Q: I need a heavy metal hairstyle for a school play. What does a heavy metal hairstyle look like? I'm a boy with almost shoulder length hair. Is this enough length for heavy metal hairstyles or will I need a wig?
A: When most people think “Heavy Metal” hair style, they think of the big hair bands of the 80’s and early 90’s. Since you are looking for this style for a school play, the specific period of the play is important.
The time period of the play’s setting may have some bearing on the final choice.
But let’s assume for argument’s sake that we are talking about the traditional “Heavy Metal” era. Shoulder-length hair is almost a minimum requirement. The typical traits of
“Heavy Metal” hair are a layered cut and high-volume styling. The shag cut is a good choice, since it uses a stationary guide by simply lifting the hair to the vertical and cutting it at a predetermined length.
This will provide you with even layers along the sides and crown area and will help distribute the volume evenly when styling the hair. If your shoulder-length hair is blunt cut, you may find yourself fighting the
pyramid-effect as you try to volumize the style.
Once cut, you need to decide what kind of volume you want. There is the tight-curled “Fro” look where the hair is curled on small tools and puffed out into a full-volume look.
The size of the “small” tools can vary and be as tight as you like, or can shift to the slightly larger range with more curl than frizz. This tight curl look was popular with rockers like Slash from Guns’N’Roses,
and Paul Stanley of KISS.
As a second choice, you can use larger rollers to create softer wave, creating a voluminous, wavy mane of hair. The hair is then combed out and teased a bit to keep the volume
high, but creates a softer look. Whitesnake’s David Coverdale, and Bon Jovi’s Jon Bon Jovi both sported the softer mane of metal hair.
These curled looks are crafted from similar methods with the prime difference being the size of the tools used. For a long-lasting style, apply styling gel to towel-dried hair
and work it through from scalp to ends. Wrap the damp, gelled hair around the tools you desire to use, then allow the hair to dry naturally, or use a hooded dryer.
If you have time considerations be sure to use the dryer. Do not overload the tools, as this will mean the hair takes longer to dry and may not dry fully on the inside of the curl. A roller set like this can take about two hours to execute and dry fully. If
you don’t have that kind of time, enlist a friend’s help and use a curling iron. Gel the damp hair as previously stated, and blow dry the hair completely dry. Use the curling iron to create a head full of curls,
and allow them to cool. Mist them with hairspray and allow it to dry completely, then pick out the curls with a wide comb or your fingers and shake the hair to loosen the look and fluff it fully.
Finally, you can go for an edgier look, and keep the hair straighter. Apply the gel to the damp hair, and bend over and blow-dry your hair with your head inverted. The goal here
is to create as much volume as you can and still allow the hair to remain straighter. Use a misting of hairspray to reinforce the hair’s stability, and if desired use a flat iron to create sharper finishes to the
ends of the hair. The “straight” look is generally accompanied by bold colors and you can use a temporary color spray to jazz up the look. (A metallic spray over the ends of dark hair can give a really edgy effect.)
The straight metal look was sported by Jeff LaBar of Cinderella and C.C. DeVille of Poison.
If you are concerned about the amount of time to create these looks, you may want to use a wig instead. Since the wig can be removed and stored to preserve the style between shows.