When it comes to men’s hair, it doesn’t get much more iconic than The King himself, Elvis Presley. In honor of his upcoming birthday on January 8th, we’re celebrating the man who made the ubiquitous pompadour famous. Recreate three of his most timeless looks with these how-tos from American Crew stylists!
Look One: Tousled Texture
Stylist: Janelle Eide, American Crew International All-Star
“There are two different ways to achieve this look,” says Eide. “One way requires a blow dryer and the second way manipulates the shape using gravity. For those who have a hard time gaining volume and lasting height, I recommend using a blow dryer.”
Get the Look:
- “Apply a generous amount of American Crew’s Light Hold Styling Gel to dry hair. Since American Crew’s gel is water based, it will efficiently saturate dry hair while achieving a finished style faster. Gel also helps create a lasting memory for the desired style.
- “Using a medium styling brush with seven rows of bristles, follow the blow dryer’s nozzle against the bristles, and brush the sides back until dry.
- “Next, create a center part at the top. Starting at the crown, using the same blow dryer nozzle-to-brush technique, lift and bend the hair on both sides towards the center finishing at the front hairline.
- “Using a generous amount of American Crew’s Molding Clay, rake through the hair in the same direction as the blow dry style. Mess the hair in the front with your hands for a finished look.
- “For those with thicker, fuller hair, the same look can be achieved without the aid of a blow dryer. A useful trick involves body positioning. Evenly distribute a generous amount of American Crew’s Pomade to damp or dry hair.
- “You want to build height first by turning your head upside down. The medium styling brush will be a useful aid here while brushing and bending both sides of the hair at the top of your head towards the center.
- “Standing upright, brush the sides back. Use your hands to finish the front by messing up the brush marks.”
Look Two: The Polished Pompadour
Stylist: Patti Davenport, American Crew International All-Star
“To achieve this Elvis look, it is best to start with your basic pompadour. This is a versatile style that looks great on all men regardless of age or hair texture. All guys can make this look achievable,” says Davenport.
Get the Look:
- “Start with washing and conditioning appropriately. Don’t forget to condition hair in all climates (regardless of humidity or lack thereof)! Your hair will react better to the style your barber or stylist cut for you if you wash and condition to keep your hair in tiptop shape. The hair needs to bend and be able to work into this style without being too reactive, frizzy or dry. Conditioner does this by softening and suppling those strands.
- “Then, depending on density, you will need to work a styling product in. For thinner or hard to style hair, your best bet will be to set with American Crew Medium Spray Gel. For heavier density, highly textured hair or strong curl patterns, set with American Crew Firm Hold Gel.
- “The next step is to set that style. Comb the hair up and onto the crown, from the sides and down in the back, and use your freehand to comb into it to achieve the pompadour in the front.
- “Then push the hair into place with your hands, allowing for some natural fall and effects. This pompadour is not to be perfect — a little messy and slouched is the way to go; let it set and dry, either naturally or with a blow dryer at a far enough distance that it dries it without messing the placement.
- “Finally, once completely dry, work the style through with hands for a more disheveled look or brush through with a boar bristle brush.
- “Grab your favorite finishing product: high shine = American Crew Pomade; medium shine = American Crew Forming Cream; natural finish = American Crew Defining Paste; no shine = American Crew Fiber
- “Work a dime size amount evenly throughout hands, smooth into and through the pompadour. I like to allow for a bit of natural volume at the root from the set really focusing the finishing product on mid-strand and ends.
- “Push shape back together and you are ready!”
- “To get a clean and nick-free shave, it’s best to shave right out of the shower,” adds Davenport. “This way your hair is softened due to the heat and steam of the water.
- “For super sensitive skin or skin prone to ingrown hairs/razor burn, apply American Crew Ultra Gliding Shave Oil first. Massage the oil into the beard and skin with circular movements — imagine the oil fully encapsulating the whisker.
- “Then, pick either American Crew Precision Shave Gel or American Crew Moisturizing Shave Cream (if you prefer to see through to the skin/beard choose Shave Gel or if you’re more dry/sensitive choose Shave Cream) and work in on top of the oil application.
- “Work the gel or cream into the beard in circular movements until the whisker feels like it is flexing and bending. We recommend using your fingers to apply products so you can actually feel the softening of the whisker. Once it is soft, you can begin to shave.
- “Shave with the direction of growth; we recommend doing this to prevent ingrown hairs.
- “Next, rinse with warm water, reapply the American Crew Ultra Gliding Shave Oil and go for a second pass. Rinse with cool water, pat dry and then apply American Crew Post Shave Cooling Lotion.”
Look Three: The Carefree Coif
Stylist: Theri DeJoode, American Crew Global Technical Director
Get the Look:
- “Shampoo with American Crew Daily Shampoo and condition with American Crew Daily Conditioner,” says DeJoode. “Towel-dry the hair aggressively to rid the hair of as much water as possible. Brush the hair off the face.
- “Use a moderate dosage of American Crew Firm Hold Gel, greater than the size of a quarter.
- “Start drying the hair back and away from the face with your fingers and blow dryer. Rake the fingers along the scalp from front to back and follow your fingers with the blow dryer nozzle. Make sure the direction of the hair stream points back. Lift up hair with your fingers at the top of the head. Once the hair is mostly dry, take the brush and follow the blow dryer as you brush the hair off and away from the face.
- “Hold the dryer in one hand. Brush the hair back to the center of the head, and then push the brush forward to create elevation and wave at the front hairline. Touch the nozzle of the dryer to the brush to heat the hair. Remove the dryer and leave the brush area to cool. Run your fingers through to relax the style.
- “Finish with a light amount of American Crew Pomade (for more humid areas use American Crew Grooming Cream) to add separation and shine. Place the product in the palm of your hand and warm the product in between the hands. Place the palms flat to the side of the head and push the hair back with palms flat on the surface. Then brush back.
- “Reactivate the product in your hands by rubbing your hands together. Place your fingers inside the hair at the front and top of the head, and lift the hair up and away from the face. Repeat the action on the top with a brush. Let the other hand follow the brush to apply more Pomade on the surface. The pieces around the face will fall out with a good head shake.
- “If the time does not allow the elaborate style plan above, then do this:
- "Aggressively towel-dry the hair. Towel-dry again with a dry hand towel.
- "Place a light to moderate dosage of Liquid Wax on almost dry hair, evenly from roots to ends. Liquid Wax has the memory of a gel but the finish of a wax. It’s perfect for a style with memory that does not have time to dry completely.
- “Comb or brush the hair back on the sides, then with your fingers along the side of the scalp, pull the hair off the scalp slightly. Follow on the surface again with a brush or comb.
- “Comb or brush the top of hair up and off the head. Work in three or four wide sections from in front of the crown to the front hairline — you want to lift all across the top of the head.
- “Then, run the fingers through the hair to even out the sections on top. Be light with the hands to not crush the style against the head.
- “Leave alone and let the remaining moisture air dry. If the style breaks down, place your hands or comb into the hair to reactivate the style.
“For either of these two styles, if the hair does not have the desired volume and elevation when completely dry, separate the hair in random sections and shake a little American Crew Boost Powder on the scalp.”