Fashion 88 : Grooming Is Symbol That Players Are a Head Above

Michael Douglas' slicked-back hair in "Wall Street" is "a popular style," according to Janis Buller, creative director at the Vidal Sassoon salon in Beverly Hills.

"Men like it because they don't have to fuss with a blow-dryer. They towel dry their hair, run a little gel through and comb it back," she says.

It also reeks of success: "It's an expensive look," Bueller adds.

Deane Kenworthy, stylist at the Alex Roldan salon in the Bel Age Hotel, was impressed with Charlie Sheen's "transition from hair that wasn't very tailored to hair that was more groomed and shaped.

"It's a typical style for a person climbing the corporate ladder. It's short and clean, but it still has flair."

Kenworthy often gives the slightly longer, layered Douglas cut to men who have already arrived: "They can be more independent than the up-and-coming. They're able to go off the mainstream and wear something more radical. This one can be worn close to the head, or washed and left a little wild for the weekend."

There was nothing wild about the way Wall Street trader Ivan Boesky wore his hair, according to his barber of 10 years.

Tony Palladino, owner of the barber shop in the Beverly Hills Hotel, says Boesky "liked his hair extremely short, because it took less time to handle, but he didn't want it to look short. You have to remember, it's important for traders to look immaculate at all times. They never know when they'll have to go to a bank to get some money."

Ozzie Fishman, vice-president and assistant manager of the Los Angeles office of Merrill Lynch, thinks the film "is a soap opera that just happened to use the brokerage world as a backdrop. Most retail securities brokers tend to be conservative in their dress. Frankly, the most up-to-date fashions and slick-back hair don't lend confidence to a client."

Fishman adds cheerfully: "Everyone was highly amused with the film, and no one saw anyone they knew."

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