So, we've found our new hair spirit-guides for the perfect, surfer-blond, shoulder-length, middle-parted hair: Hanson. And we're not alone. "So many downtown NYC girls come in begging for it that I want to put it on the service menu: ‘Childhood Hanson Highlights,’" says the hairstylist Michael Angelo, a man who knows a thing or two about blondes (he's tended to everyone from Carmen Kass to Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy). Why Hanson, and why now?
Young Hanson, Color: “Their hair represents literally every single request that I get regarding hair color. Clearly, everyone wants to look like a nine-year-old boy," says Angelo. "It’s a bit ombré, but in a way that looks natural, not in a way that’s like, ‘I went to the salon and bought me an ombré.’ The highlights are beachy and the base color is untouched. There’s no scary, orangey glow—it’s neutral and sandy, and not very ash. Hanson’s highlights look believable because they’re a result of being outside, playing at the beach, and being a kid. If you're going to your colorist, I would ask for natural, subtle 'wheaty' highlights. I'd also play it safe and bring a photo off your bedroom wall of your fave Hanson."
Young Hanson, Texture: “They were probably just stinky little boys, and stinky little boys have dirty hair that looks like Bumble and bumble Surf Spray. To get that texture in a ‘clean’ way, try using texture spray and maybe the tiniest, tiniest bit of Shu Uemura Shape Paste. So much of the trick is to air dry—you can’t blow dry hair into that. But if your hair isn’t that texture naturally, you need to straighten it and then add a wave by splitting the hair into two sides, twisting it, and heating it up with a blow dryer. That way, it’s not so fresh-blown straight. Don’t get in there with a curling iron because it will look too ‘done.’”
Young Hanson, The Part: “One of their defining characteristics when they were younger was that strong middle part. For the average person, I think it’s less about face shape—there are so many ridiculous rules about what should and should not be done when it comes to beauty, but if your hair doesn’t easily fall into a middle part, don’t do it. You have to look at the way your hair grows. If it can naturally go into a middle part with no stress, then great, go for it. But you can easily recreate the young Hanson look with a side part.”
On Grown-Up Hanson: “After 30, I think men’s hair needs to be above the collar. Men’s hair changes from childhood to adulthood. It’s thinner. It’s a little bit crumblier. The hair’s just not as lush and beautiful, so maybe that’s the rule of thumb: when the texture starts shifting away from that more youthful quality, it’s time to trim. The Hanson brothers have done that.
The Best Hanson Is... "It’s interesting to see how the three of them have grown up into their own type. Zac is kind of the hottie: he’s long-haired, hunky, has dreamy eyes. He’s a little Joey Lawrence and a little Tarzan. It’s a little bit cheesy, it’s a little hunk-o-mania, but there’s something so sweet about it that he can pull off. Isaac has a sort of Justin Timberlake hairstyle; he’s such a Williamsburg hipster. It’s definitely not soft, touchable hair. There’s a lot of gel and product and separation—it’s sculpted. Taylor grew up into a sort of River Phoenix, maybe a little of Brad Pitt in his early years. I think Taylor’s a real rocker. He’s probably got the most punk in him. He’s so handsome. I just want to tell him to go search through Johnny Depp’s wardrobe for inspiration. Taylor is definitely the cool one.”
Some Closing Thoughts: “I feel like a creep, but I am obsessed with Hanson right now. They were the cutest kids and they had the most beautiful hair. Most people’s dream hair is the hair that they grew up with that their moms told them was perfect and gorgeous. They probably started messing around with their hair color in high school, but once they settle down as adults, they need something that looks pretty—that’s when they come calling for Hanson highlights! [Laughs]”
Our conclusion? The Hanson bros may have matured into babes, but it's their flaxen hair that we’re still pining after.