How to Get Michael Strahan’s Sharp Hairstyle and Goatee

Michael Strahan October 2019 cover shoot
Michael Schwartz


Michael Strahan’s sharp hairstyle is equal parts stylish and functional. He needs something that always looks good because the man is always on. He films ABC’s Good Morning America and GMA3: Strahan, Sara, & Keke nearly daily, between dozens of other emcee gigs. He’s got to be camera-ready at the drop of a dime—clean and consistent with his look. For our October cover, he brought his classic line up hairstyle and goatee to set, freshly trimmed and cut. While it’s a straightforward look, it’s still worth noting how you can achieve the styles for yourself—in particular, the sharply carved-out goatee that can easily go awry.

For tips on Strahan’s sharp hairstyle and facial hair, we spoke with barber Andre Arceo of Blind Barber in New York City. Here is Arceo’s advice on how to have Strahan’s look for yourself.

 

 

Who Can Achieve Michael Strahan’s Sharp Hairstyle (and Who Can’t)

Strahan’s faded hairstyle isn’t for everyone. Arceo says guys with fine, light hair should avoid it. And, if you’re thinning or receding at the hairline, this style will not shy away from highlighting that. It shows everything—and if you’re fine with that, you’re good to go. He adds that the fade can easily blend into any scalp exposure: “The fade will be modified to shape and build the profile of the hair on the sides, in order to accentuate the hair on top,” he says.

Variations on the Cut

Because this is a common line up buzz cut, we’d encourage you to try some variations on it. This is easily achieved by altering the fade, says Arceo. Drake often wears a similar cut with a low fade, for example. “The modification of the low fade has the effect of frowning out and away from the hairline,” he says. “It creates more definition at the hairline and keeps the fade tighter and closer to the ears and nape.”

Length and Maintenance

Because this one is so close to the dome, you’ll want to freshen it up every week, three weeks at the very most, says Arceo. He posits that Strahan’s cut is roughly a 3.5 blade, shaved against the grain of his hair, then faded down into a 2 blade (with the grain this time). Arceo notes that this combination creates the smooth effect you see in Strahan’s hair, but also accentuates the natural waves.

No Styling Required…

There is no product needed here, says Arceo. He advises carrying a comb or wave brush everywhere, though, in case some flyaways stand out of order.

Strahan wears T-shirt by John Varvatos and watch by Robert Dubuis.
Michael Schwartz

How to Get the Goatee

Goatees are polarizing—but some guys, like Strahan or Brad Pitt, pull them off with aplomb. If you want to see how it looks on you, here are Arceo’s tips.

“First, take the goatee hair down to your desired length,” he says. “Usually I recommend a 1.5 blade to bring out the definition of the lines. Next, take care of the mustache and anything inside the goatee.” He says to always work on the inside of the goatee first before shaving anything around the perimeter. This allows you to maintain the rest of your facial hair (while bringing it to a uniform length), if you change your mind.

If you don’t naturally have the upper chin bare (as seen in the center of Strahan’s goatee), you can bring this down. It’s all personal preference. Arceo recommends trying it for yourself, to really showcase the geometry of the goatee. It can be harder to maintain, however, and may require a trimmer with a good spot-checking attachment (like the Philips Norelco Multigroom All-In-One Series 3000) to shear away hair without risk of shaving the goatee itself.

“Lastly, bring the lines inward from the mustache and goatee to achieve the desired thickness on the sides,” he says. By waiting until the end with this step, you’re able to bring in the goatee’s thickness as desired. You can shave the bare skin every day or two, then trim the goatee back down every week.

A Note on the Mustache

Arceo also recommends keeping the mustache slightly shorter than the rest of the goatee. Start with a 1 up there and the rest on 1.5, or keep it at a 1.5 while you leave the rest on 2. The reasoning here: “Mustache hair is often the densest part of facial hair,” Arceo says. “Taking it down shorter will make it look even to the rest of your facial hair.”

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