It might take an enormous amount of commitment to get Michael "The Situation" Sorrentino's abs, but if you want the "Jersey Shore" star's hairstyle, all it takes is $20 and a visit to the chair of Glen Cove barber Brian Basile.
Basile has cut Sorrentino's hair four times since September, visiting his hotel rooms in Melville, Riverhead and Manhattan to shave the signature shooting stars and graphic designs into the sides of Sorrentino's head.
When 12-year-old Gabriel Rivera of Ronkonkoma heard he could have the same designs done by the same stylist, he begged his godmother to drive him to Basile's barber shop, Strong Island Styles on Forest Avenue. "I was like, 'Oh my gosh, I'm getting a haircut from a famous barber,'" Gabriel says.
Up for 'Shore' thing
Gabriel's not the only young man on Long Island who wants to mimic the hard-drinking, hard-lifting, hardheaded star's look.
Patrick Kern and Brandon Aviles, both 13 and in the 7th grade in Glen Cove, recently sat in Basile's chair for the same cut.
Patrick says he loves Sorrentino's co-star Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi of "Jersey Shore" so much that he went to see her in person and brought her a jar of fat pickles from Costco, because pickles are one of her favorite foods. "She's the craziest," Patrick says. Snooki, of course, launched the "poof" trend in women's hairstyles.
So when Patrick found out he could get the look of Polizzi's male counterpart, he was ready and willing to get snipped. "It just feels like pushing," Patrick says of the feeling as Basile shaved the sides of his heads to a gradual mohawk, and then used tools including a straight-edged razor, to create the design.
Cut to 'Dance'
Basile says he connected with The Situation through Facebook. Basile and Sorrentino's brother have a mutual friend, and Basile has posted his hairstyling work on his Facebook page. The first time Basile cut Sorrentino's hair was before Sorrentino's premiere on ABC's "Dancing With The Stars."
Sorrentino's road manager and longtime friend Jon Manfre confirmed that Basile has cut Sorrentino's hair repeatedly. "He's got hands like lightning and skill like a ninja," Manfre says in a phone interview. (The Situation couldn't be reached because he's in Italy filming another season. "They're in blackout mode," says MTV spokeswoman Noelle Llewellyn. Brother Marc Sorrentino, chief executive of MPS Entertainment Co., which manages Michael's endorsements, says Michael would be flattered by the copycats.)
Basile, 28, a Glen Cove resident, gets paid far more than $20 when he does The Situation's hair, though he wouldn't disclose how much. "He is generous as hell," Basile says. "That's why I don't mind traveling to the city." Sorrentino reportedly has earned $5 million in the past year.
Fun with it
While some younger people might want to model the Situation's look, Jamie Mazzei, owner of NuBest Salon and Spa in Manhasset, says he doesn't see it becoming all the rage. "As far as it becoming a hot trend in hair, I don't think so," Mazzei says.
Patrick's mom, Kim Kern, a hairdresser herself, says she doesn't mind if her son adopts The Situation's look, as long as he doesn't take up the star's behavior. "He's a troublemaking little flappermouth who turns everyone against each other," Kern says of Sorrentino.
"That makes the show entertaining," says Brandon's mom, Sheena, in defense of Sorrentino.
Gabriel says his haircut has gotten him lots of attention from the girls at school, something that would probably please The Situation, who is constantly on the prowl. "Everybody was like, 'Whoa, where'd you get that haircut,'" Gabriel says. The girls, Gabriel says, asked him to shave their names into the sides of his head on his next visit to Basile.