Monday, April 13, 2015

Why do older women always have short hair?

Age has taught me never to underestimate the importance of a decent haircut. Having ricocheted from one tonsorial disaster to another in my youth – including a DIY mohawk – I’ve found my signature style (a shoulder-length bob) and I’m sticking to it.
As I can testify, hair loses pigment, changes texture and becomes thinner as we get older; it basically needs more looking after which is why, presumably, older women tend to lop it all off. But while grey hair is coarser and dryer, the coarser bit can be quite handy when it comes to styling – it’s just key to make sure your hair is in tip-top condition. “The older you get, the weaker your hair can be,” says hairdresser and Pureology and Redken ambassador George Northwoo, whose A-list clients include Alexa Chung and Gwyneth Paltrow. “Ends get damaged, so it’s best to invest in a trim every eight weeks.”
Some hairdressers recommend a change of hairstyle for a quick age-defying boost and this can be a wonderful way to revitalise your image, but having a timeless cut that can be worn in a number of ways – I can tie my bob into a top knot – is my preferred option. Here are three of the best ageless hairstyles:

Living longer

Model Daphne Selfe
Model Daphne Selfe. Photograph: ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images
As outlined above, there’s a belief that as you get older, hair should become shorter – that long hair equates to being either a try-hard cougar or a slovenly old hag. I’m a firm believer in doing (and wearing) what you like, rather than following generic rules and anyway, there are loads of elegant women with fabulous long hair to disprove this notion. In the grey-corner: Professor Wendy Dagworthy, stylist and beauty entrepreneur Linda Rodin, artist Helen Storey and model Daphne Selfe. In the non-grey corner: actors Julianne Moore and Meryl Streep, designer Vera Wang and creative director at US Vogue Grace Coddington.
Julianne Moore
Julianne Moore. Photograph: Karwai Tang/WireImage
Long hair has to be in good condition, as the celebrated colourist Josh Wood advises: “Hair treatments, masks, conditioners – whatever you want to call them – are a must in my book. Coloured hair needs to be treated like cashmere and washed with a gentle touch. Grey hair needs to look supple and shiny.” When I spoke to Wood on the phone and baulked at his suggestion of adding a weekly treatment to my low maintenance beauty regime, he rightly suggested that I could’ve been treating my hair while we were talking. Point taken. As Woods continues: “Go easy on the appliances, keep away from too strong a heat when using a hairdryer, and keep the use of tongs and irons to a minimum. The better you treat your hair, the better the condition – and the better you feel.”
Get the look with: Philip Kingsley Elasticizer Extreme, Josh Wood Glossing Mask, Kérastase’s Age Recharge range. And George Northwood recommends “switching up your regime” with Pureology Strength Cure Shampoo and Conditioner, and Pureology Strength Cure Fabulous Lengths, for long hair prone to breakage.

The tousled bob

Helen Mirren with her grown out bob
 
Helen Mirren with her grown out bob Photograph: Zhang Fan/Zhang Fan/Xinhua Press/Corbis
Anna Wintour’s power bob may have ruled the fashion world for decades but the shorter, choppier version of this classic style feels fresher right now. Helen Mirren has a novel twist on the bob, which can also be messed up if the above feels a little staid: “This is the perfect way to update the traditional bob,” advises Northwood. “But it needs a lot of volume and texture. I would start by using a root-lifting spray on towel-dried hair and then rough drying the hair forwards. If you have a pair of tongs, just apply to a few random sections, then rub a finishing paste in your hands and apply through the lengths and ends to give a messy, matte finish. This is all about creating a textured DIY look.”
Get the look with: John Frieda Blow Dry Lotion and Redken Rough Paste

