With men becoming more worried about their hair than current affairs, 
Cathal O’ Gara investigates some of the trends to ask your barber for in 2012.

Men obviously don’t care as much about hairstyle trends as their beloved counterparts. Women’s hair trends are short-lived, often lasting no more than a year, if even. In contrast, men’s hairstyle trends develop slowly – and that’s the key to men’s hair styles in 2012. They all have their roots styles that were prevalent for the two years previous, but they have equally been innovated to some extent. Some have slightly developed; others have divided into several different hair trends for this season.

The last decade was all about manscaping and metrosexuality, this decade sees hair and beauty exploring a masculine edge. Gone are the days of the male GHD and chemical straightening as we welcome more refined and relaxed styles in terms of effort: au naturel. Dishevelled, meshed and messy, finally Irish men can wear their curly locks with pride. Like most 2012 men’s hairstyles, the key to this look is that it has to be cut short on the sides and longer on the top. Styling is essential. Avoid frizzy ends by applying a curl controller cream to wet hair and run your fingers through it. Avoid hardening gels at all costs as not only do they make you look like a prepubescent child (unless that’s your thing), they also make hair appear brittle and weak.

If you’re one of the rare Irishmen who possess immaculately straight hair, then the slicked hairstyle – think Mad Men –is for you. This hairstyle is ideal for men with relatively straight hair and is all about the cut as if it’s not cut to be styled neatly, the classic overtones of the style will be lost. This style leaves no room for the casual untidiness. The key is having a clean side part, with shorter sides with the hair becoming slightly longer towards the centre. For a slick wet look, apply gel before parting the hair and then work a comb through all the hair strands. If you’re looking for a more understated style spray some hairspray onto a brush and comb through the top layers. If it’s the classic finish you want– the Don Draper look – then look no further than Brylcreem.

Do you play s six-string? Are you more devil may care than care too much? Then the 2012 quiff is the hairstyle for you. Start hip thrusting because the quiff this season takes inspiration from the king himself: Elvis Presley. Both broody and moody, this style takes its roots in all things Americana. This particular style is more suited to those with confidence who don’t want to be restricted with the conservatism of a slicked part. Unfortunately those of you with any form of a receding hairline beware as the quiff look needs a fuller hairline at the front in order to look right.

For the rock quiff, the shape of your head is an important factor to consider. The side of the head will be fairly less dense, in terms of volume of the hair, so keep this in mind. It works best with curly or heavily waved hair, and hair that has movement. The rock quiff also needs plenty of texture, so works best on thick hair. A more traditionalist quiff takes inspiration from your typical Brit rock fringe while standing it upwards

After your barber has given you the short back and sides, it’s time to add some sea salt spray (yes, which is a thing). Apply the spray to dry hair making sure there’s enough product to work through the hair. This gives it a dry matt hold while you semi-dry it with the hottest setting on your hairdryer working the hair upwards. Pull your hair forwards and bend it back so you get the quiff shape. Don’t make any sudden movements. Have you dried your roots? After ensuring that you’ve worked your fingers through enough to create the desired level of volume, spray on a small amount of hairspray and voila: le quiff. Whatever style you do choose to rock this season, make sure you ask your hairstylist/barber for advice if you’re unsure what works best.