Grooming fails: 11 haircuts men should never get

In my late teens, bored in suburbia, I decided to bleach my mousy blonde hair. Using a combination of lemon juice and peroxide, my locks gradually took on an alarming Aryan shade of white.

Needless to say, I was teased mercilessly by my less follicularly creative cohorts.

Bug zapper chic

Hitting the nightclubs of Gosford and dancing to Pet Shop Boys, my head shone purple beneath the ultraviolet lights, resembling a mobile bug zapper.

The point of this tale is that, yes, we all experiment with our hair in our younger years. But like most follies of youth, there comes a time to stop. Also acknowledged as growing up.

Stick to what suits

Steve Salecich from Grand Royal Barbers in Sydney reckons blokes should stick with classic styles, such as the short back and sides with a side part.

"You can't really go wrong with the short back and sides and it happens to be very fashionable at the moment," Salecich says. "What's great about it, is that it's smart, elegant, and looks terrific with both a suit and more casual attire. Nobody will ever look back at the short back and sides and laugh about it; you can't say the same for a mullet."

Work with what you have

Salecich says blokes who are balding on top, might opt instead to be clippered short all over. "It's quite smart if done properly and not butchered at home."

And the worst hair style he's ever seen? "I saw a bloke once with a sideways mohawk that ran from ear-to-ear, rather than from front to back; that was pretty ridiculous. But, generally speaking the mullet is as bad as it gets."

Here's a list of the 11 worst things you can do to your hair:

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Get a mullet

The 'do' described as 'business at the front and party down the back' is, at the risk of sounding unAustralian, a total embarrassment to mankind. Consider the most famous mullet wearers of all time and ask yourself would you want to be associated with them? Michael Bolton, Billy Ray Cyrus, Jason Donovan, James Reyne...I didn't think so. Their mullets have destined them to the great RSL club of life. Only one mullet wearer ever dragged himself out from the cesspool of fashion and that was David Bowie. The bottom line? Unless you are Ziggy Stardust, don't get a mullet. Oh, and one more thing; despite what your trendy inner-city hair stylist might tell you, there's no such thing as an ironic mullet.

Dye your hair

This is a tricky one. If you are under 30 it might be okay to put a colour through your hair to attract a similarly hued mate, but at any other age it's best to grey gracefully.

Grow a pony tail

Ask yourself this: who wears pony tails these days? Answer: Tim Winton, your mother, and a lonely lawyer with a Harley. Seriously, the only thing sadder than a man with a ponytail, is a balding man with a ponytail, grown as a consolation for what's being lost up front. If you are over 50, long hair always makes you look older. Don't believe it? Check out some photos of Willie Nelson and tell us he doesn't look like at least 100.

Wear a man bun

In the same category as ponytails (see above) but favoured by sumo wrestlers, hipsters and Hollywood celebrities moonlighting as hipsters (Jared Leto). There's something self-consciously try-hard about the man bun, like you spent four hours perfecting something to look like you left the house in a rush.

Propagate a rat's tail

While the mullet may be the worst abomination in male hairstyles, the rat's tail comes a mighty close second. Even worse is when a rat's tail is tricked up with braids. These rodenty appendages are loved by angry blokes who name their first-born son Brock, and their daughter, Torana. Hollywood weirdo Shia LaBeouf rocked a braided version last year. Nuff said.

Create a faux hawk

While still detestable, at least a mohawk was the real deal, adopted by anarchists in the late 1970s. A faux hawk is just a depoliticised fashion statement; the Toyota Celica of hairstyles for those who favour style over substance. Nobody ever looked good with a faux hawk. Even the world's most handsome man, David Beckham, managed to look crap with one perched on his beautiful head.

Carve shapes or words into your hair

Newsflash, your head is not a billboard, or one of Todd 'the ego' Sampson's inane T-shirts. If you need to tell people you're a fan of Sea Shepherd, send a text, rather than have your barber carve a humpback whale in your noggin.

Embrace the comb-over

Balding is a sensitive subject. But you aren't fooling anyone, least of all yourself. You're losing it and no amount of subterfuge will hide the fact. Prince Charles currently owns the world's most famous comb-over, possibly the reason his mother has never let him loose on the throne. Here's a simple alternative: Cut your remaining hair really close to your scalp, or go the whole Patrick Stewart. The bloke is pushing 80 and he still looks sharp.

Turn to the toupee

No. Simply no. People will just assume a small creature-of-the-air is building a nest on your head or you're in Trump cosplay. Again, no.

Get dreadlocks

First, a disclaimer. If you are from a culture where dreadlocks are part of your religious tradition or a statement in ethnicity, wear them with pride. However, if your name is Darren and you come from Killara or Kew and you want dreadlocks because you once went to Byron Bay and own a collection of dreamcatchers and a unicycle, it might be time to reconsider. Even muso John Butler had the sense to cut off his dreads when he got sick of people assuming he was a new age hippie. Which he kind of is.

Do the Donald

Even physicists aren't quite sure how the president elect gets his hair to do the bizarre things that it does. There's been rumours of a comb-over, a toupee and even hair plugs, but according to a hairdresser close to the Oval Office none of it is true. The fact is, Trump actually grows and styles his hair that way because he believes it looks good. He also happens to believe he can build a Colorbond fence between Mexico and the United States, so go figure.

Have we missed something? Or do you currently rock a ponytail with a single ironic dreadlock dyed purple? Tell us in the comments section below.

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