The grown-up crop

Mia Farrow
Mia Farrow. Photograph: Globe Photos Inc / Rex Features/Globe Photos Inc / Rex Features
Chic as you like, the grown-up crop is another timeless option. Think Mia Farrow’s Vidal Sassoon cut in the 1968 film Rosemary’s Baby, Isabella Rossellini’s signature style and Julie Walters at the Baftas. “And Dame Judi is great example of an older woman who isn’t afraid of changing her style,” comments Andy Heasman, artistic director at Rush Hair. “Her pixie crop has been cut into a shorter style that gives her a cool edge. To create texture and movement, use a texturising paste and then work a bit of serum through the ends to give that red carpet shine.” Before going for the chop, Heasman recommends having a consultation with your hairdresser first. “It’s important to discuss what would suit your face shape and lifestyle before you take the plunge.” And it’s important to consider that although shorter, cropped styles have an effortless, wash-and-go appearance, they do require more upkeep. “Cropped styles grow out quite quickly and this means more visits to the hairdresser. To keep the style sharp, you’re probably looking at once a month.”
Kristin Scott Thomas
Kristin Scott Thomas. Photograph: Ikon London/Ikon London/Splash News/Corbis
For added versatility, the longer, more Parisian version of the crop worn by Kristin Scott Thomas and French photographer Garance Doré looks equally glamorous. Heasman recommends a root lifting product to damp hair and using a round brush to create volume and lift on top, while making sure the sides remain flat. “It’s all about volume,” adds Heasman. “And this look shows that red-carpet hair doesn’t need to be long and flowing.”
Get the look with: KMS Hair Play, Moroccan Oil
Alyson Walsh blogs as That’s Not My Age @thatsntmyage and is the author of Style Forever: the grown-up guide to looking fabulous published by Hardie Grant 13 March 2015

Monday, April 6, 2015

The Hottest Celebrity Hairstyles For Spring 2015

Elizabeth

This side-parted long bob with easy waves and one side tucked behind the ear is totally on trend for spring.
Elizabeth Henstridge Long Bob Spring Hairstyle
How To Style:
  1. Apply a product to create some grit and texture on wet hair.
  2. Power dry the hair.
  3. Wrap sections of hair loosely around a large curling wand in random directions.
  4. Tuck the hair on one side of the head behind the ear.
  5. Scrunch and rough up the hair with fingers and a product for texture to make the waves look more organic.
Recommended Products: 
Lived In by Pravana is a powder that adds texture and volume to hair.
Best Face Shape and Hair Type:
All face shapes with hair that is medium in texture and density will suit this hairstyle.

Jenna

This long bob features extremely loose waves giving the hair just enough bend to make it look natural.
Jenna Coleman Long Bob with Loose Waves
How To Style:
  1. Apply a product to create some grit and texture on wet hair.
  2. Power dry the hair.
  3. Wrap sections of hair from the midshaft to the ends loosely around a large curling wand in random directions, leaving the hair close to the roots straight.
  4. Tuck the hair on one side of the head behind the ear.
  5. Scrunch and rough up the hair with fingers and a product for texture to make the waves look more organic.
  6. Set with flexible hold finishing spray.
Recommended Products:
Hold Me Tight by Paul Mitchell is a flexible hold spray with long lasting hold.
Best Face Shape and Hair Type:
All face shapes with hair that is medium in texture and density will suit this hairstyle.

Lily

This elegant hairstyle is parted deeply to the side and swept back into a classic chignon.
Lily James Chignon Spring Hairstyle
How To Style:
  1. Part hair to the side.
  2. Pull hair back into a low ponytail and secure with a clear elastic band.
  3. Starting from the ends, roll the ponytail upwards towards the base of the ponytail.
  4. Secure it to the base of the ponytail using bobby pins.
  5. Carefully fan out the roll to spread it a little.
  6. Set with a finishing spray.
Recommended Products:
Extra-Body Finishing Spray by Paul Mitchell is perfect at holding up updos like this.
Best Face Shape and Hair Type:
All face shapes with hair that is medium in texture and density will suit this hairstyle.

