How can my current hair become David Tennant's hair?
February 9, 2008 8:05 AM   Subscribe

So I always have boring haircuts. Standard businessman cut type. Cause I'm lazy and hate having to do anything with it in the morning. And this morning I realized it is now at the point where it needs to be cut as it's looking, well, like it needs to be cut. (How it looks right now: me1, me2, me3, though for some reason in the pics it looks a lot less in need of cleanup than it does in real life.) So I'd like to do something a bit more interesting, a bit more daring. Not much, but a little. I'm kind of in a turning myself around mentally state, and it's passing over into things like this. And you know what style (roughly) I like? David Tennant-ish messy. Seen here and here....

But here's my question: My hair probably CAN'T do that now. The length isn't nearly enough, the current cut can't be reshaped into that, etc. etc. So what do I tell my hairstylist to get a hair cut that looks decent now, maybe even with that same messy feel, but lets it evolve into either that or something that can be cut to that down the line?

(Also note that I'm in suburbia, so my choice of places is somewhat limited to barber shop and low-rent salons)
posted by John Kenneth Fisher to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (20 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Well, for high end stylists in burbville, look for "Spas", they almost always have really great stylists.

Take a picture of what you want your hair to be, and they can cut it such that it grows into that style. (Or they'll tell you that your hair won't do that, and have some other suggestions on how to "hip up" your style.) Color is alway a great way to make a change, and there's a huge amount of dyes on the professional market for men.

Keep in mind that good stylists are not cheap. I'd assume probably $50 plus tip on the low end of the scale. If I go in for a cut, color and cello, it runs about $250, but I have an extraordinary amount of hair.
posted by dejah420 at 8:11 AM on February 9, 2008

If it were me and those were my only choices I'd go to the low rent salon and take the picture of David Tenant with me. Say "that's where I'd like to end up" and let them do the work. The salons do the ladies haircuts which are more challenging. Woman (and gay guy) hairdressers are generally better at giving guys haircuts that suit them.
posted by merocet at 8:18 AM on February 9, 2008

I think you could *totally* rock that look. What you need to do is bring those pics with you to a somewhat higher end salon (rather than some random stripmall place) and find somebody that knows what they're doing. I looked at your profile (I'm also in NJ, but Northern), and I bet you could easily find somebody in/around Rumson. I drive a 20ish minutes to get my hair done, so it's not completely unheard of. ;). My other thought was Princeton, though it looked farther on the Map.

And as somebody up thread mentioned, good haircuts aren't cheap. It will probably be at least $50, but with hair at that length (once it gets there), you won't need to get it done every 4ish weeks as you do with a much shorter traditional men's haircut.

If you feel like making a trip up this way (I'm a half hour outside NYC), I'd be glad to give you the name of the place I go to (MeMail me). I used to be used as a hair model in NYC but got tired of the schlep. The place I go to now is in Summit, and I'm very, very happy with them - been going there for about 4 years now (oh, and their prices are surprisingly reasonable for what they could be charging.)
posted by dancinglamb at 8:37 AM on February 9, 2008

I'm lazy and hate having to do anything with it in the morning.

Really talk to your stylist about upkeep. Tennant looks messy and casual in those pictures, but speaking as someone whose styling ambitions often outstrips her technique, that looks like a deceptively simple cut to maintain. He's using styling mud or some other styling aid to lift and animate his hair. The longer your hair is, the harder it is to get it to behave.

Here's a more casual shot of Tennant with less mud, but still showing some effort at styling. Could you tolerate this look if your hair texture means that it could turn into a flat neo-bowl cut under your less than experienced hands? If not, you're committing yourself to learn how to style your hair quickly and well. Once you get the hang of it, it should take only a few minutes in the morning.

Oh, and your sideburns are nice, but consider growing them out a bit more to balance the look. And you'll be keeping the goatee, right? The whole thing could be a great look for you.
posted by maudlin at 8:40 AM on February 9, 2008 [1 favorite]

> Here's a more casual shot of Tennant with less mud

People will need to cut and paste : in order to see that picture maudlin, as the site you've linked too has anti-hotlinking gibbons involved.
posted by benzo8 at 8:45 AM on February 9, 2008

(Damn. I tested my link before it posted, but after clearing my cache, I do get that block. Sorry!)
posted by maudlin at 8:59 AM on February 9, 2008

Yeah, seconding the mud or wax thing. Redken Smartwax, if they still make it, is awesome for both guys and gals. It's very easy to use (just spread a little around between Combs One and Two -- aka your hands -- and run them through it) and voila, you have texture on purpose. It flattens the flyaways and somehow also gives you a little volume at the roots; you can put it in when your hair is wet or dry for different results. This is basically true for most waxes, but I specifically liked Smartwax the best. I currently use Giovanni Magnetic Hold.
posted by Madamina at 9:31 AM on February 9, 2008

That other guy looks creepy! I was thinking that your hair already has that kind of sorta-messy stylishness to it. It's like the base might be Mr. Businessman, but it's messed up and pointed forward a bit in a roguish way and has just the slightest little kid cowlick up front that the ladies will no doubt subconsciously interpret favorably. If the current state of it is grown-out, maybe keep the cut but embrace its grown-outness? Delay the cut another couple of weeks and then keep cutting back to right around here each time?

