Short hairstyles for men have always been a popular choice. They’re versatile, stylish, and can be easily customized to suit any personality. When you choose a short haircut, you’re essentially making a statement about who you are and what you want to project to the world. Are you looking for a classic and timeless look? Or do you want something more edgy and daring? The possibilities are endless.
The best part about short haircuts is that they’re constantly evolving. There are always new trends and styles to try, so you can always find something that reflects your current mood or sense of style. And because short haircuts are so versatile, you can easily change them up if you want to experiment with something new.
Some popular short hair simple hairstyles for men include the crew cut, buzz cut, Mohawk, slicked back, undercut, French crop, faux hawk, textured crop and quiff. Remember, the important thing is to choose a style that you feel confident and comfortable with. Let’s dive in!
In This Short Haircut Story…
What The Experts Say
We asked Adam Walmsley, a hairdresser and salon owner with over 20 years of experience cutting men’s hair, all about short hair for men:
When it comes to cutting short hair:
- Keep the contrast in length to a minimum when choosing short haircuts for men. Having a short haircut that blends gradually from the back and sides into a slightly longer length on top will increase longevity and versatility.
- Make sure your hairdresser graduates your hairline around the back and sides as close to a natural finish as possible. This means no hard lines on the neck!
When it comes to styling short hair:
- The best thing about short hair is its versatility. If you want something slick, you can opt for a classic pomade which will imbue it with a lovely shin for those occasions where you want to look sharp.
- For casual occasions, something like a clay is great, offering the same hold as a pomade but with a matte finish. Its fibrous nature also offers a more textured finish if you like a messier look. Moulding pastes work here too.
- Most men find that one of these options works and will stick to their chosen product for years at a time. Why not get a wax in your rotation too? This will give you another option should you want to keep things fresh and is a perfect middle ground for work. We recommend Davines for a strong hold.
This Is A Strong Moulding clay allows for lets you get creative with hairstyling, providing a long-lasting hold without a sticky or wet-looking finish.
Asking Your Barber For A Short Haircut
Don’t expect to just sit down in the chair and let your barber cut away. It’s always useful to have several examples of the short hairstyle you’re after stored on your phone, whether these be of celebrities or images you’ve found online.
Use celebrities as inspiration for hairstyles for short hair, as you’re unlikely to replicate their exact look.
As any good barber will tell you, we’re not all made for the same style of a short hairstyle, no matter how good it may look on someone else. Like it or not, there are several different hair types; straight or wavy, thin or thick, there’s a lot to consider.
These factors and many more can have a direct effect on the short haircut that works for you. A good barber or hairdresser will also ask you questions about what you wear. They’ll approach your overall cut with this in mind to keep you looking good in your threads.
Maintaining Short Hairstyles For Men
Short haircuts look their best when they are just that, short. Inevitably, your hair grows and after 2-3 weeks it will start to look a little untidy, especially around the neckline and over your ears. To help combat this unkempt look, make sure you revisit your barber every four weeks at the very least. If you’re able to maintain a regular schedule, hitting that sweet 3-week mark will have you looking slick and suave all year round.
Keeping on top of the maintenance will be of particular importance to guys with thick hair. When you get your hair cut short, it’s always a good idea to ask your barber to point cut it to create some texture, allowing you to be able to run your hands through it much easier, and removing some of the weight.
If you have thick hair, this texture will disappear as your hair grows, making it harder to style and taking longer to dry.
Popular Celebrities Who Often Keep Their Hair Short
Our Favourite Short Hairstyle Ideas
Need some inspiration? We’ve rounded up some of the most popular men’s short hairstyles to help you decide which is best for you.
Buzz Cut Haircut
Rather than go for one length all over, the buzz cut can be modernised with short, faded sides.
Possibly the most low-maintenance haircut for all men, the buzz cut is a military-inspired look that can add some sophistication to your overall appearance. You can achieve an authentic buzz cut yourself at home by taking a set of clippers set to one length and hacking away.
However, if you leave it the same length all over, you end up stepping into butch cut territory (more on that below), so for a more modern approach, you should consider asking your barber to add a fade on the sides.
The fade itself can be anything from a low-fade to a high-fade, or even a taper fade. The boundaries between the buzz cut, butch cut and crew cut definitely blur somewhat, so be sure to be clear with your barber what you’re after. Ask for their professional opinion as to which style will suit your face type the best.
