The Patrick Bateman Haircut

If there’s one movie synonymous with Wall Street, it’s probably American Psycho. That means if there’s one haircut synonymous with Wall Street, it’s probably Patrick Bateman’s haircut. The dude looks good, it’s just a fact. 

Slicked back Patrick Bateman Haircut in American Psycho

Christian Bale’s Haircut in American Psycho has really gained in popularity over the past couple years. My uneducated guess is that a bunch of people watched American Psycho for the first time over quarantine/lockdown and now want the haircut to match. 

Here’s a collection of ideas to help get you pointed in the right direction if you think this haircut will turn you into a Finance God and the next partner at Pierce & Pierce. Hopefully you can leave out the psycho killer part of the act.

Patrick Bateman's Pierce & Pierce business card

So What is the Patrick Bateman Haircut?

At it’s core, Bateman’s style is really just a slick back. There’s not a whole lot of nuance to the actual cut, with most of the uniqueness coming from the styling. That said, it’s crucial that you find an experienced barber (whether or not you want hair like this). Supercuts won’t cut it and you shouldn’t be cheaping out on arguably the most important aspect of how you look and feel every day. Also the most important aspect of any good Patrick Bateman costume.

Patrick Bateman Haircut in the office

How to Style it

  1. Wash your hair, either with both shampoo and conditioner or just conditioner. Note that you probably should not be shampooing every day. Doing so strips your hair of its natural oils and generally makes it harder to look your best. At the same time, don’t be dirty and get a good scrub a couple times a week.
  2. Immediately after the shower, brush and comb your hair back to get it into the slicked back shape. 
  3. Apply a clay product to your hair, making sure that you get it fully ingrained and not just wiped over the top. It’s helpful to get a large pea size amount of the product, rub it between your hands to get rid of any clumps, and then apply it by running both hands through your hair.
  4. Fully running it through the hair will really help bring out the ‘waviness’ of the style. With your hair still slightly wet it may feel as though this step does nothing, but that’s normal and part of the process. The product should target a ‘dry’ look rather than ‘wet’. Most products will provide some sort of scale or guidance on this aspect. If you have a trusted barber, which you really should make sure you do, they’re a great person to ask for specific product buying guidance.
  5. Next brush your hair back again and slightly off to each side, creating a part in the middle. Over time the part will become natural and will have a preferred side.
  6. Now you’ll need to blow dry the hair back. The trick here is to angle the blow dryer from the middle of your head point outward toward the side. Direct the hair from your part toward the side of your head, pushing it out and down. Do this on both sides, even if one side has less hair.
  7. When fully dried, brush the hair into the final position and add any remaining clay as needed. You can also add a sparing amount of hair spray if needed in critical areas, but err on the side of less additional product at this point.
  8. Keep tweaking it! You probably won’t get the optimal look on your first try, but just keep adjusting your angles and product. Then slap on your deal sleds and you’ll be looking like you close billion dollar transactions, and are definitely not a psycho killer.
Patrick Bateman's headphones

That’s It

This should be all you need to kick off your new Patrick Bateman haircut. It’ll take some time for you to feel out what works well with your own hair. Everyone is different and you’ll know your own style best. Also be sure to stay in communication with your barber. If you have any issues pulling together the look you can bring up concerns with your barber and adjust the cut accordingly. Again, critical to make sure you have someone good who actually knows what they’re doing.

With this fresh cut you’ll now be a true master of the universe, right up there with Wall Street’s finest. Remember this article when you make it to the cover of the Wall Street Journal or Financial Times. Just hope that you get there with some top investments or killer deal making, not because you became the next billion dollar rogue trader.

Sam Hillier

Sam Hillier is a reporter at Transacted covering private equity and investment banking. He previously spent time as an investment professional focused on direct buyouts, as well as an earlier strategic advisory stint.