Styling Guide for the Gatsby Hairstyle of Leonardo DiCaprio
In the 2013 movie The Great Gatsby, Leonardo DiCaprio wore a classic side swept hairstyle that is also known as a Gatsby hairstyle. Such a hairstyle is what I call a pomade hairstyle as pomade is the one and only product to use to achieve the shape required in a side swept. Other pomade hairstyles include the ever-so-famous slicked back hairstyle and the side part.
How to get a Gatsby haircut like Leo DiCaprio
The Gatsby hairstyle is a simple hairstyle, in all reality. However, you need the right haircut to be able to get the look correct.
First of all, a Gatsby haircut involves the hair on the sides and back of the head be done with a long taper haircut. What this means is that the hair is tapered in length (i.e. decreases in length) from the top of the head down towards the hairline (of the ear and neck). This is the opposite of the slicked back undercut, where the hair is cut with the same length on the sides and back of the head.
The taper haircut for the Gatsby is done with barbers shears (i.e. scissors) and, right at the hairline, the taper haircut would too be finished with shears, not with a hair clipper. However, a barber will usually use a hair clipper to square off the hairline, but that is something different. Hence, when wanting to get a Gatsby haircut, ask for a “long” taper cut.
Once you have the sides and back of your head done correctly, it’s time to focus on the hair at the top of your head. The minimum length for a classic Gatsby hairstyle is four inches. You can of course, give yourself a Gatsby with three inches or even two inches, but it will not look as epic as when having four inches of hair length. Thus, ideally, your hair should be anywhere from four to six inches long on the top of the head. There is no taper cutting on the top of the head, the length on the top remains even.
How to style a Gatsby hairstyle
Make sure that you have the optimal haircut for your Gatsby, as otherwise any hairstyling efforts will go to waste.
To start styling your Gatsby hair style, first have your hair damp and be facing the mirror. Grab pomade (more on that later) and, using your fingers, coat all of your hair with the pomade. Once you’ve done that, use a men’s comb to draw a parting line on either your left temple or right temple, and part (i.e. comb) your hair to the right (if parted line on left temple) or to the left (if parted line on right temple).
Continue combing your hair until your hair remains flat. This is key as the Gatsby style is a flat hairstyle, just like the classic slick back. You must ensure that you do not have any fringe or hair on your forehead, all of your hair must be behind your hairline, so no hair on the front of your head (i.e. forelock) is allowed to touch your forehead or face.
Here are some pictures of Leonardo DiCaprio Gatsby hairstyle, your goal is to emulate the same shape by combing the hair. By the way, the last picture of this set also includes Robert Redford’s hairstyle as The Great Gatsby in the earlier movie of 1974.
What pomade to use for a Gatsby hairstyle?
These days, we have two types of pomades: oil-based pomades and water-based pomades. Generally, oil-based pomades give more shine/sheen and have a stronger hold, while the water-based pomades give more of a wet effect and are much easier to clean off your hair. There are exceptions to the rule, but most of the products in these two types of pomades follow such a hairstyling pattern.
Usually the older barbers will prefer the oil pomades, whereas the younger barbers, especially those targeting hipster males, will prefer the water pomades. I myself love both types, and I highly recommend you to buy one product of each type of pomade to get to know which one you like best. I will recommend one pomade for each type below, and, since they’re cheap, you can buy both and then decide which one you want to continue using.
Oil based pomade
For an oil based pomade, you just can’t go wrong with the Black & White pomade. This pomade was favored by rockabilly men in the 1960s as it has a great hold and plenty of shine. Likewise, Elvis Presley was known for using this pomade.
Water based pomade
For a water based pomade, I recommend you go with the Suavecito pomade. This pomade has a low to medium shine (i.e. way less shine than the Black & White pomade) and it provides a cool wet-look effect. It also has a strong hold, so this pomade will hold up your Gatsby hairstyle.
For the ultimate gentleman look, go with the Gatsby hairstyle
The Gatsby hairstyle, being a side swept style, is a clean and sharp style. The hair is flattened and tensed by combing your hair to the side repeatedly after coating the hair with pomade.
The Gatsby was a common hairstyle among the rich and famous back in the 1930s decade, and it continued to be a businessman hairstyle and playboy hairstyle for many decades later. In fact, in the 2014 movie The Wolf of Wall Street starring Leonardo DiCaprio as a rich con man, Leonardo DiCaprio’s hairstyle is a side swept very similar to his hairstyle in The Great Gatsby.
There you go, gentlemen: a full guide on the Gatsby hairstyle. Now go and get yourself all Gatsby dapper!