In the same way that fashion is cyclical, what is on trend in the world of men’s haircuts can change at a rapid pace. Predominantly inspired by whatever our favourite celebrities are rocking at the time, getting yourself the latest popular hairstyle is a task that requires commitment. Each passing year presents a prime opportunity to try out a new look, and following the spate of home haircuts caused by the 2020 pandemic, 2021 is an ideal time to get your hair under control.
We’re already seeing a wave of popular men’s haircuts atop the heads of some of the most stylish guys around, with everything from medium length styles, to styles for men with long hair and of course, the usual array of undercut haircuts, skin fades and taper fades.
While short haircuts remain the most popular trend, medium and long hairstyles are starting to pick up fast. Although most of these trendy hairstyles are not really new, they continue to offer an endless styling variation that makes them remain fresh and fashionable.
From classic hairstyles like the buzz cut, pompadour, and comb-over, to modern cuts like the quiff, faux hawks, and fringe, these are some of the most popular men’s haircuts currently doing the rounds.
How To Choose The Right Haircut
Getting the right haircut can be a bit of a challenge, especially for men. It is much more than going to the barber and saying, “Keep it short” or “I like it long.” Here’s the thing: Your hair type (and length), face shape, and lifestyle are some of the factors that you need to consider when picking a hairstyle.
A great haircut should complement your face shape by enhancing your best features and minimising the less desirable ones. For example, if you have a big forehead, you want a hairstyle with a fringe that can either hide the forehead or make it less prominent. On the other hand, a guy with dark hair and blue eyes will benefit from a very tight haircut that makes the eyes pop.
To make things easier:
- Check online haircut galleries or celebrity pictures to pick the hairstyle you want.
- Make sure that the star or model has the same facial features and hair type as you.
- Print the image or save it on your phone and show it to your barber on your next visit.
But, even as you pick a haircut that works for your facial features and hair, you should also bring your profession into consideration. While the traditional workplace rules are more relaxed nowadays, you still don’t want to cross over the line.
Think of the image you want to portray to your clients, mostly if you work in a conservative environment. However, if your work environment is more creative, you are free to do as you please.
So, what men’s haircuts and hairstyles are proving popular right now? Check out the below styles for inspiration for your new look.
French Crop Haircut
Stylish and timeless, the French crop haircut has managed to hold its position as one of the most popular haircuts for men. Featuring a cropped fringe and being a prime candidate for pairing with a range of fade hairstyles, such as the taper fade or skin fade, this style offers an excellent option for guys who want to look elegant but don’t have the time to commit to styling and maintenance. The French crop haircut has become such a popular haircut for men due to its versatility, as it can work for virtually everyone, regardless of face shape.
It is also a men’s hairstyle that can work with a variety of hair types, including thick hair and curly hair – it can look the absolute business with wavy hair – and while the French crop haircut will work without any product or styling applied, you can work in a matte paste or some wax to give it a little bit of movement.
Probably the most fashionable and sleek hairstyle choice for the style-savvy guy, the quiff haircut requires extra length for the hair on top, combined with a fade haircut on the sides and back of the head. The only challenge with this hairstyle comes with styling, which can require a little more time and patience. That’s not to say it needs to look super preened and proper, as the quiff haircut benefits from looking messy, but you will still need to spend some time in front of the mirror to achieve the desired look.
The quiff haircut for men is one that can work for both thin hair and thick hair, but guys in the latter camp may find they need to spare a little more time in the morning to get the styling right. So, if you are the guy with time on your hands, you’ll need a hairdryer and some styling products, such as pomade, wax, putty, or mousse. However, if you have curly hair or wavy hair, you’ll soon realise the natural volume provided can make working it into a quiff hairstyle a walk in the park.
First, use your hairdryer to dry and provide some basic shape to the quiff, using a brush if you need help getting some height. Next, work some styling paste or wax into your hands and run them through the hair to help lock the quiff in place. Finally, finish with a light spray of hairspray to ensure your quiff holds its shape all day long.
