Male grooming is booming. In fact, according to global information group NPD, male skincare outgrew women’s last year, driven in part by the likes of Magic Mike’s Channing Tatum, and Jake Gyllenhaal in Southpaw, showcasing the fruits of grooming regimes that are as considered as their workouts.
But getting the Hollywood look takes a touch more nuance than simply slapping on the Brylcream. “From the gym to the bathroom, male grooming products are part of the essential package of looking and feeling good,” says NPD’s Teresa Fisher. Stock up your bathroom cabinet then get the cut to match your new arsenal.
Jake Gyllenhaal’s Louche Locks
“There is a big difference between having longer hair and a longer hairstyle,” says Pall Mall Barbers manager Daniel Davies. Gyllenhaal’s style steps the line between dishevelled and debonair by mixing lengths: “The hair should be around six inches on the back and sides, connected to about 10 inches on the top. This allows the hair to be swept back with a little bit of product.”
That contrast up top is echoed in the beard, which can help turn even those not blessed with the Gyllenhaal genes to get closer to heartthrob. “The beard is a great way to stretch out the face and hide any double chins,” says Davies.
Cut the hair close on the cheeks then blend into longer hair below the jawline and at the moustache: “It should be about double the length.”
Tom Hardy’s Slicked Back Supervillain
Britain’s biggest export (literally, in the case of man mountain Bane) isn’t the sort to spend an hour in front of the mirror every morning. Which means his low maintenance style is handy when the weather’s playing up, whether that’s snow ravaged frontiers or your blustery commute.
Again, look for contrast: Davies recommends a scissor cut to an inch-and-a-half on the sides, and six-to-seven up top. Then just run pomade over damp hair and stow a comb in your pocket for touch-ups if it rains. But make sure you’ve got the coverage. “If your hair’s thin, a wet look product can look more Homer Simpson than Tom Hardy.”
Hardy’s beard is equally unfussy. “He doesn’t line it out,” says Davies. “Instead, taper in from the base of your neck on a shorter grade. That way, when regrowth comes in, you don’t always have to shave the neck line.”
Brad Pitt’s Fade To Grey
Fighting time is futile. Comb overs fool no one and embracing the Just For Men too early can leave you with the lacquer-headed looks of Silvio Berlusconi. Instead, make like Brad Pitt, who’s taken the Zayn Malik look and run with it for upcoming Netflix drama War Machine.
“If you’re colouring, always visit a specialist,” warns Davies. “They’ll take a sample and test it with different peroxides to say how well it takes the colour.” Grey is good; bright orange, less so.
As befits a military man, Pitt’s style is a regimented scissor cut. “Ask for the hair to be cut neutrally,” says Davies. By leaving even length both sides of the part, you can sweep it backwards with product, and avoid the comb over look since your hair sits more naturally.
To keep its colour, you need the right tools. “Coloured hair is more alkaline, so it’s worth using a citrus-based shampoo to neutralise its pH.” Double up with a super-hydrating moisturiser and give it an extra couple of minutes to work before washing out. Then style subtly with a light dressing cream, to give hold without camouflaging the colour.
Daniel Craig’s Unstirred Blend
No matter how many trains he battles atop, or soft-tops he razzes round mountain roads, Bond’s hair never needs a touch up. Even if your life is slightly less eventful, you can still take note. “Ask your barber for a number three-to-four back and sides, blended using clippers and scissors over a comb,” says Davies. It’s important to have more weight at the front, so you can part slightly to one side.
Texture is vital. “It stops you looking like a Lego man.” Ditch the bulk with point cutting into dry hair, or having wet ends lightly razored. But don’t trim the hairline too much. “It needs to be as wide as possible to give a tapered finish,” say Davies.
Styling is equally simple: “Blow dry using a round brush to push it to one side, and slightly back, then style with a texture-enhancing finishing product to get that choppy finish.”