Looking for a new haircut to try out the next time you pay your barber a visit? Here are our favorite trending men’s hairstyles for 2021.
There are lots of trends in the world of men’s hair (like the taper and fade). It can get downright confusing sometimes as to what’s currently in style, and that often makes it difficult for guys who are looking for a new haircut.
Our goal with this guide is to give you an idea of the best contemporary hairstyles for 2021 so you can be confident in choosing a new style that you’ll love.
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These styles are all currently trending and will be for quite some time, so you don’t run the risk of being late to the party.
But more importantly, these are all great-looking haircuts. Many of these are based on styles that have been in vogue for decades, while others are fresh ideas. Either way, you’re sure to find a style you love.
18 Best Men’s Hairstyles for 2021
In no particular order…
1. The Side Part
This one’s an easy mention because the side part has always been a go-to men’s haircut and shows no signs of going out of style.
Lots of guys are choosing this style as their default style because of how simple, reliable, and versatile it is. It can be dressed up or down, so it’s great for both casual and formal situations.
What’s currently trending now is the combination you see above: medium-length hair with longer sides that fill out the look. In the last few years, faded sides have become the norm, but we’re seeing more guys choose to more gradually taper their sides instead.
However, a side part with a fade is still a popular combo as well.
It all depends on what you prefer. Both of these side part variations are hugely popular right now, and you can’t go wrong with either of them.
2. The Undercut
Like the side part, the undercut hasn’t really ever gone out of style.
It’s the haircut that best exemplifies the tried and true formula of short on the sides and long on top, and it has a lot of variations if you want something a little more out there.
First, there’s the standard undercut that you see above. The key is the faded sides that contrast directly with the longer hair on top––this serves as the base for all undercuts. Up top, most guys usually style their hair into a quiff or pompadour, though you can also sweep it back or to the side.
Interestingly, out of the many variations of the undercut, the one we’re seeing the most this season is the undercut with grown out sides.
This style retains the essence of the undercut but lets the sides grow out a little more to create a fuller head of hair.
This is a departure from the super short skin fades that typically get used in undercuts.
The sides aren’t incredibly long, but they’re long enough to add some body and depth to the hair. On top, it’s still the same, with the hair usually styled in a quiff or swept to the side.
3. The Crop
In stark contrast to the undercut, the crop is a style that’s characterized by short and even hair.
Usually, the hair is a similar length all over the head with a flat fringe in front. While this kind of style can sometimes give you that “wet hair” look, when done right it’s a stylish option for guys who prefer shorter hair.
The crop is much more casual than the undercut or even the side part, so it’s an ideal choice if you want a more relaxed, laid-back haircut. It also works well with a range of personal styles and will suit most situations and environments.
Crops come in many shapes and sizes. You can get a messy crop that’s a little looser and more informal, or you can get a crop that follows the contours of your head and frames your face.
here are lots of possibilities here, so it’s worth looking around and seeing just what’s possible.
4. Modified Bowl Cut
You read that right–-the cut that you probably got as a seven year old is now a trending hairstyle. It gained popularity in streetwear fashion, but lately it’s been making its way onto the heads of men all over the world.
However, few guys opt for a classic bowl cut. Rather, they get a modified bowl cut that’s been modernized in some way.
Usually, this is done by giving the sides a fade to create a distinction between the top and the sides.
Often, a complete skin fade will be used so that there’s little to no hair on the sides. All of this helps to redefine the bowl cut as a legitimate style.
The modified bowl cut isn’t for everyone, but it’s surprising to see how good it can look when done right. If you want something casual and fashion-forward, it’s definitely a style to consider.
5. The Full-Bodied Taper
For our last style, we chose a haircut that’s been making a comeback lately: the simple taper. Many guys are looking for a hairstyle that’s simple, functional, and multi-purpose, and the taper checks all of those boxes.
While styles like the undercut rely on short sides and a long top, the taper is all about evenness. The hair on top is still longer than the hair on the sides but not by much. This creates a neat, full-bodied look that’s classically stylish.
You won’t be getting five-inch quiffs with this style, but you are getting an incredibly versatile haircut that almost any guy can confidently wear.
6. Medium Length Waves
Long hairstyles for men will continue to become more popular as guys decide to grow out their hair this year.
Since so many guys start with a fade or close taper (maybe even an undercut), the first step is to let the sides and back grow out. It needs to catch up to the front, which will take some time.
Once it grows out, though, you start seeing some really cool medium length hairstyles, especially for guys who have some natural curls and waves.
Grown out hairstyles take a little work to get right, but they can look really cool, and they’ll likely keep getting more popular as guys are rebounding against the precise shorter styles that have been popular for so long now.
If you’ve never tried growing your hair out, why not give it a shot this year?
7. Natural Long Hair
Finally, we’re going to see more and more guys just let their hair grow indefinitely.
Maybe it’s Jon Snow’s fault, but longer hairstyles are trending, and they’re not going anywhere anytime soon.
If you’ve always wanted to know how you’d look with man-bun-length hair, now’s the time to give it the old college try!
The key is to let it grow for at six months without getting it cut. You’ll be tempted to get “clean ups” every couple months, but that will make it tough to get the length you need on the sides and back.
When you do get a clean up, make sure you go to someone who understands longer hair and knows you’re trying to grow it out.
8. Messy & Casual
Scruffy haircuts have been gaining popularity recently, and it’s a trend we’re continuing to see as 2021 goes on. We’re talking casual, low-maintenance haircuts that require little to no styling. While heavily styled hair may not be out of fashion, more casual looks are definitely becoming the norm.
The style shown here is a medium-length option for a messy look that’s loose without making it look like you’ve got a serious case of bedhead. The hair is razor cut at the ends for that sharp look, and the sides and back are evenly grown out.
