The Guy Who Styles Springsteen

Michael Acord, known to the grooming community simply as “Vaughn,” has styled the hair of Hollywood's and Washington’s elite. As the co-owner, artistic director, men’s grooming specialist, and editorial stylist for New York's mizu salon (check out some pics of the swanky design here), Vaughn has worked with plenty of paragons of graceful aging: Richard Gere, Michael J. Fox, Tom Brady, President Bill Clinton, Ashton Kutcher, Al Pacino, Lou Reed, and of course, Bruce Springsteen. We were lucky enough to chat with him about his favorite hair products, how regular guys can land great haircuts and the philosophy & approach to being the boss of The Boss’s hair. Here’s what he had to say.

An Image to Maintain

Guys that I work with—like Bruce, Robert Redford, Baryshnikov, Kravitz—they tend to want to look like themselves. These guys are very much in touch with who they are and my question to them is often, “How do you want to look for this?” In other words, I would never be putting a really hard side part into Bruce’s hair and slicking his hair down flat because it’s just not who he is. He’s got to maintain the image and persona that he’s created.

Hottest Stylers

For many years it was about a grease or wax pomade, or it was about a gel. Now it's about these micro-fibers that have memory, which means you can work them into the hair and give it a slick look, but then as you run your hands through your hair the rest of the day you don’t feel this product in there. They don't flake up and break away like gel does, and they don't stay greasy and sit heavy like the waxes and pomades do. It actually has a workable memory. Couple great examples are Magic move by Supremo, Bumble and Bumble, Sumo Tech, Rough Luxury by Oribe. All these products sort of fall under that line. That’s a real thing that a lot of guys are doing now.

How to Find a Good Barber

When you notice somebody that’s got a really cool, rockin’ haircut, ask him who does it. Don’t be afraid to say, “Dude, who cut your hair?” It could be a single mother working out of her home, or it could be somebody that’s working on Park Avenue. The other thing: There’s nothing wrong with a picture. Bring one to your barber and it gets right to the point of what you’re looking at. When somebody brings a photo in I get the feeling. I get the mood. I get the degree of shortness or length.

Easier than it Seems

You know, confidence is key. Sometimes less than more. My motto has been that the more guys scar and wrinkle and gray and get their hearts broken, the more interesting they are. That’s what makes a man a man.

Cutting Hair in the Oval Office

I remember being in the oval office, you know, doing Clinton, talking to him about Slobodan Milošević. It was at the end of his Presidency. Great guy. I remember getting in the cab and just kind of saying to myself, “I don’t know how I ended up here but…wow.” And I got on the runway coming back to New York but there was a guy that sat next to me on the shuttle and he had a monogrammed cuff on his jacket and his tie was perfect and everything was starched and he had a briefcase and just everything was like really done up. We were delayed due to weather and he sits back and goes, “So, are you going home or going to work?” and I just thought to myself, he would never believe this, so I just didn’t even bother to go there.

Find out more about Vaughn’s approach to hair and style in this video over at Oribe’s website.

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