Jennifer

This always trendy look is styled straight with volume and just enough touchable texture.
Jennifer Anniston Spring Hairstyle with Volume and Texture
How To Style:
  1. Apply a styling product to hair.
  2. Blow dry the hair with a round brush, lifting sections high to give volume.
  3. Apply a product for texture.
  4. Set with a flexible hold spray.
Recommended Products:
Lived In by Pravana is a powder that adds texture and volume to hair.
Best Face Shape and Hair Type:
All face shapes with hair that is medium in texture and density will suit this hairstyle.

Chloe

This long hairstyle is mostly straight but features some random bends towards the ends for an effortlessly chic finish.
Chloe Grace Moretz Long Chic Hairstyle
How To Style:
  1. Apply a product to create some grit and texture on wet hair.
  2. Power dry the hair.
  3. Wrap random sections of hair loosely around a large curling wand in random directions.
  4. Stretch the section for a few seconds as it cools to loosen it a bit.
  5. Scrunch and rough up the hair with fingers and a product for texture to make the waves look more organic.
  6. Set with flexible hold finishing spray.
Recommended Products:
Hold Me Tight by Paul Mitchell is the perfect finishing spray for touchable styles like this one.
Best Face Shape and Hair Type:
All face shapes with hair that is medium in texture and density will suit this hairstyle.

Nicole

Nicole’s long bob is styled straight with its ends curled under. The very front of the heavier part is curled away from the face for a flattering finish.
Nicole Kidman Long Bob with Heavy Part
How To Style:
  1. Apply a styling product.
  2. Blow dry sections of hair using a large round brush, making sure to curl the ends under.
  3. Blow dry the very front of the heavier part away from the face.
  4. Set with a finishing spray.
Recommended Products:
Sculpting Foam by Paul Mitchells allows hair to be sculpted however you want while conditioning the hair.
Best Face Shape and Hair Type:
All face shapes with hair that is medium in texture and density will suit this hairstyle.

Emma

This long bob is features a trendy center part and it styled with organic-looking waves, waving in different random directions.
Emma Stone Long Bob with Organic Waves
How To Style:
  1. Apply a product to create some grit and texture on wet hair.
  2. Power dry the hair.
  3. Wrap sections of hair loosely around a large curling wand in random directions.
  4. Make sure to keep the ends out, leaving them straight.
  5. Scrunch and rough up the hair with fingers and a product for texture to make the waves look more organic.
Recommended Products: 
Lived In by Pravana is a powder that adds texture and volume to hair.
Best Face Shape and Hair Type:
All face shapes with hair that is medium in texture and density will suit this hairstyle.

Emmy

This long hairstyle is parted down the middle, lightly teased, and rocks a gorgeous organic texture.
Emmy Rossum Long Hairstyle for Spring with Middle Part
How To Style:
  1. Apply a product to create some grit and texture on wet hair.
  2. Power dry the hair.
  3. Wrap sections of hair loosely around a large curling wand in random directions.
  4. Shake the hair at the root area using fingers to loosen up the rest of the hair.
  5. Lightly tease the hair by the parting.
  6. Scrunch and rough up the hair with fingers and a product for texture to make the waves look more organic.
Recommended Products: 
Lived In by Pravana is a powder that adds texture and volume to hair.
Best Face Shape and Hair Type:
All face shapes with hair that is medium in texture and density will suit this hairstyle.

Jena

This short and flirty bob is styled with curls that are curled away from the face.
Jena Malone Bob with Curls
How To Style:
  1. Apply a product to create some grit and texture on wet hair.
  2. Power dry the hair.
  3. Wrap sections of hair around a small curling wand curling away from the face.
  4. Let hair cool for a while.
  5. Scrunch and rough up the hair with fingers and a product for texture to make the waves look more organic.
  6. Set with flexible hold finishing spray.
Recommended Products:
Hold Me Tight by Paul Mitchell is a flexible hold spray with long lasting  hold.
Best Face Shape and Hair Type:
All face shapes with hair that is medium in texture and density will suit this hairstyle.