I am a reformed product user myself, and now I too am lazy about my hair in the mornings. Don't want to fool with it. I go to the standard barber shop now and feel more manly! I'm thinking if you're naturally lazy about your hair, it'll be tough to maintain a style that requires a lot of work, and you may end up getting that unintended "down" look when you're too lazy to do stuff to it. Good luck, brother.
posted by kookoobirdz at 10:00 AM on February 9, 2008 [1 favorite]

I don't think you need a hair cut. Not much you can do until it grows longer. Wait a few months.
posted by sockpup at 10:10 AM on February 9, 2008

As a male who has been going into high-end places (even in Manhattan), the big secret is the pricing scheme is such that females are the ones holding the bad end of the stick. I've never spend more than $100 in very expensive cities, certainly the outliers, and $50-$60 being the more normal price.

These places structure their pricing so that discrete parts look cheap (the cut for example) but when added together are expensive. You, presumably much like me, will not need coloring and myriad of other products. In fact unless those are done very, very well, you'll look like a small town news anchor.

Grow your hair out to considerable length. Let them know the style and look-and-feel you're going for. Rock star? Hipster? Bringing in photos never helps for me I just kind of try to describe the look I'm going for. I'm under the impression that most stylists have certain looks they do well and kind of stick to it, sort of like plastic surgeons.

So in short, the biggest steal in the fashion industry is the male haircut. You rarely go wrong by taking a step on the pricing scale. Dollar for dollar, it is your best bet to look better.
posted by geoff. at 10:13 AM on February 9, 2008

also, you could get this look right this weekend with hair extensions. The bad news - we are talking about $100 or more for the extensions, plus the cost of the cut. Budget at least $200.
posted by seawallrunner at 10:23 AM on February 9, 2008

Response by poster: Odd that it really doesn't show in the pics, but while it doesn't need a full "cut" or whatever, it definitely needs to be cleaned up and needed. I'd just hate that to be done in a way that I never get long enough to try the above :-/
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 10:24 AM on February 9, 2008

Pictures are loading now.
posted by Jay Reimenschneider at 10:33 AM on February 9, 2008

Based on your location, try Visage on Bridge Ave in Red Bank (in the old factory building). I have a great stylist there (note, I'm a woman) but I've seen many, many men there, and they always leave looking very hip. You can talk to the stylist first and show them what you want, and they'll be able to help you out.
posted by xsquared-1 at 10:45 AM on February 9, 2008

Yes, you do need a cut even if you are going to grow it out for the look you posted, because you will need the hair to grow out *evenly*. It will likely be a two-step process when you do achieve your look, as after the cut you will need highlighting to get the sun-lit look you linked to.

I have found that with my own hair (I'm a woman and mine is much longer than yours), this gel is fantastic for making that volume-y layers look when you have a bit of natural curl.
posted by misha at 11:20 AM on February 9, 2008

Definitely go to a good stylist whom you can consult with about what you ultimately want out of your hair. It's hard to tell from your photographs, but it seems like you might not have the right texture to easily duplicate the look you want. That's the kind of thing a stylist would be able to tell you, as well as the kinds of products you would need to get that messy look he's got going on in the photos you linked. If the stylist doesn't think your hair can "do that" (and oh, to have a nickel for every time I've been told that my thin, fine, limp, wispy hair will never look the way I want it to, so I know of what I speak), or if the look you want would require too much styling for you to tolerate on a regular basis, they should be able to suggest a similar style that is achievable/maintainable. But really. 'Burbs or no, it's worth a trip to a salon/spa/nearest big city/whatever to get it right. Go to the SuperCuts in the strip mall for the maintenance trims.
posted by the luke parker fiasco at 11:51 AM on February 9, 2008 [1 favorite]

Love that haircut. Wish I had enough hair to pull it off. Just accept that you might have a month or two of awkward hair while it grows out. Wear hats if you don't like how it looks in the interim. But once it grows out, the world is your oyster. Update all your photos on social networking sites and really rock the look! And remember that your hair may never look exactly like his because he has a professional styling his hair. That's ok, though. Yours will look good enough and no one has to know who you're trying to copy.
posted by HotPatatta at 12:59 PM on February 9, 2008

Yeah, it's gonna take a few rounds over the months at the stylist while your top grows out. Any decent salon will get you 90% there. If they can't finish the job once you have all of your length in order, then ask a lady- or homo-friend with good hair who they go to. It won't be a big deal, you just won't be able to do it in one shot. It may look a little weird to you in the between times when it's longer than what you recognize yourself with and the cut you eventually want, but nobody else will be able to tell.
posted by rhizome at 3:28 PM on February 9, 2008

I'm a girl but have very short hair. When I need a cleanup but also want to grow my hair a bit, I find that it works wonders to have the back and sides trimmed up, but the top of my head - and especially the front - should be left alone, or at most just given a bit of shape and texture. If you look well-groomed around the neck and sideburns, you can let the top of your head start getting shaggy.
posted by bassjump at 2:58 AM on February 10, 2008

The one thing I would caution is that unless you do like the idea of hair upkeep, doing things like putting wax in your hair AND having long hair like Tennant means you will HAVE to do upkeep every morning. I would recommend looking into a hairstyle that lets you use your current short hair, has a bit of funky look to it perhaps, and is easy to maintain.
posted by Deathalicious at 6:46 AM on February 10, 2008

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