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Star Quality : The Newest Men’s Haircuts Recall the Glamour of Gable and Flynn

AFTER TWO seasons of long hair--even ponytails--for trendy men, the newest styles require sleeker, shorter haircuts reminiscent of those of Clark Gable and Errol Flynn. Hairdressers say that men’s ears will be neatly framed, napes will be showing and jawlines will be prominent this spring.

The look features hair that is long on top and that can be waved, as in the style shown here. It can also be slicked back or simply tousled, for a change of pace. The distinct part and the neat, short sides and back are what define the ’89 look.

When hair is naturally wavy, stylists highlight it with products that create shine, such as Sebastian’s new Laminates or Revlon’s Clean & Clear Glossing Gel. When hair is straight, Rodeo Drive stylist Joseph Kendall of Joseph-Martin uses gels, such as his salon’s Thick Hair, to shape waves, which are “set” under a dryer. “Because of the waves, the hood dryer is very popular again. Blow-dryers create fullness, which we don’t want right now. With the hood style, we can create much sleeker, closer-to-the-head looks,” Kendall says.

“The hair is getting very period--1920s and ‘30s,” says Anthony Martinelli, a stylist at Menage a Trois in Beverly Hills. “The top is long, yes. But it’s worn close to the head, the way Clark Gable wore his.” Sunset Boulevard stylist Michael Villella also cites classic Hollywood stars when he describes the look. “Taking hair off the neck and sides gives strength and attitude. I call it this year’s ‘power’ cut. Gable had it. And Errol Flynn had it. So did Ronald Colman.”

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These movie stars also wore thin mustaches and sideburns, details that several stylists have predicted will become avant-garde this year. Martinelli likens the look to that worn by the men in the 1985 British film, “A Room With a View.” “Models in Europe are wearing mustaches with long, thin sideburns,” Villella notes. “The sideburns extend below mid-ear length, sometimes longer.”

Of course, old-fashioned sideburns and mustaches aren’t for every man. The new hair styles work without them. “What’s most important is that the hair is trimmed often enough so the man never looks like he’s just had a haircut,” says Villella, who has given short cuts to film director Tony Bill and actors Paul Michael Glaser and Steve Guttenberg.

Beverly Hills hairdresser Allen Edwards says that, thanks to movies and television, men are going back to glamour. “ ‘Wall Street’ and Bruce Willis showed men what they could do. (‘Wall Street’ star) Michael Douglas slicked his hair back and let men know that it was fine to wear a ‘style’ again,” Edwards says. “Willis cut his hair short and said it was OK to let the natural hairline show, whether it was receding or not. Now men look different--and better.”

Styling: Karen O’Neil; model: Steve Willis / Omar’s Men; grooming: Dominic Cervantes / Zenobia

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