Men who rock short hair may think they only have a limited number of options available to them when it comes to styling options. But in reality, the opposite couldn’t be more true. Short haircuts for men can encompass everything from a buzz cut to an Ivy League to a crew cut and, to an extent, the undercut. But there is one men’s short hairstyle that is one of the more versatile options, suits practically everyone no matter their face shape or hair type, and is incredibly easy to achieve: the French crop.
Defined by its slight contrast in length between the hair on top and the hair on the sides and back of the head, coupled with a blunt cut fringe, the French crop is a wonderfully stylish haircut that can be styled in myriad ways. The French crop is a very low maintenance hairstyle and one that can be worn by men with thick hair, as well as men with thin hair, the French crop doesn’t discriminate. It’s also one of the few short men’s hairstyles that can be rocked no matter the hair type, whether it be curly, straight, wavy or even afro.
How To Ask Your Barber For A French Crop Haircut
Any good barber worth their salt should know how to cut a French crop if you ask him or her. But if you have a specific style or look in mind, the best thing to do is take a picture along to show them. You can also drop some barber jargon on them to not only impress them, but give them a clearer idea of the exact style of French crop you’re after.
You’ll first want to ask for a short back and sides. However, the length here is entirely down to personal preference. You can incorporate a fade haircut if you wish, such as a low fade or a taper fade, or go a little more drastic and ask for an undercut hairstyle. Alternatively, you could go down a more buzz cut or crew cut route and rock one length all around, such as a number 3 on the clippers. With that taken care of, it’s time to tackle the hair on top.
In our opinion, a French crop looks particularly effective when it has plenty of texture to it, so if your hair is naturally quite thick, you’ll want to ask your barber to point cut your hair. Point cutting doesn’t serve to remove hair length, but rather to cause graduations into the hair’s ends, thereby creating creating texture and movement. If the textured hair camp isn’t for you, then you’ll likely fall into the other main alternative French crop hairstyle, which is to have it blunt cut. A blunt cut refers to when the hair is the same length all the way around, or as is the case of the French crop, the same length all over on top of the head.
The blunt cut French crop will be the better option for men who like a slick, wet look to their hair, as opposed to a more matte and messy appearance that would be created by the point cut.
How To Style The French Crop Haircut
The amount of styling required for French crop haircuts will be determined by the way you have it cut and the length to which you have it cut. However, as a general rule, you’ll want to apply some styling product to towel-dried hair. For a messy, ‘just got out of bed’ look, you’ll want to use a styling paste or clay and a for high-shine slicked back French crop, a pomade or wax will be your best friend.
Because, in general, you won’t have much hair length to play with, you shouldn’t need the assistance of a hairdryer to style your French crop – this isn’t a pompadour, after all – but you may need to call upon one if you opt for a long French crop (which we talk about more below).
Best French Crop Haircuts For Men
So, now you know how to ask for a French crop and how to style one, allow us to bring you some extra inspiration with a selection of some of the best French crop hairstyles for men.
1. Classic French Crop Haircut
It’s always good to start with the original. The classic French crop is a men’s hairstyle that you’ve probably already rocked at some point in your life, you just didn’t know it. Exhibiting just a subtle contrast between the hair on top of the head and the hair on the sides and back, the classic French crop is one of the most low maintenance men’s hairstyles out there, save for the buzz cut. The length of the hair is entirely at your discretion, and it can be styled with either a point cut fringe or a blunt cut fringe.
2. Long French Crop Haircut
As mentioned, the French crop comes with a long version. Not a long hairstyle by any means, the long French crop simply sees the hair on top of the head left to grow to a longer length than traditionally expected of other French crop hairstyles. You’ll still want to keep the hair on the sides and back of the head kept relatively short – whether you go for something like an undercut is up to you – and this could mean regular visits to the barber if you want to keep the long French crop haircut.
Do so, however, and you’ll be rewarded with a highly versatile men’s hairstyle, since the longer hair on top will allow you to play around with incorporating other hairstyles such as side-parts and quiffs for some seriously stylish hybrid haircuts.
3. French Crop Fade Haircut
We’ve already mentioned it a few times, but the French crop works in perfect harmony with the fade haircut. No matter the length and positioning of the fade, whether it be a low fade, mid fade, high fade or a more foolproof taper fade, combining longer hair with much shorter hair on the sides of the head is a surefire way to a stylish look.
A French crop fade haircut not only makes for an even more low maintenance haircut, but by removing extra weight and length from the sides and back of the head, you naturally place more focus and prominence on the actual French crop portion of the hairstyle itself. This means you can style it as much or as little as you want, so even a blunt cut French crop fade with straight fringe and no styling product can look as good as as slightly longer French crop fade with styling product worked through it.
