How To Get The Haircut Of The Summer

An expert barber talks us through the Leo-endorsed City Slick Back

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A more natural looking take on the classic pompadour, the City Slick Back is the cut you might have spotted all over the S/S runways this year and, increasingly, men on the streets of London and beyond.

Not only can it look the business in a formal setting but the swept up fringe and short back and sides make it a cooling choice for the summer months.

We asked Richard Tucker, from award-winning Ruffians Barbers in Covent Garden, for his lowdown on the look and how to get it right.

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What It Is
It’s the slick back style of the 20s and 30s but with a more natural, textured finish that doesn’t look as solid.

Ever since Leonardo Di Caprio’s businessman cut [as Jordan Belfort in the Scorsese comedy], people have been requesting it, but without the harsh undercut and with a softer edge.

Hair by Richard Tucker at Ruffians Barbers / Photos: Adam Brady

There is also a bolder variation that Beckham wears from time to time we call the ‘Skin Fade’ (above) that involves a cut throat shave at the sides, making the look more pronounced.

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Take in a photo of the variation you want into your barber to make sure you’re on the same page.

Who it suits
Curly or straight hair are both fine fine, but in either case, you’ll need a bit of length. The type of hair that struggles with this style is wiry, straight hair that wants to grow outwards – though a good barber can get around this by moving the weight back. If your hair is receding, you’re going to struggle and may need to add a parting.

How to maintain
Shampoo is very important. If you’ve got really thick, dry hair, you’ll need a moisturizering shampoo and good conditioner. People find their hair can be quite ‘fly away’ with this look, so a strengthening shampoo that improves your roots will help keep it in place.

What to use
The next thing to get right is the product. Get it wrong, and your hair will look clumpy. If you have thick hair, go for a gel or something water based. If your hair is thin or fine, use a clay or paste to add body and volume.

How to style
Heat a small amount in your palms first and add a nice thin layer, working with the direction of the cut. For the City Click Back, we usually use a diagonal technique on the sides. Add more slowly as you go, but be careful, as it is easy to over do this one.

Get it right, and you should be set for the whole day, though using a water-based gel will mean you can restyle by adding water at any point you need to.


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