The Ideal Haircut for Men has Changed. Know the Trends

Photo of hairstylist Mark Rodriguez.

Gone are the days when men walked into a barber shop and only asked for a basic haircut. The modern man now desires a particular length and style and expects to leave the salon or barber shop looking and feeling his best. With the continual normalization of men’s grooming in our society, more and more men are investing in their appearance. 

But for some, asking for a specific haircut, choosing who will perform the service, and what styling products to use can be overwhelming. According to Orlando hairstylist Mark Rodriguez, the best way to get what you want from a haircut experience is to speak up but be open to expert guidance.

Mark Rodriguez

Rodriguez started cutting hair in his family’s garage at 15 and has served as a professionally licensed cosmetologist for 15 years. Despite growing up in a barber shop, Rodriguez has found a home for his business in a full-service salon, where he creates custom looks for clients of all genders. He says he has noticed an increase in male clients in recent years and attributes that to the individual attention a stylist can provide.

“I get a lot of men that have gone to barber shops but feel like they just got whatever barber wanted to give them,” Rodriguez says. “I feel like stylists, compared to barbers, have more tools in the bag, so to speak.”

Additionally, Rodriguez says the salon setting has drawn more men’s favor lately.

“Yeah, it’s a different vibe. It’s not as intimate with the barber, you know?” he said. “Some people love being in the barbershop and talking about sports and cracking jokes across the room, but some people just like that one-on-one experience. They like getting shampooed, greeted personally, and offered wine or a beer, not someone just saying, ‘Who’s next?’ And the relationship – I follow up with my clients to see how their haircut’s working out, things like that.”

Making Your Haircut Appointment Easier

One blind spot for most men is the consultation stage of the haircut appointment. The best way to communicate what you’re looking for is to bring photo references and point out precisely what you like or dislike about them to your stylist. Along with keywords like texture and length, Rodriguez mentions another helpful term for getting a good short haircut.

“I always use the word ‘tapering’ because having the sideburns and the back of the hairline taper adds that special touch, making it look fresh. And the grow-out is just so much nicer than having the sides heavy and one-length.”

Regarding products, Rodriguez says Bumble and Bumble’s Don’t Blow It Styling Cream is a one-size-fits-all option he recommends to his male clients. It can be used on damp or dry hair, straight or curly, to tame frizz and lightly hold shape without feeling sticky – just be sure to start small and add more product as needed.

The Future of the Barbershop

Overall, the loosening of gender norms has allowed men to take pride in and genuinely enjoy their grooming experiences, partly because of the hairstylists on the ground educating the masses.

“Guys are more comfortable coming into a salon and not feeling like that’s a ‘woman’s place to go,’ they’re getting more comfortable using product and styling,” says  Rodriguez. “And kudos to the hairstylists that are teaching them; that’s part of our job.”

The next time you or a man in your life needs a new look, consider seeking a salon professional to hear you out and offer their wisdom as a complimentary bonus. Side effects may include empowerment, confidence, and learning something new.

To check out 2023’s most popular haircut styles among men, visit Check out for more articles about the barbershop lifestyle.


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Written by Monika Knotts

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