Local stylists share tips and current trends in men’s hairstyles

In August 2009, it was reported that the Sultan of Brunei, one of the world’s richest men, spent the equivalent of more than $24,000 for a single haircut. Flying

a stylist over from London to his home, the sultan’s haircut entailed a 7,000-mile trip on Singapore Airlines for stylist Ken Modestou, who has been the sultan’s barber for about 16 years.

Fortunately for laymen, haircuts and good hair maintenance need not be as expensive or time-consuming a process.

Locally, many salons in Hawaii have well-trained experts in men’s haircare who keep up on the latest trends in cuts and color. Alan Vuong and Mia Kim of Salon Blanc in Honolulu sat down with HILuxury to share some of their tips on hair maintenance for men and to discuss some of the latest trends in men’s hairstyles.

Both Kim and Vuong acknowledge that one of the current trends in men’s haircare is the simple fact that more men are beginning to visit professional salons regularly. As celebrities such as George Clooney sport powerfully distinct looks, men have begun to seek stylists’ advice and acknowledge the value of a well-done cut.

The best haircuts for men, according to Kim, vary based on several factors.

“It’s all about personality,” she says. “It depends on their profession, how they want to express themselves, etc. Face shape also is important – we want to make them look handsome, make them look lean and tall. It’s also about keeping hair manageable.”

Vuong says one of the more trendy, self-expressive styles is the “rocker fringe” with ragged textures. When accented with bold, blond, chunky color, the “rocker look” goes well with men seeking an edgy, off-the-cuff vibe. On the opposite tip, Vuong says “geek is the new chic” – more conservative guys have been going for a classic, clean cut with slick, tight sides, harkening back to the side-part schoolboy looks of the 1950s and ’60s. The Caesar cut is especially an often-asked request among Salon Blanc’s male clients.

No matter what the hairstyle, Vuong says men should visit the salon every three to four weeks to maintain their cut. In between each salon visit, taking care of hair with the right products is very important. Kim suggests that men take up an arsenal of essential items that are “easy to use”: a good professional shampoo, a matte-finish product for the “rock star” cut, and a shiny gel for the slick, swept look. She recommends the Redken for Men product line, which is offered at Salon Blanc.

Beyond advising on the proper products and trendy cuts, the staff at Salon Blanc says there’s one more necessary ingredient for men to work their hair to its maximum potential: experimentation. Vuong and Kim encourage men to step outside of their usual comfort zone and take a risk with something different every so often.

“Men clients tend not to like change,” Kim says. “We’d like them to be more open, to maybe try (a new style) twice a year.”

Salon Blanc offers men’s haircuts ranging from $45 to $70, and color treatments starting at $70. For more information, visit www.blancsalon.com.