Top men’s haircuts and hairstyles to update your look
Whether you are interested in updating your look or curious to learn more about men’s hairstyles, we dive into the most popular men's haircuts. Check out our guide on the 12 trendiest hairstyles - and how to get them yourself - that are taking the grooming industry by storm.
Top hair styles
Buzz Cut Styles
This famous men’s hairstyle, nicknamed the military cut, has been around for over 100 years, and is still extremely popular today. Extraordinarily simple, the buzz cut is exactly how it sounds - a short, buzzed haircut that is cut very close to the scalp. Find out how to give yourself a quick and simple buzz cut below.
How To Get It:
Buzz cuts are super easy to do yourself as they are entirely achieved by hair clippers. To start, make sure your hair is washed and dried as dirty or wet hair will not cut well with clippers. From there, we recommend using the barber’s rule of thumb: 6-4-2. This means using a 15mm/.59 in guard (typically a #6 guard) on the top of your hair, a 12mm/.47 in guard (typically a #4 guard) on the sides, and a 6mm/.24 in guard (typically a #2 guard) to trim the edges. Because buzz cut hair is defined by its sharp lines, be sure to trim the edges as precise as possible.
Crew Cut Styles
A subset of the buzz cut, the crew cut haircut was made popular by university rowing teams for its low maintenance and super short length, hence its pseudo name: The Ivy League. Men’s crew cuts are extremely simple cuts that are characterized by a fade from your forehead to the crown of your head (located where the top of the head begins to curve downward to the back of the head) with shorter sides. The longer hair on top can be styled into a slew of variations, such as a pompadour, bangs, spikes or side part, to name a few. Currently, these are the 5 most popular crew cut styles:
This style dons thicker sides so that the fade is less distinct.
The gentleman’s cut is all about the way it blends at the corners. It is most favored by men because of its suitability for almost all hairlines and textures.
The classic cut is defined as shorter hair on top with longer hair on the sides. It does not use a fading technique, which is why this is a good choice for the more conservative man.
The high and tight fade crew cut is exactly how it sounds: a super short fade that hugs the head and extends high into the crown on the head.
The side part cut is a classic crew cut with a side part built in for a more sophisticated look.
How To Get It:
To achieve a crew cut, begin by tapering the sides and back of your hair. To taper your hair, start by using the longest numbered guard and do one round of cutting on the sides and back of your hair. From there, switch to a 9mm/.35 in guard (typically a #3 guard) and repeat the same step but stopping an inch below the first pass. Lastly, switch to the shortest numbered guard and blend your hair, starting from the bottom upwards, to create contrast. You can leave the top of your hair as long or short as you want.
Fade Haircut Styles
Made popular in the 1940s and 50s by the US Military, the haircut fade has made a tremendous comeback in recent years as not only a new age style among the trend-forward crowd but also as a sophisticated haircut for the workplace. The fade style is a haircut in which the hair at the sides and back is cut as close as possible with clippers and "fades," or tapers, up into any length on top. While there are many renditions of the fade, these four are currently the most popular.
A taper fade is a small subtle fade that is the lowest and least harsh of all of the fade types. It is often worn to fade out a beard into the hairline or with longer hair on the sides.
The low fade haircut is a cut that begins at the skin and gradually fades into a longer hair length. The key in how to do a low fade is defining where you want the fade to begin. Start on a higher guard for the sides and top, going down on guards as you move towards the base of the neck.
With the mid-fade, the fade will start half way up the head, between one-third to two-thirds of the side of the head. This will often be just above eyebrow height and can frame the eyes nicely. It's also around the maximum height you want to go if you have a longer head, as a high fade can make the head appear even longer.
The high fade haircut will start anywhere in the final third or so of the head and is the harshest of the four fades. When worn high and tight the high fade can almost reach the crown before transitioning into longer lengths
How To Get It:
Because these men’s hairstyles fade are short haircuts, begin by trimming your hair with scissors. If your hair is already at the desired length, move onto the fading. As with the low fade hairstyle, the key to how to do a fade haircut is determining where you want the fade to start. From there, choose a guard size (we recommend starting on a lower guard and moving up, however if you are a beginner, you can do the reverse). Starting at the neck, gently sweep your hair clippers upwards. Be sure to work slowly and check layer lines so that they are even. After a few touch ups, style as you desire.
Undercut Haircut Styles
An undercut men’s haircut is a short to medium-length style in which the top contrasts with the sides. The hair is left long on the top, while the sides - and often the back - are buzzed short. This creates a distinction between the top and sides. The undercut is especially popular as it’s a timeless look that exudes class and sophistication. There are many variations of the undercut hairstyle but the main takeaway is: long top and buzzed sides. Men with diamond-shaped or square faces tend to look best with this type of hairstyle as it makes the face look less angular.
