The Crew Cut Haircut: From Military Roots to Modern Styles

The Fashionisto


Updated April 2, 2024

Crew Cut Haircut MenPin
Explore the crew cut haircut in all its contemporary variations.

The crew cut is a classic men’s hairstyle featuring a short top that smoothly transitions into even shorter sides and back, epitomizing simplicity and practicality. Originating from military traditions and considered a buzz cut hairstyle, it has evolved to encompass a variety of modern styles.

Crew Cut Haircuts

By blending the straightforwardness of the buzz cut with a modest interpretation of the pompadour’s volume, the crew cut navigates contemporary trends with ease. It offers everything from sleek, minimal cuts to modern undercuts and bold quiffs, highlighting its versatility and timeless appeal.

Crew Cut

A well-crafted Crew Cut provides a low-maintenance hairstyle.Pin
A well-crafted Crew Cut provides a low-maintenance hairstyle. Photo: Shutterstock

A Crew Cut is a classic choice for men seeking a hairstyle that requires minimal effort yet offers a clean, sharp look. This cut, characterized by short hair that gradually tapers from the crown to the temples, is timeless.

Use a small amount of pomade or hair wax to add texture to the crown, giving it a subtle lift and volume. This haircut works exceptionally well with varying degrees of facial hair, allowing for a personal grooming touch ranging from clean-shaven to a well-groomed beard, adding an extra layer of masculinity to the overall aesthetic.

Crew Cut Comb Over

Crew Cut Comb OverPin
The Crew Cut Comb Over offers a classic style with a modern twist for a polished look. Photo: Shutterstock

The Crew Cut Comb Over is another sophisticated rendition of the traditional Crew Cut. The hair on the top is kept long enough to comb over to one side, creating a sleek appearance.

The sides are cut shorter, enhancing the contrast and adding to the style’s neatness. This cut requires some styling effort; a comb and a light touch of pomade or hair gel can help maintain the side-swept look throughout the day.

It’s an excellent style for those with straight or slightly wavy hair and can be tailored to suit various face shapes by adjusting the side length and the volume on top.

Crew Cut Fade

Crew Cut FadePin
The Crew Cut Fade offers a gradual blend ideal for highlighting the face. Photo: Shutterstock

The Crew Cut Fade is a sleek, contemporary hairstyle that marries the classic Crew Cut with a gradual fade on the sides and back, enhancing the face’s natural angles. This haircut is characterized by a seamless transition from the skin to the longer hair on top, offering a clean and defined silhouette.

Achieving the perfect fade requires precision with hair clippers, gradually shortening the length from the top to the skin for a smooth gradient effect. The top of the hair, while kept relatively short, should have enough length to allow for some styling flexibility, whether it’s a touch of volume or a slight comb-over.

Crew Cut Quiff

Crew Cut QuiffPin
Elevate your look with a Crew Cut Quiff, which brings a voluminous twist to the classic style. Photo: Shutterstock

The Crew Cut Quiff modernizes the traditional Crew Cut by incorporating a quiff at the front, where the hair is styled upward and back for added volume and texture. This hairstyle blends the clean, short sides of a Crew Cut with the quiff’s more styled and sculpted appearance.

To style a quiff, a blow dryer can direct the hair upwards from the forehead, followed by a small amount of pomade or wax to hold the shape. The quiff adds a flair to the otherwise straightforward Crew Cut, making it a popular choice for those who want to make a statement while maintaining a neat and professional appearance.

Crew Cut Taper Fade

Crew Cut Taper FadePin
Choose a Crew Cut Taper Fade to achieve a sophisticated, streamlined look. Photo: Shutterstock

The Crew Cut Taper Fade is a sophisticated style that gradually fades from the temples to the nape of the neck. The top is kept at a uniform length, contrasting the skin-tight fade at the sides and back.

To maintain this look, regular visits to the barber are essential for keeping the fade sharp and the top perfectly trimmed. Ideal for those with a busy lifestyle, the Crew Cut Taper Fade is both a practical and stylish choice, reducing styling time to a minimum while maintaining a polished look.

Curly Crew Cut

Curly Crew CutPin
Show off your curls with a Curly Crew Cut. Photo: Shutterstock

This take on the Crew Cut is perfect for those with naturally curly hair, combining easy maintenance with a stylish edge. The sides and back are kept short, typically with a taper or fade to draw attention to the curls on top.

The top is left long enough to let the curls do their thing, providing texture and a playful, modern, and masculine look. It’s best to keep styling simple: a bit of curl-enhancing cream or light mousse can help define the curls without crunching.

The key to curly hair is to avoid over-combing, which can disrupt the curl pattern and cause frizz.

Flat Top Crew Cut

Flat Top Crew CutPin
Stand tall with a Flat Top Crew Cut, a structured style that adds height and presence and is ideal for a striking, squared-off look. Photo: Shutterstock

The Flat Top Crew Cut is a statement hairstyle that is both retro and modern. It features a flat, horizontal top reminiscent of the classic military styles, with the hair on the sides and back neatly faded or tapered for a clean-cut finish.

Achieving the perfect flat top requires precision cutting, usually with clippers, to ensure the top of the hair is perfectly level. This cut offers a bold silhouette for those with naturally straight hair, with the top’s flat surface providing a distinctive profile.

