The Haircut: Daniel Craig

The Haircut: Daniel Craig

A how-to by hairstylist Gilbert Pickett, owner of Salon Mio Mio in San Francisco.

Rough, rugged and one badass mother f$&@#r is what I think of when it comes to Daniel Craig.  The newest, and in my opinion, best James Bond since Connery, Craig brings out the darker side of James Bond that has never been seen before. With Spectre, the next Bond movie coming out in November, he is going to be the it man this season. Daniel's portrayal is all about mystique along with his impeccable style wearing Armani and Tom Ford suits.

While his look appears sharp and effortless now, when it comes to his hair he has had many misses over the years.

daniel craig bad hair

Now that he’s older his strong, square chin and deeper “character lines” need some softening.  Daniel has a receding hairline and finer hair – much different from his youth.  A lot of men are self-conscious about their hair receding and feel like it's a non-stop train to losing it completely. But this isn’t the case, there are many products out there – Rogaine (topical) and Propecia (pill) are successful – but you have to use them daily and once you stop, your hair will continue receding. But, if the way of lotions and potions are not for you, don't despair, a receding hairline can be sexy. There are many ways to work around it that don’t involve a comb over. The number one worst thing you can do is try to fight against it. Many men assume if they cut their hair short, it will only make their balding more noticeable, but surprisingly the opposite is true. The longer your hair, the more pronounced your hairline becomes.

These days Daniel keeps his hair pretty much the same all the time so that it fits with the image he’s created.  As a hairstylist and the owner of Salon Mio Mio in San Francisco, I know a few things about the power a change in image can have for a man, both physically and emotionally. I believe it's important to experiment with your hair throughout your life and more importantly to listen to your hairstylist on what style will best fit you. We ask our financial planners what they recommend based on their years of experience, we should find a great barber or stylist and trust them in the same way. As we get older and more successful we need to look the part and the hair of our youth is no longer going to work for our big boy jobs and current hairline realities.

Let me break it down for Mr. Craig's hair.  When Daniel was younger he had his hair long, blonde and feathered which worked for the time. If you look at Daniel's latest hair style he keeps it short on the sides and textured on top. Texturizing is the process of cutting different groups of hair at different lengths, and can make fine hair look thicker. The different lengths and jagged pieces give the hair depth which, in turn, makes it look and feel fuller. There are various tools and techniques like thinning shears, straight razors, and point cutting with scissors that create texture. I use at least two of these techniques in every haircut. Knowing to utilize these methods and tools based on your specific hair sets your hairstylist apart from those who just cut hair.

Let's talk lingo…It's almost impossible for you to walk into a salon or barber shop and start speaking hairstylist/barber lingo because of the many different training methods. But, there is some fundamental language that all stylists can figure out whether they were taught the Vidal way, the Toni and Guy way or the Badda Bing Badda Boom School of Well You Know a Haircut way.  Explaining a shape is universal like square, rounded, asymmetrical, longer here, shorter here, clean cut or messy.

As stylists it's important to look at the shape of your head in order to create a haircut that works best for you.  If you’ve noticed why you look at someone and you think something's not right but you can't figure out why, it could be their haircut is fighting against the shape of the head. Daniel's is an oval shape, which tends to be the shape that most styles will work best with.  His haircut is a rounded cut rather the a square cut.

Imagine your head in a box and the sides of the box go straight up, like a Mad Man haircut or Hipster clipper cut, that's a square cut.  Think Don Draper or Sam Smith. As for a hipster, think short on the sides with a flattop or pompadour  Now, imagine the corners at the top of the box carved off, that is rounded. Daniel’s haircut is rounded towards the top of his head. This helps soften his lines and the squareness of his chin by counteracting the two.

square haircut vs rounded haircut

For clippers, Daniel’s hair seems to be a #2 or 1/4 of an inch clipper guard with a very short taper at the bottom. I always like some sort of taper, it looks more polished and put together. The sides and top are cut with scissors with a technique called “scissor over comb,” which is a technique that places the comb against your head while moving up and cutting in a rapid fashion to simulate clippers. This gives a softer look as to clippers that gives a sharper cleaner, more defined cut.

It can be worn messy, spiked up, or clean cut and parted to the side. Use a little American Crew Molding Clay ($13 or less) to hold your look and create a little shine.  Shine is in this year so embrace it and show your hair off. If you like a more matted look, then use Kevin Murphy Rough Rider ($25+) which my male clients love.

daniel craig haircut

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  • Justin

    I have a receded hairline a bit deeper than Daniel Craig’s. I’m torn between this haircut and a Roger Sterling Mad Men haircut. Aside from the part, is there any real difference in how you would have these cut?

