Classic, sophisticated, and suave – there’s nothing like a gentleman’s haircut to elevate your look. Rooted in tradition, gentleman’s haircuts are always professional, classy, and flattering, and speak to a man’s inner sense of style, power, and respect. Whether brokering deals in the boardroom, attending an interview, or playing a game of golf, you can’t go wrong with these hairstyles.
The quiff is one of the most universally attractive hairstyles for men. Favored by stylish stars – from George Clooney to Leonardo DiCaprio and David Beckham – the quiff has an undeniably suave and sophisticated appeal. A little more relaxed than the comb-over or slick back, the quiff can take you from a casual date to the red carpet in a flash. Plus, the easy-to-style quiff suits both medium and short hair and wavy and straight textures. It also works on men of all ages, making it one of the most popular hairstyles worldwide.
2. Crew Cut
A stylish and practical crew cut is one of the best options for a classy yet masculine hairstyle. It was first worn by Ivy League colleges’ rowing crews and was designed to prevent hair from blowing in their faces. For those reasons, it’s a great option if you need a fresh, sophisticated, and short haircut that doesn’t require much styling. Suitable for all hair types, the crew cut is effortlessly cool and low maintenance. However, it does require regular trims to keep it looking sharp.
3. Slick Back
The slick back is an iconic men’s hairstyle. Its super-sleek appearance is both classy and bold, making a strong style statement. Popular among businessmen in the 1940s and ’50s, it later became associated with the powerful Wall Street stockbrokers of the 1980s. Eye-catching and timelessly cool, a slick back is an ideal choice for confident men – particularly if you love the vintage aesthetic. Plus, it looks great with all facial hair types, from goatees to mustaches and full beards.
4. Ivy League
The dapper Ivy League haircut is classy by nature. Originating among students at prestigious American colleges is also known as the Princeton cut or Harvard clip. Combining the best parts of a crew cut and a taper, an Ivy League cut gives any guy a sophisticated, preppy look. For that reason, it pairs best with a clean-shaven face or light stubble. From polo matches to members’ clubs, board rooms, to yachts, the Ivy League looks right at home.
5. Comb Over
The comb-over hairstyle one of the most classic classy hairstyles for men. Clean and professional comb-overs are the cut of choice for businessmen and popular for formal and semi-formal events, such as weddings or races. Even better, comb-overs suit nearly all face shapes and make your hair look thicker and fuller at the same time. To give your comb-over a fresh and modern twist while still maintaining its classy look, try pairing it with a low or mid fade.
6. Side Part
Classic and versatile, nothing says ‘gentleman’ like a side-parted hairstyle. Ideal for square, round, and oval face shapes, a side part can work with most hair lengths and textures. Low-maintenance and easy to style, all you need is a comb and some gel or pomade to fix your side part in place. As a result, it’s ideal for guys short on time in the morning and require a stylish, polished, all-rounder haircut that can take them from the office to the bar.
7. Hard Part
The hard-part hairstyle is one of the more modern classy cuts for men and suits those who want a sharp and precise look. Starting with a short comb-over, quiff, or side part hairstyle, your barber will add a razored parting, creating structure and definition. Because it has such a neat, precise finish, the hard-part haircut requires daily styling to ensure no hair is out of place. Use gel or pomade to comb your hair into position and lock it in place. Additionally, pay attention to your hairline and sideburns when shaving to maintain a clean final result.
8. Clean Shave
The clean shave is all about confidence. That’s because a bald head always attracts attention, so you should be prepared to have all eyes on you if you decide to embrace the look. Masculine, sophisticated, and cool, the clean shave is a great option if you lose your hair. To balance the look, add a pair of statement glasses or shades, and grow out your facial hair to give your face some angles and dimension.
A fringe can be a great way to shake up your look, as well as hide a large forehead or receding hairline. To keep your fringe looking classy – rather than dramatic – opt for a short, minimal look that doesn’t fall into your eyes. If you have wavy or curly hair, it will fall into a natural fringe without any styling. However, if your hair is straight, apply some styling product such as wax or pomade to shape the fringe and provide texture.
