Short Haircuts for Men

From sharp crew cuts to cool quiffs, we’ve rounded up the best short haircuts for men to try right now. Read ahead for our men's styling guide!

Picking a short haircut for your face shape

The first thing to consider when deciding on a new haircut is whether or not it’s going to complement your face shape, hair texture, as well as your personal style. If you have a beard or facial hair, you want to be sure the haircut you chose lends well to your overall appearance. Luckily, short haircuts are pretty versatile with a few things to consider. 

They’re close to the head and don’t add much height, which is good if you have a long face. That said, anything involving a pompadour or quiff is best avoided for those with rectangular faces. The extra height on top can make the face appear even longer. 

Conversely, short styles with little height on top balance out rounder faces. Try a pompadour with the sides kept short and close to the head. And if you have an oval-shaped face, you can really rock any short cut.

How to ask your barber for a short haircut 

Ready to go short? While hair terminology can be complicated, it’s important to know what to tell a barber and how to describe the hairstyle you want. 

These hair tips will help:

  1. Have a hairstyle in mind and find a picture that matches the style you want at your appointment.
  2. If you’re asking for a fade, know which number you prefer. Haircut numbers refer to clipper guard sizes, and each hair clipper size represents the amount of hair that will be left when used. The larger the number, the longer the hair length. 
  3. Discuss how much styling you’re willing to do. Is low-maintenance key or are you ok with having to put in a little work to style your hair?
  4. Know how you want your neckline trimmed. Your neckline can be cut in a few ways: blocked, rounded, or tapered.

Davines salon photo Kenna Kunijo

courtesy of @kennakunijo salon

Maintenance is key to short haircuts

Hair grows fast and can make a short, neat style look unkempt in as little as 3 weeks. So maintenance is the key to a good short haircut. Schedule routine shape-ups with your barber to minimize the upkeep at home and keep your cut looking fresh longer. it’s okay to give it a little snip as cowlicks or bangs grow in, but we don’t recommend keeping your fade or high-top in shape on your own, unless you’re confident you know what you’re doing.

The best short haircuts for men

So what is the easiest short haircut for men to maintain? Below are the best for men to try right now:

The Buzz Cut

The buzz cut remains one of the most classic short haircuts for men. Known as the go-to “military haircut”, this popular haircut features hair that’s clipped all over the head, with a bit of a taper on the sides and back. It can be almost any length between a close clipper shave, to an inch off the head. The buzz cut is practical and low maintenance, and because it’s so short, it allows you to show off your facial features. Plus it works for all natural textures and it's easy to borrow from other styles. You can ask your barber to add a skin fade, or, if you don't want that much skin showing, fade up from the sides and back. If you're curious about a modified version of this cut, try a mohawk buzz. Ask your stylist to shave the sides all the way to the skin, leaving a wider buzzed strip of hair in the center.

The French Crop

The French crop haircut is a short haircut for men characterized by a long top with a blunt fringe and buzzed backs and sides. The top and the sides’ length depends on your preference, and the fringe makes it easy to style forward or slicked back. It’s a low-maintenance, versatile haircut, ideal for anyone who doesn’t like to spend a lot of time on their hair. Plus, it’s universally flattering. This is a more modern short haircut and requires almost no styling.

Davines salon haircut

The Crew Cut

The crew cut is a short haircut very similar to a buzz cut, also featuring a top, back, and sides that have been cut short with clippers. But while a buzz cut is one length all over, the crew is slightly longer on top and square at the corners. This helps to elongate the face, making it perfect for guys with round faces. Be sure to ask your barber to square it off at the crown when you ask for a crew cut. This low-maintenance short hair look is classic and cool.

The Undercut

If you’re not quite ready to get rid of all your hair just yet, try an undercut. An undercut draws attention to a slightly longer top while keeping the short sides and back neat and tidy. Cut the sides really short, keep the length on top, but don’t fade it up. What you’re looking for is the dramatic difference between the top and the sides. Keeping the length on top offers a variety of styling choices, from messy to slicked back.

The Pompadour 

The pompadour features short hair on the back and sides with longer hair on top that gradually recedes towards the back of the head. It has a loose, textured look and is often paired with a fade or undercut on the sides. The pompadour haircut is a bit higher maintenance- but it’s worth it if you like the look of a close cropped haircut, without sacrificing the length. The pompadour looks especially good on guys with straight hair. Ask your barber to go shorter on the sides, with layered length on top.

The Quiff 

Similar to the pompadour is the quiff and these two short hairstyles are frequently confused — but there’s a slight difference. Both involve brushing up the front of the hair for volume, but a quiff is brushed forward and a pompadour is brushed backwards. The quiff haircut is great for curly-haired guys. Thick curls or waves give texture against a sharp contrast with a taper fade on the sides. Style the top with curl gel oil.

The Flat Top

The flat top is a short haircut that was a hot hair trend in the 90s and just like everything else from the decade, this trend is back. The key is not to go too high, which requires more upkeep. Go down to the skin on the sides and then have your barber fade up to the point where your head starts to curve in. Then keep it only a few inches above your crown. Keeping it short means less work to maintain the height and ensures that it doesn’t get frizzy at the ends.

courtesy of @the.plan.holyoke salon

What are the best styling products for short men's haircuts? 

So how should men style short hair? These are a few of our favorite styling products for men’s hair:

Balancing Shampoo

The shorter the haircut, the easier it is to see flakes if they’re there. Keep your hair and scalp flake-free by using a balancing shampoo twice a week. Our Energizing Shampoo is a balancing shampoo that gently cleanses the hair and scalp for a deep clean and detox. It gives a balancing effect to the scalp and a moisturizing action to the hair. Swap it out twice a week with your regular shampoo to minimize the risk of flakes and make for a crisper fade.

Forming Pomade

This forming pomade is perfect for creating workable texture, particularly in short haircuts. If your hair at the top has a bit of length to play around with, a pomade is your go-to styling product. It has a lightweight formula that allows you to style and rework your hair, without any sticky or greasy residue. Our forming pomade provides shine, workable hold and long-lasting style. Apply a small amount of product to dry hair, working it as you wish.

Dry Wax

If your hair is on the finer side, our strong dry wax Is a must-have for creating soft definition and separation in men’s short haircuts. It texturizes the hair, for added texture and hold, leaving it matte and residue-free. Work it between your palms, apply to towel-dried or dry hair to add hold and texture to your style. You can also use your fingers to create extra details.

Final thoughts on short haircuts for men

When you ask your barber for a short haircut, take a few reference pictures and ask about how to style it, before you get the cut. Some cuts require weekly touch-ups and if that’s not your jam then it won’t work. Maintenance and styling are the key to a good short haircut. Use only sustainable hair products like the ones from Davines. All of our formulas are free of harmful toxins, and are made with renewable energy and packaging that minimizes the environmental impact. Our hair care isn’t just good for your hair, it’s good for the planet.

For creating structure and definition on short hair styles.

Leave-in serum for soft texture and flexible control.

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For controlled, versatile styling with a natural finish.

by Jaclyn LaBadia, featured contributor

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