Men’s messy hairstyles have the unique gift of being able to look like you haven’t bothered with your appearance at all, while also being incredibly well put together. There is much to be said about nailing the perfect messy hairstyle look, as there is a most definitely a difference between ‘just got out of bed’ bed hair, and messy hair created using hair styling products.
The great thing about messy hairstyles for men, however, is that they don’t discriminate by hair type or face shape. Guys with curly hair, straight hair, wavy hair, thick hair and thin hair can all take advantage of off-duty casual cool messy hair, and every one of the men’s messy hairstyles available to guys today will look different to the next. You’ll even achieve a different look each day you style your messy hair too, making messy hairstyles the perfect option if you like to change up your look regularly.
Table of contents
- How To Ask Your Barber For A Messy Hairstyle
- How To Style Men’s Messy Hairstyles
- Best Messy Hairstyles For Men
How To Ask Your Barber For A Messy Hairstyle
If you’ve decided messy hair and one one of the many messy hairstyles is for you, then you’ll need to let your barber know how you intend to style it once you leave the barbershop. Rather than cut your hair to exact proportions, or in straight lines, they should add texture to your hair by point cutting it. Point cutting is the best way to achieve texture for messy hair, as it sees the hair cut at the tips, but to differing lengths. It’s a far better option than using thinning scissors.
You will, however, need to let the barber know the rough hairstyle you’re going for. Whether it be a side-part, pompadour, crew cut, or whatever other men’s hairstyle you can think of, your barber does still need a little bit of guidance.
How To Style Men’s Messy Hairstyles
We may have said it for some other hairstyles, but there really is no right or wrong way to style the array of messy hairstyles featured on this list. The object is, of course, to end up with messy hair. For the vast majority of these messy hairstyles, there is still a degree of maintenance required – you can’t just literally wake up and get on with your day, unless you’re deliberately going for a bed head look – so arming yourself with a selection of quality hair styling products is still a must.
As a general rule, you’ll just want to gather a small amount of your chosen styling product in your hands and work through towel-dried hair from root to tip. If you have slightly thinner hair, you can enlist the help of a texturising spray, or sea salt spray to give some extra thickness and volume. The extent to which your messy hair looks messy is, however, entirely dependent on you. The beauty of messy hairstyles is that they can easily be manipulated throughout the day – if you use a light to medium-hold styling product – without anyone really noticing.
Best Messy Hairstyles For Men
So, what are some of the best messy hairstyles for men? Read on to find out.
Short Messy Hair
A vast majority of men rock short hair. With an abundance of short hairstyles for men available, it’s possible to make virtually all of them look messy, as opposed to their traditional sharp and pristine appearance. In fact, short messy hair is pretty much a rite of passage for guys everywhere, with many of us rocking some sort of short messy hairstyle from an incredibly young age.
RELATED: Most Popular Short Hairstyles & Men’s Haircuts To Have In 2022
You will still need a good few inches of hair length before you attempt short messy hairstyles – you can’t exactly mess up a buzz cut for example – but all you need to do is apply a styling paste or matte-effect styling product through some towel-dried hair and leave to dry to get the messy hair look.
You can choose to finish your short messy hair with a light spritz of hairspray if you wish, to hold it in place, but part of the charm of short messy hair is that it can be played with throughout the day. As we mentioned earlier, you’ll want a medium-hold hair product to be able to do this, as a strong-hold product will make the hair too tricky to manipulate.
Medium Length Messy Hair
Medium length messy hair is an incredibly popular choice among messy hairstyles. You’ll see medium length messy hairstyles at the beach, in the club, at the office, pretty much wherever you go. Medium length messy hairstyles are the pinnacle of casual cool. The hair can be left to hang free if you wish, or you could even experiment with sweeping it back towards the back of your head – we won’t give our opinion on Alice bands, but this is one hairstyle that can suit them – and, as with short messy hairstyles, all you need to do with work some product through it.
Gels, pomades and matte-effect products are all par for the course here, as medium length messy hair can look great with some shine to it, for an effective wet look. Once again, you’ll want to avoid styling products that have a strong hold, as they could cause your hair to thicken too much to the point where you can’t change your messy hair look throughout the day.
Long Messy Hair
A beach-inspired hairstyle if ever there was one is long messy hair. A men’s messy hairstyle that can look incredible when left to its own devices, but even better with the aid of a small amount of styling product such as a mousse or texturising sea salt spray. Long messy hair has the ability of showing people you don’t completely care about your appearance, while also indicating you know how to look your damn finest.
RELATED: Men’s Long Hairstyles That Will Give You Follicular Envy
If your hair is naturally curly or wavy, you can get away with not doing a lot to make it look messy. If you have long straight hair, however, you’ll need to enlist the help of some styling products and potentially a hairdryer to help make things look a little more roughed up around the edges. Spray a liberal amount of texturising or sea salt spray onto your locks and scrunch it through and leave to dry naturally (you can also use a hairdryer to help speed up the process) and you’ll have yourself a delightfully disheveled day-long messy hairstyle look.