Jessica

This long hairstyle is parted to the side and styled mostly straight. It has extremely loose waves on the midshaft, leaving the ends straight.
Jessica Chastain Long Hairstyle with Side Part
How To Style:
  1. Apply a product to create some grit and texture on wet hair.
  2. Power dry the hair.
  3. Wrap sections of hair very loosely around a large curling wand in random directions, leaving the ends out.
  4. Stretch the section for a few seconds as it cools to loosen it up.
  5. Scrunch and rough up the hair with fingers and a product for texture to make the waves look more organic.
  6. Set with flexible hold finishing spray.
Recommended Products:
Hold Me Tight by Paul Mitchell is a flexible hold spray with long lasting hold.
Best Face Shape and Hair Type:
All face shapes with hair that is medium in texture and density will suit this hairstyle.

Katherine

This long hairstyle barely has any wave. It is primarily made up of randomly loose bends that exist through the midshaft, leaving the ends straight for a “lived in” finish.
Katherine Waterston Long Hairstyle for Spring
How To Style:
  1. Apply a product to create some grit and texture on wet hair.
  2. Power dry the hair.
  3. Wrap sections of hair from the midshaft to the ends very loosely around a large curling wand in random directions, leaving the hair close to the roots straight.
  4. Stretch the sections for a bit as they cool to loosen the wave.
  5. Scrunch and rough up the hair with fingers and a product for texture to make the waves look more organic.
Recommended Products:
Spray Wax by Paul Mitchell is a lightweight wax in aerosol form.
Best Face Shape and Hair Type:
All face shapes with hair that is medium in texture and density will suit this hairstyle.

Kristen

This short and sexy asymmetric hairstyle is parted to the side and style straight with just the perfect amount of texture.
Kristen Wiig Short Asymmetric Hairstyle
How To Style:
  1. Apply a styling product to hair.
  2. Power dry the hair.
  3. Apply a texture product to hands.
  4. Shake the hair using fingers to add texture to hair.
  5. Set with a finishing spray.
Recommended Products:
Spray Wax is a light wax in aerosol form that adds texture to hair.
Best Face Shape and Hair Type:
All face shapes with hair that is medium in texture and density will suit this hairstyle.

Margot

This long hairstyle is just perfectly imperfect. We love how it is smooth and messy at the same time!
Margo Robbie Long Messy Hairstyle
How To Style:
  1. Apply a styling product to hair.
  2. Blow dry sections of hair using a round brush.
  3. Once done blow drying all the sections, twist hair and wrap it into a bun.
  4. Keep it this way for a few minutes until the hair has completely cooled.
  5. Release the bun once it has cooled.
  6. Shake the hair with fingers to loosen it up.
  7. Set with flexible hold finishing spray.
Recommended Products:
Hold Me Tight by Paul Mitchell is a flexible hold spray with long lasting hold.
Face Shape and Hair Type:
All face shapes with hair that is medium in texture and density will suit this hairstyle.

Chrissy

Leaving the ends straighter than the rest of the hair gives this hairstyle a more current-looking organic texture.
Chrissy Teigen Long Hairstyle with Organic Texture
How To Style:
  1. Apply a product to create some grit and texture on wet hair.
  2. Power dry the hair.
  3. Wrap sections of hair around a large barrel iron, leaving the ends out.
  4. Loosen waves by combing fingers through the the hair.
  5. Scrunch and rough up the hair with fingers and a product for texture to make the waves look more organic.
Recommended Products: 
Lived In by Pravana is a powder that adds texture and volume to hair.
Best Face Shape and Hair Type:
All face shapes with hair that is medium in texture and density will suit this hairstyle.

