Our January cover star frequently changes his appearance. Justin Theroux routinely teeters between clean-shaven and bearded, as well as slicked back and intentionally disheveled—with a few bestubbled and tousled stops along the way.
Of all his looks, we know Theroux best for his textured, mussed hair, paired with a neatly manicured beard, full as it can be (as seen in our photo shoot with the actor and screenwriter). There’s toughness to this combo, and versatility. You could mimic it for the office without having to restyle for happy hour. You could match it with a leather jacket for a night out, or a wool blazer for brunch with the in-laws.
If you’re looking to flatter Theroux and mimic the look—and why wouldn’t you?—here’s some advice on how to do it best. All expertise comes from LA-based celebrity groomer Marissa Machado, whose clients include Nick and Joe Jonas, Rami Malek, Liam Payne, and more.
The kind of hair it requires
“This hairstyle works best on fine, straighter hair,” says Machado. “Straight, weightless hair is more likely to stay standing up (with the product you apply). A heavier head of hair would wilt over.”
If your hair is wavy or curly, however, fret not: Machado says you could quickly straighten it with a flat iron in order to replicate Theroux. (Try Sedu Revolution Styling Iron.) It’s also suitable if your hair is thinning, since it errs on the side of disheveled and “imperfect”.
“You can use the sides of your hair to push forward, therefore masking a receding hair line,” Machado says. “Plus, thinner hair is usually weightless, which will hold up easily [with the styling product].”
Should you use a barber or stylist?
Machado says you can visit either the barber or a stylist for this cut, since it’s halfway between the two spectrums. She just warns that you need to use scissors all around—even on the tighter sides—so don’t let your barber click on their clippers unless it’s to clean up your neckline.
How much they cut will be determined by how much hair you have. You should get some texture cut into the top, which will be significantly longer than the sides. It’s easily replicated on shorter hair too, though you won’t get as much vertical unless the top is a couple inches long, or more.
How to style it
First, Machado says to spray some styling tonic (try V76 by Vaughn Tonic Hair & Scalp) or sea salt spray (try Sachajuan Ocean Mist Spray) into clean, towel-dried (but lightly wet) hair. This will assist with the volume, and make the hair more receptive to the next product you apply.
“Next, blow dry using your fingers for a rough, choppy finish. Make sure to dry the hairs atop the head in an upward direction, using your hand to push the sides forward.” This can cover some of your hair recession. (We like Conair 1875-Watt Pro Styler.)
Dry with the cannon in a forward direction, not blowing from the sides, Machado adds. After it’s dry and in place, grab some matte pomade (like Byrd Matte Pomade). A penny-sized amount should suffice.
“Make sure to get it into the root and evenly around,” Machado says. “Use your hands to perfect the shape. Once you’ve done that, lock it in place with a light setting spray.”
The spray won’t make hair brittle and hard, but it will preserve your style for the day.
How to maintain the beard
“Keeping a beard this length—clean but burly—is actually more work than it looks like,” Machado warns.
It’s manageable, even though you’ll need to trim it every two days, on average.
First: “Always keep your face clean above the beard line, using a regular shaving razor (such as Harry’s The Winston) or even a straight blade (like Baxter of California Blue Steel “Not a Replica” Straight Razor) at the barbershop,” she says. “This also goes for your neckline.”
As for preserving the beard shape, Machado recommends combing it into place, then using a standard beard trimmer (try Wahl Beard Cord / Cordless Rechargeable Trimmer) to graze any stray hairs. You can also employ some small, precise facial hair scissors (like Tweezerman Stainless Steel Moustache Scissors) for the task. She then advises using beard oil (like Old Spice Beard Oil) to keep your whiskers hydrated, soft, and with a healthy dose of shine.