How To Get It:
There are no requirements for how short or long your hair must be in order to have an undercut hairstyle. Additionally, the sides can be buzzed as short as a 9mm/.35 in guard (typically a #3 guard) or as long as a 21mm/.82 in (typically a #10 guard). This makes it ideal for most because of its flexibility, easy maintenance and ability to personalize. Our tip: if your hair on top is 5 cm/2 in, a 12mm/.47 in guard (typically a #4 guard) on the sides works best. However, if your hair on top is 12-15 cm/5-6 in, then a 24mm/.94 in (typically a #12 guard) would be best.
Styling is pretty simple with the undercut hairstyle. A good quality pomade is in order and it’s best on damp, towel-dried hair. Rub the pomade in your hands and run them through your hair, styling it how you desire.
Taper Haircut Style
The tapered cut, also known as the businessman, may be the most confusing of all the hair styles. Contrary to the belief that it is synonymous with a fade, a tapered haircut shortens the length of the hair roughly a centimeter above the ear and around to the nape of your neck, while a fade haircut shortens the back and sides from the temple downwards, to a length anywhere below a 6mm/.24 in guard setting (typically a #2 guard). The tapered haircut has clean lines that follows the shape of the head and works with any type of hair, especially wavy or thick hair, as it helps to remove weight.
How To Get It:
To get the classic taper haircut, first decide how long you want your hair and where you want the taper to end. From there, choose the longest hair clipper guard. The clipper setting can be as short as a 6mm/.24 in guard (typically a #2 guard) or as long as a 18mm/.70 in (typically a #8 guard), depending on your preference. Starting at the ears, run your hair clippers all the way around your head to achieve the first level of the fade. Switch the hair clipper guard to the next shortest length and repeat the same process below the next level. Do this 1-2 more times, continuously decreasing your guard number, until you are at the nape of the neck. Be sure your hair is blended appropriately so that you can see the taper.
Side Part Men’s Haircut Style
Just as the name implies, this hairstyle is a clean, short haircut with a distinctive side part. This is considered the ultimate gentleman’s haircut for its span over the time and its traditional, classic look.
How To Get It:
The rule of thumb to get this look is to have your hair grown out about 5-10 cm/2-4 in. You do not need to cut your hair, unless it is significantly longer than 10 cm/4 in as this look relies heavily upon clipping. You should clip the sides with your hair clipper using a guard between 9mm/.35 in guard (typically a #3 guard) and 15mm/.59 in guard (typically a #6 guard). You will want to make sure that you taper or fade the sides and neckline so that the cut gradually blends. You can also do a “hard part,” which is a shaved line that creates a clearly defined part. This makes the hairstyle more noticeable and contrasts the top with the sides.
So you’ve cut your hair into the side part fade. Now, how do you style? In order to style the side part haircut, you need a high quality pomade to hold the style in place. Apply the pomade to damp, towel dried hair. Next, find the point that you want the side part to start on - either on the left or right side of your head - and comb all the hair from that part over the other side. To get that slight pompadour look, comb the front part of your hair towards the back. Once all the hair is combed back, comb down the sides. Finish with a light touch of hairspray to hold the style in place.
Man Bun Hairstyles
One of the trendier long hairstyles that has seen a lot of popularity over the last few years is the man bun. Exactly as it sounds, this hairstyle features a ponytail or bunch of hair, bundled together somewhere on the crown. Here are a few ways to rock a man bun.
All hair is tied into one single bun that is situated at the crown of the head.
Uses only the hair on top of the head to create a mini bun that is situated at the crown of the head.
Similar to the full man bun with the exception that it is situated lower on the head.
A semi bun that is paired with an undercut fade in the back and on the sides of the head.
The pairing of a beard with any style of man bun.
How To Get It:
In order to get this look, you’ll need two things: hair ties and practice. If you don’t already have long hair, we recommend growing out your locks so they’re at least 15 cm/6 in long. That’s the minimum amount needed for a good man bun, otherwise you’ll have trouble tying up all your hair.
The first step to getting a man bun is to identify the spot where you’re going to form the man bun. For most man bun hairstyles, this is the crown of the head. Next, gather your hair up into a ponytail. While holding this hair together, pass the hair through the hair tie once with your free hand. On the second pass, stop halfway through to get a bun. Alternatively, you can pass the hair through the band twice and make the bun on the third pass if the hair tie is extra stretchy.
Pompadour Haircut Style
Named for Madame de Pompadour, a mistress of King Louis XV, the pompadour hairstyle is characterized as a sweeping of the hair away from the face in an upward motion that is worn high over the forehead. Pompadour hair has many adaptations that vary from 50s retro to modern contemporary. One of these variations that is currently on trend is the pompadour fade. This pompadour haircut is a classic take on the pompadour but with a varying side fade.
How To Get It:
To achieve this look, you first want to give yourself a fade (see Fade Haircut Style section on how to do this). After you have properly faded the back and sides of your head, move on to cutting the top portion of your hair. Once you have decided the length, grab sections of your hair through your index and middle fingers, stopping at that desired length. Using hair scissors, cut straight across using your fingers as a guide. Repeat until all sections are cut. Make sure that all sections have been evenly cut.
