PICTURE A surfer, his hair just about shoulder length, his skin glowing that California glow, his body cultivated to ripple in just the right places. Now take him off the beach and dress him in a business suit and necktie.
Sound like a contradiction? Not at all. This is California style, circa 1990. In its formative stages, this pseudo-surfer mien was restricted to artsy types in oversize suits. But today the look is cropping up on Yale-bred attorneys practicing L.A. law; on doctors in swank Beverly Hills offices, and on executives back East who rarely visit Los Angeles.
"It used to be a look reserved for actors who were between films, but now more and more professional men--from L.A. and elsewhere--ask for long hair because it's part of their total look," says hair stylist Joe Torrenueva, whose Sunset Boulevard salon caters to many celebrities. He says most men are hesitant to wear long hair again, but "the confident ones who are into style are letting it grow."
One Los Angeles attorney says he keeps his hair permed so that courtroom judges can't tell how long it actually is. "Then, after hours, I blow it dry and have a straighter, longer look," he says.
Torrenueva trimmed Michael Douglas' locks into the slick look he wore in "Wall Street," but he reports that Douglas usually keeps his hair long and natural-looking. Record producer Jellybean Benitez sports long, curly brown hair that's trained to lift at the hairline. "That's the difference from the '60s," Torrenueva points out. "This time, long hair is all about control and style, not just length."
Control comes from more than just the cut, however. Ponytails, gels and braids--a la Val Kilmer in the movie "Willow"--all add shape, versatility and a studied freshness. Actor Alexander Godunov, whose California look is displayed on pages 22 through 25, has worn his blond hair long and free-flowing for several years. But recently he has been spotted around town wearing controlling gel in his hair.
A good head of hair isn't enough to pull off this sophisticated beach-boy style. The total look involves skin that has a fresh, outdoorsy glow, preferably not induced by the sun. A new product--Rock-Savage Enhancer--is designed to give a man's skin a rosy cast that washes off with soap and water.
"Part of what men are trying to achieve is a healthy look; that's what makes it so California," says Steven Rock-Savage, who sells 0.4-ounce bottles of his liquid for $27 at Fred Segal on Melrose Avenue and in Santa Monica, and at International Male, West Hollywood. "Long hair, a good body and glowing skin all equate with health," Rock-Savage says. "Even if he isn't perfectly healthy, a man who has those things going for him looks like he's ahead of the game."
Hair: Renee A. Piane; jacket and shirt: Daniel Hechter, Beverly Center; tie: Barneys, New York; model: Terrance Haub/Elite; styling: Polly Hoyt/Celestine-Cloutier