Short hair is always in vogue for men and is often preferred for its easy styling, low maintenance, and variability. Many of the shorter haircuts that are still popular today date back as far as the Romans, when short hair was seen as the mark of a civilized man. These days, haircuts are (usually) more of a fashion statement than a mark of civility, but it is still crucial to find the right look that best highlights your features or fits the occasion.
Whether it’s a simple crew cut or a messy undercut, the same short trim can be restyled for smart occasions, laid-back functions, or simply just going about your day-to-day business. But how do you choose which cut to go for when there are so many options available?
Beauty experts at Cosmetify researched the most Google-searched short haircuts for men. Based on their research, we will look at the top ten trending haircuts, what they are, who has rocked them over the years, and who they suit best. So let’s take a look at the top ten trending short haircuts for men.
What are the Top 10 Trending Short Haircuts for Men?
The top 10 trending short haircuts include age-old snips such as the Buzzcut and the Quiff. But there are a few lesser-known gems and retro classics such as the Caeser cut and (yes, really) the Combover that also make an appearance.
Whether your hair is thick and curly, straight and thin, or even slightly receding, you are bound to find a style that works for you as we jump in and examine each of the cuts in detail.
No nonsense. Short, sharp, and to the point. Armies across the world prefer the buzz cut as it prevents the spread of headlice and ensures that none of the soldiers worry about hair in their face while amid slightly more important matters.
With the traditional buzz cut, all the hair is shaved with clippers to the same length. With a modern buzz cut, you might want to ask your barber for a slight fade to give the trim some shape. The clipper guards usually range from a number eight (leaving one inch of hair) to a number one (leaving an eighth of an inch of hair), so the buzz cut length can vary.
The buzz cut requires no maintenance or styling, so it is excellent for looking for a smart, simple trim for all occasions. It is perfect for men with oval and rectangular-shaped faces. Justin Timberlake and David Beckham have both sported clean buzz cuts simultaneously, and it didn’t do them any harm!
2. Crew Cut
Another timeless classic. Formerly known as the ‘short pompadour,’ the crew cut is often mistakenly thought to have originated in the US due to its popularity with Ivy league rowers (crews) in the 1920s and 30s. However, it has never been limited to America and nor did it originate here.
The crew cut is short on top and starts longer at the fringe before shortening to the crown. The back and sides are tapered and can be faded to give the cut more shape.
The crew cut suits thicker hair that stands on its own, but it can work for most hair types with the right product to keep it lively. Take a look at Brad Pitt’s trim in ‘The Tree of Life’ for a great example of a crew cut.
3. Bowl Cut
The traditional mother’s hair cut. Also known as the ‘mushroom cut,’ the bowl cut is named so because Medieval barbers would place a bowl over the head of their customer and cut around the rim.
For the bowl cut, the length of the hair is the same on top all the way around, creating that circular, bowl-like look. Historically, the top has been kept neat and combed, but the bowl cut has been rediscovered with a messier look on top. Try using a hair product to ensure the top can be kept alive. Traditionally, the hair on the back and sides would be cut to the same length as on top, but you might want to try an undercut or a fade to get a modern-retro hybrid look.
The bowl cut suits thicker hair and is one of the edgier trims to make an appearance on our list. After being rocked by The Beatles in their Rubber Soul era, the bowl cut fell out of favor, but it now makes a comeback with even Hollywood idol Timothee Chalamet recently seen donning the look.
When we think of the quiff, we think of the 1950s: Bryl cream, Rock and Roll, Grease Lightning, the lot. So is it any wonder that the iconic haircut of the post-war era has maintained its popularity after all these years?
The quiff can come in many forms, but it is usually seen neat and short on the sides with longer hair on top that grows to the fringe. It is one of the more maintenance-heavy styles on our list and is best maintained with hair products and a fine-toothed comb, as the movies suggest.
The quiff is a retro look that suits thick hair and is perfect for those with a diamond face shape of pointed chin and high cheekbones. For the best example of a quiff, you can look to the classics James Dean and Elvis Presley and look at supermodel David Gandy for a more modern example.
5. Caesar Cut
Sometimes confused with a french crop, the Caesar cut is as old as its name suggests. Busts and portraits of Julius Caesar depict him with a classic Caesar cut, though back then, it had yet to take on the name of its most famous proponent. Many historians believe the great man had his hair cut in such a fashion to hide his baldness. So if you are looking a little patchy about the crown, read no further.
