Your hairstyle is kind of like your oldest pair of jeans; you’ve had it so long, you’ve stopped paying attention to whether or not it looks cool. If you rock a timeless Levi’s 501 kind of ’do, it doesn’t matter. But if you’re worried your hair is more like a pair of baggy, boot-cut jeans, it may be time to switch up your style.
Here, two professional stylists offer easy tips to help you reinvigorate your tired style.
BLOW THAT SHIT UP
If you’ve ever wondered how actors get their hair to look so damn good, the answer is they (or the studios they work for) pay pro hair stylists huge sums of money. And in a lot of cases, those stylists are using a tool most men don’t even consider using at home: a blow dryer.
“One of the biggest things a guy can do to change his look is using a blow dryer,” says stylist Daniel Alfonso, owner of Los Angeles’s Daniel Alfonso Men’s Salon.
If you want height and volume—imagine those wavy tresses on guys like Chris Pine or Leonardo DiCaprio—start with damp hair and a round hairbrush. Crank a hair dryer to its hottest setting, and blow your hair while combing it in the direction you want it to flow, Alfonso says.
When you’re finished, apply a little light hair product to shape it and define its lines, he adds. Alfonso likes Kevin Murphy Rough Rider Clay ($27, amazon.com) and 18.21 Man Made Clay ($18, amazon.com).
BUY THE RIGHT BRUSH
If you’re the type who relies on his fingers, attacking your tresses with an actual comb or brush can make a big difference, says Diana Schmidtke, a celebrity men’s stylist who has worked with the likes of Clooney, Cheadle, and Bale.
If you have curly or wavy hair, she recommends taming your mane with something similar to the 413 Sculpting Brush by Paul Mitchell ($6, paulmitchell.com). “It’s great for getting rid of natural texture,” she says. Pair it with a blow dryer, and brush your damp hair repeatedly one way and then the other. You’ll pull out a lot of your built-in curl or frizz, she says.
If you’re rocking any kind of high-and-tight hairdo, a dense-bristled barber brush can help smooth and blend your hair follicles to give you that sleek, un-rowed look you see on guys like David Beckham, she says. On the other hand, an old-school barber’s comb has evenly spaced teeth that are ideal if you want to try a parted Mad Men look.
SWITCH UP YOUR PRODUCT
A lot of guys default to a pomade—which is fine if you’re going for the wet, laid-down, Gordon Gekko or Don Draper look. If you’re not, a pomade probably isn’t for you, Schmidtke says. “Try a different product, and you’ll end up with very different results,” she says. “There’s probably no easier way to change your look.”
There are numerous clays, pastes, gels, and creams out there—each of which lends itself to certain hair types, she says. Especially if you have extra thinning or thick hair, a product switch may help hide your over-exposed scalp or tame your dense ‘do.
If none of these tools or tweaks gives you the look you were hoping for, Schmidtke says your barber or stylist would probably be eager to help you come up with something new. “Hair stylists love to share tips and help you change things up,” she says. “They can show you how to do a lot of different things, and recommend tools like I’ve mentioned, which are not very expensive.”