The Ivy League Haircut: A Classic Revisited for Modern Men

The Fashionisto


Updated April 2, 2024

Ivy League Haircut MenPin
Revisit the classic Ivy League haircut and its modern variations.

The Ivy League haircut, a refined variation of the classic crew cut, has symbolized sophistication and style since its inception. Originating from the prestigious Ivy League universities in the United States, this timeless haircut was initially adopted by students who wanted a neat, low-maintenance style that still exuded an air of refinement.

Ivy League Haircuts

Characterized by its short, closely-cropped sides and slightly longer top, the Ivy League haircut allows for various styling options. Over the years, the Ivy League haircut has evolved to include modern interpretations, including fades, undercuts, and textured tops.

Classic Ivy League Haircut

Ivy League HairstylePin
The Ivy League haircut embodies a timeless fad that has evolved with the practices of Ivy League institutions. Photo: Shutterstock

This variation of the crew cut, characterized by enough length to part the hair and sometimes feature short bangs, offers both a polished image and practicality. To maintain this look, invest in a high-quality hair conditioner that caters to short hair, ensuring it stays healthy and manageable.

About every three to four weeks, regular trims are essential to keep the sides trim and the top impeccably uniform. Utilizing mineral oil can enhance the hair’s natural luster without weighing it down.

Brushed Up Ivy League Haircut

Brushed Up Ivy League HaircutPin
Revel in the understated elegance of the Brushed Up Ivy League. Photo: Shutterstock

This variation of the Ivy League haircut is modernized with a brushed-up technique that adds volume and a sense of motion. It’s cut to allow the hair to be styled upward, creating a fuller look at the front that gradually tapers to the neatly trimmed sides and back.

To maintain this refined yet spirited appearance, washing with a volumizing shampoo and using a light conditioner to keep the strands pliable is key. A medium-hold pomade or styling foam can lift the hair at the roots, providing both height and manageability.

Curly Ivy League Haircut

Curly Ivy League HaircutPin
Opt for the Curly Ivy League to frame your face with distinction. Photo: Shutterstock

The Curly Ivy League allows those with natural curls to enjoy the refined aesthetics of this classic style. The haircut features the Ivy League’s traditional neat, short sides, while the top retains a bit more length to showcase the curls.

Maintaining this hairstyle involves using a curl-enhancing shampoo and a deep conditioner to hydrate and define the curls. Post-shower, a light curl cream can be applied to control frizz and add definition without the crunch.

Ivy League Crew Cut

Ivy League Crew CutPin
Channel a sense of timeless academia with an Ivy League Crew Cut. Photo: Shutterstock

The Ivy League Crew Cut stands out for its clean, neat lines and easy maintenance, embodying the essence of classic collegiate grooming. This variation of the crew cut keeps the top slightly longer, providing a touch of versatility for styling, with the sides and back neatly tapered for a crisp finish.

For those seeking more control, a light application of hair wax or matte pomade can add definition to the top while preserving its natural look. Regular trims every few weeks are recommended to maintain the signature clean edges and refined length.

Ivy League Fade Haircut

Ivy League Fade HaircutPin
The Ivy League Fade marries timeless sophistication with a modern, urban edge. Photo: Shutterstock

In this haircut, the traditional Ivy League’s characteristic longer top is expertly blended into a gradual fade on the sides and back, offering an edgy transition. The fade starts high, with the shortest length near the ears and nape, creating a clean-cut profile.

A matte pomade or clay can be used for hold and volume to keep the top looking distinguished. The fade will need upkeep; frequent visits to the barber are essential to maintain the crisp gradient that defines this style.

Ivy League with Undercut

Ivy League UndercutPin
Master the art of the modern gentleman with an Ivy League with Undercut. Photo: Shutterstock

The Ivy League with Undercut hairstyle is an innovative mix that combines the traditional upper-class charm of the Ivy League haircut with the boldness of an undercut. This style features a neatly kept, longer top that is classically parted and styled, with shaved or closely trimmed sides for a striking contrast.

To maintain the structure of the top hair, it is advisable to use a volumizing shampoo coupled with a conditioner that adds body without residue. When styling, a matte finish product can provide a modern touch and help maintain the hair’s position throughout the day.

Long Ivy League

Long Ivy League HaircutPin
Strike the perfect balance between formal and laid-back with a Long Ivy League haircut. Photo: Shutterstock

The Long Ivy League hairstyle provides a relaxed take on the classic cut, allowing for more length and movement. A light hair relaxer can occasionally manage natural waves or curls, ensuring the hair is flat and smooth.

Styling this longer version of the Ivy League requires minimal product; a touch of light hold pomade or cream can keep the hair in place without sacrificing its natural flow. Regular trims are necessary to keep the edges neat, and the length controlled, providing a clean-cut look that transitions effortlessly from the office to rowing practice.