With traditionally short sides and plenty of hair on top, the pompadour haircut is the quiff’s sleeker yet more voluminous cousin – and a favourite of David Beckham. However, the large volume of hair at the top (the pomp) makes it unique. Versatile and fashionable, the pompadour haircut for men can come in many forms, and can be paired with a range of fade haircut styles and various lengths of hair on top.
And, despite the images you may see of David Beckham rocking a faultless pompadour haircut with straight hair, the pompadour is a men’s haircut that can be enjoyed by guys with curly hair or wavy hair too. The end result will differ, of course, but curly hair can still be tamed into a high, voluminous hairstyle.
To style your pomp, you will need to apply your wax or pomade on damp hair, then comb all your hair back, gradually setting some volume at the top. Once you have your pomp, use a hairdryer it to keep it in shape and finish off with some hairspray.
Faux Hawk Haircut
Another haircut that has made it to the new year as a popular hairstyle for men is the faux hawk hairstyle. Closely related to the mohawk, the faux hawk (aka fohawk) offers the mohawk’s edgy and trendy aspects without all the drama. Unlike the mohawk, which features shaved sides and a dramatic strip of hair that runs down the middle of the head from front to the back, the fohawk has a more gradual transition between the long hair and the faded sides. A faux hawk is an excellent option for the fashion-forward man who wants to play up the punk weekends and look professional in the office.
Comb Over Haircut
Simple and infinitely versatile, the comb over hairstyle just had to make it to this list of popular men’s haircuts in 2021. Contrary to what you’d think about the comb over (maybe due to guys like Donald Trump), this is a men’s hairstyle that is cool, sophisticated and easy to achieve. The comb over is one of those men’s haircuts that has a deserved place in both formal and casual settings, and will comfortably carry you from boardroom to bar on a Friday evening.
It also offers up more than a thousand ways to wear it, whether you want a side part, a comb over undercut, or a comb over fade, this flexible hairstyle will do it for you. The hairstyle works with virtually any hair type, whether you’re sporting thick hair or thin hair, and even men with curly hair can have a crack at it. If it works for Justin Timberlake, it can work for you.
Ivy League Haircut
If you are thinking, “All these hairstyles are great and all, but I just need something simple.” Well, how about the Ivy League haircut? Simple, straightforward, and polished, the Ivy League – named after the Ivy League universities in the US, renowned for their preppiness – works best with a fade on the sides – if you don’t want a high fade, then a taper fade is your best bet – with a bit of length at the front, which you can part to one side.
The Ivy League men’s haircut is incredibly simple to style, as it only requires a small amount of product applied to towel-dried hair and, as long as you have the length of the hair on top right, there’s really no right and wrong when it comes to the final look.
Angular Fringe Hairstyle
The angular fringe is quickly gaining momentum as a popular men’s hairstyle for guys who want a youthful and stylish look. The hairstyle still borrows the “long top, short sides” concept, but the fringe is left hanging over the forehead, and it is cut at an angle to give texture. The haircut is ideal for guys with round faces and is also a great look to show off highlights.
Buzz Cut Fade Haircut
Hailing from military days, the buzz cut is the shortest and most drastic men’s haircut anyone can get. Back in those military days, the buzz cut – also called the induction cut – was given to new recruits to essentially remove their individuality and to act as a sort of uniform, as well as not giving enemy soldiers something to grab on to during battle.
This men’s haircut doesn’t require much explanation when sitting in the barber’s chair, as its notoriety will mean any barber will quickly whip out their clippers, remove the guard – or at least set it to a number 1 – and remove all your hair. You can’t get much more low maintenance than that.
If you want to introduce a little extra flair, you can combine your buzz cut with faded sides by way of having a number 2 on top, with the hair on the sides and back of the head gradually cut down to a skin fade. What you will find with the buzz cut, however, is that you’ll need to make regular visits to the barber to keep it looking its absolute best.