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Coco Chanel once said, “A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life.” While that might be a tad embellished—Southern women do love a little hyperbolic flair—our hair has the power to make a statement, set the tone, or give a pop of confidence on any day. With trendy pixies, crops, and bobs aplenty, 2018 is absolutely teeming with gorgeous short hair inspiration already. Southern women know when it’s time to make the chop, whether because the temperature is creeping up or our hair is weighing down; and we’re seeing some short cuts that make us want to jump on board faster than greased lightning. From tousled and textured to sleek and smooth, these short hairstyles cover every length, texture, and personal preference you could have in mind. These hairstyles might be short on length, but they’re certainly not short on style. To help you find the perfect inspiration to bring for your next salon visit, here is the best short hair of 2020 so far.
short style haircuts for guys
Short Style Haircuts
Short haircuts and hairstyles have been the traditional look for guys. This is because cool short haircuts for men are stylish yet easy to manage and quick to style. Nevertheless, even with short hair on the sides and top, guys have a lot of trendy, modern men’s haircuts to choose from. Here are the best short hairstyles for men to get in 2020.
From very short haircuts like the buzz cut to popular short hairstyles like the crew cut, crop top, fringe, quiff, comb over fade, faux hawk, slicked back undercut, and side part, there are a number of ways to style short hair. Check out these good short haircuts for guys to find awesome cuts and styles for you.
Cool Short Hairstyles For Men
If you’re looking for more than the usual buzz or crew cut and want the best men’s short haircuts, you’ll want to check out our collection of popular hairstyles for short hair men. Whether you have thick, thin, wavy or curly hair, there are new short haircut styles for every guy!
For example, the crew cut and buzz cut are always favorites because of their really short sides and top. But if you want more variety than just very short hairstyles, guys can opt for a fade or undercut on the sides with some unique styling on top, including the short hair textured crop, comb over, spikes, and side part.
The best thing about the fade haircut is that there are so many types – taper, low, mid, high, skin or bald, drop, burst, etc. Ultimately, undercuts, tapers and fades are the basis for most of the best short haircut styles for men, especially ones part of the latest short sides, longer hair on top trend.
Then the next decision you would need to make is how you want to style the hair on top of your head, and this is where the awesome short hairstyles below come in handy.
With so many ways to style short hair for guys, it can be challenging to pick just one nice look. Fortunately, all of these cuts and styles are versatile, and can be worn with thick, thin, wavy and curly hair.
Short fade haircuts for men offer the best base for any length hair. By fading the hair on the sides very short with a high skin fade or mid bald fade, guys are able to increase contrast and maximize the difference in lengths between the top, back and sides. Some men getting buzz cuts may even want to ask their barbers to shave the hair on the sides.
The end result is a short haircut on top with a fade on the sides that complements the finished look. With so many different types of taper fades, including the low, mid, high, bald, razor and drop, there is a fresh cut for your personal style.
The undercut is the other popular way to cut short hair on the sides. Modern and stylish, men’s undercut hairstyles are often some of the hottest styles in barbershops today. Unlike fade cuts, the undercut haircut is all one-length. Starting very high on the sides and back, you’ll notice a distinct and definite difference in hair lengths. For this reason, barbers like to call these cuts disconnected hairstyles as well.
The best short haircuts to combine with an undercut include the slick back, comb over, pompadour, faux hawk, and spiked hair. With any of these cuts, men have the option of styling their short hair neat, messy, shiny, and/or textured.
Along with the best fades, we highly recommend you try short hair with your undercut.
The buzz cut is the quintessential military haircut and certainly one of the best ways to wear short hair. The buzz cut fade is clean, fresh, and low-maintenance, meaning it’s really easy to get and very simple to style.
Popular among guys who want a short haircut to fit their rugged, handsome looks, the buzz cut can be paired with a shape up that will fix your hairline and give you sharp edges around your temples.
While some men may want to experiment with cutting their own hair at home using professional clippers, for the perfect short cut, visit your barber shop.
The crew cut is a simple and easy yet classic men’s haircut, much like the buzz cut. However, the main difference between the crew cut and buzz cut hairstyles is that one is slightly longer, allowing for more styling of the hair on top. For starters, most guys get a taper fade on the sides for a modern crew cut. The crew cut fade will accentuate the short hair.
