This week, we dipped into the good ol' Style Girlfriend mailbag to answer a young reader's question about how to achieve a hairstyle with "take me serious" heft.
Joey asked: "I'm a 24-year-old professional, and I want to be taken seriously. But I have very thick hair, and I'm 100-percent unsure how to style it that will look professional but not make me look like my dad."
I feel your pain, Joey. As a constantly carded 28-year-old, I know what it's like to want to look older. I'm sure when we're both pushing 40 and look 25, we'll be happy. But for now, it can feel difficult to play the part of "serious professional" without throwing on a three-piece suit every morning.
My hair presents the opposite problem - its super-fine texture necessitates Velcro rollers and complicated teasing every time I want it to do something other than lie pin-straight against my head. (Sometimes you guys have it way easier than us ladies. Barring very strange circumstances, you will never deal with the hoo-ha that is Velcro rollers.) So I thought I'd go to the experts on this question.
Michael Forrey, creative director at Sassoon Salon NYC Downtown, had this to say:
"First, it's all about suitability and picking the right shape for your hair texture, face shape and body type. It's also very important to request a cut that will give you many style options, as it will make it simple to change your look from work-appropriate to a night on the town. If you're not exactly sure what looks will best suit you ... ask your regular stylist for recommendations since they're familiar with your hair type and can create a look specifically for you.
"That said, if you're looking to scream professional, I'm always a fan of a well-maintained, barbered look with the hair cut closely to the hair lines and ears. Hair that is soft and falling on top of the ear or hitting the collar may project an 'unkempt' attitude, so if you're looking to avoid that connotation while still remaining stylish, young and office-friendly, try keeping the sides and back very short and tailored, but maintaining a little more texture and length through the top. This type of cut will give you the versatility to slick back the hair for when you're on the job or wear the hair casually, with it falling more toward the face, when you're not."
I think two common hair-styling mistakes guys make are:
1) "Hair products are for chicks. I don't need 'em."
2) "I love hair products! That's why I use so many!"
Having a great haircut usually involves maintenance - more than "roll out of bed, rake hand through 'do, repeat" - but usually just a little bit of product will do. Make sure you've got the right one for your hair and hairstyle by asking your stylist (or barber or girlfriend).
Forrey recommends the Kerastase Homme Gel Capital Force ($30, amzn.to/zqIlf0), which gives hold and structure when you're slicking hair back off the face. When wearing it forward or up, he suggests the Kerastase Homme Pate Capital Force ($30, amzn.to/w8UbDg), a densifying molding paste that helps you create a more modern texture through the top.