An Excerpt from GQ written by Jay Sebring…Jay Sebring was a young Hollywood hair designer–he prefered “designer” to “stylist”–who revolutionized the business of cutting mens’s hair. Other barbers pride themselves on being stylists rather than mere hair-cutters, but no one brought so much recognition to the art as Mr. Sebring. He had publicity in Time, Newsweek, Cosmpolitan, and on television. He numbered among his clients practically every major film and TV star. He charged $30 for a first visit, placing the styling of men’s hair on the same rarified echelon as women’s coiffuring.
How often should a man have his hair cut?
Every 10 days to a month. Two weeks is probably the average. But some men have very fine hair and can let it grow longer without much visible effect, and smoe men look as well with their hair long any way. Several of my customers–like Robert Culp–let their hair grow a month before they have it cut.
How often should a man wash his hair?
Preferably, every day. I wash mine that often. About 50% of the men in this country have an accumulation of jungus layer on the scalp–what’s commonly called dandruff–and dandrubb and dirt and the oil from the sebaceous glands and the oil men put on their hair all clog the pores. The hair comes through finer and weaker–and eventually the man goes bald. If you noticed, on a bald man, no pores show. They are covered over by skin. So the best thing you can do for your hair–and the most imporatant advice I can give to your readers–is to wash your hair with a mild shampoo, as often as you bathe. That frequent washings will “dry your hair”–is just an old wives tale, completely disproven. There is no such thing as “dry hair”–the hair can’t dry up; the oil ducts are below the surface of the skin. Scrub the hair well twice with a firm, round ruber or plastic shampoo brush. The brushes will get to the scalp; if you use your fingers, you are usually just rubbing the hair against the scalp. And don’t worry about the hair that comes out in the washing. That happens to everyone. That hair will be replaced.
Is brushing good for the hair?…
Yes, brushing and massage are both good for the hair, but not as important as washing. There’s no point in rubbing the dirt and oil around. If you wash your hair every day with a shampoo brush, you’ll stimulate the scalp and remove dirt–and you really won’t need to brush, too.
How close to the ears should the hair be cut?
Almost to the ear; nothing looks worse than white side walls.
And how long should sideburns be?
That depends on the facial characteristics of the individual, but most men should wear their sideburns fuller than they do at present. Fuller sideburns thin the face–if the hair is short at the side, the face looks fatter. Also, the hair at the side is usually the same color as the brows, and dark, like the eyes–fuller sideburns help to bring out the eyes.
How high should the hair be cut in back?
Generally speaking, a natural neckline is what is desirable. Whether it’s flat or full in back depends on the balance of the overall cut–it differs with each head of hair.
Is there anything that can be done to camouflage a receding hairline?
The problem of a receding hairline takes precedence over all others in sculpting a head of hair. After all, baldness is worse than any other defect. Most men feel they want to compensate for thin hair by wearing the hair they still have as long as possible, whereas they would be wiser to thin and shorten the thicker hair, so the whole head of hair will be in balance and the thinner hair less conspicuous by contrast. Also, instead of a low part and long hair that is combed over a recession, try raising the part in front; if the part falls at the point of recession, the hair looks much more natural.
Can a haircut help de-accentuate a big nose or big ears?
The only way you can help camouflage big ears is by cutting the hair fuller on the sides. As for a big nose, the hair can be cut and combed more foreward in front; a overhang in front will help balance a large nose.
Can anything be done to make a thin face seem fuller?
A long, thin face will look better with less hair on top and more hair on the sides–this is just common sense. Also, the hair should definitely be parted, not combed straight back; and the sideburns can be a bit longer. With a full face, also lowering the sideburns–and still keeping them full–can help thin the face. But the full-face man should leave more hair on top–unless he has a receding hairline; in that case, full hair in one area and thin hair in another won’t do. the problem of recession, as I said, always takes precedence over all others. It’s better to have a full face than no hair.
How about the problem of a high or low forehead?
On the whole, for a man with a high forehead, it is best to have the hair parted and to wear it low on top. But there are many exceptions to that. He could still need that height on top; then you’d have to fluff the hair onto the forehead. If a man comes to me with too low a forehead, I recommend he permanently get rid of the hair he’ll never need by electrolysis.
How can a square jaw be helped?
With a square jaw, or a round face, the hair should be worn full all over, including the sideburns.
Remember keeping the hair clean is the best thing you can do for your hair. Make sure you use the right shampoo and wash your hair every day.
References and sources for more::
Jay Sebring – Hair Styling Lesson
60′s Hair Stylist Jay Sebring.