And taking this one step further, it would be nice to have a product for casual outings where I could comb my hair back without necessarily having a 'slick back' look. This seems a far greater challenge.
Thks in advance for sharing
I haven't had really long hair in years, but when I did, I was never that great at making it look "good". Sometimes it would, but other times it just looked bad.
However, now I alternate between short and medium length between haircuts. I wish I knew what I do now when I actually had long hair to work with.
I don't know what you mean by down to your chin, if you mean the back of your hair hits chin level I think I have that right now, but if you mean you can pull your hair forward so its your chin because it's so long it actually falls (woman level long hair), I haven't had that in a while.
Assuming you are like me and have wavy brown hair that can look dried out and staticky/limp on some days or uncontrolled and heavy and misshapen on other days, the following have helped me:
First of all don't shampoo every day. Just rinse your hair with water in the shower. When you do shampoo, you should find one that works for you, but shampooing every day and putting product in my hair every day was terrible. Without product, it was dried out and dull looking. With product, if I was having a bad hair day it just looked glued down.
Next, switch to some mouse. I have some Redken Volumizing mousse. It's medium control which means its not firm but it adds body and can be reshapen. I used to use American Crew fiber, but that would too often do the glued-down thing. You might think "why would I need to add volume if I have big hair" but assuming you're like me, the volume thing just means that this is a hair control product that doesn't really take away volume. I don't look like I do when my hair is uncontrolled and I don't like I glued my hair to my scalp either.
When using the mousse, it's probably best if you brush your hair the way you like (using a good hairbrush) and blow dry. I tend to forgo blowdrying these days, but without blowdrying the mousse may have a bit more of that sticky look and feel at first before drying out on it's own.
So now, basically, I shampoo my hair less frequently and only apply product after shampooing. Usually day 2 or 3 after not shampooing looks the best, then it starts to go downhill and you shampoo again. I never feel like I have dried out hair or glued down hair anymore.
Furthermore, I think mousse was big in the 80s and what those guys were probably using in the movies you mention. If you want a slicked back look but not the greasy shiny glued down type, but more of a Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman type, mousse is a good option IMO.
I have pretty thick hair as well and it goes down to about the top of my mouth. I use Hanz De Fuko quicksand and claymation and they work incredibly well. Very, very high hold and matte finish without making my hair look greasy. It doesn't make your hair firm either. I wear my hair as a sort of undercut/pompadour mashup, but I'd imagine you being able to slick it back with claymation just as easily.