FOR most of Hongkong's high-flying young businessmen, a short, back and sides at the local hairdresser is not in keeping with their desired image. But trend-setting lawyers, bankers and accountants usually conform with the more conservative wishes of their employers . . . until now. With the help of gels, the territory's suits are sporting suitable crops for work before letting their hair down at night. According to top stylist Mr Andros Panayiotou, of La Coupe salons, the new look is a cut above the rest. ''People in business can't afford to be too off-the-wall with their styles,'' he said. ''But this new style is very versatile; very refreshing.'' The slick-back-at-work, let-down-at-night look comes courtesy of Gianni Versace. A series of Versace advertisements show male models wearing their hair at varying lengths but all with the same ''image''. Mr Panayiotou has dubbed the look ''Versace boys''. ''It first appeared last year and is very popular here,'' he said. The clean cut was most successful when kept in place with special cosmetic gel. La Coupe used a new range of spray gels by American firm Nexxus. Mr Panayiotou said a 225 ml bottle of the designer spray cost $95. ''This gel is a lot better than the pump version,'' he said. ''It has a non-sticky formula and there's no flakiness.'' The latest cut is trendy with men between their late teens and late 20s. But the top stylist claimed men of all ages were taking a far closer look at how they cared for their hair. Miss Liz Emin, a stylist at Central's Crystal Cut salon, said: ''Men are more fussy than females about their hair. All the major cosmetic firms have responded by producing ranges of hair products specifically for men. One of the more popular brands, Clinique, has a series of products designed to keep men's hair healthier. Miss Jojo Ho, trainee manager with Clinique, said most people in Hongkong now used shampoos. ''But there is still a long way to go to educate men on other aspects of hair care,'' she said. ''I think they spend more on caring for their face than their hair.'' Clinique's Special Help Shampoo helped reduce dandruff by controlling ''excess cell turnover that causes flakes to form and fall''. A bottle costs about $105, $10 more than the Hair Programmer Lotion, an oil-free liquid gel. But despite the wide selection, Mr Panayiotou said a man's priority was still to find a good shampoo for his type of lifestyle and hair. ''Men often wash their hair a couple of times a day,'' he said. ''For that reason, the right mild shampoo is very important. ''We will advise a man on what kind of product he should use, depending on his type of hair. ''I would say eight out of 10 of our clients leave with a package of shampoos.''