Whether you get a short or long crew cut will determine how you style your hair. Some men like a side swept crew cut whereby you brush the hair in the front to one side, while others may decide to spike up the front, style it messy, or just leave it natural. For guys with thinning hair, we recommend a wax or clay to keep the crew cut hairstyle textured – this will make your hair appear thicker.
Short Men’s Textured Haircuts
The most popular short textured haircut for men is the French Crop, also known as a crop top. Cropped hairstyles have been very trendy in recent years, and are similar to the crew cut. Barbers will cut the sides with an undercut or fade, leaving the hair on top slightly longer and trimmed short in the front.
What makes textured hairstyles unique is the natural styling and look of a guy’s hair. Crop top haircuts are often styled forward, and the best products for textured styles are matte pomades, waxes, and clays.
These no shine hair styling products leave a natural, textured finish. If you want a modern new hairstyle that looks good, try a short textured crop!
High and Tight Fade
The high and tight haircut is a classic short barbershop cut. Like the buzz cut, the high and tight originated as a military hairstyle, and guy’s who loved the styles clean-cut, masculine look brought it into the mainstream. Although the high and tight fade may look easy to cut at home with a good set of hair clippers, we highly recommend you ask your barber.
For one, the tight fade on the sides requires precision cutting and blending. Most stylists recommend a high bald fade, although guy don’t have to trim the sides down to the skin. As for the short haircut on top, the high and tight works well with a variety of hair types, including thick, thin, wavy and curly hair. This is because short hair makes curls, waves and hard-to-manage strands easier to style and maintain.
Short Quiff Haircut
The short quiff hairstyle has quickly become one of the hottest men’s haircuts. As a classy yet trendy cut, the modern quiff comes in many different styles to suit all hair types, lengths, and face shapes. For example, you can ask your barber for an undercut quiff or the quiff haircut with a fade on the sides. Guys have the option of a high, mid, or low fade because the quiff is extremely versatile.
Furthermore, the styling on top can be achieved with long, medium-length or short hair. The short quiff often looks best textured, natural, and/or messy for maximum flow and volume. While the essence of the quiff’s styling suggests its a more casual hairstyle, it’s also equally suitable for professionals. Ultimately, the short textured quiff is a beautiful style for men who want a fashionable look.
Men’s fringe hairstyles are sexy and stylish, but require a good amount of styling and maintenance. Also known as man bangs, fringe haircuts can be cropped or allowed to grow longer, and styled messy, to the side or angular, and textured. Perfect for men with wavy or curly hair, a short or long fringe can transform your look.
Combined with a short taper or fade on the sides and back, guys with bangs still have plenty of styling options for the short hair on top. Using a good pomade, wax or clay, guys should experiment with different ways to get a fringe.
Short Comb Over Fade
The comb over is an iconic and iconic hairstyle for men. Similar to side part haircuts and other side-swept styles, a short comb over allows for a number of different elements to make it a unique, fresh cut. The modern comb over works best with a fade or undercut on the sides. The high, mid and low fade comb over provides a level of contrast that completes the style. Guys can even ask their barbers for a line in their hair known as a hard part, which makes the parting more defined.
The short comb over also ensures that the hair on top can be worn in many different ways. Although the short comb over fade is a very attractive men’s haircut, it’s nice to occasionally style a quiff, slick back, crop top, or fringe to change things up.
Short Curly Hair Fade
The curly hair fade has become a favorite for guys with frizzy, unruly hair. Short hair is especially good for wavy or curly hairstyles because it makes it harder for men’s hair to curl. However, curly long hair can be especially enticing with textured, messy styling and faded sides. Whatever your personal style, guys should know that the short curly hair fade is an effortless option to consider.
Slicked Back Hair
The slicked back undercut offers a degree of sophistication matched by few other cool styles. Although slicked back hairstyles are often cut short on the sides and medium length to longer on top, men with thick hair can get away with a short haircut on top.
With just 2 to 3 inches, short slicked back hair can be brushed back with a strong pomade or wax and made to look classy yet edgy. If you happen to have a receding hairline or thinning hair, then a matte product that results in a textured, natural finish may be a better choice to cover up the scalp.
