating into a longer nape length. This style should be pretty low maintenance for you; however, longer lengths can show off oil more easily.
Straight and Controlled
Long hair can make a great statement, but essentially, long hair is old hair. As it ages, hair is prone to environmental damage, split ends, and breakage. Eliminate the chances of damage by taking care of your tresses. Hydrate the hair with a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. Do not skip out on the conditioner when you have long hair. If you happen to be prone to oily build up on your scalp, then replace a cream rinse out conditioner with a light spray leave-in one that you use only on the ends of your hair.
To get this look, blow-dry hair and, after your hair is dry, add a few drops of a liquid shine product into your hands and work through your hair. We recommend Reflections Liquid Shine ($19), which doubles as a heat-protectant.
Long and Lucious
More and more guys are getting into embracing their natural hair texture and letting their locks fly free. If you're going to join the gang, make sure you have a good product routine to keep your strands in the best health; you might also consider braiding or tying your hair up at night to prevent tangles.
Tidy and Parted on the Side
"Styling long hair can be a challenge, as you have to contend with factors that can affect the overall outcome," notes Butler. "The texture of your hair can play a big role in how you approach styling. Do you have curl, wave, or is your hair stick straight? Humidity in the air (or a lack of it) can affect whether you end up with frizz or smooth hair."
Those looking to achieve this look (best for naturally straight hair) should keep the hair trimmed around shoulder-length with light layering through the ends. After washing and conditioning with hydrating products needed for longer hair, dispense a dollop of styling product throughout your hair. You want control, not crunch, so be sure it is a light-hold formula. Make an exaggerated side part with a fine-toothed comb, going straight back with the part, not angled. Once your product is in, and your part has been created, take a vented brush and blow-dry the hair while working to keep the hair parted. You now have your hair sculpted and locked into shape.
Finish with a light hold pomade to control any frizzing and polish off the sleek effect.
After having your stylist cut your hair with long layers all around, you want to style the hair away from your face while defining the layers. This look is meant to look easy and breezy. Spray a texturizing spray such as a sea salt mist in your hair, then flip your hair upside down and blow-dry your hair while tousling with your fingers. Once hair is mostly dry, flip back upwards and, with a vented brush, blow-dry while pulling the hair back and away from your face. Once drying is complete, rub a lightweight wax in your hands and disperse it throughout your hair.
A traditional bob is one length all around, meaning no layers, but can be angled straight all-around or at an inverted angle. From there, your stylist can shape the hair to your natural texture. In this picture, the model has natural waves where the back and sides have been slightly stacked with layers. The front is still long, which makes it distinguishable from becoming a shag haircut. Tucking the strands behind the ears to show off the jawline will keep the look in place. Style with a light hold gel or styling cream for control and definition.
Rock 'n Roll
You can choose to cut your hair all one length or have soft layers around the face. When styling your hair, you will want to use a straightening balm or serum. This will help to smooth out any curl or wave to the hair. If you want to take it a step further and get your hair super straight, use a flat iron on your hair once dry. Section the hair off in half-inch sections, starting at the nape, and work your way up to the top. Keep the flatiron moving on the hair, working it from the root and running down to the hair strand tips. Piece out the tips by applying a hair wax just at the ends.
This style can be pulled off on short, medium, or long lengths. The key to remember is to have your stylist heavily layer your hair all over, which will create a deliberately "just rolled out of bed" look. When you are drying your hair, use your fingers to tousle the hair while under the heat. You don’t want any definitive parts in the hair, just natural movement. A sea salt spray may also be a good idea to use on damp hair before drying to add texture.
Once hair is dry, use a stickier product such as a hair paste or putty, work well into the palms of your hands, and then distribute through your locks, piecing out your hair as you go.
There are times when you need your hair pulled out of your face while working on something or playing sports; however, pulling the hair back can also look very stylish. If your hair length falls around the jawline, pull back just the top half of the hair into a low ponytail. If your hair is longer, go ahead and pull all the hair back. The key to this look is to keep the ponytails low and off the top of the head. Be sure to take great care in pulling your hair back. "Make sure to use a hair tie that is soft versus an elastic band that will put tension on the hair," recommends Butler. "Repeated pressure in one spot can weaken the hair and produce breakage."
Jared Leto's slightly feathered 'do frames his face well, showing off his features thanks to layers and great styling. Less is more in terms of styling this look, so use just a simple leave-in conditioner that is lightweight and focus its placement on the ends.
Regardless of how you style your long hair, make sure you are taking steps to protect it. "Longer lengths simply means more of your hair has been exposed to the elements and normal wear and tear," says Butler. "That means your hair can become damaged and weaken over time, making it susceptible to breakage. Make sure to use a good moisturizing shampoo as well as a conditioner." Butler recommends Floyd's 99 Refresh Hair and Body Conditioner ($29).
Layering can be used for any length of hair but can greatly vary. You can have one-length hair all around and only have the hair framing your face layered. You can have all-over layers, which help to create movement and texture while eliminating bulk, or you can have an all-over layer in addition to layering the face-framing pieces, seen here on actor Avan Jogia. Depending on the effect you want to create, your stylist can layer your hair accordingly. Most styles will require at least some layering—whether conservatively or heavily layered will depend on the style you are shooting for. Using pomades, waxes, muds, and pastes will help piece out layers, creating definition and dimension.
Benicio Del Toro offers a prime example of a mid-length that's long enough to be trendy but still manages to be a classic look. "This style has all hair at about six to eight inches long in length and is perfect for men with a slight wave," says Vaccaro.
Russell Brand's shaggy look is pure 1970s—with a modern twist. "This grown-out shaggy, layered cut is perfect for curls." To get a similar look, Vaccaro advises using "a curl creme to enhance and define and mix with a medium-hold gel if your hair is prone to frizz." To prevent greasy-looking hair, wash your hair regularly and condition the ends, as you will be prone to split ends with longer lengths. Work in a light hold grooming cream—try Pete and Pedro Hair Cream ($19)—to control and style.