Butch Cut Haircut
The butch cut is the name given to a haircut that is the same length all over. You can easily achieve it yourself at home, and you can choose any length you wish.
The butch cut haircut is incredibly similar to the buzz cut above but goes super short all over in one uniform length. Uniform is the keyword there, since this haircut is one predominantly adopted by those in the military.
While we say it’s super short, that doesn’t mean you have to opt for a number 1 or a number 2 on the clippers for it to be considered ‘butch’, but you could equally go for a 4 or 5, just as long as it’s the same length all over.
It’s with this in mind that the butch cut can easily be achieved at home by yourself or with the help of a partner. All it requires you to do is run the clippers all over your head, leaving no stray hairs behind.
As for styling the butch cut, there isn’t a lot you can do because of the short length. However, you can apply some wax to the hair to provide a shinier finish and prevent it from looking fluffy.
Crew Cut Haircut
The crew cut is a neat and tidy short hairstyle for men that requires little to no maintenance.
Equally popular as the buzz cut and also with military roots is the crew haircut. Best suited to those with squarer faces and thick hair it’s easy to maintain and the perfect all-rounder. If you’ve never gone short before, the crew cut is the best option for first-timers.
It’s similar to the buzz cut above but rather than having one length all over the hair on top will be longer than the sides. If you like to work some product into your hair, this is the one to go for.
As seen here on Channing Tatum, the crew cut works well with a quiff when styled, but it can also look great with a side-part hairstyle below.
Short Side-Part Haircut
A side-part can be applied to most short men’s haircuts, but provides the most impact when paired with a short haircut, perfect for the office or at the bar.
The side-part hairstyle for men can be applied to all hair lengths but is particularly effective for short hair. You’ll need regular maintenance to keep the side as short as possible, but do so and you’ll have a suave haircut that works just as well in the boardroom as at the weekend.
Whilst you need a hard, defined part for it to be called a side-part, what you do with the sides is down to you.
French Crop Haircut
The French crop is a very fashion-focused haircut that can be cut and styled in a number of ways, but is defined by a short, usually blunt, fringe with short back and sides.
The French Crop is a seriously classic short haircut for men that can be worn in any number of ways.
The original French Crop asks for clipped hair on the back and sides, with the top cut only slightly longer. Modern interpretations see the hair remaining longer on top than the sides, but with a blunt fringe and much shorter sides to create a high contrast between the two.
Taper Fade Haircut
The taper fade haircut can be paired with virtually any short or medium men’s hairstyle, and is defined by the smooth taper fading effect on the sides of the head.
The taper fade haircut has proven to be incredibly popular with men in recent years, thanks to its suave style, sophistication and ability to pair well with casual and formal outfits.
It also suits a wide range of face types too, compared to something like a high fade, for example.
The taper fade haircut is named as such because of the way the hair tapers on the sides of the head, going from longer to shorter, blended together to create a smooth transition.
However, the rate at which the hair transitions from long to short is up to you, as there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answer. You can even taper down to expose the skin, if you wish.
As for the hair on top, the length at which you have it is also down to you, although your face shape may come into play. Ultimately, you can pair the taper fade with pretty much any short or medium-length men’s hairstyle, and you’ll be onto a winner.
Ivy League Haircut
The Ivy League haircut for men combines elements of the side-part hairstyle with crew cut and even the quiff, resulting in a sophisticated look that is great for formal occasions.
Named after the high-profile American universities, the Ivy League combines elements of several other haircuts.
Similar to a crew cut in that the hair at the front is longer than at the back (the length will vary depending on the individual’s face shape and hair type) and worn in a side part, the Ivy League is usually styled with wax to give a slick, business-style finish haircut for men.
Caesar Cut Haircut
The Caesar cut is similar to the French Crop in that it has a short fringe and has the hair moving forward. It can work for straight, wavy and curly hair types.
Named after the notorious Roman Emperor, the classic Caesar cut calls for the same hair length all over, cut horizontally with straight bangs (fringe).
While its history can be traced back hundreds of years, it is very much a modern men’s cut, although we feel a tapered fade will be more effective for any men wanting this cut.
This is short hair at its imperial finest.
The quiff is a classic hairstyle for men that sees the hair kept longer on top than the sides, and longer at the front than at the back. This allows the hair at the front to be styled upwards and back.
With clear inspiration taken from the Pompadour, the quiff haircut is one that can be worn by men of all ages in many ways.
While all quiffs call for longer hair on the top than on the sides, a classic version will only exhibit a slight variance in length between the two.
