If you've seen any pics of Jake Gyllenhaal lately, you'll notice he's rocking a long-haired, slicked-back hairstyle that looks superbly groomed but not overly so. If you're keen to pay homage to this aesthetic - by which we mean, blatantly ripping it off - you'll need two things. The first is medium length hair up to which is long enough to be swept up and over, with a bit of length on the back and sides. Ask your stylist to blend it all in as much as poss.

So slick: why this men's hair product is making a comeback

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The second must-have is gel. Yes, you read that correctly. I can hear your heart racing from this side of your screen so let's get one thing clear. The modern gels are not those gloopy tubs of petro-chemical sludge that your dad used by the handful while romancing your mum when Madonna was still taken seriously.

While still offering the level of hold required to keep this look in place all day (or night) long, the modern formulations have evolved to a stage where they look and move fairly naturally. They are still a bit brittle to touch, but at least if you do want to run your hair through them you won't be stuck there days later.

There are two which are catching our eye right now. The first is from famed New York apothecary Malin + Goetz Firm Hold Gel, $22, from meccacosmetica.com.au. Lots of stuff to like here: the alcohol-free formula means no scalp irritation or flaking, there's no product build-up and Vitamin E protects the hair from external stressors.

So slick: why this men's hair product is making a comeback

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Another brand turning heads is Hanz De Fuko, the choice of one David Beckham. The Gel Triq, $27.93, from hanzdefuko.com, won't flake and delivers so much shine your mates might need their sunglasses.

Whichever you choose, there is something about the application you need to remember. Comb or brush it in and you will look like some background muscle in a straight-to-dvd action movie. What you want is to rake in a small amount - those keywords again rake and small - with your widely spaced fingers. Start at the front of your hairline and go all  the back to the base of the neck to ensure even distribution. Slick!

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