Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Iconic Pompadour

The Pompadour is an all-time classic hairstyle that was actually named after the mistress of King Louis XV, Madame de Pompadour. After being adopted by fashionable women in the 18th century, versions of it remained a female dominated style called the Bouffant in the early 50's and 60's.

Pompadour hair style for men was popular during the 1920's.  The traditional men's Pompadour  was styled by sweeping the hair upwards and away from the face, often worn slick with swept back sides held in place with Pomade. In the late 1950's Elvis Presley made a version of the Pompadour  his signature look and the rest, as they say, is history. Still considered a classic rockabilly / rock ‘n’ roll inspired hairstyle due to this connection and was made even more popular by music and movie stars of this period.

The Classic 1920's Pompadour has evolved dramatically since the full swept back Elvis Presley look.  The up dated version is styled with extra length through the top sometimes with a high part while keeping the back and sides tapered close to the head. Its a lot more flexible than you would first imagine and can suit many hair types although the extreme versions of the cut needs to be taken into consideration –  as the end result should complement not only your personal style, but the head shape and facial features as well.

If you want to keep your style classic and refined, the back and sides need to be clipper cut, but not so short that it exposes too much of the scalp. Ideally, the edges should be tapered really tight while maintaining some length throughout the haircut. Tapering around the edges not only strengthens the overall head shape but also adds a rugged / masculine look for those that sport a close or full beard.

For those with long narrow face shapes keeping length through the sides will add width and help maintain a balance between the top and sides. For a timeless aesthetic and a slightly fuller result, avoid taking the clippers to close and beyond the curve of the head. Alternatively, if you want a extreme look take the sides higher to disconnect the top and sides.

For a creative take on the Pompadour clipper the sides close with a number one grade. You could also consider opting for a skin fade (no grade on the clipper) where the base of the haircut begins. The hair should be clipper cut really high into the curve of the head, keeping more length through the top section. This can be worn connected into the crown or completely disconnected, allowing the hair to stand up or hang below the crown area (think undercut hairstyles).

Choosing the right length for your face shape is important. If you have a round face wear the sides tighter and allow more volume on top will help elongate your face. If your face is narrow keep a little more length for fullness through the sides and wear the top slicker and closer to your head.

If your the creative artistic type and want to make your Pompadour standout from the crowd a splash of color will do the trick.  Adding hair color also gives the hair extra body and style support making styling a snap.  This may cost a few extra bucks but is well for the time and expense for all the attention your sure to get. 

Pompadour hair styles complement most face shape and adds a up lifting youthful look to facial features for this reason many stars and celebrities over the years have sported versions of the Pompadour hair style. Today everyone from Bruno Mars to David Beckham have extremely different versions of this classic style. It just goes to prove how versatile a hair style the Pompadour has been.
To create a nice crisp finish with shine, apply a styling Pomade (for medium shine and hold) or stronger grooming / styling gel (for a stronger shine and hold) to towel dried hair. When working with high shine styling products, it’s important you start off with a small amount and work it into the hair – you can always add more if required.

For those that want more volume, try blow drying the hair – using your fingers or a multi action Flex Brush to lift and shape the hair into the direction you're  wear it. If required, you can apply another finishing product on top to create texture for a wet or dry look. To keep your style in shape, apply firm hold shaping finishing hairspray – especially if the top has been left with extra length.
So there you have it, the timeless and versatile Pompadour hairstyle. This classic style is set to become every more popular in the coming years. However, the one downfall of the close clipped Pompadour is that it can be an extremely high maintenance haircut to keep up. In order for it to look its very best, I would suggest having it trimmed every 3-4 of weeks.