The slickback is undeniably the most powerful haircut ever worn. Gordon Gekko and Patrick Bateman ruled the ’80s with it. Jordon Belfort brought it to a new generation. Bruce Wayne saved Gotham with it, although it was firmly protected under his suit. The Lamborghini of locks has defined men for generations, vaulting them into the upper stratosphere of style and success.
Not every male has the means or the poise to unleash the money-do on an unsuspecting world, however. No, this is truly a haircut for the top 1 percent of heads. If there are too many slickbacks, the collective moistening of female undergarments combined with the cowering of lesser males would lead to a rash of unfortunate office drowning incidents.
Luckily, achieving a slickback worthy of a banker, stockbroker, or superhero requires a man to overcome a gauntlet of patience, endurance, and self confidence, from which the owner emerges a new man, a better man, ready to rake in women and fortunes alike. For your benefit, I’ll guide you through the slicked back minefield as your personal light in the darkness.
It’s time to prepare yourself. This isn’t your hands-off high and tight. This isn’t the generic businessman combover meant for the back office. This isn’t even your fratty flow, for those men who can taste greatness but don’t have the stomach to keep it down. We are talking the highest level of hair, forged through methods unfamiliar to most. This, boys, is the definitive guide to the definitive haircut.
Counter-intuitive, I know. If you’re considering a slickback, you’re already an aggressive alpha male who grabs life by the balls and bends the world to your will. Waiting seems counterproductive–weak, even–but you have to remember that the slickback is a test of will as well as it is ability. Hair only grows a half-inch every month, and we’re aiming for hair lengths most of you can only dream of in other regions. Growing out a slickback is a half-year or even a full-year commitment, depending on your starting point. It is highlighted by “awkward” stages where your hair simply doesn’t look right. You need to power through these times with the self confidence of a man on a journey to greatness.
2. Spend Some Cash
Cheap shampoo and conditioner is garbage. You wouldn’t put standard gas in a luxury car and you wouldn’t go to a bar with your boss and order shots of Crown Russe, so why are you putting $2 goo on your head? I have even heard stories of men using body wash or bar soap to scrub their heads in the shower instead of buying shampoo. Might as well use dish soap or laundry detergent. Every slickback has a cost, and one of those costs is high quality shampoo and conditioner. Yes, you actually need conditioner. No, bottles of “shampoo + conditioner” don’t count, either. That’s like drinking scotch mixed with juice, or some other combination metaphor that sounds emasculating.
3. Washing Your Hair
More accurately, not washing your hair. Washing your hair daily strips all the oils off of it, making it dry and worthless. Always wonder why Hollywood men and women have perfect hair but you look like a frizzled Q-tip? They might wash theirs once a week, if that. You’re a guy and presumably, you sweat a lot more, so you can wash once every three days, or condition daily if you’re still worried about smell, but knock off getting it wet and washed every time you shower. You’re a man. You shouldn’t worry about not being squeaky clean all the time. If nothing else, you won’t burn through that $20 shampoo anytime soon.
Growing up in the ’90s, there was a time when the only choices were to let your hair go natural or to gel it up into sweet, ’90s spikes. It was simple. Yes or no. Black or white. Video games with your friends or a movie date with the hottie a grade older. These days, it’s not that simple. What hair product you should use depends on your hair thickness and texture. Complicated? Sure, but if you’re not willing to educate yourself, you’re not worthy of the look. Some general advice: stick to creams and high end products like Redken Diamond Oil, and avoid anything that’s high shine or extra sticky. Even though it’s called a slickback, you don’t want to look like you used motor oil or shoe polish on your head.
5. Avoid Cheap Haircuts
Your 80-year-old barber who can’t see isn’t going to be able to help you here, and for the love of God, avoid Supercuts or similar chop shops. You’re going to need to find a reputable salon and get a haircut that costs more than $20 if you’re going to achieve greatness. Think that’s ridiculous? The same principle that applies to the expensive shampoo applies here. You’re going to get a haircut something like four times a year, not once a month, so really you’ll save money, or at least break even. A proper stylist will know how to cut your hair so that it grows out correctly, making sure you avoid looking like a young Justin Bieber or a Wookiee. Pay attention to the back especially. No one wants a mullet.
You avoided the urge to wash it or chop it all off, bought more expensive hair products than your girlfriend, and waited the required time to grow it out. Now it’s time to profit. When it comes to styling, the beauty of the postgrad slickback is its versatility. You can push it out of your face with your hands with a soft center part like you’re Joe Manganiello. You can make it professional and tight like you’re ready to take on the world, starting first with corporate America. At this point, it actually takes less effort and upkeep than it did growing it out, and you can go from bed to street ready with only a quick brush-through.
Ultimately, you don’t simply wear the sultan of styles–you truly become one with the 007 of ‘dos. With that promotion you got at work, you start spending more on your attire. With your sex appeal in overdrive, you start taking B vitamins to keep up with your new found level of exertion. To you, the world is no longer a place short on opportunity or wild with impossibility. You tamed life’s adversity with a dime-sized squirt of cream and a brush. Now, you’re ready to dominate.