How to Do Greaser Hair: Mastering the Iconic Style

A classic hairstyle popularized in the 1950s, continues to make waves in contemporary fashion and culture. Defined by its slicked-back, high-shine appearance, greaser hair exudes confidence, rebellion, and timeless style. From James Dean to Elvis Presley, iconic figures have sported this look, cementing its status as a cultural phenomenon. We are about to show you how to do greaser hair and master the iconic style through techniques, products, and maintenance tips.

greaser haircut for boys. Male Model with a greaser hairstyle and look

The Greasers look emerged as a prominent hairstyle among working-class youths in the United States during the 1950s. Inspired by motorcycle culture, rock ‘n’ roll, and rebellious attitudes, greasers sought to express their defiance against societal norms through their distinctive appearance. The greaser hair, the look and style gained further popularity through films like “Rebel Without a Cause” and “The Wild One,” featuring charismatic actors sporting slicked-back locks and leather jackets.

How to get the greaser hairstyle for men

The greaser hairstyle was synonymous with rebellion. Its rugged charm, and timeless coolness, have etched itself into the annals of fashion history. Originating in the 1950s, the term “greaser” was coined to describe a subculture of young, working-class men who adorned themselves with slicked-back hair, leather jackets, and an attitude that oozed defiance against societal norms.

Rooted in the post-war era of the United States, the greaser subculture emerged as a response to the mainstream conformity of the time. Inspired by the rebellious spirit of rock ‘n’ roll hairstyles and the allure of Hollywood icons like Marlon Brando and James Dean, greasers embodied a distinctive style that celebrated individuality, camaraderie, and an unwavering sense of self-expression.

Essential Techniques for Achieving the Greaser Style

Central to the greaser style is the signature hairdo: slicked-back, high-shine, and impeccably styled. Achieving the perfect greaser hair requires patience, the right products, and a keen eye for detail. To begin, it’s essential to have medium-length to long hair, as shorter hair may not achieve the desired effect.

To create the quintessential greaser hairstyle, start by washing your hair with a high-quality shampoo and conditioner to remove any excess oil or residue. Once clean, towel-dry your hair until it’s slightly damp, but not dripping wet.

  1. Preparing Your Hair:
    • Start with clean, damp hair: Greaser hair requires a clean canvas, so begin by washing your hair with a high-quality shampoo and conditioner.
    • Towel-dry your hair: Gently towel-dry your hair until it’s slightly damp. Excess water can dilute hair products and hinder styling efforts.
  2. Applying Pomade:
    • Choose the right pomade: Opt for a petroleum-based pomade with strong hold and high shine to achieve the quintessential greaser look.
    • Warm the pomade: Rub a small amount of pomade between your palms until it softens and becomes pliable.
    • Apply evenly: Starting from the roots, distribute the pomade throughout your hair, ensuring thorough coverage from front to back.
  3. Styling Your Greaser Hair:
    • Use a comb: Employ a fine-tooth comb to slick back your hair, starting from the front and working your way to the back.
    • Create a part: If desired, use the end of the comb to create a clean part on one side of your head, adding a touch of sophistication to your look.
    • Achieve height: For added volume and height, comb your hair upwards and slightly backwards, accentuating the pompadour effect.
greaser hair for guys

Products for Maintaining Greaser Hair:

  1. Petroleum-Based Pomades: Look for pomades formulated with petroleum or beeswax, as they provide superior hold and shine compared to water-based alternatives.
  2. Hair Spray: To set your hairstyle and prevent flyaways, consider using a light-hold hair spray to lock in the desired shape and shine.
  3. Shampoo and Conditioner: Invest in a gentle, sulfate-free shampoo and a nourishing conditioner to keep your hair healthy and manageable between styling sessions.

Maintenance Tips for Long-Lasting Greaser Hair:

  1. Regular Washing: While greaser hair thrives on a certain level of oiliness, it’s essential to wash your hair regularly to prevent product buildup and maintain scalp health.
  2. Touch-Up Styling: Throughout the day, periodically run your fingers through your hair to maintain its shape and shine, especially if exposed to wind or humidity.
  3. Nighttime Care: Before bed, consider wrapping your hair in a silk scarf or using a satin pillowcase to minimize friction and preserve your hairstyle overnight.

Greaser Look and Outfits For Guys

In addition to the iconic hairstyle, the greaser look wouldn’t be complete without the right attire. Embracing a rugged yet effortlessly stylish aesthetic, greaser fashion celebrates classic Americana with a rebellious edge.

Start with a plain white T-shirt, the cornerstone of any greaser wardrobe. Opt for a slim-fitting style that accentuates your physique without being too tight or restrictive. Pair it with a well-worn pair of rolled-up jeans or cuffed trousers for a casual yet put-together look that channels vintage charm.

Greaser Hair and Look Johnny Depp in Cry-Baby
Johnny Depp on Cry-baby by John Waters, 1990

For outerwear, invest in a timeless leather jacket that exudes rugged masculinity and timeless appeal. Whether it’s a classic motorcycle jacket or a sleek bomber style, choose a piece that fits comfortably and complements your personal style.

Accessories play a pivotal role in completing the greaser ensemble. Consider adding a pair of Wayfarer sunglasses, a thin chain necklace, or a vintage-inspired wristwatch to add a touch of authenticity and personality to your look.

Guy with greaser look hairstyle

The greaser style isn’t just a fashion statement; it’s a way of life—a timeless homage to rebellion, camaraderie, and individuality. Rooted in the cultural zeitgeist of the 1950s, the greaser aesthetic continues to captivate and inspire generations with its rugged charm, effortless coolness, and unwavering sense of defiance.

Whether you’re channeling the spirit of James Dean or paying homage to the rebel without a cause within, embracing the greaser look is more than just a hairstyle or a fashion trend—it’s a celebration of self-expression, authenticity, and the enduring allure of Americana at its finest. So slick back your hair, don your leather jacket, and step into the world of greaser chic, where style knows no bounds and rebellion reigns supreme.