Bed Head Messy Hair
Ah bed head. The way your hair naturally looks as soon as you wake up, bed head is, for some, the epitome of laidback messy hairstyles. In our opinion, truly great bed head is only enjoyed by those with longer hair, as short hair can easily see your mane look incredibly untamed and a little too out of place for public showing. Therefore, guys with medium-length hair or long hair that reaches their shoulders can get by with waking up and barely doing a damn thing.
RELATED: How To Rock Bed Hair Without Looking Like You’ve Given Up On Life
Pompadour and Messy Hair
Traditionally, the pompadour is a hairstyle that requires not a single hair be out of place. Dating back to 18th century France when it was first adopted by Madame de Pompadour – yep, it started off as a woman’s hairstyle – but when men started seeing its potential as an Uber-stylish hairstyle, with notable alumni including Elvis Presley, it became cemented in men’s hairstyle history forever.
But, as we said, traditional pompadours call for precision, making the messy pompadour a men’s messy hairstyle for the rebellious rockstar types. Equally as stylish and still exhibiting traits of the classic pomp, a messy pompadour can be styled in a similar way to its classic counterpart. This means using a hairdryer to give your hair some natural volume and lift, before using a styling product to work through and mess it all up. A liquid-based styling product will serve you better here, such as a gel or wax, as it will allow for greater movement through the hair.
Blowout and Messy Hair
A blowout hairstyle by its very nature could already be considered messy, but there are always ways to make it even messier. The aim with a messy blowout hairstyle is to make your hair seem as though its the byproduct of some time spent in a wind tunnel, while still giving off the illusion of ‘it’s meant to look like that’. You’ll need some good hair length to achieve an effective messy blowout hairstyle, around medium-length. This isn’t really a hairstyle you can rock if you have hair touching your shoulders, for example.
To style a messy blowout you’ll need, unsurprisingly, a hairdryer. Some light to medium hold styling product will be your friend here, work it through your hair and use the hairdryer to set it in place. Experiment using various holding strengths, as you may find a light hold product is best for you so that you can easily restyle throughout the day. Some may prefer a stronger hold so that their hair stays in place. Ultimately, go wild with the look, the messier the better.
French Crop and Messy Hair
The French crop is a men’s hairstyle essential. One of the most stylish and popular men’s short hairstyles, the French crop is one that can suit a wide majority of face shapes and hair types, making it one you really need to try at some point. While some men like to have their French crop styled oh-so perfectly, being combed forward in dead straight lines and having the fringe blunt cut to millimetre precision, others can opt to have it messed up.
To achieve a messy French crop, you may find you’ll need a little bit of extra hair length on top of the head compared to if you wanted to make it much cleaner, as it’ll allow you to introduce greater texture. You’ll also want to have the fringe point cut instead of blunt cut to help continue the messy trend, with your hair being able to be manipulated and moved in various ways. A matte-effect hair styling product is our recommendation here, as a shiny French crop will look more formal than its messiness would infer.
Side Part and Messy Hair
Despite its highly formal associations, the side part is another men’s hairstyle that can be messed up to great effect. Yes, even though it is traditionally a hairstyle formed using a shiny wax or pomade and coupled with the likes of black tie dress, the side part can be given the messy treatment simply by changing the hair product you use.
Matte-effect hair styling products are the best friend of most messy hairstyles, which is especially the case here. Again, it helps if you have a good few inches of hair length here to help exaggerate the messy style, and a great example of how to rock a messy side part would be to introduce a hart part, with the smaller section of hair being cut relatively short. This leaves the larger section of hair to be swept across the head, and the extra length and messy style will create incredible contrast.
Faux Hawk and Messy Hair
The faux hawk is a popular men’s hairstyle for good reason. It shows you have a slightly rebellious nature to your personality, being inspired by the punk-tastic mohawk, but it doesn’t require you to shave off all the hair around the centred hairstyle. It’s the fact this sacrifice doesn’t need to be made that makes the faux hawk such an appealing hairstyle. And, while a conventional faux hawk hairstyle doesn’t need to be preened to perfection, it can most certainly be messed up.
It definitely suits it too, and as with conventional faux hawks, if you can draw extra attention to the central part of the hairstyle, the better it will look. This means you’ll want to consider incorporating a fade of some description. The length, or point where the fade begins, is entirely up to you, although we’d recommend steering clear of a high fade as it’ll veer into mohawk territory. Taking the longer section of hair down the middle of your head, use a matte-effect styling product once again to mess it up, while still styling it as forward as possible.
Messy Hair for Thick Hair
Because of its very nature, messy hairstyles for men are easier to achieve for guys with thinner hair. It’s easier to work product and your finger through, without the risk of your hair becoming entangled in itself. This is a problem that can be posed by thick hair. If you apply too much hair styling product then your hair can become one thick hairball mess, which nobody really wanted. Instead, to achieve great messy hair, apply a pea-sized amount of product to your hair. If you feel like you need to add more after this, you’re free to do so, but you can’t take any away.
Applying your hair product to the roots of your thick hair, as opposed to the entire hair strand, will give it some extra volume – the root will be standing proud, while the rest of your thick hair flows naturally – making this a good hairstyle option no matter the occasion.