There is one thing about Tom Hardy that just can't be disputed: He's a god of personal grooming. A prophet of facial hair. A bodhisattva of the perfectly mussed hairstyle. You can still steal the Tom Hardy beard, even if you hated Venom. Dadhi style for man.
It's easy to forget that between your beard and your hair there's a hundred variations you can pull off. You don’t need to crazy with it. Make subtle changes. Tinker with mustache and beard length. Adjust your fade. Sure, it's nice to settle into a "look." To get your same haircut from the same barber every time. (Plus, and this might sound paranoid, but if you always get the same haircut, overtime your barber will stop looking at and shaping your hairstyle with his full creative focus. He'll start phoning it in. That's just what happens. Tweaking your style every now and then keeps everyone sharp.)
Tom Hardy is a perpetual tinkerer on this question. Here are five of the best Tom Hardy looks from recent history and how to pull them off.
1. Gel ain’t so bad after all
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images
At the premiere of Venom, Hardy wore his hair spiked and gelled. That should put to rest any negative connotations you have associate with hair gel. Sometimes you want high hold, definition, and shine, and a formal event is perfect for the occasion. Here, Hardy’s hair is probably blown dry —forward, to give it lift, with a dime or nickel amount of styling gel (like AXE’s high-shine gel ), then given a coat of hairspray to keep it from tumbling. (Or, try Kerastase’s gel spray to get the same result in a single pump.)
Bonus tip: Embrace your grays. I love that Hardy’s gray hairs are sprouting from his beard without any cover-up. He’s all the more distinguished and handsome for it.
Face shaving style
2. No hairstyle trend is every truly dead
Samir Hussein/Getty Images
Like a character straight out of Dunkirk, Hardy walked the red carpet of that film’s premiere with an undercut (which Josh Brolin is also crushing in Deadpool 2). A few years after the style was proclaimed dead, it looks every bit as fresh and in-place on Hardy’s head. Maybe it’s because it suits the rough-and-tumble persona with which we associate him, but the takeaway is that if you embrace your style, nobody will question its timeliness. You want to rock the undercut? Do it.
(If you DO get an undercut like Hardy’s, then blow dry it back with some lightweight pomade (like Layrite’s barbershop staple ) and comb into place. You might want to blow dry it forward a little first, just to add some lift.)
3. Experiment with facial hair contrast
Steve Granitz/Getty Images
Play with contrasts: A heavier mustache over a lighter goatee, or a full beard with a closer-trimmed ‘stache (like LeBron James). Hardy, at the premiere of The Revenant in 2015, wore a full beard with an even fuller goatee and mustache. You can achieve this one of two ways: Grow the goatee and mustache for a few weeks before letting the rest come in. Or, grow it all in and take a high-guard clipper to the cheeks.
Bonus tip: Embrace the slightly disheveled look. Just like Justin Theroux, Hardy is often seen with a few hairs out of place. That’s intentional, since it’s probably his cowlick that isn’t cooperating with this particular style. (Let’s assume he couldn’t cut his hair fully for the occasion, so he had to own the cowlick’s fussiness for the night. And he does, quite nicely.)
4. Thinning hair? Embrace it
Samir Hussein/Getty Images
First things first: It’s not a bad thing to have thinning hair. Because, congrats, you’re just like 100 percent of men in the world. Maybe it’s faster than others, or maybe it’s right on time, but no pill or transplant or gene pool is going to stop your hair from thinning as you age.
OK, second thing: As it does thin, you should embrace all the style possibilities along the way. Or rather, not exclude yourself from any. In this case, we’ve got Hardy on the red carpet for Mad Max: Fury Road with a buzzed number, a line shaved into the front, and a lower grade on the sides. It’s no secret that his hair isn’t as thick as it was in his 20s, but note all of the styles he has showcased above (after this buzzed photo), and see how good his hair still looks in each, in addition to when it’s clipped down and putting everything in the spotlight.
(And note the weighted, contrasted facial hair, yet again.)
New thadi style 2016
5. Consider going clean
David M. Benett/Getty Images
Quite simply, this tip is to sometimes shave. Revolutionary, I know. You don’t need to shave it fully, either: Here, at a party for Saving Mr. Banks in 2013, Hardy wears his whiskers slightly heavier on the lip and chin, and barely there on the chin. It's another exercise in contrasts, albeit on a lesser scale—but it’s every bit as A-list as the rest of his looks.
Note his relaxed hairstyle, too, probably just air dried with some lightweight styling cream (like Fellow Barber’s ).