Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Stolen from the Source | GQ's The Hair Primer

With the new season of Mad Men coming this August 16th -- you bet your life I'm counting the days -- People are looking to the show yet again for style influences. From tie bars to collar stays to french-cuff dress shirts with beautiful cufflinks the style that these men have is undeniable. But their style was head to toe and the head was a very important part of their image. Now make it one of yours with this guide from the gentlemen at GQ. Get a cut and take some advice from the true Mad Men at GQ.

C’mon, who among us doesn’t suffer through a bad-hair day now and then, or obsess about what kind of product to use, or stress about going gray? We grabbed six very different real guys, threw in a heap of expert advice, and figured out how to make the most of the head we’ve been dealt.

Six Things You Need to Know Now

• Do go to a hair salon if you’ve got a longer, more elaborate coif.

• Don’t go to a salon if you want something standard, like a side part or a pompadour. An inexpensive barber will do.

• Do shampoo and condition your hair.

• Don’t wash it every time you shower—a couple of times a week is enough. (Your hair’s natural grease is healthy.)

• Do get a fresh cut in preparation for a big event, like a wedding.

• Don’t get it done the day before. Unless you’re Kid Cudi (see slide 4), your hair needs a week after a cut to look its best.

Scott Ewald, 36
Visual merchandising coordinator, Hickey Freeman

The Throwback
Want to look like Cary Grant? First, determine which direction your hair naturally falls. Then notice how Scott combs his hair to the side and back at an angle, not directly across. He also reaches for Queen Helene hard-to-hold style gel to get that shellacked look. A choice side part, however, starts with the right cut. Find a barber you like, get him to follow these steps, and return every two or three weeks.

1. On Top: Trim and layer with scissors so hair lies back on top and fades into the sides.
2. On Sides: Electric clippers with a No. 2 guard.
3. In Back: No hard lines—fade the hair naturally down the back of the neck.
4. On Top: Every third time Scott sees his barber, he has him thin his hair by shearing it with toothed scissors.

Kid Cudi, 25
Musician (new album: The Man on the Moon: End of the Day)

The Neo-Fro (And How To Manage It)
1. The look Cudi calls “grungy” is actually very tidy. His barber uses electric clippers to create clean edges that frame his face.
2. He does let his curls go a bit, however. But who doesn’t right now? Just check out Kanye and Jay-Z.
3. Bigger hair, though, doesn’t mean a bigger beard. (He ain’t Rick Ross.) Cudi keeps it trim, fading seamlessly from his sideburns.

Kid Cudi on his ever-evolving do: “When I lived in Cleveland, I had a barber who was by appointment only. We’d just kick it in his shop—I’d play him some of my music, and we’d crack jokes and watch movies. In high school, I kept a Caesar for a while, I had a Mohawk, and I used to apply these texturizer kits so I could have the bomb S-curl. I used to think I was [singer] Carl Thomas. Now I’m letting my hair grow out a bit, and I have this guy called Lyte who cuts my hair twice a week. Since I’m letting it go longer, I just get a trim and a lineup. I don’t really get the full cut anymore. I’m embracing my grungy look.”

Kurt Schroeder, 42
sales, Ever Clothing

The thinner—or more receding—your hair, the shorter you should keep it.

Get a Grip on Pomade

Kurt Schroeder has sported the same rockabilly-inspired haircut for twenty years. The key to its success is pomade.
• If you’re hard-core about your pomade, you can’t go wrong with Murray’s. It’s heavy-duty grease that essentially doesn’t wash out. (Just be careful: When Kurt got married, his wife got tired of throwing out pillowcases and made him switch brands.) Here’s how to apply it: Open the can and run hot water in it. When it’s nice and lubed up, dip your fingers in and scoop out a little bit. Rub it between your fingers, then run your fingers through your wet hair. Comb, like Kurt, or style with your hands.
• If you want a pomade that doesn’t rub off on your wife’s linens, consider water-soluble pomades, like 360 Style (which Kurt digs) or Cool Grease (a popular Japanese brand).
• If you’ve got thick hair, consider clay-based pomades by brands like Baxter of California, American Crew, and Fekkai for Men. They’ll give a grittier feel and a matte finish.

A Good Barber’s Secret Weapon

All text and Photos courtesy of GQ