With arresting emerald eyes and inky, shoulder length hair loaded with curls—Julien was bubbling with boyish enthusiasm. “Last year, when we thought the world was going to end, my wife and I traveled the world,” Julien brought up, sipping wine at the salon. He launched into a colorful story punctuated with French and frequent laughter. “We started in the Bahamas,” he said, eyes sparkling, then named stops in South America, Europe and numerous countries in Asia—each with accompanying anecdotes. Mid trip, the duo found themselves “[…]on a slow river boat in Laos, towards Vientiane—the Ibiza of Asia—where we rode in rubber tubes and stopped often for drinks at bars lining the banks.”
Julien is an actor, and while he usually pulls the hair back into a ponytail, we wanted to emphasize his facial structure and modernize the look with a trendy twist on James Dean’s timeless cut. “For Julien, I wanted to shorten the sides but leave curls at top of his head a little longer, for a full bodied bouffant,” David said.
We began styling with a toast, “Cheers! To peace in the world,” Julien said, clinking glasses with a smile.
1. To begin sculpting this modern classic, I pulled his long hair into a ponytail and snipped at the nape of the neck.
2. I parted the remaining sections and began trimming Julien’s hair to under an inch in back and sides, using my index and ring finger as a guide. As his hair forms ringlets, I clipped from right to left for a consistent cut despite the curls.
3. Once the majority of the long hair was gone, I employed a comb for an even closer crop, focusing on even length from ear to ear and under. I trimmed the section by his ears the shortest—modern coifs tend towards clipped sides with more length on top for styling flexibility.
4. Julien’s hair was now at three different lengths, so I checked over once more to ensure all sections faded smoothly into one another. There should be no sharp edges in this crop! James Dean’s hair has a relaxed, tousled quality that should appear casual, not overworked.
5. Once Julien’s cut was complete, I quickly styled it. Using a hair dryer and round brush, I injected volume to the roots of the longer sections of his hair.
6. Finally, I tousled his hair with No. 6 Glossy Plasteline For Wizards wax by Davines and scrunched to bring back his curls.
Voila! Julien had a curly bouffant ala James Dean. “I don’t like it—I love it!” Julien enthused. “Like a glass out of the dishwasher, I was clean before, but now I’ve been polished!”