'Parasite' Actor Choi Woo-Shik Has A Haircut That Transcends Language Barriers

Murray Clark
Photo credit: Valerie Macon - Getty Images

From Esquire

Parasite – the sleeper hit social satire that unexpectedly cleaned up at the Oscars – has taught us much. It's taught us to take notice. It's taught us that the West isn't the arbiter of Very Good Cinema. In many cases, it's actually taught us that perhaps we're better at making Very Bad Cinema.

Many lessons, then. But just as we've learnt a thing or about filmmaking, we've also been schooled in the art of red carpet grooming by way of Parasite's Choi Woo Shik: the cunning son in Bong Joon Ho's family parable. This is a head of soft power. These is the sort of Disney prince locks that launches a thousand fangirls. And most of all, this is a welcome change of pace to the ubiquitous Hollywood slick-side parter.

That means you should get it. Sooner rather than later, frankly, while your hair is still thick and your testosterone pumps like that of an ancient Athenian discus thrower. "This sort of style is best-suited to naturally full head, preferable with a wave," says Maxwell Oakley, barber at Ruffians Shoreditch. "But equally, it works on straighter hair, too."

Photo credit: Rich Polk - Getty Images

Just prepare to revisit the go-to favourite of your mother when you were straitjacketed into a barber's seat, aged six. Yes. An undercut. Though this time round, it's a little softer, a little floppier. "There's a disconnect happening, but a subtle one that removes bulk around the back and sides to prevent a bowl cut," says Oakley. You can breath a sigh of relief about that. "This undercut is tapered from the ear, up to the curvature of the head. The taper is very shallow, too. Then, the top is then point cut in a round layer on top, so the weight distributes evenly over the top of the head."

Sounds complex, but your barber will understand. And better, you can stand apart from the quiff and sweepback that has come to define every single man under the age of 30. This is a bit bouncier. A little more like the cool kid that gets IDed trying to get into bars in Dalston. But, with less gel and without camo trousers, there's a way to upgrade Choi Woo Shik's cut to a red carpet, Oscar-worthy level. "Go from pomp to beatnik easily. All you have to do is dry it flat, or push it back. That means you've room to experiment," says Oakley. It also means you've room to change it up should you have a sudden change of heart. The best haircuts, after all, don't lock you into a dramatic episode that takes two months to end.

Those theatrics are better left to South Korean auteurs. But for blockbuster lids, you can look to the very stars they direct.

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