A man’s hairstyle is an intensely personal thing. We may talk about it less, we may hide it better, but we fixate on hair as much as the ladies do. The way you cut and style your hair provides clues to the rest of the world about how you see yourself, the cultural tribes you pledge to (either consciously or unconsciously) and what’s likely to be in your Netflix queue. So before you arrive for that next interview or drop a line on that blonde across the bar, do yourself a favor and find out what you’re announcing with your ’do. (These predictions, by the way, are guaranteed to be as accurate as a horoscope.)
A guy has to spend a lot of time in front of the mirror to look like he didn’t, but that’s no chore when you love looking at yourself as much as you do. Not to suggest that you’re vain, but you do seem to prefer sentences that start with “I.” On the merest of summer days, you find reason to shed your shirt. You are well educated but hide it well. You’ve never had to try too hard for anything (except that expertly tousled hair). You throw a mean Frisbee. In your pocket right now, there is a tube of lip balm.
The Moptop (aka The Bieber)
You are adorable. It’s kind of distracting. Might have something to do with the fact that you’re 12 years old. Oh, sorry, you only look 12 years old, even though you voted in the last election. Your on-camera class is going great, but your manager keeps sending you out for these silly teenage parts. You want to be taken seriously as an actor! Also, you like exclamation marks in your Facebook updates!! You probably keep a journal. As a kid, you went to church sleepaway camp, and this year you’re going to return as a counselor, guitar in hand. Your popularity is as inexplicable as it is undeniable.
Your sense of style sucks. Even for a regional sales manager. One foot in the grave, son. Also, you’re a dud in bed. Hey, only fooling — that’s what you think people think when they see your deforested dome, which goes a long way toward explaining the Corvette. Funny part is, you still spend as much time messing with it as you did when you had hair. What are you doing in there? You’ve been known to ask, upon seeing a picture of yourself, “Am I really that bald?” And if you belong to that bizarre subset of balding men who resort to the comb-over, your preponderance for self-deception is truly frightening and possibly clinical.
You are a great man to have at a party. You’re a natural cutup. You’re working on a screenplay. You are aggressively antiestablishment. And can do convincing pratfalls — plus funny dancing that is, at the same time, pretty good dancing. Hair-wise, you’ve opted for the old strategy of calling attention to the very thing that makes you most anxious: your tight, curly ‘fro. To, in effect, make it disappear by exaggerating it. And underneath your class-clown act is a wriggling mass of insecurity. You are, like some domestic pets, too smart for your own good.
Nothing says “I do not have a real job” like long, flowing, dirty New Testament locks. Which is fine with you, ‘cause you’ve got all the job you need at the comic book shop. You spend a lot of time on eBay, scouring auctions for deals on Magic: The Gathering cards. Your prized possession: a limited-edition replica of Gandalf’s sword from The Lord of the Rings movies. Sometimes, drunk on microbrews, you tell people you have a black belt in karate, even though you quit those martial arts classes at the community center at the age of eight, and the only fights you have ever been in were resolved with dice rolls. God help you if the girlfriend ever leaves.
You suffer from a peculiar delusion that permits you to look in the mirror, after working your hair into a crusty knife edge down the middle of your skull, and think, “Yes.” You would like to be a rebel, as long as being rebellious doesn’t involve doing anything actually illegal or scary. Maybe some E on the weekends. You have an obsessive need to fit in with the rest of the shoppers down at Hollister, which means you won’t have this look for long. It’s not your fault there’s a hole where your self-identity should be. You can take the man out of the suburbs, but you can’t take the suburbs out of the man.
The High And Tight
Hoo-ah! Thank you for your service. You are in the service, right? Either that, or you coach wrestling at the high school, which is a job you got after your discharge from the service. Your digital watch is set to 24-hour time. You’re a damn nice guy, as long as people agree with you. You are a strong supporter of the second amendment and suspect that someone is trying to — or might soon try to — take away your guns. You don’t dip anymore, unless you’re drinking (or shooting your guns). You own at least one four-wheel-drive vehicle. You’re not sure what the hell this country is coming to, but Glenn Beck will reveal it all soon enough.
The Side Part
You are what they used to call “a square,” and even if that slang has since been retired, your hairstyle limps along. You are wholesome, predictable and conventional. “Good marriage material,” your girlfriends’ mothers always say. Yes, and a bit of an empty vessel. You make responsible decisions about money (of which you make considerably more than some smart-ass writer cracking wise about hair). Your one indulgence: country-club memberships. People give you a lot of ties. You were in the marching band in school. Odds are good you’ll run for public office and be ruined by revelations about all those kinks you’ve been hiding.
You enjoyed a brief flush of internet fame when that video of you with the trampoline and the toddler went viral. Anyway, that was the most exciting thing to happen in your town since the marathon of Ice Road Truckers down at Hooters. As a point of pride, you’ve never traveled outside of the domestic United States (but you will admit, if pressed, that the French are pretty good at making toast). Stories about high school still dominate your social interactions. Your favorite color is camouflage. You can’t wait for Jet Ski season. You have one (or possibly all) of the following tattoos: your ex’s name, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s logo, a bald eagle wrapped in Old Glory.
You might be in boot camp. You might be an amateur triathlete. Either way, you can do a lot of push-ups. You never met a sports drink you didn’t like. The shaved head serves a double purpose: It looks like a phallus and leaves you with more time for road runs and UFC matches. You have a copy of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People at your bedside — a gift from your aunt, but you’d rather wait for the movie than read it. Whatever you’re into, you’re into it all the way. (Alternatively, you might be merely hiding your baldness, in which case, the above doesn’t necessarily apply).