Starting today, we’ll be taking a look at one male celebrity every month in a column that celebrates male hair trends and beard grooming, amongst other things. We’re all aware that style involves celebrating the individual self and using external elements as expressions of one’s personality, tastes and ideas. But, there’s nothing wrong with finding inspiration in what other people do and how they do it. There’s a lot to be said for originality but when it comes to style trends, nothing is more original than really loving a look and making it your own. Some people create, others emulate.
We’re kicking off this series with Hollywood royalty and massive style icon Brad Pitt. Recognized the world over as one of the most good-looking men to have ever graced the planet, Brad Pitt’s charisma is what makes him a style icon. From shoulder-skimming locks to buzz cuts, Brad brings a sense of laidback confidence to every look and that is what I hope to inspire with this series.
Let’s take a look at some of his greatest styling moments and what we can learn from them.
1. Short ‘n’ Spiky
First rule of Hair Club: we talk about this style always.
The movie that cemented Brad Pitt as Hollywood A-lister and proved he was more than just a pretty face was also the movie that went on to prove just how fantastic that face was.
And we have that spiky, crazy hair to thank for driving the point home.
Most men have, at some point in their lives, tried their hand at spiky hair. It was cool in the Nineties and it’s cool today- you just need to know how to style it right. Using the correct texturizing and styling products makes all the difference. You can read all about it on my posts in the texturizing series and get ready to channel your inner Durden.
2. Swept Away
If you want a hairstyle with volume and height, nothing like the swept back look that Brad Pitt has down pat. You will have to grow out the hair at the crown to achieve a length that’s adequate and learn how to use texturizing mousse and hairspray correctly. But it’s totally worth the effort because the look is equal parts suave and silver fox.
3. Burn Baby Burn
Let’s face it: rocking sideburns is not for the fainthearted. Side burns can look a little OTT because of their in-your-face (or on your face, as the case may be) vibe and so most stylists agree that they’re little more than a relic from Hollywood’s Golden Age. The modern male grooming rules favor a more toned down look, unless you’ve got some serious moxie à la Hugh Jackman or Brad Pitt.
But, if you do have the face and the personality for it, take a cue from Brad here and go right ahead. Sideburns make for a very powerful statement. Regular trimming is necessary to maintain the right length and width (not to mention thickness). Full sideburns should be prominent but not bushy and are usually paired with a beard for a very dapper, old school look.
4. The Buzz About Brad
Definitely one of my favorite Brad Pitt haircuts of all time. Of course, when you’re going that short it does help to have a face that is basically Hollywood gold.
The buzz cut is one that’s favored by millions the world over because of its laidback, zero maintenance appeal. This one is totally no muss no fuss. There’s not a whole lot of thought and expertise needed to achieve the look, as long as you use quality hair clippers.
And once the haircut is in place, you’ve to do nothing to make it look good. Just be. Go forth and conquer.
5. Part Man, Part Mane
Despite having played around with some of the wackiest men’s haircuts of all time, there’s one thing Brad knows for sure: when it comes to classic men’s hairstyles, there’s nothing like the side part.
The one I’ve spotlighted here dates back to 2007, and it continues to be a universally popular men’s hair trend even today.
Side parts work in most haircuts and lengths and are basically the one-stop secret to making any hairstyle look formal yet relaxed. A side part works on men of all ages and facial structures and in all settings. It’s elegant and minimalistic and you can keep things subtle or use it to play up other strong elements of your look (like a great suit or a fabulous tie). We can’t all have that Ken doll thing that Brad has going in this photo but there’s no reason not to try!
6. Hot Shoulder
Shoulder-length hair is, by no means, an easy look to pull off- especially if you have workplace considerations and formal occasions to keep in mind. That said, both Brad Pitt and Christian Bale have worked this one (accompanied by varying degrees of facial hair) on and off the Red Carpet to great effect (may we all look so good in a tux), so it really is all about the way in which you wear it.
Know that your hair is going to go through that weird in-between stage when it’s growing out and you might find yourself wondering why you ever thought this was a good idea. Just pull a beanie on or part it to a side and slick or sweep it back and keep your head down. Until your Pitt transformation is complete.
7. Surfer Dude
If you thought the shoulder-length hair would be tricky to pull off, this one is definitely going to give you pause.
It’s hard to imagine a time that Brad Pitt looked like this, but to be fair, he’s looked like everything over the years and come out on top. From his Interview With A Vampire locks to this particular photo from the Legends of the Fall premier way back in 1994, Brad Pitt’s been setting ridiculously high standards for men for decades now.
The long locks won’t work for everyone, but they count amongst Brad’s most memorable looks and have earned their place on this list. It’s worth noting that the Nineties were when grunge-themed-everything was cool. Don’t forget that long hair takes a fair bit of maintenance, and men who’ve mostly worn their hair short will suddenly find themselves wondering about things like split-ends and hair conditioner.
If you’ve got the guts to go super long, may glory be yours. Try with the shoulder-length look first and if you like the effect (and make it till there) you might find it easier to continue on to greater heights (lengths?). Baby steps.
I hope you enjoyed this post. Write to me and let me know who you’d like to see featured in the next column!