The Haircut: George Clooney
A how-to by barber Zach Linhardt of Lakeside Barbershop, Oklahoma City.
“I don’t want Fop…I’m a Dapper Dan man!”
That should be enough of a clue to let you know whose hairstyle we are going over. In case you’re one of the unlucky few that haven’t seen “O Brother, Where Art Thou”, I’m talking about George Clooney. I’m going to be going over recent pictures of George, specifically, his haircut in “The Monuments Men”.
First things first, let’s knock the name of the haircut out of the way, so we are all on the same page. This is a “contour” and this style is what I would call an “extra long contour”. I work with Oklahoma’s oldest active barber, and he insists everyday that this haircut is simply called “a regular”. Whatever generation your barber is from, they’ll know this cut because it is a classic and is becoming more and more popular again. It’s become so popular, that I would say this haircut is what puts food on my table.
What to ask for
Now, onto the haircut! Sit down in the chair and when you’re asked, “How would you like your haircut?” tell the barber that you’d like a contour, and then briefly describe how you’d like the end result to look. As with any haircut, there are countless variations. The more details you can give the barber, the better picture you’ll paint in their head. For Clooney’s, I’d start out with the edging around the ears and neckline to give myself a solid base. I’d then ask the client how long he’d like the top. It looks like he has about 4 inches or more up top. I do this cut just a tad different than most barbers and I leave the back a little shorter than up front. I think doing it this way makes the top of the hair blend a little easier.
If the client asked for 4 inches, I’d cut the back at about 3 inches, and increase the length as I moved forward. From there, it’s all clipper over comb. This haircut, while simple, is done without the use of guards and can go wrong in a hurry! On this cut, I’d start the taper low enough to where the hair was just barely going to touch the ear when combed straight down. Once that length has been set, it’s simply a game of connect the dots, joining the bottom to the top. When I have the taper looking perfect, I’d go in and do shear over comb using my thinning shears and cut just the ends. I find that this really helps the haircut look clean and finished when styled.
Styling this haircut is an odd process. It may seem strange, but the first step is to wet the hair to slightly more than damp. For the next step, you’re going to get your lady’s hairdryer and dry your hair as you comb it into the style. By doing this, you’re going to give your hair some volume and it makes it easier to manage after you apply the pomade. From here on out, it all makes sense again. For George’s style, I’m willing to bet, he used a wax-based pomade. If you like your pillowcases and don’t want to wear a hair net to bed, I’d recommend J.S. Sloane’s Brilliantine. It holds like a rock, but will dry with almost zero shine.
That’s it! It’s a simple haircut, but it is probably the most classic, best looking cut a guy can wear. Now, since you’re looking like Dapper Dan, himself get your guys together, get dressed up, and drink a whisky neat.