There’s nothing that conjures up ’50s style more than greased up, slicked back hair. If you want to look like you’re ready to rumble — or maybe kick off a musical number — here’s what you do fellas.
First, you need to have hair that’s long enough to be slicked back. It needs to be longer than you might think (at least several centimetres), so do a test in the shower before you get too excited. Stand under the running water and try to pull all of your hair back under the weight of the water. Now stand up normally again with your hair not under the shower head. Does your hair kind of stay in place? If so, it’s probably long enough. If it springs back to its original position, wait a little longer.
Once you have the right length of hair, you need the right kind of hair product. Greasers of the ’50s and ’60s got their signature look by using pomades, and that’s what you’ll need to use, too. Pomades are a mixture of wax and other ingredients, but to achieve the true greaser look, you’ll want a pomade with a high oil content — not a water based pomade. It will make your hair feel pretty, well, greasy, but that’s the idea.
OK, now wash your hair and let it dry completely (it will be much easier that way). If you have thicker, wavy hair like me, though, I recommend using a hair cream before the pomade, like Suavecito. When you’re ready to style with the pomade, April Barton of salon Suite 303 explains what to do in this video from the Howcast YouTube channel:
Get a generous amount of pomade (about the size of a 10 cent coin), distribute it evenly throughout your hands, then coat all of your hair evenly. Don’t worry about styling it yet! Just take your time and make sure you have an even coat of pomade all over your hair. You’ll get better hold and a more greaser-y shine. Plus, any extra styling you want to do will be a lot less difficult.
Once the pomade is all up in your hair, grab a comb or brush and comb it all back. Start with the sides, then work on the top, and there you have it, greaser hair. At this point, you can do additional styling if you’d like to try for a Folsom (where you comb in a part), Pompadour (where you push your hair on top forward a little to create a giant wave), Elephant’s Trunk (where you twirl your bangs in front to get a curly thingy), or a Duck’s Arse (where you comb your hair in a way that makes the back of your head look like a duck’s butt).
Also, it’s recommended you carry a comb and a little pomade with you once you leave the house. Your cool new ‘do will need likely need some fixing throughout the day since the pomade keeps your hair wet.
Lookin’ sharp! Now all you need is a leather jacket, a switchblade, and some cigarettes rolled into your sleeve.
Welcome to Retro Week, where we’ll be firing up the flux capacitor and bringing you 1950s know-how on everything from casserole-making to fallout-shelter-building to the joys of letting kids relax and play with trash.