Emily

Wearing hair to the side and over one shoulder gives off a really pretty and feminine vibe that is perfect for spring.
Emily Ratajkowski Over the Shoulder Hairstyle
How To Style:
  1. Apply a styling product to hair.
  2. Blow dry the hair with a round brush.
  3. Curl sections of hair with a curling iron.
  4. Pull all hair to one side and secure with a bobby pin.
  5. Set with a finishing spray.
Recommended Products:
Hold Me Tight by Paul Mitchell is a flexible hold spray with long lasting hold.
Face Shape and Hair Type:
All face shapes with hair that is medium in texture and density will suit this hairstyle.

Amy

This beautiful medium length hairstyle is parted down the middle then teased and curled on the ends.
Amy Adams Medium Length Hairstyle with Curls
How To Style:
  1. Apply a styling product to hair.
  2. Blow dry the hair with a round brush.
  3. Curl sections of the ends of hair with a curling iron.
  4. Tease hair lightly.
  5. Set with a finishing spray.
Recommended Products:
Best Hold Me Tight By Paul Mitchell is a flexible hold spray with long lasting hold.
Face Shape and Hair Type:
All face shapes with hair that is medium in texture and density will suit this hairstyle.

Keira

This long hairstyle is parted down the middle and waved just a little to give off a cool, 70s-inspired vibe.
Keira Knightley Long Hairstyle with Waves
How To Style:
  1. Apply a styling product to hair.
  2. Blow dry the hair with a round brush.
  3. Wrap sections of hair around a large barrel iron.
  4. Brush through the curls with a dressing brush.
  5. Set with a finishing spray.
  6. Set with flexible hold finishing spray.
Recommended Products:
Hold Me Tight is a flexible hold finishing spray with long lasting hold.
Best Face Shape and Hair Type:
All face shapes with hair that is medium in texture and density will suit this hairstyle.

Edith

This hairstyle with gorgeous texture is taken a step further with a beautiful fringe that is parted down the middle.
Edith Bowman Spring Hairstyle with Texture and Fringe
How To Style:
  1. Apply a product to create some grit and texture on wet hair.
  2. Power dry the hair.
  3. Wrap sections of hair from the midshaft to the ends loosely around a large curling wand in random directions, leaving the hair close to the roots straight.
  4. Shake the hair on the root area using fingers to loosen up the rest of the hair.
  5. Scrunch and rough up the hair with fingers and a product for texture to make the waves look more organic.
  6. Carefully part the fringe area, without creating a part line.
  7. Set with a finishing spray.
Recommended Products:
Lived In by Pravana is a powder that adds texture and volume to hair.
Best Face Shape and Hair Type:
All face shapes with hair that is medium in texture and density will suit this hairstyle.

Reese

This is definitely not your everyday gym ponytail. This pony features gorgeous texture and volume that’s worthy of the red carpet.
Reese Witherspoon Ponytail with Texture and Volume
How To Style:
  1. Pull second day curls into a loose ponytail.
  2. Touch up some sections of hair by wrapping them around a curling iron.
  3. Pull some pieces loose with fingers.
  4. Set with a finishing spray.
Recommended Products:
Hold Me Tight by Paul Mitchell is a flexible hold spray with long lasting hold.
Best Face Shape and Hair Type:
All face shapes with hair that is medium in texture and density will suit this hairstyle.

Jennifer

This updo has hair swept away from the face without having a flat look, keeping it very loose and feminine-looking.
Jennifer Lawrence Feminine Updo for Spring
How To Style:
  1. Pull second day curls into a loose ponytail.
  2. Roll and secure the hair into a loose messy bun using bobby pins.
  3. Touch up some sections of hair by wrapping them around a curling iron.
  4. Pull some pieces loose with fingers.
  5. Set with a finishing spray.
Recommended Products:
Extra-Body Finishing Spray by Paul Mitchell is great at holding up styles like this.
Face Shape and Hair Type:
All face shapes with hair that is medium in texture and density will suit this hairstyle.

