JT has come a long way from his scary bleach blonde N’SYNC fro. Now he knows how to rock a stylish sophisticated look and that’s partly thanks to Amy Komorowski. As a celebrity men’s groomer and AXE hair expert Komorowski has worked her magic on a whole bunch of Hollywood A-listers like Justin, Mark Wahlberg and Denis Leary. The highly sought after stylist set aside some time from her jam-packed schedule to share her expert tips on hair care with us so you can look as sleek and sharp as a star.
MF: Tell us how you got started doing men’s hair.
AK: A lot of people don’t know what a "men's groomer" is. I deal with men’s hair and men’s skin—I make sure my clients look good for things like red carpet appearances and photo shoots. I’ve been at this now for about 12 years, but when I first got started, men’s grooming wasn’t even a niche or specialty. Like anyone else in this industry, I started doing hair and makeup on women but I moved on to men because I felt they were getting neglected, and that they needed a little love too. Now that niche has blown up, and it’s been great and really fun working with a fantastic arsenal of guys.
So how often should men cut their hair?
In general, I'd recommend that most guys get haircuts about once a month. But it can depend on their hair. Obviously if you have a buzz cut you'll have to buzz it every couple of weeks or so. And some guys' hair can grow really quickly so they may need additional cuts in a month. The right product is also crucial. Whether it's mousse, paste, gel or spray you can hide a multitude of things with product and that can keep a haircut looking better even longer.
Okay, and how about washing hair?
Well, I think guys should wash their hair every day. However, if they have coarse hair, curly hair or unruly hair, sometimes they can get away longer without washing it. When they wash hair like that every day, it becomes poofy or too soft. So I actually suggest that guys with curly or unruly hair use more conditioner and it kind of keeps it from going crazy.
Do you think that it’s safe for guys to be cutting their own hair? Or do you think it’s safe for maybe a girlfriend to cut their hair?
I find that it’s usually not safe [laughs]. But I think it depends on the guy. If the guy’s a real rock-n-roll type and is sporting that homemade haircut, then he should totally go for it. I have a few clients whose wives cut their hair, and I have to say their hair actually looks really cool.
So what advice would you give a guy whose girlfriend or wife is going to cut his hair?
Hopefully that person is naturally inclined to cut hair and has a natural skill level for it. Cutting hair is all about angles. Here's my advice:
- When cutting hair, pull the hair out at a 45-degree angle and cut the hair along a straight line.
- If you make a mistake, the quickest way to fix it is to grab thinning shears to cut into that straight edge by going into the hair vertically and trimming the very tips, making it kind of jaggedy. This is an easy way to cover up a bad cut because it helps it fall a little bit better and more naturally.
Maintaining a buzz cut is something a guy can do himself once he’s had it professionally done.
- Use a clipper or a buzzer—you can have it on a 1 or 2 setting—and just evenly rub the buzzer along your head making sure you hit your scalp. It’s the one cut that's pretty fool proof.
But guys cutting their own hair [cringes]…the most I'd recommend is that they can trim around the ear. And like I said even with trimming go in vertically and just do a light dusting across the hair.
Do you have any quick fixes for bad hair days?
A lot of people don't think guys have bad hair days, but they do.
- If you have very flat or limp hair one day, or it’s super oily, use an anti-gravity dust hair powder, a dry shampoo or even hair spray since it has alcohol in it. Spray lightly or sprinkle the powder in the hair, work it in at the roots, and then brush it out. It will instantly soak up all the oils ahd give your hair more volume so you’ll be able to mold your hair better.
Also every guy should have a go-to styling aid because just using a little bit of product can help solve most problems. And that's my job basically, I’m a problem solver. I get clients in my seat and I may not have a lot of time. They may have had a bad haircut or they’re coming from a set where their hair was styled a certain way. Or their hair was cut a certain way for a character and I'm not allowed to change it. Products to me are my saving grace because I can hide anything, and mold the hair the way I want to.
Is there one universal product that every guy should have?
Yes. Every guy should have a paste or cream, like AXE's Understated Look Cream, because it’s very light weight. It’s going to just instantly add a little definition and separation to the hair. When a guy just washes and tries to go without any product the hair looks dry and just sits there like a little mound. But put just a little cream or paste into it and he will immediately look much more polished and put together.
How can a guy deal with that awkward phase when he’s trying to grow his hair out?
If your hair is growing out, try a new hairstyle, like a side part. That’s a quick way to disguise that awkward phase—just brush the hair to the side or back behind the ear. If the top is getting a little longer, try it off the forehead by slicking it away from the face with a comb and a small amount of gel for that simple but classic Mad Men look.
What tips do you have for guys with thinning hair?
Rogaine and vitamins. They work. They do, but there are some side effects. It’s not for every guy. Also, Rogaine and that type of product works better for that spot on the back of the head. But there are plenty of natural alternatives a guy can try.
- Massaging the scalp which helps unclog pores because when pores are clogged, hair cannot emerge from the follicle.
- Going in to the barber for oil treatments.
- And you know what? If you've got a great head, just go ahead and buzz that hair off.