This will work with pretty much any hair type (yes, even thin hair). The best part? When it’s time for a haircut, your hair won’t look unusually shaggy.
9. Tousled Layers
If you’re after a different flavor of messy, consider a layered hairstyle. Layering is an easy way to add tons of texture and volume before you add any product. In fact, you don’t even have to style these cuts if you don’t want to. The tousled shag shown here is mostly accomplished by the layered hair itself.
By nature, messy layered haircuts tend to be on the longer side. The one shown here is comfortably in the medium to long range. As with the previous cut, you can sport this one with zero styling if you so desire, no product necessary.
However, if your hair isn’t naturally textured, it may be worth using something like a texture spray to compensate for that.
10. Curly Shag
In keeping with the previous two styles, here’s a curly shag that can be worn with absolutely no prep. This one does heavily rely on the hair’s natural texture, so it’s best for guys with wavy, curly, or kinky/coiled hair. The hair is lush and full throughout, from the messy fringe to the voluminous back.
As messy as this hairstyle is, it still relies on a good cut to ensure that the texture and the proportions are optimal. In other words, you can’t just grow your hair out––it has to be trimmed and shaped well.
11. Side Swept
For a less messy hairstyle, check out this side swept look that’s casual while still remaining presentable for more formal situations. You only need a few inches of hair to achieve this style, and after that, it’s all about the combing.
As long as you comb the hair backward into place, you’ll have a nice and polished head of hair.
Unlike many other side swept styles, this cut only requires a small amount of styling to stay in place. If you like, you can use no product whatsoever for a looser vibe, but you can also tighten it up by adding hair product as needed.
12. High Faded Crop
Crops are all the rage right now. In fact, you’ve probably seen this style of haircut both in real life and on social media. Generally speaking, a crop is characterized by shorter hair on top as shown here.
Most often, crops will also have fades––in this case, a high skin fade, meaning that the hair tapers down all the way to the skin.
The hair on top is then styled toward the front and culminates in a short upturn to create a mini quiff at the fringe. This is a great hairstyle to choose if your hair naturally has lots of texture, but you can also create that using texturizing products.
13. Disconnected Curls
Speaking of texture, here’s an eye-catching style that’s quite different from any of the other cuts on this list. Designed for curly hair, this haircut consists of a shaped top, a loose fringe, and a high fade with an “edge” that overhangs the fade proper.
This edge almost serves as a side fringe and adds sharp lines to what is otherwise a very curly cut. What’s more, the curls in the front are dyed a different color from the rest of the hair so that they pop out.
While it’s not going to be for everyone, this disconnected hairstyle is bold and unique. Cuts that highlight texture are some of the most trending hairstyles right now, and this one is an excellent example of a style that takes various elements and blends them in an unexpected yet fashionable way.
14. Angular Swoop
While fringe-less men’s haircuts like the undercut and quiff have dominated the men’s hair scene for years, fringe haircuts are once again rising in popularity. Adding a fringe is a good way to add dimension and texture, and this angular swoop stylishly proves that.
The long, kinked fringe is the focal point, covering the entire front section of the head. It’s then blended into the back half of the hair for a tidy appearance. This one does require a small amount of styling for best results, but you could also tousle the hair in front for a more laid-back fringe.
15. Long & Casual
If you’re after a natural look, then this long and casual style might be the right one for you. This style is basically just the hair doing its own thing with a bit of strategic combing thrown in. It’s best suited to thick (and even coarse) hair.
Essentially, the hair is weighing itself down, and most of the texture is coming from the hair and not from any product.
You can also style the fringe to get different results. For example, you could have a more angular fringe like the one shown above, or you could part the hair in various ways to change up the style.
16. Faded Caesar
If you like the look of the crop but want something simple and classic, try out a Caesar. Traditionally, a Caesar cut consists of cutting the hair to the same length all over and cutting the fringe straight across.
However, it’s common to see faded Caesar cuts that are basically a classic Caesar on top but with a fade on the sides.
This is a solid low-maintenance option for men who prefer short hair that doesn’t require any upkeep. Better yet, it’s one of the few men’s haircuts that works with all hair types equally well, so you can achieve this look even if your hair is usually tough to work with.
17. Stylishly Rough
This unkempt hairstyle is ideal for guys who have thin, fine, or wispy hair that gets frizzy easily. If you have this hair type, you know that it can be hard to style.
What’s great about this haircut is that it achieves volume and texture by tousling the hair, which does a superb job of breathing life into hair that tends to be limp.
For best results, you’ll want to use a product like a hair clay to ensure that your hair stays in place. A little texture spray can also help to finish things off and add a bit of extra texture and volume.
18. Loose 90s Spikes
90s style is officially back! While you may not want to recreate the boy band look of gelled spikes, you can get that same vibe with a more casual style. This loosely spiked cut uses less defined spikes that are messed up just a bit to create a relaxed vibe.
This achieves that classic 90s style you know and love, but it also provides a bit of an update (especially in terms of texture).
The longer fade on the sides ties the hair together and creates an all-around fullness. While you could go for a more extreme fade, a more gradual taper is the way to go if you really want to create the 90s look.
Final Thoughts on 2021 Hairstyles
Navigating trends can be tricky, and it can make a lot of guys second guess themselves when they’re in the barber’s chair.
But that doesn’t have to be the case. As you’ve seen throughout this article, a lot of haircuts that are currently trending are ones that have never gone out of style. So it’s always a safe bet to choose something like the side part or undercut.
Hopefully this guide has helped you make more sense of the confusing world of men’s hair, and we hope we’ve helped you find a new style.