More modern versions can range from anywhere between a classic short back and sides to an undercut, giving a seriously hard contrast. This looks great if you have thick hair.
The Pompadour, whatever the length, is similar to the quiff, but requires the full head of hair to be styled upwards and back, creating a seriously voluminous style.
This brings us perfectly to the pompadour. Named after a mistress of King Louis XV of France the pompadour is instantly recognisable due to its sheer volume.
Classic examples of this haircut resemble the late great Elvis Presley (meaning your hair needs to be longer), but modern interpretations scale it back a little.
This is where the short pompadour haircut comes into play. There is some crossover with the quiff, but the short pompadour hairstyle will be far more streamlined and unified. Another thick hair winner.
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The shape-up is characterized by its clean lines and precise edges. The hairline is shaved to a crisp, and the sideburns are neatly trimmed. The top of the head is left slightly longer, but it’s still styled to perfection. It’s a versatile haircut that can be adapted to any hair type or face shape. It’s also relatively low-maintenance, so you can look your best without spending hours in the barbing salon.
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The Undercut has been around for centuries but has experienced a thrilling revival in recent times. This is thanks in part to celebrities like David Beckham and Brad Pitt, who have helped to make the Undercut a symbol of rebellious charm. The sides can be buzzed, tapered into a seamless blend with the remaining hair, or faded for a softer transition.
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With this style, the top part of the hair is left longer and more voluminous, while the sides are trimmed shorter, creating a noticeable contrast. If you want a sleek and sophisticated look, simply comb the top hair back for a polished appearance that’s suitable for formal settings or special occasions. On the other hand, if you’re up for a more casual and edgy vibe, adding some texture and volume to the top will give you that effortless appearance.
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One key feature of this cut is the ease of styling. With minimal effort, you can achieve a stylish look. Simply apply some texturizing product to your damp hair, then use your fingers to create the desired texture and shape. This is one of the best short hairstyles for men because it works wonders for adding structure to your face. The textured top draws attention upward, accentuating your facial features and giving you a more defined and chiselled appearance.
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This haircut is designed to showcase a sharp and well-groomed image, making it ideal for men who value a refined and sophisticated aesthetic. It is also well-suited for men with slightly longer hair, as it requires enough length on top to create a sweeping and smooth effect that lasts throughout the day.
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This is a trendy look that gives off a relaxed and carefree vibe. The key to achieving the messy look is to embrace a natural and undone feel as if you’ve just rolled out of bed looking effortlessly cool. The messy look works best with hair that has some natural wave or texture. It’s about enhancing the hair’s natural movement rather than trying to control it completely.
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Dreadlocks offer a unique and culturally rich hairstyle that has grown in popularity across various communities. The short hair is twisted and coiled into sections, forming tightly packed dreadlocks that rest close to the scalp. Regular maintenance is crucial to keep the dreads neat and clean. It involves regular washing and retwisting to maintain their shape and prevent the locks from forming larger dread clumps.
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To achieve the side part, the hair is generally tapered or faded on the sides, while the top remains longer. The length on top can vary depending on personal preference, but it typically allows for enough versatility to style it to one side. Styling is relatively straightforward and you can start by creating a clean and precise parting line, usually on the left or right side of the head. For a modern twist, you can opt for a slightly more casual and loose parting, allowing for a more natural appearance.
High & Tight
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As the name suggests, this haircut features a high fade or buzz cut on the sides and back, with the hair cut short and tight, while the top is left relatively longer. The high & tight is favoured for its low-maintenance nature and practicality, making it a popular choice in military settings and among men who prefer a fuss-free haircut.
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The bowl cut is a distinctive and polarizing haircut that has seen various interpretations over the years. It is characterized by its rounded shape, resembling a bowl placed on top of the head with the hair cut short all around. The popularity has varied throughout different fashion eras, and its appeal is subjective and dependent on personal taste.
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Quite similar to the bowl cut, the Edgar cut is a stylish men’s haircut that has gained popularity in recent years, particularly in the urban and hip-hop communities. The haircut involves a uniform length all around the head, often very short or even buzzed. It boasts a defined and sharp hairline, creating a boxy and angular appearance.
This is a subtle and elegant variation of a classic hairstyle. It involves creating a natural-looking part that is less defined and sharp compared to a traditional hard part. The hair is typically short to medium in length, allowing for natural flow and movement. The soft part is placed slightly off-centre, and lightweight styling products can be used to maintain the look.