Short Spiky Hair
Short spiky hair for men has been a thing since the 90’s. Although we don’t recommend frosted tips or blonde highlights with your spiked hair, men’s short spiky hairstyles can be particularly appealing when styled naturally for a textured finish.
Instead of using gel that will clump together your strands, a top-rated wax or clay product can help you create thick spikes for a badass look. Along with faded sides, spiky hair will always be in vogue.
Short Side Part Haircuts
The side part haircut is the epitome of the gentleman’s hairstyle. Perfect for both casual and formal events, the side part exudes elegance as a neat and structured style. Short side part haircuts are often tapered on the sides. Whether you want a fade or classic taper, and how high you want the blending process to start, depends on how you style your hair.
Much like the comb over, you can ask your barber to shave a thick line into your scalp where you part your hair. This hard part makes the side part look more modern and sleek. As one of the best parted hairstyles for men, the short side part is certainly worth getting.
Short Faux Hawk Hairstyle
The faux hawk is a less intense version of the traditional mohawk, but still delivers a good-looking, youthful, and eye-catching short hairstyle for men. Specifically, the fohawk fade offers a trendy yet surprisingly versatile cut and style for short hair. With so many different ways to cut fades on the sides and back, and the relative ease in which guys can simply brush and style their hair on top, the short fohawk haircut can suit any guy.
As the tamer version, the short faux hawk is ideally styled textured and messy with a matte hair product. Use your fingers for a more tousled finish and the natural look will look exceptional.
How To Style Short Hair For Men
From the buzz cut to the comb over to the slick back, there are a number of ways to style short hair for men. The most popular short men’s hairstyles start with a taper, fade or undercut on the sides. In line with short sides, long top men’s hair trends, faded cuts provide the necessary contrast to highlight the styling on top. With so many different types of taper fade haircuts, guys have the ability to customize and tailor their look.
As for the short hair on top, with just 2 to 3 inches of length, you are still able to get some of the best short men’s hairstyles. Start with clean hair after a warm shower, then towel-dry to leave it slightly damp. Apply your favorite styling product for men throughout. Using the top hair products from leading brands can significantly help you get your desired style.
For a flawless finish to a pomade hairstyle, use a brush or comb to control and style your hair. Whether you want to part your hair to one side or brush it straight back, these tools will create the proper effect. Otherwise, the hottest textured hairstyles can be achieved with light combing but mostly moving hair with your fingers.
If you have short hair and aren’t sure exactly what to do with it or how to style it, this guide and the inspiring haircut ideas below should offer plenty of tips and direction.
Best Hair Styling Products For Men With Short Hair
Here’s a breakdown of the best hair products for men with short hair. From pomades and hair waxes to clays and creams, there are a number of good styling products for short hair. Whether you should use pomade vs wax vs clay vs cream ultimately depends on how you want to style your hair and the different levels of hold and shine you need. Below, we’ll provide an overview of the leading brands: Suavecito, Layrite, Baxter of California, Uppercut Deluxe, Imperial Barber, TIGI Bed Head, American Crew, Gatsby and Smooth Viking.
Pomade is best for short hairstyles that need medium to strong hold with moderate to high shine. Pomades are good for straight, wavy, curly and thick hair, making it one of the top hair products to use. From the short pompadour to the comb over, quiff, slick back, and classic side part, a high-quality pomade will work wonders for your stylish haircut. These are the best pomades for short men’s hair.
The 20 Short Hairstyles You Need to Know Now
As seen on a few of our favorite heads of Hollywood hair.
BY ESQUIRE EDITORSAPR 27, 2020
As life on lockdown continues to blur into one long, indistinguishable period of bleary-eyed fatigue, we here at Esquire have been waking up in the morning, looking at ourselves in the mirror, and thinking only one thing: What in the hell do we do with all this hair?
Sure, no longer having regular access to any barber at all (let alone the only one you actually allow to touch your meticulously maintained coiffure) is really the least of our problems right now, but let’s be honest—HAIR IS STILL EVERYTHING. We’re all starting to look real scraggly around the edges, and not being able to get a clean cut when we need it presents a practical dilemma when it comes to our increasingly messy mops.
