The Barbie Movie - The Many Hairdo’s of Ken
Though its release date is still a few months away, the new Barbie movie has been grabbing enough headlines to suggest that it will be one of the biggest film releases of 2023.
Although the iconic plastic toys are - of course - known for their stereotypical and immaculate appearance, apparently the movie steps into slightly deeper territory. Barbie enters the human world in search of happiness after being ousted from “Barbieland” due to being a less than perfect doll. Hard to imagine when she is played by Margot Robbie, I know.
Perhaps even more surprising than the wholesome message is the fact that the early reviews have been pretty favourable.
One thing that can be said for sure is that the Greta Gerwig film offers a striking aesthetic. With bubblegum pinks set below impossibly azure blue skies, convertibles with the roof permanently set to down, glowing complexions and… pristinely preened hairdo’s.
Here we take a closer look at the barnets of all the Ken’s (and an Allan) in the flick and how effective they would be for day-to-day wear in the human world.
Where else would we start but with the main man himself?
Ryan Gosling is right up there with the likes of David Beckham and Bradley Cooper as some of the most desired hair in the barbershop. I lose count of the amount of times a phone picture of the star in Drive has been shown as a client’s pre-cut inspo in the chair.
This time, however, his thatch may be a bit more divisive. His trademark light brown, loosely swept locks have been swapped for a neat side part in vivid peroxide blonde.
Teamed with torn double denim, washboard abs and a TOWIE style tan, it makes for quite the statement look. Annoyingly (but unsurprisingly), the handsome bastard manages to pull it off far better than most of us mere mortals.
Bleach blonde has been having a bit of a moment for a while now amid the late 90’s renaissance, so what better time to take the plunge? Just be sure to do a patch test first to avoid a burnt bonce.
The cut itself is pretty straightforward for those with straight-ish hair. Scissor cut fairly short on the back and sides, longer at the fringe to sweep off the face and with a part, a pretty classic look. Style with a pomade and comb to mimic this Ken’s tidy style.
The next Ken in our list in Simon Lui, who’s voluminous lid in the film is enviable.
It has been cut into a classic pompadour style, where the back and sides are cut in a tapered shape (shorter around the ears and neckline and longer towards the top) and the top left longer, particularly at the fringe to allow it to be easily swept back. The back is then seamlessly blended to give a neat look without a block of weight.
The best way to style this look is with a blow dryer and a round brush. Grab the hair with the brush and dry upwards and back to get the maximum lift. It takes a bit of getting used to but once you get the hang of it then it’s fairly straightforward.
Finish with a styling paste for a more natural look like Lui adopts in the movie, or a gel or pomade for a more classic Travolta-esque style.
Gosling isn’t the only Ken in this Barbieland to be reaching for the bleach bottle, with Sex Education star Ncuti Gatwa getting in on a piece of the peroxide action too.
On the sides his hair has been tightly clippered to a mid skin fade, the top is left slightly longer but still tight, potentially a longer clipper guard being used but with the grain of the hair rather than against to give a softer finish. The edges and hairline have been shaped up to give a crisp, sharp finish.
This is an easy style to maintain on a day-to-day basis but will require regular trips to the barbershop to keep it looking fresh.
For the film Gatwa is also sporting an immaculate goatee beard too, not seen one of those for a while.
The sibling of Avengers star Chris, Scott Evans is building up a pretty impressive CV of his own, but his appearance as Ken may be his most iconic character role to date.
Unfortunately, all of the pre-release marketing material has shown him entirely covering his hair with a ludicrously oversized cowboy hat. Subsequently, it appears that we’ll have to wait until the summer to run the rule over his ‘do.
Of all the Ken’s, Kingsley Ben-Adir’s character appears to be the least sharply preened.
Whilst remaining neat, his hair is cut to a length that is neither too short nor too long, almost like it has grown out slightly from a previous cut. The edges are, again, by no means unkempt but certainly have a more natural finish than some of his fellow Ken’s.
On of the easiest ways to get this look is to ask your barber or stylist to shape the hair using a longer clipper guard before nipping in all of the flyaway or irregular lengths using the clipper freehand. The hairline can then be softly finished with a clipper rather than a razor.
It’s a nice, simple style that requires minimal maintenance and less regular trims than shaper looks such as fades. It may just need a little product as it grows out to retain the shape and look.
Michael Cera (Allan)
A bit of Googling has lead me to Allan’s Barbieland backstory. Apparently introduced by Mattel in the 60’s as Ken’s buddy, poor Allan was replaced just a few years later by another Ken pal named Brad, who knew?
Thankfully, there appears to be nothing low key about Michael Cera’s character in this particular movie. His multicolour striped, boxy fit, chocheted shirt is confirmation of this. Teamed with sandals, it’s a summer fit that any of today’s fashionistas would be proud of.
Anyway, onto his lid. Ginger (or auburn, strawberry blonde etc.), parted in a 70/30 split and swept back behind the ears, it’s a solid mid-length look that has stood the test of time. Combined with a complexion that is considerably more pasty than his Ken counterparts, it’s meant to look a bit conservative and square, however, we quite rate it.