Debuting in the 1950s, the quiff haircut was the alter ego of the strict military buzz cut and the flat top haircuts of the 1940s. The quiff hairstyle became an instant badge of rebellion and confidence notoriously linked to rock-n-roll musicians (think Elvis) and fans, alike. So what is quiff hair? This men’s hairstyle is a hybrid of the pompadour and side part that features a short back and sides with longer hair on top that is swept upwards and backwards at the front. The main appeal of quiff hairstyles is that it is less structured and glossy than the pompadour with pieces of hair gently falling over the forehead.
How To Get It:
The quiff haircut is exactly like the pompadour with how it is styled as the main difference. Once you have followed the instructions above on how to get a pompadour haircut, start by blow drying your hair. With a comb or brush, pull your hair away from the roots to give it as much volume as possible. From there, warm a coin sized amount of pomade in your hands. Starting from the back of your head and moving forward, work the product into hair. Begin at your roots and work it through to the ends of your hair. Be sure to distribute the product evenly. Lastly, take a second pass with your blow dryer to give your hair more definition and volume. For an extra hold, mist with hairspray.
French Crop Haircut Style
A classic men’s haircut, the french crop hairstyle is a short fade or undercut with a long fringed top. The main benefit of the french crop haircut is its low maintenance (with touch ups required every 6-8 weeks). Additionally, styling a men’s french crop is super simple and varies from a light touch of hairspray to a dollop of pomade if you are looking for more structure. The most popular french crop hairstyle is the french crop fade. As the name implies, the french crop fade is a class french crop with a tight fade on the sides and back.
How To Get It:
Begin by tapering or fading the sides of your hair. You can find instructions on how to do this in the appropriate sections above. Once you have completed this, begin trimming the top portion of your hair. Grabbing the front section of your hair through your index and middle fingers and pulling it forward towards the forehead, lightly point cut* it (for more information on point cutting, please see graphic on Barber Terms). Because this style requires a “fringe,” this front section should be kept at a longer length than the rest of your hair. Continue the same process moving towards the back of the head until all hair is texturised.
Faux Hawk Haircut Style
A cross between a pompadour and a mohawk, the faux hawk hairstyle is defined as shaved sides with a strip of longer hair that is loosely styled in an inward, jutting forward motion. The faux hawk haircut is attributed to being more stylish than a pompadour, but subtle enough for a job interview or the boardroom when compared to a mohawk. While there is a good deal of variation, including the shaggy faux hawk and the bald faux hawk, the faux hawk fade is one of the more popular styles. With the faux hawk fade, also known as the short mohawk fade, it is all about the thickness of the sides being proportionate to the spiky top. Instead of a tight fade, the faux hawk fade is softer and blends in seamlessly with the large strip of hair on top.
How To Get It:
Start off by deciding the width of your faux hawk on clean, dry hair. Usually, this is measured from one outer eye to the other, however if you would like it to be a smaller width, you can do center eye to center eye. From there, use a comb to section your hair into 3 parts. To do this, move from the front of your hairline to the nape of your neck on both sides of your head, making a C-shape. The section starting points are the same as the width start and end points. Depending on whether you decided to fade or taper your sides, begin cutting both sides of your hair in your preference. For how to give yourself a fade or taper haircut, please see appropriate section above. Once this is completed, begin trimming the middle section. Starting at the nape of your neck and moving upwards, grab sections of your hair through your index and middle fingers. Using hair scissors, cut straight across using your fingers as a guide. Repeat process until all hair is trimmed. Make sure that you know how to cut your hair, evenly.
Mohawk Haircut Styles
The mohawk hairstyle is a men’s haircut that is defined by shaven sides with a longer strip of hair on top. This edgy and uber modern hairstyle originated from the Native American Mohawk tribe, and used during World War II among the American airforce as a sign of strength. There are two main variations of the mohawk hairstyle:
The shorter style is considered to be the classic version but with a shorter cut on top. It is usually styled by spiking the sides of the hair inwards.
The mohawk fade is a haircut that is slightly less dramatic than the classic with buzzed, tapered sides and a middle strip of long hair.
How To Get It:
Similar to the faux hawk haircut, the mohawk hairstyle requires you to completely shave the sides of your head and leave the top long. To shave the sides, use the lowest numbered guard on your hair clipper. Depending on how fast your hair grows, you may need to routinely trim your hair so that you can properly style it in spikes.
Barber terms you should know
a piece of hair that grows in a different direction from the rest your hair and is difficult to comb flat.
Crown of the Head:
the area at the upper back of the skull, where the top of the head begins to curve downward to the back of the head.
parts of a hair clipper that are numbered from 1-16 and will determine the length of the hair.
space between your hairline and your ears.
the trimming of the end of your hair with a razor instead of scissors.
a hair cutting technique in which the point of the scissors is used to “cut” the hair. Point cutting is not used to remove hair but to soften the ends of the hair and add more texture.
the trimming of your hair at different lengths so that it appears fuller
the trimming of some hair short while leaving other parts long.
a straight line cut across the natural neckline.
a blocked nape but with rounded corners.
a cut where your hair gets gradually shorter towards the neckline.