How to Get Mark Wahlberg’s Clean-Cut Hairstyle

Mark Wahlberg — Men's Journal December 2019 cover shoot
The Riker brothers for Men's Journal


We follow Mark Wahlberg’s intense fitness regimen closely. The guy is continually more and more shredded—eat your heart out, 1992 Calvin Klein underwear ad—and is currently staying in tip-top shape for upcoming features like Infinite and The Six Billion Dollar Man. Now you might not be able to keep up with his training (understandable), but that’s not to say you can’t emulate Wahlberg’s hairstyle.

Wahlberg’s maintained the same trim, clean-cut style over the years. It was on full display in our December 2019 cover shoot, so we wanted to see how our readers (and selfishly, how a few of us editors) can get it for themselves. Bonus: We even got some tips on pulling off the chin-weighted stubble he so effortlessly rocks.

Here are the tips (and the kind of hair) you need to get Wahlberg’s hairstyle, with expertise from Ryan Gonzalez, founder of Church Barbershop in San Francisco, along with the hair and skincare products you’ll need to pull it off.

Mark Wahlberg
The Riker brothers for Men’s Journal

What Kind of Hair Mark Wahlberg’s Hairstyle Requires

Gonzalez says that guys with straight hair and medium density will best achieve this natural swept-over style. Anything too thin will teeter into a dangerous comb-over territory, and anything too thick, wavy, or textured will struggle to have the same effortless order. However, guys with receding hairlines can still pull it off. Gonzalez advises leaving a little more hair at the top front to lay down over the recession.

What to Tell Your Barber

“Tell the barber you want a basic square haircut, finger length on the back and sides,” Gonzalez says. “The top is about two inches and should be cut square. Make sure the barber point-cuts throughout the top to add texture for a more natural look.” This will also help the hair lay down better—and will give you texture, separation, and lift that’s otherwise difficult when your hair grows out uniformly.

Plan on visiting the barber once a month to maintain this style, says Gonzales. “Once the hair starts to grow over the ears, it’s time to come in for a trim.”

How to Style It

To style, have a blow dryer and a vent brush handy (that is, a brush that allows airflow through the middle of its head, instead of a solid one). Comb the hair straight back, until it is completely dry. Then warm up a dime-size amount of clay styler product in your palms (we like Church’s Volcanic Clay Pomade). Once the clay product is evenly distributed across your palms, apply it lightly to the top of your fully dried hair, then comb your hair over as desired. You can also use your hands for a more natural, piecey look.

If you’re working with receding or thinner hair, Gonzalez suggests using a cream-based styler instead. We also like Church’s Coastal Cream Pomade for this, since it incorporates light amounts of bentonite clay to give you both hold and volume, without weighing thin hair down.

How to Get Wahlberg’s Scruff

We can’t ignore the fact that Wahlberg has some A-list facia hair as well, and this shadowy under-chin scruff is something we see more and more guys sporting. “A natural scruff like this helps frame the face and provides a clear visual separation from the face and neck,” Gonzalez notes. “The key to a good, natural scruff is a square shape around the edges, which is groomed down and maintained with a basic men’s hair trimmer at a #1 clip.” He says to ask your barber for specific, tailored insight, too. They can assess the facial hair you’re working with, and can advise on what works best for you.

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