How to Get Aaron Paul’s Hairstyle

Paul wears coat by Mr P; jeans by The Workers Club Denim; boots by Kenneth Cole
Eric Ray Davidson for Men's Journal

Aaron Paul’s hairstyle is our next look for 2020. The actor encapsulates everything that is cool, so mirroring his buzz cut’s a no-brainer?

For our first cover story of 2020, we pulled Paul from his busy promotion circuit. The Breaking Bad actor was fresh off the release of the iconic show’s spinoff film, El Camino, on Netflix; AppleTV’s true crime Truth Be Told; and lest we forget Season 3 of HBO’s Westworld, premiering this year.

While the world recognizes Paul as rough and tumbled on television, he’s also quick to clean up for the red carpet—and looked no less polished for our cover. To feed your curiosity on how to replicate his weighted facial hair and maintain a similar taut buzz, we spoke with barber Toastie Styles of Johnny’s Chop Shop Barbers in Brooklyn. Here’s her advice on how to keep an A-List hair regimen, and to stay as cleaned up as Paul when the TV lights dim.

How to Get Aaron Paul’s Hairstyle: About the Buzz

If you want to replicate Paul’s buzz, then Styles says to ask for a 0.5 fade with grades 1 and 2—with a grade 2 up top. (Your barber will process that information with ease.) However, she says that the “grades” you get will depend on your face and head shape. “Sometimes lining up the front of the hairline can create a smarter look,” she says. “Shorter styles like this tend to flatter this kind of hairline, especially when coupled with facial hair, like Aaron.”

Paul wears jacket by Ermenegildo Zewgna; turtleneck by Mr P; jeans by Levis; boots by Kenneth Cole
Paul wears jacket by Ermenegildo Zewgna; turtleneck by Mr P; jeans by Levis; boots by Kenneth Cole Eric Ray Davidson for Men's Journal

Maintaining the Short Cut

Styles says to visit the barber for a touch-up every 2 weeks if you want to preserve the freshness of this cut. “We have guys who come to Johnny’s Chop Shop every 2- 3 weeks to make sure their style stays slick and smart. However, this will depend on hair type and how quickly the hair grows.”

How to Keep It Polished

While most short styles like this free you from using stylers, sometimes a little product will give you a terrific finish. This can mean adding a pinch of texture, or taming the corners from poofing out once it’s grown out a week or two. Johnny’s Chop Shop clay is one good pick for a more matte, taut finish, while their fiber will give you extra texture and definition.

Why a Buzz Necessitates Facial Hair

Even if you get the cleanest, tightest buzzcut of all time, it always looks more enhanced with a pinch of facial hair down below. It’s a style that’s more or less an intentional lack of style, so a bit of beard and mustache can take it the extra mile. “The contrast of Aaron’s beard works well with this style, and with his outfit,” Styles says. “Altogether, you know he’s had a fresh cut and that’s something people will notice.”

How to Get the Facial Hair Style

Styles suggests doing a grade 1 on the sides and a grade 2 around the front. “This will make the facial hair around the mouth stand out, creating a goatee-style look,” she says. It’s a play of contrasts that creates a full beard look, with a pull-focus on one specific part.

You can try hundreds of variations of this, too, with a good trimmer. (Her device of choice is Wahl’s beard trimmer, by the way.)

Styles has another favorite trick when it comes to contrast play: Lining up the beard (by drawing clean, sharp edges), under the neck across the cheekbone. She likes Andis Slimline Pro Trimmer for this. “This always looks attractive with a tidy or even overtly textured haircut,” Styles adds. “Lining up the beard can also create extreme definition of the jawline and a more profound profile.”

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