Girlie magazines have all but disappeared from the barbershop these days—and it looks like the old copies of Esquire and GQ could be on their way out, too. This morning, the New York Times reported on a batch of new men’s grooming apps that do for gents what try-on-a-hairdo programs have been doing for the ladies for years now. Both Hairstyle Salon (free) and Men’s Hairstyles (99 cents) let you upload a picture of yourself, select from a menu of dozens of hairstyles, and instantly picture yourself with, say, a pompadour. You can share the image with friends—or your barber.
The notion was not alien to me, since I once worked at an office where the entire staff tried on Snooki hair online, but would I really consider a new hairstyle based on a digitally altered picture on my iPhone? The apps are fun to use—I took a picture of me in kindergarten, added Mitt Romney hair, and pictured what it would be like to actually grow up to be president—but fairly useless. At this size, and from just one angle, you tend to end up looking like your chosen hairstyle has been tossed at you from across the room.
In comparison, grabbing a dog-eared Rolling Stone at the barbershop and modeling your look on a shot of Steve McQueen in his race-car-driving prime is a glorious stab at self-determination, even if it’s also (harmless) self-deception. While the man with the clippers is giving you he same old “short on the sides, longer on top,” you’re drifting away to a place of cocktails and sunshine.
Daily Beauty Reporter: Allure Man: Who’s Afraid of a Pedicure?
Daily Beauty Reporter: Allure Man Triumphs Over Uni-Brow
Daily Beauty Reporter: Justin Bieber and 6 Percent of Other Dudes Color Their Hair