If you’re after the classic “just rolled out of bed” look, we’ve got you covered. Here are 10 awesome messy men’s hairstyles.
The “perfectly messy” look is arguably the ultimate casual hairstyle. It provides a cool, laid-back vibe that’s hard to replicate.
But this style can be tricky to achieve. If it’s not messy enough, it’ll look like an accident. If it’s too messy, it’ll just look scraggly and unkempt.
Perfectly messy hair toes the fine line between casually tousled and flat-out disheveled. Finding that balance isn’t intuitive, which is why this style is harder to get than, say, a quiff.
You often see messy cuts on the heads of celebs who undoubtedly have style teams, so it’s easy to think that this haircut is reserved for guys who have either naturally good hair or a personal stylist on call.
However, any hair type can be made to look perfectly messy, and you don’t need to hire a pro.
Perfectly messy hair isn’t about actually messing up your hair. To get that messy look, you need to be deliberate.
This isn’t a one-size-fits-all style, either — your “messy” will depend on your base hairstyle, hair type, and personal aesthetic.
To help you out, we’ve selected 10 perfectly messy men’s hairstyles that cover a range of styles and lengths. We’ll break down each one so that you can see what makes it work and how to do it yourself.
10 Perfectly Messy Men’s Hairstyles
Here are some of our favorite messy styles from short to long.
Short & Tousled
You don’t need long hair to achieve that perfectly messy vibe. Short messy hair can provide a lot of texture and movement, and it’s also fairly subtle.
The foundation of this look is a tapered cut with about two inches on top. Depending on how messy you want the hair to look, the sides and back can be neatly or loosely combed.
The top is then finger-styled using a lightweight matte finish product. (Don’t use too much product, or you’ll weigh down the hair.) Experimentation is key here — there’s no real technique. However, you’ll probably want to avoid tousling the hair too much, as this could make the hair too messy.
Frizzy Brush Up
Thick and coarse hair is naturally harder to deal with, but that can be a plus if you want the perfectly messy look. You’ll still need to put some work into the hair, but chances are it’ll be much easier than trying to style something like a neat and slick side part.
To get this look, you’ll need about two to three inches of hair on top. In contrast to the previous style, which has flat layers, this one is all about brushing the hair upward. Using a medium to high hold product with a matte finish will allow you to control the hair.
Most likely, you’ll want to use a combination of finger styling and combing/brushing. Combing will remove any tangles and allow you to get neater waves, while finger styling will result in looser tufts and spikes.
You can also use a sea salt spray for added texture. For best results, spray the hair and blow-dry to lock it in.
This relaxed take on the quiff is a nice option for guys who want a more understated style that evokes messiness without actually being all that messy.
At the core, this is a fairly standard quiff style. There are about four inches on top, and the sides are skin faded for a touch of neatness.
The key, as usual, is in how you style it.
To get this windswept look, you’ll want to use the smallest possible amount of product. Choose a lightweight matte product and start with a pea-sized scoop. Loosely finger comb the hair to get those huge waves, but make sure you don’t flatten the hair.
Blow drying the hair is crucial, and you’ll probably need to finger comb the hair both before and after you dry it. This is another style where a sea salt spray may help if you’re not quite getting the texture you’re after.
Not all spiky hair will make you look like *NSYNC. Spiking is simply a technique that can be used to achieve many different looks, and it’s extremely helpful for messy hairstyles.
This style is based around the texture created by the loose and airy spikes. Since the hair is spiked backward, the result resembles a really messy brushed back look.
The longer sides are combed back and blended into the top to continue that texture to make everything look nice and even. The sides are also drop faded, which results in a curved fade line that follows the contours of the head.
Naturally, you can get some great messy styles with moderately to severely curly hair. You can mostly let the hair do its own thing, but you’ll probably need to guide it a little.
For this style, the hair is purposely thick and matted to create body and texture. However, the hair is also combed forward to direct the curls toward the fringe. That direction, combined with the texture, results in a ton of motion.
Generally speaking, messier styles should be neat on the back and sides, and that’s especially true for messy curly styles. The clean fade on the sides and back not only contrasts against the textured top but also ensures that your haircut doesn’t look too grubby.
The undercut is a modern classic partially because it’s so flexible. You can get all sorts of looks using an undercut, and there’s no danger of those neatly faded sides going out of fashion.
This style uses an undercut as a base for a loose, wavy quiff. The result is a medium-length casual look that’s somewhere between a regular quiff and a brushed back style. The messiness comes from the slipshod locks that stray from the otherwise tidy quiff.
Like most of these perfectly messy hairstyles, this look is best styled using a matte finish product with a medium to high hold. If you have fine hair, opt for a light hold instead.
Messy Scissor Cut
For medium-length messy hairstyles, it’s hard to beat a scissor cut. Since no clippers are used, the hair stays longer and retains more body and volume.
This is an excellent example of how you can style a scissor cut to get a perfectly messy look. The front is styled into a very loose quiff, and the rest of the hair on the top and back is heavily tousled for a frizzier texture.
This style is considerably messier than the others on this list, so it’s a good choice if you want an extremely casual hairstyle that really gives you the “rolled out of bed” look.
Like many famous soccer players, David Beckham is known for his wide range of unique hairstyles. This medium-length look is inspired by one of Beckham’s many messy hairstyles, and it’s surprisingly simple to get.
This is a longer style, so you’ll need about four to five inches on top. The sides are scissor cut, which means they’re also quite long.
Brush the hair very loosely to the side as if setting a part. In fact, if you want a really messy style, avoid a brush or comb entirely and just use your hands to roughly shove the hair into place.
The shag is a classic perfectly messy hairstyle that’s been making a comeback recently. Gone are the unwashed, matted shags of the 70s (thankfully). Instead, today’s shags are messy yet focused.
This modern take on a vintage curly shag features long, unbrushed hair that’s trimmed to frame the face. The hair’s natural texture is doing the bulk of the work here, but you can assist it by working in a small amount of product and setting the hair where you want it.
Having hair that’s on the messier side is okay here. In fact, the more tousled, the better (usually). For the maximum amount of “just-right messiness,” don’t start by brushing the hair.
This 90s-inspired look is an excellent example of how long hair can make for a great perfectly messy hairstyle. Here, the messiness comes from the length of the hair as well as some strands sticking out of place.
You don’t need to tousle the hair all that much to get this style, but you will need some serious length — in the neighborhood of six to seven inches. Form a loose side part and lightly brush the hair to give it some direction.
Depending on your hair type, you may not need any styling product at all. A texturizing product may help if you have flatter hair or hair that doesn’t have a defined wave pattern.
Which Messy Hairstyle Will You Choose?
If you’re looking for a hairstyle that’s effortless and laid-back, the perfectly messy look is a good choice.
Of course, perfectly messy hairstyles aren’t ideal for every situation, but they’ll fit right into any casual environment.
That said, most of these styles will clean up nicely, so you can usually have both neat and messy looks with one haircut.
Remember, it’s about both the cut and the styling. Style with intention — don’t just mess up your hair and hope for the best.
Questions? Comments? Leave them below!