4. Disconnected French Crop Haircut
The disconnected French crop is pretty much another way of saying French crop haircut with undercut. Whichever jargon you say to your barber, the result will be the hair on top being completely cut off from the hair on the sides and back of the head by way of a clearly defined line. No fade or blending of hair here, just a straight cut – just as a way of separating them, the undercut could introduce a slight fade, as opposed to drastic contrast. In a similar vein to the French crop haircut with fade, employing a disconnected look puts the focus solely on the hair on top.
The length of the hair on top is entirely down to personal preference, with practically all options available to you. This French crop can even work for men with curly hair or wavy hair, with the natural curls providing volume and texture for a head-turning look. It’s also a French crop hairstyle that can work particularly well for black men with afro hair.
5. Short French Crop Haircut
The short French crop haircut doesn’t differ too much from the classic French crop, however the sides and back of the head are cut to a shorter length, and the hair on top is often cut a little shorter too. The short French crop is a natural pairing for the high and tight fade haircut, leaving a small, short section of hair on top of head that requires little to no styling whatsoever.
For us, the short French crop haircut benefits greatly from having some texture cut into it if you hair is particularly thick. But if your hair is naturally very straight, blunt cutting the fringe will give you a simple and stylish haircut that can work incredibly well in formal situations.
6. French Crop Undercut Haircut
Ok we know, we said a little earlier that the disconnected French crop was essentially the same as the French crop undercut, but there is a little bit to separate the two. The undercut section of this French crop haircut can introduce a fade if you wish, or the defining line between the longer hair and the short hair on the sides and back of the head can occur at various points on the head. The disconnected French crop, however, will usually see the contrasting line around the temple of the head.
An undercut hairstyle plays nicely with hair that can be styled, particularly if it can look messy. In this case, you’ll want to make sure you have plenty of texture to the long hair on top of the head and styled with a matte effect product. Conversely, with that longer hair on top, using a pomade or wax, you can slick the hair back, allowing you to seamlessly switch between boardroom and bar.
7. Curly French Crop Haircut
We made a passing mention to it earlier, but yes, men with curly hair can also reap the benefits of the French crop haircut. Because of the natural volume and texture afforded by curly hair, men who wish to achieve a curly French crop will do well to have the sides and back cut as short as possible, or at least so that the curls are removed. This will help the curls to flow naturally, allowing you to style it forward.
You don’t want to have a blunt cut fringe if you have curly hair, it just won’t look good. Instead, just ask your barber to make sure it’s kept neat and tidy – this may need some point cutting to remove some of the ends – so that the curly hair can be styled in an effortless way that will leave you looking sleek and sophisticated.
8. French Crop Haircut With Comb Over
Although the French crop is usually defined by the way the fringe is cut, it can also be paired with something like a comb over on those days you need to look slightly more professional. However, in order to achieve an effective comb over, you will need some good length on top of the head. You can once again choose to have the sides and back of the head cut to a shorter length, or in the case of the comb over hairstyle, a similar length all over will work.
Combining a comb over with your French crop is also one of the few hairstyle variations that can benefit from the use of a hairdryer, as it will allow you to style the hair over to one side of your head much easier, while also helping to lock it in place. Once the hair is dry, you’ll probably want to add some styling product to ensure it stays there all day long – this French crop hairstyle looks particularly great with a high shine finish – and adding a light spritz of hairspray will ensure a hair never falls out of place.
9. French Crop Haircut For Receding Hairline
It’s an unfortunate fact of life that some men will suffer from a receding hairline. Men who experience this may feel like they have little to no options when it comes to finding a stylish hairstyle to help take attention away from it, but the French crop is a perfect remedy. Because it’s a men’s hairstyle that is styled forward, the French crop can often serve to cover up the receding hairline to a point where you wouldn’t even realise.
For greater effect, try experimenting with a high fade, a high and tight fade or a even a skin fade on the sides and back of the head to help create the illusion that you prefer the ‘no hair’ look. Then, with the rest of your hair grown as long as possible, enlist the aid of a hairdryer to style the hair forwards, work some styling product into it and everyone you meet will be none the wiser.
10. Textured French Crop Haircut
The textured French crop haircut is incredibly similar to some of the other French crop hairstyles we’ve already listed, but takes the notion of texture and dials it up a notch. This is a men’s hairstyle that benefits greatly from naturally thick hair, so unfortunately for men with thin hair, you may need to look elsewhere.
However, for those with thick hair, have your barber work their magic with the scissors to not necessarily remove length from the hair, but just a little bit of weight throughout, so that you’re left with a textured French crop that doesn’t even need styling product to look good.