Looking great on that first today back to school is important for most guys. Many will simply not get a haircut before school starts and choose a haircut based on what all the other guys seem to be wearing. But, if you want to stand out and be ahead of the pack, follow my suggestions on choosing the right back-to-school haircut.

Back-to-School Haircut
How to Choose a Back-to-School Haircut. Richard Drury/Taxi/Getty Images

Before you go to the salon, it’s important to have a good idea of what you are looking for.

Knowing your face shape and how to communicate with your barber or stylist are important in choosing the best haircut possible. Having this knowledge might help you better understand what to tell your barber or stylist. I would also recommend searching this site for pictures of men’s haircuts and taking a couple of photos with you (or loading them onto your smartphone).

This will enable the barber or stylist to get an idea of the style you’re after so they can create a similar style that works with your hair type and facial features. Remember to be realistic and choose a hairstyle for a guy with similar facial features and hair type. Take a look at what the famous athletes and actors are wearing as well and search for images of those haircuts online.

If you’re looking to go trendy, I would recommend keeping ahead of men’s hair trends by looking at popular men’s magazines such as GQ or Details (if you really want to be one step ahead, look at the British versions of these magazines). Men’s fashion magazines will often give you a great idea of the fashion and hairstyles that are on the cusp of becoming a hot trend.

Don’t be afraid to try something new and different. If you have been wearing the same style for the past few years, change it up a bit. Stay on trend or just ahead of the trends to really look fresh and stand out.

If you do decide to go trendy, make sure the hairstyle you are wanting conforms to your school’s dress code (if it has one).

You don’t want to get sent home on the first day of school.

When choosing the right haircut, it is also important to keep your lifestyle in mind. If you are on the football team or the swim team, chances are you’ll want to opt for a shorter, low-maintenance haircut. Of course, if you’re in the band or are studying in one of the creative fields, a trendier haircut might be a great option.

When selecting your back-to-school haircut, I would also recommend looking at the school calendar to find out what kinds of events are coming up. Is picture day or the prom early in the year? If so, you may want to choose a more classic style that will still look great when you view that photo in 10 years. Save the trendy haircuts or extreme haircuts for times when you know you’re not going to be having photos that your kids might look at when they’re in school!

Finally, make an appointment with a great barber or stylist about two weeks before school starts as barbershops and salons get very busy with the back-to-school rush, and you don’t want the person cutting your hair to be in a hurry. Having an appointment will also allow you more time to talk to your barber or stylist so you may ask them for suggestions on what may work best for your hair type, lifestyle, and face shape. Remember, the person cutting your hair is trained to make you look your best, so listen to their advice. You might end up with a new style that’s even better than the one you picked out.

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