Let's All Take a Moment to Appreciate Jake Gyllenhaal’s Hair Journey

By Adam Hurly
20 August 2018
Jake Gyllenhaal, Hair, Grooming
It is a thing of wonder.

What can we learn from Jake Gyllenhaal and his hair? So many things. Existential truths. Bits of universal wisdom. Like, for instance, the fact that every man exists somewhere on the spectrum from a short buzzcut to luscious flow. And the fact that Jake Gyllenhaal runs laps back and forth along that spectrum – looking mighty fine every step of the way.

Of late, yes, he's favored longer hair, which works well for oddball roles, like in Nightcrawler and Nocturnal Animals. But Gyllenhaal is a chameleon. Back in the Jarhead days he owned the high fade. Before that it was the creepy indoor-kid hair from the Donnie Darko era.

Every one of GQ's Grooming Idol has their particular strength: Some get wild with it, like Zayn Malk, or keep it subtle, like Idris Elba. Others, like Bradley Cooper, play around in a never-ending cycle of beard and hair combos, each one of which adds to the Grooming Canon.

Jake is in a category of his own – one that contains the entire spectrum of hair and beard styles. So let's take a moment to go back and appreciate his journey from clean cut to fully hirsute.

Jake Gyllenhaal

It’s hard to believe this was 13 years ago – right around the time Gyllenhaal was filming Jarhead – but his full head of hair and enviable hairline mean he can trim for luxury, not necessity. Here he’s got a classic fade, blended cleanly since the top is so short. (His thick hair will quickly grow unruly at the upper sides.) When your hair is this short, a little stubble looks great.

Jake Gyllenhaal

He’s buzzed the hair more recently, too: In 2011, while filming End of Watch, Gyllenhaal resembled his 2005 self. This is that rare look where all the hair on your head is basically the same length. (Jake making it look easy.)

Jake Gyllenhaal

Here's a recent resurrection of the vintage Donnie Darko / October Sky Jake we first met.

Jake Gyllenhaal

Lots of Gyllenhaal’s characters are fresh shaven, which is how you can tell if he’s in the middle of a shoot or just exercising his beard freedoms. Rarely, though, will you see him with an entirely fresh face – he’s the torchbearer of perma-stubble.