Trends come and go, but some hairstyles are practically timeless. Here are 9 simple haircuts that always look great.
And the best part is that these classics look great on pretty much anyone. For the most part, you don’t need any specific hair type to make them work for the most part.
There are a few important reasons you might choose a basic cut over a trendier one.
First, these classics look great with a variety of personal styles, and there’s something for everyone. Whether your hair is thin and light or thick and dark, you can find a simple cut that works for you.
Focusing on simplicity can be really helpful if you’re seriously thinking about your hair for the first time. The world of men’s hair can be daunting, but these simple hairstyles provide a helpful foundation that you can always rely on.
Second, most of these haircuts are low maintenance and easy to style.
Third, you might prefer the look of these simpler cuts. After all, they are classic hairstyles for a reason.
Finally, you might enjoy the practicality. Many trendy styles either favor certain hair types or require a lot of styling. Not all of us can pull off those perfectly messy windswept quiffs (and not all of us want to).
That’s the beauty of these timeless styles — even though they’ve been around for decades, they still feel fresh.
Simple Men’s Haircuts
Let’s look at our definitive list of simple men’s haircuts starting from the shortest and going to the longest. (We’ll also look at some variations for each style).
The buzz cut is a somewhat misunderstood hairstyle. People often assume that “buzz cut” refers only to the induction cut, which is the shortest variation of the buzz cut that’s given to military recruits.
However, the term refers more to a style of cutting the hair. Generally speaking, a “buzz cut” just means a short cut where the hair is the same length all over the head. Knowing clipper settings is important here.
The main buzz cut styles are the induction, burr, and butch. Here’s a closer look at each one:
The induction cut uses a #0 guard (that is, no guard) for an almost completely bald head.
This term refers to a slightly longer buzz cut that often uses a #1, #2, or #3 guard.
Generally, a butch cut means using a #4 guard. The butch is the longest style in the main buzz cut family.
Buzz cuts have a few distinct advantages over other hairstyles. First, you can easily get a good pair of clippers and cut your own hair at home. If the buzz cut is your style of choice, this option will save you both time and money.
Second, buzz cuts are versatile and don’t require much maintenance. It might be weird to think of a buzz cut as a “professional” hairstyle, but it’s a good choice for most workplaces.
Of course, buzz cuts are also limiting because they’re so short. You can’t style your hair at all, and you’re restricted to one look.
Overall, if you want a simple haircut with zero fuss, then the buzz cut might be right for you.
The crew cut is similar to the buzz cut in many ways. In fact, it often gets erroneously categorized as a buzz cut.
However, the standard crew cut is longer than a buzz cut, and it also offers some extra depth that even a butch cut can’t provide.
The main difference is that a crew cut is a little longer in front. Typically, there’s about an inch of hair on top. The sides and back are either buzzed to the same length for an old-school look or faded for a more contemporary vibe.
The length on top means that you can style a crew cut in various ways. Your styling possibilities depend on exactly how long your hair is.
As a rule of thumb, the longer the hair is, the more styling options you have. Most guys opt to either brush the hair to the side or back.
These fringe-focused haircuts are distinct yet closely related styles that are both classic men’s looks.
French Crop/Caesar Cut
The Caesar’s namesake is none other than Julius Caesar, whose depictions often feature this hairstyle. Its trademark element is the short, straight-cut fringe. The sides and back are buzzed to the same length.
The French crop is similar, but the main difference is that it has a longer fringe. Typically, there’s more hair on top, and it’s also common to see faded (instead of buzzed) sides.
The Caesar is a bit more retro, whereas the French crop is much more in line with today’s fashion.
The Caesar is a touch more formal, but the French crop is more flexible. Unless you specifically want the Caesar fringe, I recommend going with a French crop in most cases.
What can I say about the side part that hasn’t already been said before? It’s one of the most popular men’s hairstyles for good reason.
You have so many options with a side part. The top can be short and tidy or longer and relaxed. You can comb the hair forward, backward, or sideways. The sides can be faded or kept long. There’s a side part style for everyone.
Check out our full article on side part haircuts for a comprehensive look at this classic style.
While it sounds like another way to refer to the side part, “side swept” specifically refers to the technique of brushing the hair sideways.
Since side sweeping is a technique and not a distinct style, side swept looks usually consist of a base haircut, and the side swept technique. For instance, you can have a side swept crew cut. Confusingly, you can even have a side swept side part!
The exact way you side sweep will depend on the specific style. Some require all of the hair to be swept to the side, while others only require the front to be side swept.
This is another technique that can be applied to a range of hairstyles. Again, it’s all in the name — this technique is simply brushing the hair back.
However, brushed back hair is not the same as slicked-back hair. The hair is brushed back in both cases, but not all brushed back styles involve slicking the hair.
Brushed back hair is often paired with longer styles for a casual, voluminous look. You can also use this technique with medium-length hairstyles. Shorter hairstyles lack the necessary length to actually brush the hair backward.
No list of essential men’s hairstyles would be complete without the undercut. It surged in popularity about a decade ago, and it’s still one of the biggest trends in men’s hair.
An undercut follows the oft-quoted formula of “long on top, short on the sides.” The sides and back are buzzed, but the exact length varies.
Usually, #1 through #4 guards are used. Some undercuts fade the sides all the way down to the skin (as shown above). Anywhere from two to six inches are left on top for styling.
Think of the undercut as a template. You can get a wide variety of looks that all fit the basic undercut formula, and there are plenty of styling options, too.
For example, one common undercut variation features skin faded sides and side swept hair:
When choosing an undercut, decide whether you want it to be disconnected. A disconnected undercut has no taper from the top to the sides, and it’s even more high-contrast than a regular undercut.
As with many terms in the hairstyling world, “quiff” is used to refer to several styles. However, the basic style consists of long hair on top, especially at the fringe, that’s brushed upward or sideways. (Merriam-Webster simply defines it as “a prominent forelock.”)
With most quiffs, the hair is brushed upward and slightly backward. This creates a look that’s similar to the brushed back but with more volume and structure.
The exact styling, however, varies widely. If you’re going for a preppier look, you might want an extremely clean quiff. For a more casual flair, a loose and airy quiff might meet your needs.
Last but certainly not least, we have the pompadour. This hairstyle is synonymous with the greaser subculture of the 50s and 60s, and Elvis famously wore a variation of the style.
Like the quiff, the pompadour consists of hair that’s brushed upward and backward. However, pompadours are usually longer and more voluminous. In addition, many pompadours require a high-shine product for that classic glossy look.
There are also contemporary versions that are somewhere in between modern quiffs and retro pomps. These updated variations tend to be shorter and use matte products for low to no shine.
Which Simple Hairstyle Will You Try?
These simple styles prove that you don’t need to spend 30 minutes in front of the mirror to look good.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with trendy cuts, but sometimes that’s just not what you want. All of these simple haircuts make for great everyday styles that you can rely on.
Questions? Comments? Leave them below!