While there are countless hairstyles for men to choose from, one of the classic go-to looks for many is the crew cut. You’d be hard set to find someone who doesn’t look good with this clean and simple hairstyle. It offers the perfect mixture of masculine sportiness, businessman bravado, and cool confidence.
Whether you ask your barber today for a crew cut, or go back in time and ask for the same look 50 years ago, your hair would still be on trend as the hairstyle is a timeless staple that will continue to be a common pick for men long into the future.
However, if you are a fan of this look but want to give it a unique twist, there are a couple variations and styling/cutting techniques that can give your crew cut a modern edge.
Read on to learn more about this classic style, including what exactly to ask your barber, how to style and maintain it, and a list of crew cuts and their famous owners.
What is a Crew Cut?
If you don’t know what a crew cut is, just take a walk at your local park or stop by your grocery store and you are bound to see a couple—they are really that popular.
A crew cut is essentially a very clean haircut, where the sides are buzzed tightly and the hair gradually starts getting longer above the ear and up to the top of the head.
It is fading from the front to the crown so that you are left with a tuft of hair above your forehead that can be styled into bangs, a pompadour, or a part. This look is easy to achieve, as it is a common request from most barbers, and it complements any head shape.
How to Style a Crew Cut
The classic crew cut look is easy to style, but there a couple variations that give you creative freedom. The most common way to style a crew cut, is to pair it with thick sideburns and a tapered nape.
In addition, depending on your hair type, many either gel or wax the front of their hair to stick directly up, or if your hair is thick enough it may do so on its own. Another popular styling option is to sweep your hair to one side for a very clean and modern look.
Because this hairstyle is so short, styling is optional and if are crunched on time in your morning routine you can just tell your friends “I woke up like this” and still look sharp.
If instead, you want a more tousled look, you can always allow your crew cut to grow out a bit. One option is to keep the sides buzzed regularly, but allow the top head hair to grow long for a dramatic contrast.
Alternatively, you can create a very manly look by allowing your stubble beard to grow up into your sideburns and create a stubble effects that lengthens gradually into the top of your hair.
Another popular variation of the crew cut is the flat top style. This style is perfect for those who want to elongate the shape of their face, but it is not recommended for those with a square jaws and head shapes.
With this look, you should ask your barber to follow the same steps for a basic crew cut, except that all of the hairs on the top of your head should be the same length, creating a horizontal profile.
This means that the hairs in the back of your crown will have to be longer, in order to be the same height at the hairs in the middle and front of your head.
Most barbers will know exactly what you mean when you say that you want a crew cut, just be sure to guide them on how short you want it since the classic style is very tight. If you need more help on styling and cutting your crew cut, check out this video.
How to Maintain a Crew Cut
One of the best things about the crew cut is how low-maintenance of a hairstyle it is. If you get a very short crew cut, there will be minimal maintenance required at first, as it is the type of hairstyle that you can just roll out of bed with and still look sharp.
However, as your crew cut begins to grow out, it may be necessary to perform regular maintenance so that it doesn’t lose its shape.
For starters, your sides should be tapered on a regular basis, so that the transition from your nape to the top of your head is clear.
You will also have to style your bangs/pompadour regularly, unless you are going for a messy and tousled look, or if your hair is very coarse and can stand up on its own.
Maintaining clean sideburns and other facial hair is also important when you have this look so that you can create a cohesive, clean cut look that will compliment your face and head shape as well as your sense of style.
5 Famous Crew Cuts
- Ben Affleck
Whether you know him from Batman or Daredevil, this superhero actor is known both for his epic roles and attractive style. Though he has sported various hair styles throughout the years, a simple crew cut seems to be his go-to.
- Brad Pitt
Known as both an award-winning actor and sex symbol, Brad Pitt sported a military-style crew cut in the film The Tree of Life giving him a manly and rugged look.
- Ryan Gosling
Ryan Gosling is no rookie to women attention, and there was no exception when he sported his short and slicked crew cut in the film “Drive”. This modern and clean look can complement any face shape with contemporary style.
- George Clooney
A symbol of classic style, George Clooney commonly sports a crew cut giving him giving him a clean and dapper look.
- David Beckham
A star both on the soccer field and the fashion field, David Beckham frequently sports a soft and messy crew cut, allowing him to achieve alow-maintenance sporty look that is both stylish and perfect for his active lifestyle.
One thing that all these stars have in common, besides their crew cuts, is that fact that they have all been nominated as People’s Sexiest Man Alive (well, except for Ryan Gosling who reportedly turned down the title on several occasions).
And if you ask us, the trend of crew cuts among these nominees isn’t a mere coincidence.
If you want a low-maintenance haircut that will complement your appearance with dapper style, a crew cut may be the perfect option for you. Pair it with a well-groomed beard and sharp sideburns, and get ready for some hair complements.
Photos from: Andriy Popov © 123RF.com and frugo © 123RF.com.