Here are the Best Men’s short back and sides hairstyles
The French Crop
Requiring minimal maintenance, the French crop is a fuss-free cut that’s still flexible enough to be tweaked to taste. “A French crop is basically a short haircut, not quite military-inspired but pretty tight on the sides and generally, the hair on top is worn forwards as a cropped fringe,” says Charlie Cullen, international artistic director at British hairdressing brand Toni & Guy. “The styling on this cut can be minimal as the hair is short, worn forward and not too fussy.”
Ask your stylist or barber to take the hair very short through the back and sides, while leaving the hair on top slightly longer (a couple of inches at most). The ‘crop’ part of this style’s name comes from the top section’s choppy, textured finish.
As for the front hairline, you can either ask to have your fringe cut short and neat or keep some length for styling forward across the forehead.
Classically masculine, the French crop suits guys of any age and face shape, provided your stylist or barber makes subtle alterations to suit. Round faces, for example, will benefit from especially short, sharp sides and plenty of texture through the top section to add some height; meanwhile, it’s better to frame longer faces with longer sides (to add width) and a slightly flatter top section.
How To Style
To style the French crop, always remember to apply product to damp or dry hair. “I’d recommend using matte paste for a dry natural feeling so it’s showing off texture without being overstyled with heavy product,” says Cullen.
For a shinier, glossier finish however, use pomade or grooming cream rubbed messily into your hair with your fingers.
A natural born showstopper, nearly every man’s tested a quiff out at least once in his life, and its beauty lies in the fact that it can be worn as subtle or extreme as you like. Any stylist or barber worth their salt will know that a quiff is all about length and volume at the front, so striking a balance is key when it comes to this cut.
“Ask for long enough length in the front so that you can actually wear and style it worn up away from the face,” says Cullen. “If it’s too long it will flop down. Generally a quiff works better when it’s not texturised – when it has too much texture it doesn’t look as groomed or classic.”
If you take the back and sides particularly tight while leaving a good deal of length on top, your quiff will look much more dramatic due to the extreme contrast – so have a clear idea in mind as to how you want your quiff to look before your stylist or barber starts chopping. The crown area of your hair also needs to be cut shorter to allow the quiff shape to stand out.
How To Style
Unlike more rough and ready short, back and sides hairstyles, the quiff likes to be put in its place and stay there: you’ll need a bit of skill and a lot of precision to style well.
“To style the quiff apply a thickening tonic to wet hair then use a small vent brush to stretch the roots of your hair while applying heat from a hairdryer to create volume and roundness at the fringe,” says Cullen. “To avoid going too retro and Elvis like, undo the style afterwards a little bit by running some soft wax through it.”
Textured & Undone
If you’re more bedhead than painstakingly sculpted Lego hair, a low-fi, ‘undone’ take on this hairstyle is likely your best bet.
“The textured short back and sides cut that you should go for depends on the thickness of your hair,” says Cullen. “If it’s fine don’t go as short with your fade on the back and sides as it will expose your scalp. Ask for the top to be point cut or cut with a razor to give a rougher, rugged texture – think classic Brad Pitt during the 90s.”
Thanks to its relaxed structure, an undone style frames most face shapes well. That said, to ensure yours is shown in its best light, whoever is cutting your hair should maintain the right balance between the length of the hair on top and that at the back and sides to keep your mug from going woefully off-balance.
How To Style
You can further iron out any natural head quirks with = styling. If you want to add length to your head, give it some height by working a volumising product into the roots first.
But, if you’re all about that get up and go life, then thankfully you can do practically nothing with your styling and still end up looking decent. “Apply a sea salt spray to wear hair, scrunch your hair with your hands then let it dry naturally or blast with a hairdryer,” says Cullen. Bish, bash, bosh.