Medium Length Ivy League

Medium Length Ivy League HaircutPin
A Medium-length Ivy League Haircut balances professionalism and contemporary flair. Photo: Shutterstock

The Medium Length Ivy League is for the individual who enjoys the classic nuances of an Ivy League cut but prefers a bit more length to play with. This hairstyle is tailored with enough length on top to allow for a noticeable part and styling versatility, while the sides are cut close to maintain that distinctive Ivy League shape.

Regularly using fortifying shampoo and a hydrating conditioner is recommended to keep this hairstyle looking its best. For styling, a medium-hold pomade can enhance the hair’s natural texture and allow for a sleek, combed look or a casual, tousled appearance.

Military Ivy League Haircut

Military Ivy League HaircutPin
The Military Ivy League reflects discipline and sharpness. Photo: Or Hakim / Unsplash

This hairstyle, often adopted by service members, merges the crisp neatness of the traditional Ivy League with the practicality of a military cut. It features a tidy, longer top that can be neatly parted or styled, and sides that are faded to a very short length.

The precise nature of the fade will differentiate it from civilian styles, emphasizing the hair’s meticulous lines and angles. A dab of medium-hold pomade can be used for a slight sheen and to keep the top in place.

Princeton Haircut

Princeton HaircutPin
Exude confidence with the Princeton haircut. Photo: Shutterstock

The Princeton haircut is renowned for its neatness and ease of maintenance. This classic variation of the Ivy League hairstyle features a more pronounced length on top while maintaining short, tidy sides, giving it a distinctly professional look.

To sustain its refined look, a regular haircut schedule is advised, ideally every four to six weeks, to keep the edges crisp. A minimalistic approach to styling with a lightweight pomade or grooming cream can help maintain a natural look while controlling unruly strands.

Short Ivy League Haircut

Short Ivy League HaircutPin
The Short Ivy League haircut offers an effortless, clean-cut look. Photo: Shutterstock

The Short Ivy League haircut maintains the essence of its classic roots while offering a minimalist, modern twist. The top is kept long enough to part and style but short enough to qualify as low-maintenance.

The sides are tapered to a shorter length, blending seamlessly with the top. Styling can be achieved with a small amount of matte pomade or styling cream for texture and hold, perfect for a neat yet understated look.

Slick Back Ivy League

Slick Back Ivy League HaircutPin
The Slick Back Ivy League offers a polished look with a modern, confident edge. Photo: Andreas Dick / Unsplash

This adaptation of the classic Ivy League keeps the sides short and clean, while the longer top is swept back for a sleek and controlled Slick Back hairstyle. The style exudes a mature yet fashionable vibe, perfect for those who take their grooming seriously.

A strong-hold gel or pomade, applied to damp hair, will tame the longer strands into place and provide a glossy finish. Regular touch-ups will keep the sides immaculately short and the top perfectly groomed.

Tapered Ivy League with a Wavy Top

Tapered Ivy League HaircutPin
Perfect precision and relaxed charm with the Tapered Ivy League with a Wavy Top. Photo: Shutterstock

This hairstyle melds the polished contours of a traditional Ivy League with the casual allure of a wavy top. The hair is cut to allow the natural waves to take center stage, adding a lively texture.

Tapered sides graduate into these waves, providing a seamless and sophisticated profile. For styling, a light pomade or curl cream applied to damp hair will define the waves without sacrificing their natural bounce.

Textured Ivy League Cut

Textured Ivy League HaircutPin
Craft a suave demeanor with a Textured Ivy League Cut. Photo: Shutterstock

The Textured Ivy League Cut elevates the classic style with added volume. This contemporary take allows for more length, providing flexibility to create a tousled look that adds character and depth.

To achieve optimal texture, use a volumizing shampoo and a light conditioner that won’t weigh the hair down. For daily styling, a texturizing product such as a sea salt spray or a matte pomade can enhance the natural wave, offering a look that’s both casual and cultivated.

Wavy Ivy League Haircut

Wavy Ivy League HaircutPin
Craft a charismatic look with the Wavy Ivy League. Photo: Shutterstock

This hairstyle takes the esteemed Ivy League to new heights by allowing the natural waves to shape the hair’s silhouette. The sides are tapered, accentuating the wavy texture on top that can be styled for volume and movement.

For styling, a lightweight mousse or a touch of texturizing cream will bring out the waves and hold them in place. Regular trims are necessary to maintain the taper’s clean lines and the waves’ artful shape.

Embrace the Ivy League Cut

Ryan Gosling Ivy League HaircutPin
Actor Ryan Gosling showcases the timeless Ivy League haircut. Photo: DFree /

The Ivy League haircut is a classic men’s style that has stood the test of time. It seamlessly combines tradition and contemporary flair, adapting to suit the evolving tastes of modern men.

Whether you choose the timeless brush up, embrace your natural curls, or opt for a bold fade or undercut, the Ivy League is versatile enough to make a statement of elegance and sophistication.

From the office to the barbershop, the Ivy League haircut remains a symbol of a well-groomed man who is confident in his future and respectful of his past.

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