    • Gilbert

      Hi Justin it’s Gilbert. Yes there is a major difference. Roger’s hair is a squarer cut leaving it a bit fuller At the curve of the head. It may not be that noticeable to you but it will become aparent when you stole it. It needs the weight in order to give you that classic mad man hair. Plus Daniels I’d much shorter up front. If you tried to do Daniels cut with a mad man cut your front would flop if not slicked back.

      I hope that helps

  • Michael

    How short would I ask my barber to trim the top to replicate Daniel Craig’s look? Is it blended between the sides and top?

    • Gilbert

      Yes it is blended ..the top should be anywhere from 1 to 2 inches depending on how short you want it. Daniel has had many variations on the same cut. Grow outs and freshly cut. Blend the sides in and leave the front about 1/2 to 1 inch linger the the top. If your head tends to be flat in the back compensate by leaving it a bit longer so it will not accent the flatness.

  • Butch_Zee

    It’s not a bad look for someone with a receding hairline.

  • RLM

    Love the Don Draper Cut….any thoughts/advise for that one?

    • Gilbert

      Picture picture picture… It’s the best way to get what you want. Grow your hair to about 3-5 inches in order for it to slick back and fall in your face when ruffed up. In my option that haircut looks best when both sides are receding and you still have a lot in front. Like a VVV formation if that makes sense.

  • Harry

    Any recommendations for something similar to this for guys without a receding hairline?

    • Andrew

      Hey Harry, Gilbert actually talks about this a bit, it’s a great cut for guys with receding hairlines. Give it a try!

  • Mala

    I was just talking to my brother about this. His style and haircut still make him look like a bad-a despite wearing cardigans and such. He doesn’t look like the stereotypical “white guy.” Not that there’s anything wrong with that of course but he manages to always look rugged and ready to tumble as well as clean and presentable.

    • Caped_Crusader

      I’m super late to this talkback game but that’s what I’m searching. I’ve been known as a “pretty boy” and while I was a teenager I was all about it because the girls all liked it. But as I’m in my late 20s now I’m trying to get a more grown up look. Grew a beard since I still look 18 without it lol. Hopefully I could find the right cut to help me out.

  • Bo

    This is an awesome article — I love these types of posts! And as a huge fan of Daniel Craig, I actually quite like that haircut too! Maybe this is just my personal opinion, but is his hair really receding all that much? It looks like his front hairline is about the same shape as when he was younger, (particularly the second photo from the bottom, on the left in the middle collage of ‘bad’ hairstyles) — but now it’s just cut differently? Regardless (and I certainly defer to the hair expert here!) I really do like that cut.

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  • Phil Foster

    I realize this convo is a few months old. My hairline is receding and I have the typical thin spot at the crown of my head. Do you think I could pull off the Daniel Craig hairstyle?

    • Andrew

      Yes, absolutely! The thinner your hair, the shorter it should be. It would seem to make sense that shorter hair would emphasize the thinning, the opposite is true.

  • PB

    does the Daniel craig cut work for someone with hair really like Daniels, but with the head shape more similar to Dan Draper

    • Andrew

      I’d give it a shot! Sounds like you have a good head shape, you lucky s.o.b.!

      • PB

        maybe a good head shape but fine hair and a pretty good receding hairline

  • Mark D

    I know this is an old article but I am hoping you still monitor the comments.

    I have a pretty thick head of hair and I wear a beard. I am in my mid 30’s now and trying to change my look to a more mature but still stylish look. I really like Daniel Craig’s hairstyle (and overall style which is kind of clean cut but somehow still rugged), but I am not sure I can pull it off with how full my hair is and because I am not ready to cut my beard until I loose a bit more weight. Any thoughts?

    • Andrew

      This is a great military inspired haircut that works for almost everyone and should look great with a beard.

  • Jack Harwood

    I gave myself a buzzcut a couple of months ago. Right now I like the way the top looks, kinda like Craig’s. My problem is the sides. My hair is too straight and fine and looks like the end of a broom around my ears. It seemed to me Craig has something of the same problem with the sides which is why I ended up on this page. Of course he has some great stylists working for him so you don’t see it as much. Your term “rounded” seems like the solution I’m looking for, but I think my hair doesn’t cooperate well with layering. I always seem to walk away with a shaved look at the sides. Solution?

    • Andrew

      Ask them to use scissors instead of clippers. That’s what I always do. Looks less shaved.

      • risusSardonicus

        Thanks. I’ll try that.

  • Darren Sites

    So in terms of telling my hair stylist what to do for this, how’s this sound: “#2 clipper with a short taper at the bottom and scissor over comb for the sides and top with an inch left on top.” Anything I might need to add?