For 2014, the slicked-back look has come full circle, at once reminiscent of Fifties crooners like Elvis and the coolly styled David Beckham. Whether parted to the side or combed straight back, the updated hairstyle is as handsome as ever, provided its wearer remembers that less is always more.
“This is not the slicked-back, flat-to-the-head look of Gordon Gekko,” says Kevin Lee, creative director of the Kenneth Salon at New York’s Waldorf Astoria, “but a rather softer, more touchable slicked-back version inspired by a nod to Mad Men.” Right now, the hairstyle’s getting some “lift and volume to the top of the head, and tight sides,” says Lee. “Think Leo or Justin Timberlake.”
To achieve the look, Lee advises men to blow dry a slight lift to the front and, once dry, use a small amount of pomade and comb into place. Lindsey Volker, a stylist at Aveda, recommends the brand’s Pure-formance Shampoo and Conditioner for men to cleanse, moisturize and add shine, followed by a little help from the line’s Firm Hold Gel. Style damp hair by working the gel between palms and applying it evenly for maximum hold, definition and shine. Finish with a handmade Mason Pearson Pocket Comb for that classic feel; as in years past, the look must have—in Volker’s words—that “rebellious sensibility.” Click through the gallery above to see the style’s past, present and future.