Portia

These waves may seem big for such a short haircut, but tucking them behind the ear on one side keeps the hair from overwhelming the her pretty face.
Portia de Rossi Short Hairstyle with Waves
How To Style:
  1. Apply a product to create some grit and texture on wet hair.
  2. Power dry the hair.
  3. Wrap sections of her around a curling wand in random directions.
  4. Tuck the hair on one side of the head behind the ear and secure with a bobby pin behind the ear.
  5. Scrunch and rough up the hair with fingers and a product for texture to make the waves look more organic.
Recommended Products: 
Lived In by Pravana is a powder that adds texture and volume to hair.
Best Face Shape and Hair Type:
All face shapes with hair that is medium in texture and density will suit this hairstyle.

Holiday

This flirty short bob is styled with waves and with some height by the fringe area giving it a truly classic look.
Holliday Grainger Classic Bob with Waves
How To Style:
  1. Apply a styling product.
  2. Blow dry the hair with a round brush.
  3. Wrap sections of her around a curling wand in random directions.
  4. Tuck the hair on one side of the head behind the ear and secure with a bobby pin behind the ear.
  5. Scrunch hair with serum in fingers and a product for texture to give more definition.
Recommended Products:
Hold Me Tight by Paul Mitchell is a flexible hold spray with long lasting hold
Best Face Shape and Hair Type:
All face shapes with hair that is medium in texture and density will suit this hairstyle.
Get ready to let your locks free this spring season and don’t hesitate to channel one of these celebrity inspirations at your next salon visit!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The best protein treatments for hair

Right now, my hair is rough. It’s become so dry and brittle that it breaks when I wrap it around a brush to blow dry it. The other day at the gym, when I got it caught in a hairband because it was so matted, rather than untangling it I just snapped it off. I should put on a hair mask. But, gah, I won’t. Instead I’ve found leave-in protein treatments, which aim to replace some of the keratin damaged or ageing hair has lost. My favourite type is a spray, which is about as easy to do as snapping hair off. It’s also great for fine hair as, unlike a mask, it doesn’t weigh down. A spritz of something like Philip Kingsley Tricho Pro Volumizing Protein Spray (£35, feelunique.com) a couple of times a week and, well... Thank God.
Portrait of frustrated woman pulling against white background

Alternatively

Phytokeratine Repairing Serum £17, lookfantastic.com Redken Cat Protein Reconstructing Treatment £17.30 (0800 085 4956) Label.m Therapy Age-Defying Protein Cream £17.95, labelm.com Aveda Damage Remedy Intensive Restructuring Treatment £29.50, aveda.co.uk

Monday, March 9, 2015

How often should you wash your hair? Every five days if you're Kim Kardashian

Kim Kardashian at New York fashion week

Earlier this week, US site Into the Gloss answered a burning question – how do you get to look like Kim Kardashian? – by interviewing her about her beauty regime.
The whole interview is mesmerising. But beyond all the brouhaha about the cost of the contents of her makeup bag, which Jezebel totted up to a whopping $1,977.75 (around £1,290), the most interesting revelation (and the only free tip) is that Kardashian only washes her hair every five days.
“We start out with a blowout on day one,” she told the site, “then we go into a messier vibe the next day, and then we flat-iron it and do a really sleek look on day three since that requires a little oil in the hair. Day four could be a slicked-back ponytail, and on the fifth day is when you wash it.”
While she’s no advocate of the no-poo movement, it begs the question as to whether this is the ideal hairwashing routine? Andrew Bidwell, hair stylist at Atherton Cox who specialises in thinning hair, thinks for some hair types (like Kim’s) “it is exactly that”. He explains:
    I wouldn’t call Kim Kardashian a ‘hair ambassador’ by any stretch, but her regime is pretty solid, especially because it utilises the natural state of the hair. Hair washing is very individual so there is no perfect amount, but if you have normal to dry hair, which Kim’s hair appears to be, then every five days is a good idea. It also explains the way her style changes – her signature look is that high ponytail which presumably falls on day three or four.“For some people with skin conditions such as dandruff, you will probably need to wash your hair more often. If you have psoriasis it’s best not to wash too often, and to avoid using a silicone-based shampoo, because this can cause an itchy or flaky scalp. Most shampoos contain silicone – it’s what gives hair that extreme gloss and shine – but it contains the same stuff that they use in the hydraulic system in car brakes and that’s not good for hair.
    If your hair is finer than Kim’s, then you will probably need to wash your hair more often, say every other day, but you should only wash the scalp level, so it’s best to stick to the part underneath. If you wash your hair all over it will end up dehydrated.
    Every five days might not seem much, but there is an argument for not washing your hair at all provided you live in the right environment. When I lived in rural France I never washed my hair, just rinsed it thoroughly. But the moment I came back to London I had to start again – it stank of cigarettes and got very dirty very quickly.
I have one issue, the flat ironing, which isn’t great. But her hair looks remarkably undamaged so she must be doing something right.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

