Move over, metrosexual. Make room for the guy’s guy who’s now more open to tuning into his curls just as easily as he tunes into sports.

Move over, metrosexual. Make room for the guy’s guy who’s now more open to tuning into his curls just as easily as he tunes into sports.

Okay, maybe not to quite the same degree, but guys are making progress — and a lot of it. Even the rough-and-tumble guys are paying more attention to their curls than ever before.

According to Rodney Cutler, grooming stylist for Esquire magazine, it’s all part of a trend among guy’s guys who want to create a “signature point of difference” that sets them apart, while at the same time not straying from what’s appropriate in their lifestyle, their career and the guys they hang out with.

“I think the guy’s guy is now expressing how he wants to look, and he wants to look great — but, more importantly, he wants to feel comfortable,” says Cutler, who also owns New York’s Cutler Salon. “Men have much more access to fashion and grooming tips than ever before, but it’s not like all these guy's guys want to be metrosexual. For instance, a high school football coach doesn’t want to look like he’s stepped off a runway, but he wants to be a stylish football coach.”

Cutler, and other curl-centric experts, say that stylish look starts with the right cut. And that doesn’t mean cutting off all your curls, explains Enrique Grant of Elie Elie Salon in McLean, Va., who styles many male curlies in corporate America.

“Professional men, especially, want options,” Grant says. “I give them a tailored, precision cut, where the sides and back are more tailored for them, but the top is a little longer so they can make it looser or less controlled in the evening.”

Grant says the biggest challenge is to convince curly men that they have to actually use products if they want frizz-free, perfect-looking hair.

“They don’t realize the icons they see on television or in magazines do use products on their hair,” he explains. “They have to understand that they have to apply a little bit of effort.”

For men with longer curls, Grant uses a gel for more even distribution. For shorter styles, most of Grant’s clients prefer a wax because it doesn’t feel as wet or sticky.

“When they put it on, it’s pretty set. You don’t have to really force the hair or keep washing your hands,” says Grant, who recommends Kerastase wax and Goldwell shine wax.

Redken stylist Giovanni Giuntoli also prefers wax products for his male curly clients that complain about big, puffy hair.

“Wax allows the curls to straighten some and it’s heavy enough for the control factor," says Giuntoli, who also runs editorial styling courses for artists at Yourtearsheets.com. "But best of all, the curls can still be touched and slightly restyled if needed for an evening style."

Giuntoli usually recommends Hardwear Gel by Redken for locked-in shine and maximum hold, or a strong wax like Redken’s Electric Wax for a pliable hold.

When it comes to waxes, Dana Kaplan of M Salon in Cambridge, Mass. recommends men check out Bumble & Bumble’s Sumo Wax.

“You have to emulsify it in your hands, it gives a nice shine and washes out very easily,” says Kaplan, who points out that most men are confused about what products to use. “A lot of men like crunch. They want something that will hold from now until doomsday! Usually, I recommend a pomade or a strong gel. Very few men want styling cream, but a lot of men like pomade for the shine.”

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Teri Evans
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