There’s been a lot of fuss over this particular men’s hairstyle over the years. The one worn by all of the ’90s actors your girlfriend crushed on, that you secretly—or not-so-secretely—looked up to as well. It has had many names. The “mushroom” (DiCaprio in Titanic). The “curtain” (Skeet Ulrich in Scream). The “floppy” (Hugh Grant in every romantic comedy the Brits ever made). And whatever the version would be called that River Phoenix, Keanu Reeves, Johnny Depp, and Brad Pitt all had at one point or another.
The one we are breaking down today is a somewhat more grown-up version. More mid-2000s Batman-era Christian Bale than Newsies-era Christian Bale. These days, Milo Ventimiglia sports one of the best versions we have seen. We got his groomer Barbara Guillaume, who also handles the manes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Hugh Grant, Garrett Hedlund, Edgar Ramirez, Casey Affleck, and Tom Hanks, to give us all the tips to nail this look—from what to tell your hair stylist to the products you’ll need to style it at home.
WHO DOES THIS WORK ON
“It works best on medium to thick hair. Straight hair works too. Wavy hair goes a bit Patrick Dempseny—never a bad thing. It’s not ideal for very fine hair or curly hair.”
“Believe it or not, this is good cut for someone with a receding hairline because you get a good bend in the front. Unlike when men are just brushing their hair forward, this doesn’t actually look like you’re trying to cover up anything.”
WHAT TO TELL YOUR HAIRDRESSER
- Most of the length is in the front. You want it cleaner and shorter on the sides and back.
- The front layer has to be at least ear length – not shorter or it won’t do the dip to the back.
- This is a layered cut. It can’t be all one length – it won’t hold.
- You want to keep the sides and nape of the neck clean but not TOO short or it will go too punk (unless that’s what you’re going for).
- Some guys [Ventimiglia and Bale] like to keep a bit of length right at the nape of the neck that sort of sticks out on the sides. This makes it feel a little more natural than some of those super 90s versions.
“This look works best if you give it a bit of that wet look.”
First, get the hair damp (not wet).
Use a paste
- You need to weigh the hair down.
- Put a good amount into your hand and saturate the hair with it.
- Then with a comb set the hair in place, giving it the dip in front.
- Let it dry.
Finish it with hairspray
- Lean your head forward, tilted to the side.
- Spray inside the hair.
- Then comb into place.
- Spray the top a bit to keep it in place.
- Don’t spray the sides and back of hair – the paste is enough.
IF you really want to go for it
- Once it’s dry, get a 2-inch barrel curling iron and use it to get that dip in the front – only use it in the front starting at the root, putting the heat at the root.
- Then lift and pull back with the curling iron to give it that swoop shape.
- Pull backwards as if lifting the hair away from your face.
- Then finish it with hairspray.