What happens when a mere mortal tries to copy a footballer's hair?

tim dowling with footballers' haircut
I am looking in the barbershop's old-fashioned mirror and, unusually, I like what I see. I twist my head one way and another.
"Show me the back," I say. I don't know about you, but whenever I catch a glimpse of the back of my head I get a weird sense of my own mortality – it just looks like a good place for someone to plant a hammer. Looking at it in the mirror within a mirror, I see only the rear view of a very well-groomed stranger. It's hard to believe this haircut – one I have long admired from afar – is actually on my head.
I must have first noticed it at some point in the middle of last season. I don't often risk an opinion when I'm watching football with my children, but I suddenly found I could not hold my tongue.
"Who's that?" I said, pointing at the screen.
"Scott Parker," my son said. "Midfielder."
"He's got really good hair," I said. I'd later learn that this was by no means an original observation. Scott Parker's hair has its own Twitter account.
Some of the other players on the pitch had similar haircuts; not as good as Parker's, but they were definitely aiming for the same thing: short at the back and sides, long on top and slicked back neatly, with a sharply delineated parting. If it was new, there was nothing remotely modern about it. These guys all resembled 1940s matinee idols.
By the start of this season, the look was ubiquitous. If you watch a match now, it's not unusual for half a dozen players from each team to be sporting the same haircut, along with the referee and one of the linesmen. Strangely for such a popular hairstyle, it doesn't appear to have a name. It is undoubtedly the look of the moment, but if you type "footballer's hair" into Google, you will mostly be greeted with pictures of eccentric misjudgments from seasons past.
Maybe it's because the haircut has too many subtle variations to warrant an umbrella term. Joey Barton maintains a severe quasi-mohawk. Arsenal's Olivier Giroud piles the quiff portion into a tsunami-style wave. Jack Wilshere keeps his as neat as a box hedge. In a realm where capricious changes of style and novelty haircuts are common, this sober look has proved unusually durable. Even David Beckham, whose hairstyle should always be described using the words "at the time of going to press", has done little more than tinker round the edges with his.
And why not? It's cool, but also sort of square. It looks great, even after 90 minutes of running around. And it's a haircut that seems to suit almost everybody – not just footballers. Brad Pitt has sported a version somewhere between a pompadour and what is sometimes known as a "high and tight". Savile Row tailor and Great British Sewing Bee judge Patrick Grant teams it with a beard to great effect. If relatively young men can carry off this classic, middle-aged dad-style haircut, why couldn't an actual middle-aged dad do the same?
footballer scott parker 'He's got really good hair': Fulham's Scott Parker. Photograph: Ben Queenborough/ BPI/REX
I am not in the habit of taking pictures of footballers into the hairdressers and saying, "Make me look like this", but I gather it's not at all an unusual thing to do.
"I've had this one quite a few times," says Tom from Tommy Gun's barbershop in Soho. He's looking at a photograph of Beckham in a white T-shirt, his great-but-nameless haircut accessorised with sunglasses and a week's worth of stubble. "Sometimes when people come in for the haircut, they want the lifestyle that goes with it."
Not me, I tell him. I just want the look. He examines the other pictures in my collection: Giroud, another Beckham, Zayn Malik from One Direction. "I don't know how that one got in there," I say.