We’re not the only ones—lockdown has prompted men across the country to embrace (perhaps begrudgingly) shorter hairstyles they might’ve otherwise never considered, while some of our more daring contemporaries have said fuck it and shaved it all off. (We salute you, sirs!) Well, if you’re looking for inspiration or trying to find the shorter ‘do that’s right for you, look no further, friend. We’ve rounded-up a few of our favorite heads of Hollywood hair, from guys who recently lopped a few inches off to dudes who’d never consider styling their hair any other way, to help steer you in the direction of a freshly shorn ‘do.Grown-Out Buzz
Steve GranitzGetty Images
If going full buzz right off the rip seems a little bit extreme, make like Michael B. Jordan here and go short, but not too short, with an allover, slightly grown-out-feeling cut. Jordan’s got a bit of a fade here, but his take on the buzz cut is pretty even all around without being too close to the skin. So, if you want to create it without master-barber level skills, all you really need is a pair of clippers set to anywhere above a 1 and faith that you’re not going to unearth any weird bumps or blemishes you never noticed on your noggin before. (If you’re really set on shaving it all off look no further than the other MJ, y’know, that slightly lesser-known dude, who was famous for making a super-shiny dome look so damn cool that watching his highlights almost makes me want to try the look out for myself.)Tamed Mop
Amy SussmanGetty Images
Shia rocked a pretty serious mop back in his Even Stevens days, and his slightly more tamed chop here is perfect for any dudes with hair so curly it tends to do whatever it pleases, despite any efforts to reign it in. Labeouf’s look is one of the most natural and easy to maintain on the list—you can clean it up around the ears when you want to look somewhat presentable on a video call, but other than that leave it as is and let the chips fall where they may. Your hair ain’t always going to be this lusciously thick, so make the most of it while you can.ADVERTISEMENT – CONTINUE READING BELOW
High Skin Fade
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The breakout star of 2016’s Moonlight, Ashton Sanders has slowly transitioned into a consistently thrilling dresser who never seems to shy away from a stylistic challenge. When it comes to his grooming game, Sanders tends to stick with a super clean high skin fade (adding a touch of blonde when he feels like it, naturally) that’s relatively easy to maintain at home with nothing but a set of clippers, assuming you want to keep that fade looking fresh. And if you’re really looking to switch things up, just add an unexpected jolt of color to your cut and call it a day.Chopped Crew
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Davidson’s a bit of a wild card in the personal style department, but he tends to be more of a traditionalist (brief flirtations with neon-colored hair dye aside) when it comes to keeping his grooming game on-point. Pete typically rocks some form of a crew cut, and this chopped-up variation, which is slightly longer all around, is about as stylized as it gets for him without requiring very much in the way of upkeep. In other words, if you’re in the process of growing out a less severe crew cut style while stuck in your apartment, this is the look you should be shooting for.Modified Round Cut
Gregg DeGuireGetty Images
There’s nothing funny about this comic’s cut—just some seriously good grooming. Lately Hart’s been sporting a rounded style a tiny bit longer on top that you can easily get away with leaving relatively untouched for at least a few weeks. If you want a similar look, maintain the style by cleaning up the sides whenever you see fit and then trim down to a low skin fade. If you’re looking for a short haircut with minimal room for big, “What the fuck did I do?!” mistakes, this could be the one for you.ADVERTISEMENT – CONTINUE READING BELOW
Slicked-Back Side Part
This is good for guys who want low maintenance, but don’t want to commit to something super short, like a buzzcut or a crewcut. It does require a fair amount of product, however, so maybe steer clear of this one during the summer if you sweat a lot. Otherwise, simply ask for around two inches on top and about an inch on the sides, and then slick it back and to the side while it’s wet with some high-hold pomade.High-and-tight
A cousin of the crewcut, the high-and-tight gets you as close to the ease of a buzzcut as you can without the latter style’s commitment to the crop. It’s especially good if you have a square head shape, although pretty much anyone can wear it. Simply have your barber start with a low setting on the clippers—1 or 2 should do it—and then fade up. The top should be left just long enough that you can work in some pomade to give it a bit of texture (and maybe a part).Buzzcut
For those willing to commit, the buzzcut is a perfect spring hairstyle. No maintenance, no muss, no product to worry about. The only choice is how short you want to go. A 1 setting on the clippers gets you close to the skin, while a 4 gives you about a half an inch of fuzz. Just make sure you have a good skull shape before going this route.ADVERTISEMENT – CONTINUE READING BELOW
