Hairstyles How To: Men's Retro Modern Gatsby Haircut

Gatsby is a dapper ole sport, not a hair out of place to match his sharp suits. Leonardo DiCaprio doesn't look half bad, either. Want to know how this sleek, masculine cut is done? Andrew Carruthers, co-owner of Lunatic Fringe Sugarhouse (Salt Lake City, UT), the official Education Director for Sam Villa, and 2013 NAHA Men's Hairstyling Finalist, has these tips for masculine, polished hair to match the definable aesthetic of the 1920’s.

Suggested Tools:

Panel #1

  • Create a horseshoe shaped parting from low recession to low recession (everything below the round of the head). Follow the bottom edge of the round of the head, dropping slightly into the occipital.
  • Cut section finger length using vertical sections with no over direction. Keep fingers flat with the surface of the head. Start in the front right corner and work all the way around the head to the front left corner.

Panel #2

  • Use a similarly shaped line to part off the middle portion of the haircut. This time, section off everything below the more horizontal surface of the top of the head. Start in the front right corner and over-direct anything in front of the recession back to protect the length in the front.
  • Use vertical sections and cut a slightly graduated cutting line using the length from Panel 1 as a guide for the shortest point and working longer towards the top. Continue from here without over-directing until the front left corner. Again, over-direct anything in front of the recession back to preserve length.

Panel #3

  • Find the guest’s natural or preferred part and comb everything into natural fall.
  • Using vertical sections, starting from the natural part, elevate the hair straight out 90 degrees from the sides of the head and continue the cutting line created in Panel 2. The line created will be slightly graduated. Anything past the recession should be over-directed back in this panel as well.


  • Refine the hairline to guest’s preference.
  • Finish with Redken Water Wax 03 shine defining pomade mixed with a drop of Redken Hardwear 16 super strong gel for a soft shine and brush hair slightly back on the sides and through the corners. Use a comb or brush for a defined look and fingers for a bit more modern take on this classic shape.

Carruthers gave a couple last tips for the overall style: “I've been working my male clients out of the hard lines on the edges over the years, so I usually leave a softer more natural hairline for a better grow out. Fading in the hairline with Sam’s Reversible Blending Shears is a great way to create that soft natural look." Most hair textures (besides extremely fine) will need weight removed from the top levels of the graduation. The trick is to only take away what is necessary without losing the weight in the graduation. For extremely thick hair, try removing a bit of the upper corner of the graduation to get a softer edge.

[Courtesy of Sam Villa/Andrew Carruthers]

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