Tom sits me in the chair and considers my present hairstyle, which is a bit of a mess, a product of pure neglect. "How often do you get it cut?" he says.
"Quarterly," I say. I tell him that Kelly and Hayley, who used to work at my local hairdressers before it closed, come to the house four Saturdays a year to my cut my entire family's hair for a job lot price. I'm not sure he believes me.
Tom doesn't have a name for the footballers' haircut either, and we both agree that "short back and sides" doesn't come anywhere near capturing its essence. He does have a theory about its origins, though. "Someone told me it started in the 50s, as an army thing," he says. According to this narrative, the contrast between the close-cropped sides and the longer top was effectively a division of assets: everything visible belonged to the army, and was maintained according to regulations; everything under the hat belonged to the owner of the head. Essentially it's the look Elvis ended up with after the army barber finished with him.
Tom says that while the haircut suits everybody, not everybody has hair to suit the cut. It doesn't really work with curly or ungovernably coarse hair. If the hair is too fine, on the other hand, then the tapered sides cannot be cut too short or they'll just stick straight out. This, apparently, is my problem.
"We're going to have to be a bit careful," Tom says.
My chief concern is not my hair, but my hairline. It's in retreat – every year there is less hair to comb and more face to wash – and I'm worried that a high and tight haircut will make me look like a stovepipe. I wish I hadn't included that photograph of Giroud in my dossier. He skews the whole thing towards the vertical.
The most striking thing about the haircut is the severity, and the lowness, of the side parting. Tom draws a line along my scalp not far above my ear, right about where a bald man would start his combover. The hair below this line is closely shorn; above, it stays long.
"Maybe you should draw an arrow on my forehead, so I can find it again," I say. It will, Tom assures me, be pretty apparent when he's done.
After 20 minutes I relax a little. We are past that midway point where the haircut looks even more alarming than what you came in with. Tom and I chat about hair. He tells me he once had that Nick Clegg in the chair. "Actually I cut his hair twice, just before the election," he says. Clegg kept the new style for about a week, before he defaulted to his ordinary politician's hair, much as David Cameron has done after periodic rug rethinks.
"I call it the Eton sweep," says Tom, "because they all end up parting it at the same point." Even that has a name, I think.
footballer olivier giroud 'A tsunami-style wave': Arsenal's Olivier Giroud. Photograph: Stuart MacFarlane/ Arsenal FC via Getty Images
My football hair is blow-dried to the desired height, and the sides are pasted down with a little wax. I look in the mirror again. What can I say? It's alarming how charming I feel.
When I walk into the house, my middle son is the first person to catch sight of me. "Whoa," he says, tipping back on his heels slightly. He walks all round me, scrutinising my head.
"That's not bad, actually," he says. He wants to say something unpleasant, but can't think of anything. The father may be flawed, but the hair is faultless. This must happen to Scott Parker a lot.
I soon discover that if the look is effortlessly cool, it's not exactly effortless. When I wake up the next morning, I realise that looking like a stovepipe should have been the least of my worries. After a night's sleep, the top of my head looks like a sculpture of a campfire done in hair. I run it under the tap for a bit to extinguish it, then I find a brush and start searching for the elusive parting. Luckily, the sides are still a bit waxy from the previous day. I really should blow-dry the top into position, but we don't own a hairdryer.
Don't get me wrong: I am exceedingly pleased with my haircut and, by extension, with myself, but I'm used to maintenance-free hair. Whenever Kelly sits me down in the kitchen on haircut Saturday and says, "So what are we doing?" I just tell her to cut it short enough that I never have to bother about it. It's not so much a look as a solution.
While I mean to maintain my Scott Parker hair for as long as possible, I know in my heart I will eventually default to my own personal version of the Eton sweep. At least I'll know what to call it.