As far as short hairstyles go, this one is a bit higher maintenance—but it’s worth it. The biggest issue is keeping that volume in the front. For the cut, ask your barber to go shorter on the sides, with layered length on top. To style it, comb pomade back from your forehead while your hair is wet. Then break out the blow dryer and blow it back and up in order to create some height. Once it’s dry, use your fingers and a bit more product to give it separation. And stay out of the rain.Modified Pompadour
This is basically a modified (a.k.a. lower maintenance) pompadour. Basically, it’s a similar cut—a bit longer and layered on top, with a fade down the sides and back—you just don’t have to do as much in terms of styling. All you need to do is blow dry your hair back, and once it’s dry, add a medium hold pomade and style it over to the side. Make sure to run your fingers through it to get a bit of volume. This is an especially good style for guys with straighter hair who want to keep things clean and clipped but not too conservative.Long-on-top high-and-tight
Gosling sports one of the easiest styles to emulate for any face or hair type. Ask for something high and tight on the sides, and about an inch longer on top. Add a side part, which you’ll maintain by towel-drying, then using matte pomade with a comb. Side note: We can’t guarantee this hairstyle will make you look like Ryan Gosling.ADVERTISEMENT – CONTINUE READING BELOW
Buzzcut with Skin Fade
This is for the man who wants something like a buzzcut, only with a bit more personality. Ask your barber for a skin fade, or, if you don’t want that much skin showing, fade up from the sides and back with a 1 setting on the clippers. Go with whatever length you want on top, although for a sharper look like Zayn, it’s better to keep it pretty short.Taper Fade
For guys with thick wavy hair, a little length on top can be a good way to keep things in check. Just have your barber point cut two- or three-inch layers to remove bulk and add texture. A light conditioner is good to help dial down any frizziness, and to keep things more manageable. If your hair tends toward the dry side, a little oil (jojoba, argan, take your pick) can help smooth and soften things as well. To style it, rub a dime-sized amount of texturizing cream in while it’s wet and then, once it’s dry, some strong-hold wax to break it up and add texture. Ditch your comb and style it with your fingers.Round Cut
If you have curly hair and a more angular face, go modern with a round cut. This one’s longer on top and the sides, and then fades down to the skin. If it starts looking too bushy, it’ll be pretty obvious you need a trim.ADVERTISEMENT – CONTINUE READING BELOW
A similar option—and one that will accommodate more head shapes—is to go for a slightly squarer cut by fading it higher on the sides. Again, you’ll want to keep this style regularly trimmed so it doesn’t get too bushy.Quiff
Almost any man can achieve this look, and it’s an especially good choice for guys with a high or even a receding hairline. “Longer up front and shorter everywhere else gives the illusion of a fuller head of hair,” says Elle Medico, a men’s stylist at Paul Labrecque Salon. One thing to note: If you have curly hair, this style’s probably not for you.Side Sweep
For guys with straighter hair who don’t want their hair too short—i.e. no skin showing—the side sweep is the way to go. Stick with a scissor cut on the sides, about an inch and a half in length, and then cut it to medium length on top. This style works best with a minimal amount of product, like a light styling cream. Basically, you want to be able to run your fingers through it for that natural and easy look.ADVERTISEMENT – CONTINUE READING BELOW
With ultra thick, ultra wavy hair, your options are a little more limited. If you don’t want to go with much length on top (like with Bloom’s style), a fade cut with an inch to an inch-and-a-half on top is just about the most versatile—not to mention easy-to-manage—style there is. The best part is: You’ll only need a minimal amount of product to tame it.Side-Part Swoop
For guys with thick hair that has a light wave to it, the side part swoop is an excellent—and fairly low-maintenance—option. Ask your barber for about two inches on top and an inch on the sides. To style it, simply towel dry, apply a clay or a fiber, and comb it to the side. Then run your fingers through it to give it a little volume and that jaunty wave.Brushed-Back
Noam GalaiGetty Images
While the side part has gotten most of the attention over the last few years, there’s still something to be said for the classic brushed back look. To accomplish it, you want a layered cut on top with a little bit more length in the front, and about an inch on the sides. (You can go longer if you’re Jake Gyllenhaal.) Use a a gel serum or a light pomade to comb it back. Once it’s partially dry, run your fingers through it to break it up a bit. And just keep in mind, too much length on top, or too much product, and you’ll end up in ’80s Pat Riley territory.
