Hair Heroes - Brad Pitt
There is a lot to be envious about when it comes to Brad Pitt. There’s the plethora of cool characters he has got to play in his long and illustrious career, the talented and beautiful people that he has shared a set (and much more) with, the chiselled jawline, the washboard abs and - of course - that luscious head of hair.
Over the past thirty plus years that the man himself has been gracing our screens, he’s had a huge variety of hairstyles. From super tight buzzes to flowing shoulder length locks, he’s sported many striking looks, and he’s showing no signs of slowing down at the age of 58. Yep, let that sink in for a minute; Brad Pitt is 58 years old.
Here we take a look at some of his most iconic hairstyles, who they’d suit (aside from the handsome bastard himself, of course) and how to style them if you were thinking of giving any of them a go yourself.
Short and Choppy, Lived-in Style
Pitt has turned to trusty short and choppy trims on a few occasions over the years.
When playing Tyler Durden in Fight Club, Jeffrey Goines in 12 Monkeys and Rusty Ryan in Oceans 11 he adopted short, scissor cut styles. Of course, they are all slightly different (eg. Tyler’s is longer at the back, Ryan’s is a similar length all over) but all share similar characteristics.
Unsurprisingly, these styles have a distinctly late ’90’s/early 00’s vibe, with soft edges and a fair amount of styling product to give a wet look finish. It’s a look that is gaining traction once again at the moment, with fashions of the era becoming increasingly popular.
This is a style that would be achievable for most people other than those with very tight curls. The hair is cut at irregular lengths throughout to give a messy, textured finish. Hair gel or a strong pomade is often applied when the hair is damp.
Generally, the more severe versions of these cuts tend to look best on younger guys, but there are more subtle versions for more mature guys or those who don’t want to appear too on trend. The only clients that we would recommend avoid these styles is those who prefer to wear no or minimal products or don’t like the feel of a hard hold styling aid.
The “Fury” Undercut
In Fury, Pitt plays Don “Wardaddy” Collier, a battle-hardened US Army tank commander in 1945 Nazi Germany.
For the role he had a severe undercut hairstyle cut in, which was a classic style of the era. Rumour has it that this look was so popular in the conflict-stricken 1940’s due to the amount of lice in the trenches. By keeping the hair razor tight on the back and sides, the aim was to keep those pesky critters as far away from your thatch as possible.
It’s just as likely that; with barbershops and salons largely out of bounds; many were getting amateur haircuts from comrades and it is a style that requires no seamless blend, often the most skillful element of a chop.
The undercut is having a bit of a renaissance of late due in no small part to a certain Jack Grealish.
Whilst pretty much anyone with a good head of hair could go for this style, there’s no doubt that it is a statement look. Therefore, it’s a tough one to pull off if you are of an introverted disposition or need to look preened and professional on a regular basis.
To style, you may need to be a bit handy with a hairdryer to keep the swept back shape tamed and in place. It also needs regular tidy ups to keep the sides ultra tight, so it’s not a low maintenance option.
Arguably, some of Pitt’s most well-known hairstyles have been mid-length.
In his early acting days, way back in the late 80’s, he adopted a swept and loosely parted number which was heavy at the neckline. It was an all-American teen style of the times. As he started to get more adult roles in the early 90’s, the length was retained through the top but chopped back considerably through the back and sides.
During this period he sometimes wore the hair loosely forward in a round shape and sometimes in a rough centre part, giving a casual curtains-type look to prepare him for the long grungey locks of the mid 90’s (more on that later).
In more recent times, much later in life, Brad’s mid-length hair has made a welcome return. It seemed to start with a classic, 70’s style swept back style for Quentin Tarantino’s One Upon a Time in Hollywood and has evolved into a less uniform razor cut look of late.
Mid-length styles are a great option for a lot of guys with varying face shapes and hair types, providing that you’re not one of those people who shies away from a bit of prep in the morning. Longer styles often need more of a specific routine (eg. leave in conditioner or balms if your hair is dry, salt sprays or mousse if lifeless and more regular washing if oily).
Many of us have tried and failed to reach the Cobain-esque summit of long men’s hair. Not old Brad, this cat has mastered the grow out on more than one occasion.
In the heady grunge days of the early to mid 90’s Pitt, like a good many others, went for “The Cobain”. His hair dropped way below his shoulders, bleached yellowish blonde and worn down and tousled in a middle part.
More recently, another longer hair style of his broke the internet as he was pictured whilst taking a fag break from delivering food to low income families in LA. Christ only knows how he manages to look so impossibly fresh in his late 50’s whilst maintaining a Marlborough addiction, but that discussion is for another time. This time he’d swapped the peroxide hue for a more natural salt and pepper and his hair was swept off his face.
Interestingly, he’s always teamed the longer styles with some facial hair, often a goatee. It’s a good shout as it makes the whole look appear a bit more effortless.
Long hair is no easy option for most guys. The grow out can be painful and unflattering and the washing/drying/styling regimen is too much for many. However, if you’re blessed a good head of hair, particularly with a hint of waves or texture, then give it a go as the end result can be blinding for the few who go the distance.
A man of such a rich follicular history was never going to have omitted the classics. The looks that have served many a man well for generations have, of course, done just that for Mr. Pitt.
The pompadour? Check. The Ivy League? Check. The Side Part? Of course. The Executive Contour? You bet.
The main reason that these styles have stood the test of time is that they suit a wide variety of people, face shapes and hair types. The shorter back and sides teamed with a longer length on top is a tried and tested method of making the face appear more masculine.
Inevitably it does just this to Pitt, not that he really needs the leg-up. In fact, this article should’ve had a disclaimer at the beginning that Brad Pitt is a bonafide member of a very select group of humans that seem to suit every conceivable hairstyle alongside David Beckham.
Actually, scrap that, Beckham had those corn rows. Yeah, Pitt is one by himself then.