Pomp' and Circumstance

3.21.2014

By Julien Sauvalle

How to rock a greaser hairdo

Pictured: Alex Turner of Arctic Monkeys (Zachery Michael)

More than just a look, rockabilly is a lifestyle—and one that usually calls for a long-term commitment.

Men who go slick often stick to their favorite pomade for years, washing it out only once a month (with dish soap!) no matter how many pillowcases and boyfriends they have to go through. But if you’re not quite ready to make that sort of pledge, less drastic measures do exist.

You couldn’t find a better expert than Jimmy Paul, editorial stylist at Bumble & Bumble, the man formerly responsible for the hair of Hedi Slimane’s models during his rock-y revamp of Dior. Here, Paul shares his tips for pulling off one of fashion’s boldest statements.

Mood Board: Rock Steady

Get the Right Cut
“This is such a sexy, classic style, and it’s a lot easier to maintain than you’d think,” Paul says. Any decent barber should be able to give you a rockabilly ’do; just ask for tight sides and a tight back, with some length on the top. Some “greasers” also love a duck’s ass, the round shape they give the back of their hair to finish the look. “Ask your barber for a ‘D.A.,’” Paul says, “so they know to leave some length at the back.”

Pomp up the Volume
“Products should be used according to your hair texture,” Paul says. “If your hair is naturally porous—meaning a little bit dry—this hairstyle is particularly easy to achieve.” To save time, blow-dry your hair. Paul recommends applying a dime-sized amount of Bumble & Bumble Straight Blow Dry (5 oz., $29, ) first, while your hair is still wet: “It makes it blow out much smoother,” he says. Create the desired shape by using the diffuser attachment on your dryer to direct the heat. “Instead of just pulling your hair back, blow it upward to get the most volume possible. You can make it even bigger by using a round brush and curling the hair up.”

Grease It—But Go Easy
“It’s better to put wax in once your hair is completely dry,” Paul says. “Warm up a thick, high-shine pomade [see next page] in the palms of your hands. Grab a pea-sized amount and start out from the sides to flatten them. Save whatever’s left to style the top.” Just remember: Less is more: “You can always add more product if the hair doesn’t stay in place, but using too much will deflate your masterpiece.” To finish, comb the wax through with a fine-toothed comb, a good way to set a side part or Teddy Boy coif.

And About That Duck's Ass…
Paul’s trick: “Simply comb the sides of your hair in two even sections toward the back of your head. Using the tip of your comb, push the hair down the middle of your scalp.

NEXT: Must-Have Products for the New Greaser

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