The Most Popular Short Hairstyles & Men’s Haircuts Explained

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 haircut works 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 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.

Short Haircuts For Men
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.

Buzz Cut

Rather than go for one length all over, the buzz cut can be modernised with short, faded sides.

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.


Crew Cut

The crew cut is a neat and tidy short hairstyle for men that requires little to no maintenance.

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.

Short Side-Part

A side-part can be applied to most men’s haircuts, but provides the most impact when paired with a short haircut, perfect for the office or at the bar.

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.

French Crop

The French crop is a very fashion-focused haircut that can be cut and styled in a number of ways, but is defined by a short, usually blunt, fringe with short back and sides.

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.

Caesar Cut

The Caesar cut is similar to the French Crop in that it has a short fringe and has the hair moving forward. It can work for straight, wavy and curly hair types.

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.


The quiff is a classic hairstyle for men that sees the hair kept longer on top than the sides, and longer at the front than at the back. This allows the hair at the front to be styled upwards and back.

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.

Short Pompadour

The Pompadour, whatever the length, is similar to the quiff, but requires the full head of hair to be styled upwards and back, creating a seriously voluminous style.

Which brings us on perfectly to the pompadour. Named after a mistress of King Louis XV of France the pompadour is instantly recognizable 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.




  1. It’s good to know that the side-part style is especially effective for shorter-length hair. My sister mentioned she wants her husband to get a haircut soon. I’ll share this info to give him ideas for what styles he could get!

  2. I love that you mentioned that a quiff haircut can be many lengths and has a lot of variation. My son wants to get his hair cut by a real barber for a better look. He loves the look of quiff and he is hoping to get it cut like that.

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