Best Men’s Haircut Styles
After familiarising yourself with the anatomy of a haircut as described above, it might be time to decide on the style you want! All hairstyles are broken down into families by length, which you can discover by clicking on the relevant titles below.
Alternatively, you can jump straight to the hairstyle you want to learn about.
Short hairstyles usually require some basic maintenance if they have well-defined features but tend to be relatively simple. Furthermore, they’re usually easy to style and can be grown out if desired.
You can learn more about them with our main short hairstyle guide.
Medium styles often require more maintenance than shorter ones as the length of the different parts are usually quite precise. Therefore, they may require frequent visits to the barber. However, they tend to be generally more outgoing with a greater level of personality.
Read more about them and their general maintenance with our main medium hairstyle guide.
Although long styles may require fewer trips to the barber, they require a fair level of maintenance. Not only will you need to establish a precise washing regimen to avoid your hair looking untidy, it requires regular brushing and general care.
Learn everything you need to know with our main long hairstyle guide.
Before you continue, it’s highly recommended that you are aware of your face shape as we’ve outlined 7 face shapes in detail. This plays an important role in assessing how well a hairstyle may suit your facial proportions, which we discuss in each guide. If you haven’t already, consider identifying your face shape.
Despite the rigid guidelines described above and with each style, feel free to follow them liberally and experiment. The greatest discoveries were made by accident and to quote the wise words of Sammy Davis Jr, “When you lose a lover it’s like getting a bad haircut. It grows back in time.”
The Harmony of the Haircut
Contrast is not a negative trait that should be avoided. Ask yourself what personality traits you wish to project and scrutinise its weaknesses. A hairstyle that contrasts with your clothing add an element of complexity to your character. However, the overall ensemble should always be concluded with a harmonious finish.
Keep in mind various factors such as the workplace, your activities and the frequency of attending formal events. Do you often find yourself at the centre of public attention and under scrutiny? Perhaps you avoid the limelight in favour of an office setting? Have you a penchant for sports or outdoor activities? Remember that your choice of hairstyle can either project or indeed downplay these traits.
Likewise, your hair’s length contributes to how people’s opinions are influenced by your appearance. A number of studies have indicated that men with short hair, which is longer at the front such as a Fringe, Pompadour or Faux Hawk, are seen as confident and handsome. However, they can appear to be more egotistical. However, men with medium length hair paired with a Side Part have been considered clever and well-qualified. Yet, they can seem intolerant. Finally, men with long hair can be viewed as amiable but less intelligent.
Assuredly, this prejudice is rife with stereotyping. Nonetheless, we cannot avoid human instinct based on social constructs. The above perceptions indicate the extent that a hairstyle will affect your influence on your entourage. It is therefore essential that all contributing factors are taken into account to create a coordinated projection of your true identity. This includes everything from the suit and its fit, your shirt/tie combination, watch and choice of shoes.
Consequently, adopt an architectural stance to a haircut rather than treating it as a mere gardening chore. Select and adapt a hairstyle that irons out negative traits that may be projected by your wardrobe and vice versa. Ask yourself what character you currently exude. Consider ways to adjust this and reinforce the personality traits that you want people to notice.
<h2″>Men’s Hairstyle Personas
If this seems overwhelming, try dividing hair styling into our simple CARVE categories that summarise their mood.
A subdued and minimalist approach. Classic looks seek to adopt well-balanced and recognised styles. These aren’t necessarily conservative but fit in well to most environments and most importantly the workplace. The key is bringing out elegance through simplicity.
You have a penchant for streetwear, which is comfortable as it is stylish. The objective is to highlight an appreciation of sports and outdoor activities. You feel at home in a suit as long as it’s assorted with a pair of Stan Smiths.
You’re a tough nut with a soft interior. You’ve probably grown out a beautiful beard, which has been assorted with upturned Levi’s and a lumberjack shirt. You enjoy the outdoors whether it’s for a hike or chopping wood.
Whether thrifted or bespoke, you love wearing attire with a bit of history and accessorising accordingly. You’re a man out of time and look towards the past with an air of nostalgia.
You’re adventurous and love the limelight. Your wardrobe is bold, high fashion and your enjoy creating complex styles in your ensembles. You need something that displays your wild side but manages to rein you in.