Short Hair Designs
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The designs are typically achieved by carefully shaving away specific sections of hair while leaving others untouched. This expressive haircut is a bold choice if you’re up for trying something daring and fun. It’s important to find an experienced barber or stylist who is proficient in using clippers and has a keen eye for precision and detail.
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The primary purpose of the military cut was to provide soldiers with a practical and functional haircut that didn’t interfere with their duties. It keeps the hair short and controlled, making it suitable for military regulations and ensuring a professional appearance. It is designed to be low-maintenance and practical, requiring minimal styling.
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The hair on the top is parted on one side, and then combed smoothly over to the opposite side, creating a sleek and neat appearance. Some individuals opt for a longer, more dramatic comb-over, while others prefer a shorter and more subtle version. It is a popular choice for men of all ages and style preferences.
Flat Top or Punk
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This haircut has been around for decades. The sharp edges of the flat top are what give it its distinctive look. The hair is precisely trimmed to achieve clean lines which gives it a geometric appearance. It’s been embraced by punk rockers and subcultures as a symbol of rebellion and nonconformity. It can also be styled with a pompadour, a quiff, or a side part.
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The regulation cut and the military cut are two similar short hairstyles for men with thin hair, with subtle differences. The former often features a bit more length and versatility on the crown area, allowing for various styling options. On the other hand, the latter usually has a more uniform and shorter length throughout, with less emphasis on styling possibilities.
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To achieve the signature spiky look, the hair on top is styled using a hair product like wax or gel. The product is applied to the hair and then shaped and spiked upwards using the fingers or a comb. The spikes can vary in size and length. Regular trims are necessary to maintain the sharp effect of the spiky haircut, which may require an added cost and time commitment.
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This one’s a bold and edgy hairstyle that combines shaved or closely-cropped sides with a strip of longer hair running down the centre of the head. This longer strip of hair is often styled into a spike or a small row of spikes. While the short mohawk may not be suitable for all professional or conservative environments, it offers a way for you to showcase your adventurous spirit and style.
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The high fade features a gradual transition from longer hair on top to very short or even shaved sides, creating a clean look. It starts with longer hair at the top and as the hair moves down the sides and back, it is faded, gradually getting shorter until it reaches the skin or close to it.
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The short mullet is a more limited but modern take on the classic mullet hairstyle. Instead of the dramatic length seen in traditional mullets, the back length is more subtle and controlled. It extends to the nape of the neck or just above the shoulders, creating a gradual and well-blended transition from the shorter sides to the longer back.
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The key distinction of the low fade is its starting point. Unlike the high fade that begins higher up the head, often above the temples, this variation starts around the ear level or slightly above it. It works well for individuals with round or oval faces, as the fade adds height and elongates the face.
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Sitting just above the forehead, the short fringe haircut features short, face-framing bangs. Consider your facial structure when opting for a short fringe. It tends to work well for individuals with oval, square or heart-shaped faces. The bangs can help soften angular features by adding width to the forehead. Note that your hair’s natural texture may affect how the fringe sits, so it’s essential to discuss with your barber to determine the best approach to cutting and styling the bangs.
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While short hair may limit the complexity and length of braids compared to longer hair, short braids can still be styled and offer a chic aesthetic. They can be worn down for a more casual and relaxed look or pulled back into a half-up, half-down style or a ponytail for a sleek appearance. Regularly moisturizing the scalp and hair and gently re-braiding any loose strands will help keep the style looking neat and well-maintained.
Short Hair Waves
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Achieving waves with short hair involves creating a pattern of gentle, undulating waves that add texture and dimension to the hair. While naturally wavy or curly hair may be easier to style into waves, straight hair can be texturized and shaped to create the desired wave pattern. The technique involves using quite an amount of products like wax or a wave-enhancing cream.
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Short Curtains are a wonderful choice for short hair. It focuses on the front section of the hair, specifically the bangs that frame the face. They can be styled in various ways, including natural and slightly tousled looks, swept to the side or parted down the middle. Artists like David Cassidy, John Lennon and Jon Bon Jovi were known for their charming and stylish curtain bangs, which became influential in shaping fashion trends at the time.
Peaky Blinders Haircut
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The popular British television drama series created by Steven Knight premiered in 2013 and has garnered a massive following worldwide. This Peaky Blinders haircut showcases classic elegance and a nod to the roaring 20s. It draws inspiration from the post-war era and complements the show’s setting and characters’ personas including that of the iconic Tommy Shelby.
