- 6 MIN LONG
- MEDIUM EFFORT
- 5 PRODUCTS
From Elvis’s pompadour to McCartney’s mop top, a whistle stop tour of the coolest musicians and their even cooler hair
Think, for a moment, of your favorite musician. Now, fix their image in your mind. Likely, whether that person is now long in the tooth or pushing up daisies, nine times out of ten, the picture you have of them in your mind will be of when they were at their peak, when the whole world was a stage and the people in it a captive audience. And usually that means when they were young. That is the thing to remember about music – it is, in a way, visual too.
The visceral feelings we have for musicians – be it chest-beating love or absolute hatred – is in some small part also down to how they look, as much as how they perform. After all, a poster on a wall doesn’t sing. Of course, this comes down to clothes in no small part, but as much as that, it is also about hair, too.
Musicians have the ability to set the tone and lead the way when it comes to the latest haircuts. Here, we round up 5 iconic musicians with 5 iconic haircuts.
ELVIS PRESLEY’S POLISHED POMPADOUR
It was 1956 and a 21-year-old with jet-black hair and a comb in his back pocket arrived on the world stage. And frankly the world couldn’t get enough of him. Elvis Aaron Presley’s first single Heartbreak Hotel inaugurated a new rock ‘n’ roll sound. But it wasn’t just his music which changed the world, his perfectly preened pompadour haircut became nearly as well-known as his music. It was his tail feather to shake, and a peacock feather at that. It said: I am the future, nothing will be the same again. And it wasn’t.
How to get Presley’s polished pompadour
- Towel dry the hair and apply a thumbnail-sized scoop of our Smooth Back Shaping Pomade
- Comb your hair over the crown, and with your free hand lift the front upwards to give it height and body, you can also pin the front into place from behind
- Blow dry the hair from a distance so as not to disturb the placement
- Take a dollar-sized globule of Going Strong Styling Gel and spread it over the top of your hair, then comb it through using a fine tooth comb
- Apply Tight Grip Fixing Spray for extra hold
DAVID BOWIE’S SLICK BACK
David Bowie changed haircuts as other men change jackets. It was almost a compulsion. The hair was an expression of character. And from the moment he exploded as Ziggy Stardust in the early 70s he inhabited many. After moving to Los Angeles he began to adopt the persona of the Thin White Duke, which was based on Thomas Jerome Newton, the humanoid alien he played in the film The Man who Fell to Earth. And indeed, in the posters of the period, all shot in black and white, he does look otherworldly, his cheek bones jutting from pale skin like two alabaster icebergs and his golden blond locks combed back onto his head with just the thinnest strand of hair falling forward (not dissimilar to David Beckham’s hairstyle circa 2015). Ice cool, yet vulnerable, he looked like god, if god played guitar.
How to get Bowie’s slick back
- Towel dry your hair and rub a thumbnail-sized scoop of our Smooth Back Shaping Pomade from root to tip
- Blow dry the hair starting the back to give the style some volume, then brush the front over the top of this with a fine tooth comb - keeping it close to the nozzle of the dryer to keep control.
- Once the hair is dry, give it a generous all over spray of a Tight Grip Fixing Spray for extra hold, lightly stroking it back with the palm of your hands taking care not to flatten the volume
JIM MORRISON - THE PERM CURL (1967)
When we think of Jim Morrison we tend to think of the Joel Brodsky shots of him in the late sixties. There the lead singer of The Doors stands before the camera, naked but for a chain around his neck, his arms stretched forward as if rejecting the intimacy and his hair... well, it was the hair of the coolest man on the planet. A shock of long black tousled locks falling like rain down onto his shoulders. At the time, it was a rejection of conformity at the time of Vietnam. Today it just looks incredible damn cool, period.
How to get Morrison’s Perm Curl
- Wash your hair with our Thickening Daily Shampoo to give your curls Morrison’s megawatt volume
- Starting at the crown, blow dry your hair forward over your face from root to tip, wrapping your curls around your fingers as you go
- Finish with a light spray of our Tight Grip Fixing Spray and before it dries, scrunch your curls in your hands to they hold their shape and bounce
PAUL MCCARTNEY’S MOP TOP
With matching suits and guitars held high on chests and those innumerable harmonies, The Beatles looked and sounded like nothing else when they kick-started boy band culture in 1960s Britain. Initially at least, they were the creation of manager Brian Epstein and no more so than in their hairs, the rounded bowl cut atop the highbrows giving the impression they were almost wearing a bowler hat. Hard to imagine now, but it was revolutionary.
How to get McCartney’s mop top
- Volume is key here, so start by washing your hair with our Going Big Thickening Daily Shampoo
- Starting at the crown, blow dry the hair in a continuous movement, using a brush to move over to the left-hand side of the face
- If your hair is curly and - taking sections with a comb - use a straightener to iron them out
- Add a little texture by combing through a thumbnail-sized scoop of Change It Up Texturising Clay with your fingers
MICHAEL JACKSON’S TIGHT CURLS
Michael Jackson was at the top of his game when Thriller was released, it vibrated with energy. He was the undoubted King of Pop who was the master of every chart he surveyed. But he also wanted something more – in this case to make the greatest music video ever made. Teaming up with horror director John Landis, they produced a 13-minute long epic, with Jackson, in high-necked leather jacket and dark hair arranged in a cascade of tightest rings, at its very centre. It was a masterpiece – as, indeed, was his hair.
How to get Jackson’s Tight Curls
- Wash your hair with our Twice As Smart Taming Shampoo and Conditioner so your curls have the definition of Jacksons
- Towel and then blow dry your hair, moving your fingertips against the scalp in a gentle circular motion under the nozzle
- Take a comb and insert a right side parting - staying close to the roots so as not to unravel the curls - and run a thin smear of our Going Strong Styling Gel along it for hold
- Give your hair a light spray with our Tight Grip Fixing Spray and, before it dries, scrunch your curls with your fingertips for added definition