The Caesar cut is famous for its short, horizontal fringe with the hair on top all styled forward. The hair on the sides can be the same length as the fringe, but you may want it a touch shorter to bring a bit more shape.
The Caesar cut is excellent for thinning at the crown slightly, but it also suits thicker hair very well. For a great example of a Caesar cut, take a look at Russell Crowe in ‘Gladiator,’ whose hair was intentionally given a Roman look by the stylists.
6. Comb-over Haircut
Due to its association with 1950s salesmen attempting to cover their shiny bald pates, the combover has got something of a bad rep these days. However, the name ‘comb over’ is a general term for several different looks. As well as being suitable for those with a steadily revealing crown, comb overs also work for most other hair types and bring a smart, retro sophistication to most looks.
The combover usually starts from a side parting and can either be pushed directly to the side or slightly towards the back of the head. To get a great modern comb overlook, try pairing the top comb over with a fade on the sides to bring multiple layers to your hair.
The combover is varied enough to suit most hair types, but it is perfect for those with thinner hair as it adds buoyancy and energy to the top. It is a retro look that has worked very well for dapper older men like Mads Mikkelson and George Clooney.
7. Messy Undercut
One of the more recent styles on our list, the messy undercut, combines the traditional undercut from the 1920s with the modern messy, bedhead look. In the Jazz Age of the 20s and 30s, the undercut was the mainstream trim leftover from the military barbers of the First World War. The undercut then made a comeback in the 1980s but was often paired with a messier top.
The messy undercut is tapered and short at the sides and long and messy on top. The hair on top is then ruffled into a bedhead mess. One of the least formal of the hairdos we will examine, the messy undercut is probably not for those going for a more sophisticated look. However, the messiness can be restyled, so this can be a varied trim for different occasions.
The messy undercut works best for thicker hair as it can be sculpted and styled more easily, but most hair types can find themselves with this look. Johnny Depp has shown the undercut in all its varying glory over the years. For the younger generation, Justin Bieber is often seen sporting an undercut on the messier side.
8. Disconnected Undercut
As their names would suggest, the disconnected undercut is similar to the messy undercut. However, the disconnected undercut has an abrupt shift in length from the top to the sides and is usually neater on top. This is another statement style and requires a fair amount of maintenance.
For a disconnected undercut, the top should be long and is usually pushed back or combed to give a smart look that works for most occasions. The sides are left short, with an abrupt shift from the top length. This style suits oval face shapes and works exceptionally well with thicker hair. It brings shape and clarity to natural bone structure and is excellent for those of you who are gifted with a perfect jawline.
The disconnected undercut is very much in vogue, and it is popular with younger generations and works well for the older man with a beard. Zayn Malik of One Direction is often seen with a disconnected undercut, and he shows how well the cut can accentuate your facial structure and features.
9. French Crop Cut
Although a variant of the Caesar cut, the French crop found itself in the 1960s. It is edgier and more statement than the Caesar, but it can be varied to suit most looks. The French crop is a smart, neat style that requires little maintenance or styling.
Like the Caesar, the French crop is styled forwards from the crown and has a horizontal fringe. However, the French crop fringe is longer than the Caesar and has an abrupt shift in length from the top to the sides. This gives the cut more of an edgy appearance as the sides are left very short by comparison to the hair on top.
The French crop works with all face shapes and hair types but is especially good for thinning or receding hair. Cillian Murphy in Peaky Blinders is a classic example of a French crop carried off perfectly.
10. Ivy League Cut
Also known as a Harvard Clip or a Princeton, the Ivy league cut became popular in the 1950s and 60s as a longer variant of the crew cut. Traditionally, the Ivy league cut is styled with wax and kept neat and smart, but it can also be left to look more natural.
The Ivy league cut usually has at least an inch or so of hair on top with a slightly longer fringe. The sides are tapered but with less of a fade than a crew cut and generally longer. The hair on top should be long enough to sculpt into different looks depending on the occasion.
The Ivy league cut is very dapper and sophisticated and suits most hair types due to the variability of the styling. For suave examples, take a look at Matt Damon’s trim in ‘Ocean’s 11’ or Ryan Gosling’s in ‘Drive.’
So there you have the top 10 trending short haircuts for men. Next time you are at the barber’s try asking for one of these and see if they agree that it would work for you.