Styling usually involves a small amount of hair gel or pomade to keep the top hair upright and maintain that sharp, flat appearance throughout the day.

Forward Brush Crew Cut

Forward Brush Crew CutPin
Step into effortless style with a Forward Brush Crew Cut, perfect for adding texture and direction. Photo: Andrey K / Unsplash

The Forward Brush Crew Cut is a distinctive take on the classic style. It is characterized by hair brushed forward towards the forehead, giving it a textured and intentional look.

This hairstyle is short on the sides and back, while the top is cut to allow the hair to be styled forward, creating a modern edge. It’s an ideal variation for those seeking low-maintenance yet stylish hair that can be quickly managed with a simple pass of a hairbrush or comb and a touch of hair wax for added texture.

This style works well with natural hair movement and can be particularly flattering for men with straight or slightly wavy hair.

Ivy League Cut

Ivy League CutPin
For a sophisticated look, the Ivy League Cut is your go-to. Photo: PodMatch / Unsplash

The Ivy League Cut, a variation of the Crew Cut, is known for its clean, sharp lines and slightly longer length on top, allowing for side-swept hair. This polished look is easy to maintain with just a comb and a bit of pomade for a smooth finish that defines the style.

The sides are kept short and tidy, often achieved with scissors for a more personalized touch. Regular maintenance is necessary to keep the cut precise, with visits to the barber recommended every few weeks for a trim.

Short Crew Cut with Hard Part

Short Crew Cut Hard PartPin
Maintain a razor-sharp edge in your style with a Short Crew Cut featuring a hard part. Photo: iStock

The Short Crew Cut with a hard part is a definitive style that exudes confidence. The hard part is a shaved line contrasting the short sides and slightly longer tops.

This haircut element is precise and intentional, adding an air of sharpness to the classic Crew Cut. Regular upkeep with a barber is essential to keep this look pristine, as the hard part needs to be redefined to maintain its prominence.

Styling is minimal; a light application of pomade or hair gel can keep the top section neat, while the cleanly shaved sides require little to no product.

Side Part Crew Cut

Crew Cut Side PartPin
For a timeless silhouette, opt for the Side Part Crew Cut, where a neat part adds a touch of sophistication. Photo: Shutterstock

The Side Part Crew Cut embodies classic charm, integrating a distinct parting line that adds structure and formality to the Crew Cut’s simplicity. This style is achieved by cutting the hair short on the sides and back using hair clippers while keeping enough length on top to establish a clean side part.

The part should be razor-sharp, creating a noticeable definition against the shorter sides. To maintain the part and enhance the haircut’s geometry, a comb and a small amount of hair gel or pomade can be used for a sleek, polished finish.

Spiky Hair Crew Cut

Spiky Hair Crew CutPin
Inject some edge into your look with a Spiky Hair Crew Cut, a lively variation that brings texture and character. Photo: Shutterstock

The Spiky Hair Crew Cut is a bold and modern twist on the traditional crew cut. Here, the hair on top is cut to allow for spikes, which can be styled with products like hair gel or wax for a firm hold and a spiky finish.

The sides are kept short to maintain the neatness of the crew cut, providing a stark contrast with the textured top. This hairstyle is especially popular among younger men and is often associated with a playful, energetic personality.

Textured Crew Cut

Textured Crew CutPin
Step up your style with a Textured Crew Cut, where hair wax enhances the volume. Photo: Shutterstock

The Textured Crew Cut is a fashionable adaptation of the classic Crew Cut that introduces an element of edge and personality. By incorporating texture on top, this cut deviates from the traditional uniform shortness, allowing for a more casual yet controlled appearance.

The sides and back are kept short, typically with hair clippers, creating a tidy fade contrasting with the volume at the top. To style, apply a coin-sized amount of hair wax to dry or slightly damp hair and work it through, focusing on creating movement and an inch or so of lift at the crown for that desired rugged effect.

This cut particularly complements a face with prominent features or a structured jawline, as the added volume on top can balance the overall geometry of the face.

Wavy Hair Crew Cut

Wavy Hair Crew CutPin
Capture the essence of effortless style with a Wavy Hair Crew Cut. Photo: Shutterstock

A Wavy Hair Crew Cut is a sophisticated choice for those who possess natural waves and desire a low-maintenance yet fashionable hairstyle. This variation of the Crew Cut allows the waves to become the focal point, giving a soft, textured look on top, while the sides are cut shorter to provide a clean, crisp frame to the face.

Styling such a cut is straightforward: a bit of hair mousse or light hair gel can enhance the waves without weighing them down, ensuring the hair remains dynamic and full of movement. The cut must be layered correctly to accommodate the waves, allowing them to sit naturally and complement the head’s shape.

The Crew Cut’s Timeless Charm

Crew Cut MenPin
The crew cut reflects enduring style, weaving through history from wartime valor to contemporary chic. Photo: Shutterstock

The crew cut is a timeless symbol of style and elegance, a versatile masterpiece that has gracefully transitioned through the decades. From the classic butch cut to the contemporary taper fade, it has established itself as a staple in men’s hair.

Tracing its roots back to the heroic arenas of World War II and the competitive environments of Ivy League sports, the crew cut has consistently been a mark of action and sophistication. Its enduring presence in modern culture pays homage to its everlasting charm, earning accolades from avant-garde admirers and traditionalists alike.

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