Short Layered Haircut
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This is a versatile and popular haircut that involves cutting the hair into layers of varying lengths. This technique creates textured movement throughout the hair, making it a flattering option for various hair types and face shapes. It can also be a low-maintenance option, especially for those with naturally wavy or curly hair, making it one of the best short-wavy hairstyles for men. The layers can simply fall into place with minimal effort.
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This haircut resembles the tousled and carefree look of a mop, hence the term “Mop Cut.” It is a popular choice for men who want a laid-back style without committing to a highly structured or formal look. The hair is intentionally cut and styled to achieve a natural, undone look, adding a sense of ease to your appearance.
While the pixie cut is more commonly associated with women, more men are embracing this edgy and fashion-forward style. The hallmark of the pixie cut is its ultra-short length. The hair is typically cut close to the scalp, with a few longer strands left for styling possibilities. It can also enhance face and accentuate cheekbones, making it especially flattering for men with angular or oval faces.
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The short afro is a popular option among short hairstyles for men with curly hair. It’s ideal for individuals with curly, coily or kinky hair textures. The natural curls create the signature rounded shape, and the hairstyle celebrates the uniqueness of textured hair. The afro has been a symbol of pride, identity and resistance, representing a celebration of Black beauty and heritage.
Forward Swept Hair
One noticeable feature here is the front section of hair that is swept forward, hence the name. This haircut thrives on texture, so it’s not the best fit for those with very fine or straight hair. To enhance the look, some hair products like texturizing clay or wax can be used to add volume and hold to the swept-forward section. Regular trims every 4-6 weeks are recommended to keep the style fresh and the proportions in check.
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The curly top is one of the popular short curly hairstyles for men, and it brings out the best in those luscious curls. To make the most of your natural curl pattern, the hair is often layered. This not only enhances the curls’ natural fall but also prevents your hair from looking too heavy or unmanageable. Curly hair tends to be on the drier side, so keeping it well-hydrated is crucial. Regular conditioning and moisturizing hair products designed for curls can work wonders.
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This no-frills haircut emphasizes a sharp, confident look without any distractions. Forget hair hassles! The burr cut is your low-maintenance wingman. No more bad hair days as the hair is uniformly short all over, thanks to those trusty clippers. Regular touch-ups every few weeks will do the trick to keep the length consistent and on point. It’s a solid choice among short hairstyles for older men.
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The magic lies in the twists! Your hair is sectioned into small segments and then carefully twisted, creating defined coils and waves. While short twists are relatively low-maintenance compared to some other styles, they still require some care and occasional touch-ups. If you prefer a hairstyle/cut that requires minimal upkeep, short twists might not be the best choice for you.
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The skin fade is all about creating a seamless transition from ultra-short or shaved sides to longer hair on top giving the illusion of hair “fading” into the skin. The barber will pay close attention to detail, ensuring the fade is even and symmetrical. They may use trimmers to create crisp lines and clean up any stray hairs. With the sides and back shaved close to the skin, the focus is on the longer hair on top, allowing you to style it in various ways, from a slicked-back look to a textured and messy style.
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A daring collision of lengths and textures that come together in a hair symphony like no other. The top section boasts a flow of longer hair, while the sides take a daring plunge into shaved territory. The haircut has been embraced by celebrities and influencers, which adds to its appeal and popularity.
Short Textured Pompadour
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This is the hair equivalent of a rockstar strutting on stage! You got that signature pomp action going on, but instead of being all serious and stiff, it’s got that laid-back and playful texture. It’s all about that volume game! It’s hair that stands tall like it’s got a ticket to the front row at a concert. Might be slicked back, but it’s still got a rebellious attitude.
Burst Fade Haircut
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Unlike other variations of the fade short hairstyles of men, the burst fade is subtly shaped around the ears to give the illusion of a burst, creating a focal point that sets this style apart. The barber must carefully blend the different clipper guard lengths to achieve a smooth gradient that looks natural and polished. Achieving symmetry and balance is essential for any haircut, but it’s especially crucial for a style like a burst fade, where precision plays a significant role.
Short High Fade with Surgical Line
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The hair is clipped short on the sides and back, starting higher up on the head and drawing attention to the upper section of the haircut. This creates the fade which is further blended ensuring no harsh lines disrupt the flow. The surgical line is the pièce de résistance of this haircut and it is a precise and well-defined shaved line that cuts through the fade, usually positioned horizontally or diagonally for added flair.