George Clooney Cuts His Hair With a Flowbee. Should You?
George Clooney has always seemed like one of those low-maintenance A-List actors, you know? He’s the patron saint of a certain Hollywood cool-guy swagger that depends largely on a uniform; he’s never one to show up on the red carpet in some crazy outfit or over-the-top hair color. Honestly, not counting the epic beard he was sporting for the last few years, I can’t remember him with any haircut other than the one he has now (except, of course, for when he was on Roseanne).
If you’ve ever wondered how Clooney always looks so damn good and so damn the same, congratulations, today is your lucky day. In an interview with CBS This Morning, the actor revealed his greatest, and arguably most surprising, grooming secret. George Clooney—rich, famous, Oscar-winning George Clooney—cuts his own hair using the '80s infomercial staple Flowbee. It’s a fitting bombshell for the year 2020, in which we all became DIY cutters in our own rights. Who knew that Clooney was an early adopter of the quarantine cut?
For the uninitiated, the Flowbee sounds like something you’d see on an SNL sketch, but it is 100 percent real. It’s a kind of shop-vac-meets-clipper in which your hair is sucked into a tube and cut at your (its?) desired length. If it sounds simple, it is, according to Clooney. “My haircuts take literally two minutes,” he raved to CBS’s Tracy Smith after admitting he’s been cutting his own hair, presumably with said Flowbee, for 25 years.
According to the Flowbee infomercial, “proper suction is the key to getting great looking haircuts with no cleanup”—a secret barbers won’t tell you, but apparently George Clooney will. If you’re hoping to snag one of your own, however, I have some bad news: Even though Google searches for Flowbee skyrocketed the day after Clooney’s interview and the Flowbee website crashed, they’re conspicuously out of stock with no indication whether they’re still actually in production (or maybe they’re just sold out due to the pandemic).
But if you could get your hands on a Flowbee, should you use it? You actually could do worse, says barber Doug Paster, especially “if you’re trying to preserve length.” Paster has never used a Flowbee himself, but he notes that it seems to mimic the way a professional stylist elevates sections of your hair with their fingers and cuts them—which is hard to do on yourself. In that case, a Flowbee could have a leg up on your traditional clipper if you’re going for something other than a buzz or a fade. However, getting layers or gradations may be tricky with a Flowbee. “If you just rest it on your skull and suck uniformly all around, you’ll wind up with a single-length crop where the hair is the same length everywhere,” like a Clooney cut.
“I think I would condone the use of a Flowbee actually,” Paster told me—shockingly. “With my guidance, if a client had access to a Flowbee, I bet we could achieve a decent result.” And that’s the keyword: guidance. As many of us learned this year, cutting your own hair is way more complicated than powering on the clippers (or the vacuum). It takes skill, and if you’re going to do it, it’s best to ask for a professional’s help at first. With practice, perhaps we can all achieve a Clooney-level Flowbro cut, but before you Flow on your own, get a barber to show you how it’s done. That is, if you can get your hands on one.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.com. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.