Men’s Haircut Guide In 5 Easy Steps
You may not have yet decided on your haircut but it’s essential to communicate well with your expert of choice. Prevent disappointment and get an idea of what you like by learning how to present a haircut to your barber.
If all else fails, download a few images on your phone beforehand. However, avoid vague statements such as “short back and sides”. Be precise as these statements are very subjective between barbers.
1. Ask Your Barber What They Can Do For You
Although this may make you feel like preparation and research is futile, simply asking your barber for advice is vital. You may have spent hours reading through guides like ours to put together what may be your perfect haircut. However, ask your barber what they think is best and trust their expertise. They have experience in cutting countless heads of hair to be able to make recommendations.
Don’t be crushed if it turns out that he or she believes that what you want may not work for you. It avoids dissatisfaction with a disappointing end result and a breach of trust with your barber. After all, you’ll be putting yourself into their hands so learn to value their expert opinion.
2. Establish The Style’s Mood With Keywords
Take a leaf out of the advertising industry’s book and associate the style you want with keywords that denote mood. Think of it as a Google search or setting a film scene to paint a picture for your barber. Either use the CARVE categories above or other buzz words such as romantic, hipster, retro, fashionable, conservative. Don’t hesitate to use films or actors as examples. As you read on, you’ll notice that we do that a lot ourselves!
3. Indicate The Length
Not everyone can measure inches with their eyes and it’s unlikely you’ll be carrying a tape measure on you. Nevertheless, the definition of a “trim” is very subjective. Use clipper guard numbers as a guide if you are familiar with them. If you’re not sure, ask the barber to see the guards and compare. However, if you have longer hair, show the barber by holding a few strands in different areas between your fingers.
If you’re both still unsure, ask the barber if he or she is comfortable with reducing the length until you’re happy. Better to not cut enough rather than too much.
4. Top Finish
Be familiar with how the barber will finish the hair once it’s at the right length and choose the technique you prefer. These provide different resulting textures and layers so it’s best to have an idea beforehand.
- Choppy: The barber cuts the hair at 45° angles at different lengths to provide a varied texture. This creates the illusion of volume and makes it easy to style messy looks.
- Layered: This is cutting so that long hair rests on top of short hair. It’s an ideal technique for thinning hair as it creates the appearance of depth and volume.
- Thinned: The barber uses thinning scissors to reduce volume. These resemble the love-child of between a pair of scissors and a comb. It selectively reduces length and thus thins the hair. It’s great for thick hair but be aware that the hair will grow out unnaturally over time with stray strands.
- Razored: The barber reduces volume and sculpts the hair with a razor blade. It’s a technique that requires a professional touch. However, it’s the best way to thin out and flatten hair so it can grow back naturally.
5. Back & Sides Finish
Learn the basic techniques that the barber can use to finish the back and side’s length and hairlines. They may feel like an afterthought but bear in mind that although you won’t see the back, everyone else will.
Men’s Haircut Taper Height
This is the way that the hair length diminishes down the back and sides. It’s often referred to as a Fade and can come as High, Medium and low.
Please refer to our dedicated page on Fades to understand how to make it work for your face shape.
Haircut Nape Finishes
This concerns the way the back of the neck is perfected. It can come in three forms; blocked, rounded and tapered.
- Blocked: A blocked nape is good for thin necks but can quickly appear unruly as it grows out. It requires frequent visits to a barber for a touch-up.
- Rounded: The Rounded nape is simply a blocked but without the edges. It’s less angular but still requires regularly revisions to keep it clean.
- Tapered: The most common finish, which is often paired with a Fade on sides. As it follows the natural hairline, it’s less noticeable when it grows out. It’s also great for making thick necks appear narrower.
What Are Hair Arches?
The arches dictate how the trim follows the hairline around the ears. You can trim them with a high arch, which is ideal for smaller ears and offers a very neat finish. However, like blocked napes, they grow out badly. A natural arch is where hair simply follows the hairline. This grows out well and can be forgiving during long periods between haircuts.
Be sure to ask your barber how you want your sideburns finished if you’re clean-shaven. We cover this in much more detail on our dedicated Sideburns guide. However, if you are considering a beard instead, read all about them and discover how to adapt beards for your face shape.