Despite a lack of hair length, short hairstyles can be interpreted in several different ways. Whether it be a slick, sophisticated quiff haircut or a more edgy and daring undercut with side-part, the possibilities when it comes to short hairstyles are almost endless.
Your face shape will ultimately determine what short men’s haircuts work for you. This could be anything from a buzz cut to a crew cut, or a faux hawk to a taper fade. For each short haircut, there are even more variations.
While this presents potentially too much choice when it comes to deciding on a short hairstyle, it also means there is effectively no ‘wrong’ answer.
What To Ask Your Barber
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 type of cut you’re after stored on your phone, whether these be of celebrities or images you’ve found online when you search ‘short haircuts for men’. Only 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 cut, no matter how good it may look on someone else. Like it or not, there are several different hair types; from straight and curly to afro and Asian, and these can have a direct effect on the short haircut that works best for you.
A good barber or hairdresser will also ask you questions about what you wear – daytime, work time, and party time. They’ll approach your overall cut with this in mind to keep you looking good in your threads.
Maintaining Short Men’s Hair
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.
Iconic Short Men’s Haircuts To Know
Need some inspiration? We’ve rounded up some of the most popular men’s short hairstyles to help you decide which are best for you.
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. But for a more modern approach, you should consider asking your barber to add a fade on the sides.
Equally popular as the buzz cut and also with military roots is the crew cut. Best suited to those with squarer faces and thicker hair (although most men should be able to achieve a crew cut of some description) and easy to maintain, it’s 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 have one length all over (if going for authenticity) the hair on top will be longer than the sides, so if you like to work some product into your hair, this is the one to go for.
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 be in the possession of a suave haircut that works just as well in the boardroom as it does at the weekend.
The French Crop is a seriously classic haircut for men and 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, usually, much shorter sides to create a high contrast between the two.
Ivy League Men’s Haircut
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.
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.
With clear inspiration taken from the Pompadour, the quiff hairstyle is one that can be worn by men of all ages and 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.
Which brings us on 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, and 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.
To help you first decide if a short haircut is for you and furthermore, how to achieve a good one and how to maintain and style it, DMARGE reached out to some of Sydney’s best barbers, for their professional opinions.
Tips & Tricks
Adam Walmsley – Friends & Family
- Keep the contrast in length to a minimum!
- Having a short haircut that blends gradually from the back and sides into a slightly longer length on top will increase the longevity and the versatility. Using this as a guide frees you up to wear a cropped cut, skin-tight or suede soft.
- Don’t be tied to one type of product, although a decent product can be pricey, having 3 or 4 variations in both hold and texture will help you dress for any occasion.
- Stronger hold products such as Davines ‘This Is A Strong Hold Wax, is a must for creating definition in tightly cropped lengths.
- For a more relaxed, “who gives a f*ck?”, texture try drying a medium hold paste into your short hair from wet. The key is experimenting and don’t always do what it tells you to do on the tin.
- It’s a given that a short haircut needs more upkeep so you’ll need regular trips to your hairdresser but there is a way of squeezing out an extra week of looking sharp.
- Make sure your hairdresser graduates your hairline around the back and sides as close to a natural finish as is possible. This means no hard lines on the neck! So if you guy asks you if you want a square or V-shapes hairline at the back, run for the hills because he’s not your guy anymore.
Anthony Nader – RAW Hair Salon Sydney
- Texture, texture, and more texture is the secret to keep your short precision hair cut looking fantastic and in shape for longer. Ask your hairstylist to cut more texture into your next haircut, then you can get more leverage and create even more cool hair shapes on top.
- For the days you want to go that choppy dishevelled look, get yourself a tub a moulding paste and this will make you look campaign-worthy.
- For the days you want to go on the smoother route, go get yourself a bottle of Kiehl’s Silk Groom.
Phoenix Thomson – American Crew
- Keeping your hair short can often become less than exciting if you don’t keep a little length to work with. My advice for this season is keeping a look versatile, with added length on top.
- Being able to morph your short hairstyle into a more groomed and dapper shape can be as easy as using a product with a high shine and shaping with a comb to create a smoother finish. Try drying American Crew Firm Hold Gel into the hair to give support and finish off with a small amount of American Crew Pomade wiped over the surface to keep the hair in place, and create a high shine result.
- Short hair does mean more visits to the salon to keep the hairline in shape and any unwanted neck hair at bay. Keeping your appointments to a four-weekly routine will ensure your look is always fresh.
Short Haircuts FAQ
What are the best styling products for short hairsyles?
Brands such as American Crew, Patricks and Kevin Murphy offer some of the highest quality hair products for men on the market. The short haircut you have will determine what sort of product you get, but for the majority, a
What is the most popular short hairstyle for men?
Choosing just one popular short hairstyle is hard, however, some of the most popular short hairstyles men can be seen sporting including a fade, the undercut and the Pompadour.
How do I style short hair?
All men's short haircuts will be styled differently, but a general rule of the thumb says you should use a hairdryer and a comb if you want to achieve a quiff or Pompadour style, or any hairstyle that you want to remain exactly in place. Otherwise, you can apply a hair styling product to towel-dried hair, using your hands to work it through. Use only a small amount of hairspray to lock your style in place.