The Haircut: George Clooney

clooney haircut howto
The Haircut: George Clooney

A how-to by barber Zach Linhardt of Lakeside Barbershop, Oklahoma City.

“I don’t want Fop…I’m a Dapper Dan man!”

That should be enough of a clue to let you know whose hairstyle we are going over. In case you’re one of the unlucky few that haven’t seen “O Brother, Where Art Thou”, I’m talking about George Clooney. I’m going to be going over recent pictures of George, specifically, his haircut in “The Monuments Men”.

First things first, let’s knock the name of the haircut out of the way, so we are all on the same page. This is a “contour” and this style is what I would call an “extra long contour”.  I work with Oklahoma’s oldest active barber, and he insists everyday that this haircut is simply called “a regular”.  Whatever generation your barber is from, they’ll know this cut because it is a classic and is becoming more and more popular again.  It’s become so popular, that I would say this haircut is what puts food on my table.

A contour with 4 inches on top and 3 inches in the back.

What to ask for

Now, onto the haircut! Sit down in the chair and when you’re asked, “How would you like your haircut?” tell the barber that you’d like a contour, and then briefly describe how you’d like the end result to look. As with any haircut, there are countless variations. The more details you can give the barber, the better picture you’ll paint in their head. For Clooney’s, I’d start out with the edging around the ears and neckline to give myself a solid base. I’d then ask the client how long he’d like the top. It looks like he has about 4 inches or more up top. I do this cut just a tad different than most barbers and I leave the back a little shorter than up front. I think doing it this way makes the top of the hair blend a little easier.

If the client asked for 4 inches, I’d cut the back at about 3 inches, and increase the length as I moved forward. From there, it’s all clipper over comb. This haircut, while simple, is done without the use of guards and can go wrong in a hurry! On this cut, I’d start the taper low enough to where the hair was just barely going to touch the ear when combed straight down. Once that length has been set, it’s simply a game of connect the dots, joining the bottom to the top.  When I have the taper looking perfect, I’d go in and do shear over comb using my thinning shears and cut just the ends. I find that this really helps the haircut look clean and finished when styled.


Styling this haircut is an odd process. It may seem strange, but the first step is to wet the hair to slightly more than damp. For the next step, you’re going to get your lady’s hairdryer and dry your hair as you comb it into the style. By doing this, you’re going to give your hair some volume and it makes it easier to manage after you apply the pomade. From here on out, it all makes sense again. For George’s style, I’m willing to bet, he used a wax-based pomade. If you like your pillowcases and don’t want to wear a hair net to bed, I’d recommend J.S. Sloane’s Brilliantine. It holds like a rock, but will dry with almost zero shine.

That’s it! It’s a simple haircut, but it is probably the most classic, best looking cut a guy can wear. Now,  since you’re looking like Dapper Dan, himself get your guys together, get dressed up, and drink a whisky neat.

Click on image for full-size.

Clooney haircut

About Zach Linhardt

I'm 28 years old and was medically retired out of the Marine Corps in 2011, After that, one of my good friends suggested I go to barber school. 1500 short hours later, I graduated and am well on my way to taking Oklahoma City by storm one haircut at a time!

  • Michael

    Great article, more of this series please!

  • Kenneth Suna

    i took a photo of Clooney to my barber once. when he was done, I said it was great and he said, “There’s just one problem … you’re not George Clooney.”

    • Andrew


    • Zach

      We’re barbers, not magicians! Don’t worry about not looking like Clooney, all you need is his haircut and confidence!

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  • Ryan N

    I was actually just looking into going this route, but didn’t know the name of the cut. Primer, you win my life.

  • Steve Gordon

    Please shoot me if I ever say I want to be GC, but I love these haircut articles – fascinating to see the method behind what I’ve always thought of as a dark art.

    • Zach

      It’s certainly was close to being a lost art. Thankfully, it’s becoming more and more popular. As more guys are caring what they look like, they’re realizing that they need a nice haircut to complete the look.

      • Steve Gordon

        Haha, I don’t mean a lost art, though maybe that too. I mean a dark art. i.e. something which i can’t even fathom the science behind. It just seems like magic to be able to mold hairstyles. If you let me loose on someone’s hair, they would look like a chemotherapy victim at best!

        • Zach

          It’s not a difficult process to cut a head of hair. We barbers have to try and make it look difficult so people don’t realize how easy it is! It’s scary the first few times, but once you’ve done a few haircuts, it comes pretty naturally.

  • R.L.

    Love the article and have been working towards this myself…as for the blow drying….if my final step is applying pomade, wouldn’t that “outweigh” anything that may be accomplished by blow drying?
    P.S. I’ve been using Layrite Super Shine Pomade. It only takes a little to achieve great results, which means it lasts forever and it washes right out (even without shampoo). Don’t let the name fool you….it’s just the right amount of shine. You won’t get stopped by anyone wanting to use your head as a mirror.

    • Zach

      Blow drying your hair will give it more volume and make the hair naturally lay in the desired style. I wear a pompadour, and can get it to stand up before I put in any pomade. You have good taste in pomade though, Layrite is some good stuff! Also, if you apply the pomade in dry hair, it will give you a stronger hold.

  • y8s

    Product suggestion: American Crew FIBER. It’s a non-waxy high hold, low shine that works wonders. You can put it on moist, towel-dried hair and it will stay where you want it all day.

  • Adam Brewton

    Great writeup on a great cut. I’ve been running the Ivy League for a while (another great writeup on that one too) and modifying it as it grows out. Think I might give this one a shot since it’s about the right length now. Thanks Zach!

  • Josh

    Take my money and shave my hair!

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  • Pooja Bedi

    He is too hot in short hairstyles specially with beards that would make me to send him Happy Valentines Day Pictures with Valentines Day Messages

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    Interesting, You can have more like this series.
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