When Bad Haircuts Happen To Good Men

Why do bad things happen to good people?* Take Robert Pattison: The Dior alumnus may have the frown to break a thousand hearts, but he often forgets that grey shirts make for a poor sponge. Then there’s Kanye, who, in his early courtship of Kim K, lost his trousers on exiting a car on date night.

But unlike clothing, a bad haircut can be far more devastating. We can quickly remedy a cringe-inducing slogan tee, but peroxide and perms take months to grow out. And, bar a buzz cut, the solutions are few – something these famous faces know all too well.

*Okay, ‘good’ may be a subjective term.

Brad Pitt

Then & Now

Brad Pitt Haircuts - Then and Now

We’re all guilty of letting ourselves go/keying our ex’s car after a breakup, but this throwback from the days when Brangelina were an item should serve as a warning to Pitt.

“The unkempt, straggly hair with the overgrown beard is made all the worse with the chin-hanging beads,” says Joth Davies, owner of Savills Barbers and ambassador for The Great British Grooming Co. “The problem is the lack of maintenance – hair is morphing into beard which quickly morphs into caveman.”

Despite the Castaway look, he’s not marooned just yet, adds Davies: “The beard is crying out for a trim. A radical fade to the hair for a shorter, tighter style would neaten everything up – a cut Pitt wears well in Fury.”

George Clooney

Then & Now

George Clooney Haircuts - Then and Now

No, not a handsome Julian Assange in his youth, but the face of George Clooney. And unfortunately for the Ocean’s Eleven star, he didn’t have the luxury of an Ecuadorian hideout.

“Bleach blond is a tricky move,” explains Daniel Johnson, Panasonic grooming ambassador and hair stylist to everyone from the England football squad to Dubai royalty. “It isn’t helped by the wet look gel spikes – two moves that read more midlife crisis.”

The remedy is all natural, Johnson says. Clooney’s look works best when embracing the silver and sporting a classic cut that is less WikiLeaks, more Oscar winner.

Jonah Hill

Then & Now

Jonah Hill Haircuts - Then and Now

Jonah Hill’s transformation from fat funnyman to style god of the moment hasn’t gone unnoticed on these pages over the past year. In fact, the The Wolf of Wall Street star clocked in at number two on our list of The Best-Dressed Men In The World. However, it wasn’t always this way.

Case in point: when he thought ‘white guy’ and ‘afro’ belonged in the same sentence. “Jonah Hill’s Hair is really thick and has incredible curl, which has its advantages,” says Joe Mills, founder of London’s Joe and Co, “but in this instance, the shape of the cut and how its styled does nothing but accentuate his round facial features.

The follicular fix? Go short. “The cropped look really works on him and matched with the beard it really changes the shape of his face. As his hair is so short the thickness and curl he has is not an issue.”

Justin Timberlake

Then & Now

Justin Timberlake Haircuts - Then and Now

Super Noodles: bad in the bowl, even worse on your head. Even pop prince Justin Timberlake couldn’t stomach this one.

“Justin has a lot of natural texture, and the amount of product alone makes his hair look greasy and congealed,” says the master barber at Ted’s Grooming Room. “Pair this with yellow bleach and you’re dining out on a dreadful hairdo.”

The fix for this microwave monstrosity? “Thick, curly hair should be treated with a softer putty to help separate clumps while maintaining texture. You only really need a pea-sized dollop to distribute from root to tip.”

Paul Pogba

Then & Now

Paul Pogba Haircuts - Then and Now

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba’s cockatoo-do was the highlight of 2015 Serie A season. Off the pitch, however, the look is best kept to the aviary.

“The problem with this cut is that it does nothing for his face shape,” says Matthew Hughes, owner of London-based Idris Barbering Co. “It’s a common thing footballers do when trying to out-do each, they go for something no one has before, but there’s normally a reason they haven’t.”

That’s not to say a snip has to be boring to work. “His short dreads are much more flattering and show off his bone structure well,” adds Hughes. “Then to add that bit of difference he obviously wants the barber has used a hard tram line to separate the top and sides of the hair.”

Shia LaBeouf

Then & Now

Shia LaBeouf Haircuts - Then and Now

Sorry Shia, but the rat tail belongs back under the paper bag along with the self-involved movie marathons, plagiarism lawsuit and interpretive dance moves.

“The single plait is better suited to nineties suburban schoolgirls,” says Ruffians creative director Denis Robinson. “This makes the actual undercut even more severe. Wrong on so many levels.”

Like his frankly bizarre career, LaBeouf’s best bet is to tidy his act up. “The sides should be shaved down to a grade one to soften the cut, then tapered up higher to mask the disconnection. As for the plait, I have no words.”

Bradley Cooper

Then & Now

Bradley Cooper Haircuts - Then and Now

Bradley Cooper may well be Hollywood’s saviour, but that’s not to be confused with the Saviour, Jesus Christ, despite this trim.

“A man with high cheekbones and a stern nose should avoid a centre parting,” says Adam Gore of Barberology, which was voted ‘Barbershop of the Year’ at the UK’s Premier Annual Barber Awards. “Plus, the hair colour washes out his skin tone,” he adds.

Cooper has since repented and, as Gore says, his current no-nonsense crop is a style that can be ruffled or slicked back as appropriate.

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