Cool boys’ hairstyle is long, shaggy |

Cool boys’ hairstyle is long, shaggy

Samantha Critchell
Associated Press
Vail, CO Colorado
AP/SportClipsStylist Diana Garsa cuts the hair of Kai Ventura, 13, at SportClips in Georgetown, Texas.

NEW YORK ” Here they come ” the next generation of mop tops.

In the 1960s, boys embraced longer, shaggier hair in the spirit of The Beatles. Today’s kids are taking their cues from the stars of live-action shows on the Disney Channel, Nickelodeon and the like.

“We’re definitely seeing trends moving toward the moppish look. I’ve also heard it called the blowout. It started on the West Coast and seems to be making its way east,” reports Julie Vargas, who oversees stylist training at Sport Clips, a 400-plus franchise hair salon that targets men and boys.

The look crosses age groups, “even high school and the early 20s,” she adds. “The influence is from Disney Channel on up through the music industry and movie stars.”

In 1993, when the first Sport Clips opened in Georgetown, Texas, the hair icons were Michael Jordan, with his shaved head, and wacky Dennis Rodman, often with tight blond curls, Vargas says. Before that, boys wanted the flat top that Brian Bosworth wore.

“There’s no one who is a frontrunner to be the icon” now, Vargas says.

That has left room for high school and college athletes to make an impression on younger boys ” and many of them wear their hair in a longer, fringe style, observes Amy Williams, chairwoman of the fashion design department at California College of the Arts. The style is associated especially with swimmers, snowboarders and skateboarders, she says. Disney and Nickelodeon have tapped into children’s interest in extreme sports, and their young stars have that look.

“It looks like they just got out of the pool and shook their heads,” says Williams. “It’s all very ‘done’ but they want it to look casual.”

Unlike girls, boys are unlikely to walk into a hair salon with a photograph of how they want their hair. But Vargas says boys might drop the hint that they want to look like the stars of “The Suite Life With Zack and Cody” (Disney) or “The Naked Brothers Band” (Nickelodeon).

Alex Wolff, half of the “Naked Brothers” duo, says the look just evolved over time for him and his brother Nat.

“I never take care of my hair ” I just grow it,” he says in that nonchalant 9-year-old way.

He adds: “I don’t like to get my hair cut. Girls like it long ” and it’s good for a rock ‘n’ roll career.”

The boys’ mother, actress Polly Draper, confirms: “I’ve never seen them brush their hair.”

That no-fuss look has become their signature, Draper says, and an expression of their personality.

Parents are generally OK with these tween stars as role models and trend-setters because their TV shows are age-appropriate and deal with issues that everyone in the family can relate to, says Holly Alford, an assistant professor at Virginia Commonwealth University’s fashion design and merchandising department.

Up through kindergarten, mothers make most of the decisions about their sons’ appearance, but by first grade, boys are paying attention to what other kids think is cool, Alford says. It’s around the fifth grade that they adapt styles they think girls like, she adds, and fifth-grade girls these days like brothers Dylan and Cole Sprouse on “Zack and Cody,” the Wolff brothers, and Zac Efron and Corbin Bleu from “High School Musical.”

Not one of them has short hair.

“I’ve got a couple of my son’s friends who are interracial like Corbin and they’re trying to grow that wild curly-hair look like him,” says Alford, the mother of a 10-year-old.

Vargas, however, doesn’t think little boys will get into the moppish look. They like to have a part, or to have their hair brushed straight down, she says.

If you live near a military base, you’ll also see tighter haircuts, probably even with some scalp exposure, Vargas says, and in the country’s midsection you might see some mullets.

“There are more variations of mullets than you’d think,” she says with a laugh.

The mohawk also is enjoying a bit of a comeback, especially a version known as the faux-hawk, which leaves a little hair on the rest of the head in addition to the center spike. “It’s a textured bad-boy look. … It’s a little shattered, disconnected and broken up,” Vargas says.

And to the delight of mothers everywhere, there is still a place for what Vargas calls the classic “GQ or J.Crew cut,” which has shorter sides and a little longer on the top. It can be parted or tousled, the front can be pulled up a bit, or you can push some of the hair forward.

“That’s the haircut every mom dreams of her son wearing,” Vargas says.

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