10. Buzz Cut
For guys who prefer a minimalist, no-fuss look, a classic buzz cut is an ideal option. Despite its military heritage, the buzz cut still has a classy look – especially when paired with a suit or groomed beard. Straightforward and masculine, the hairstyle requires no extra styling and looks clean and polished. Plus, it’s a solid option if you have a receding hairline. However, it’s important to bear in mind that a buzz cut can be hard to pull off if you have a round face shape.
11. Bro Flow
The bro flow is more relaxed and rugged than other classy hairstyles for men but has earned its place among them. Guys who want to show off their wavy or curly hair while still looking put-together should consider this style. The key is to use a minimal amount of product to create a carefree and cool yet professional look. Your barber may also cut in subtle layers to give your bro flow more shape and structure, making it look intentional rather than messy.
12. Mid Fade
The perfect ‘all-rounder’ haircut, a mid fade gives your hairstyle a subtle yet modern upgrade. Clean and professional, this type of fade pairs perfectly with hairstyles like a slick back, side part, or wet look. It also adds a classy touch to naturally curly or wavy hair. Because the mid fade begins halfway between a high fade and low fade, it creates a flattering frame for your face and makes it look longer and more balanced.
13. Short Back and Sides
Neat, clean, and masculine, a short-back-and-sides haircut is a classic for a reason. The cut contrasts the tapered sides and back with a longer section at the crown, making your face look longer and slimmer. Perfectly blended, the cut is all about understatement and is ideal for everyday wear and formal occasions. If you are looking for a sophisticated and classy haircut that is low-maintenance, yet affords you more styling flexibility than a crew cut or buzz cut, consider a short-back-and-sides.
14. Wet Hairstyle with Fade
Like a slick back, a wet hairstyle has a sleek, polished finish that immediately draws attention and makes a statement. Adding a fade gives it a modern twist and adds structure, ensuring the overall appearance is clean and put-together. The contrast between the short sides and the long, wet-look top section makes this one of the most visually interesting classy haircuts, making it an excellent choice for guys who want a professional look that still has stylish flair.
15. Taper Fade Comb Over
Switch up your comb-over by adding a modern taper fade. While you retain all the polished, retro appeal of the comb-over, the taper fade gives it more structure and a fresher feel. It also means you won’t have to style or comb the sides of your hair. Ideal for a formal occasion, dinner date, or the office, the taper fade comb-over is all about subtle style and class. It is also a perfect match for a full beard, though it’s important to ensure you keep it trimmed and groomed to maintain the polished look.
16. High and Tight
The high and tight shares some similarities with the buzz cut and the butch cut, in that it is a short style cut with clippers. However, there are some key differences – mainly that the top section is noticeably longer than the shaved, tapered, or high-faded sides. The high and tight has a military feel yet is still stylish and classy. It looks great with a groomed beard or stubble for an extra masculine touch and is ideal for guys who want a low-maintenance cut that requires little styling.
17. French Crop
One of the sexiest classy haircuts, the French crop combines classic style and sophistication with a youthful and modern appeal. Ideal if your hair has a naturally wavy texture, the French crop is universally flattering on every face shape. Plus, it’s ideal for minimizing a large forehead, as well as concealing an uneven or receding hairline. At the same time, its textured finish can help to make thinning hair look fuller and thicker.
18. Butch Cut
A type of buzz cut, the butch cut has its origin with the ‘jarhead’ cut of the US military. Longer than a traditional buzz, the butch cut is the same length all over. For that reason, it is suitable for men who have naturally thick hair – particularly if it’s on the coarser side. Low maintenance and versatile, a butch cut works for both Afro-textured and straight hair. It looks great paired with stubble, a short beard, or a clean-shaved face.
19. Short Afro
A short Afro is one of the best gentleman’s styles, combining sophistication with practicality. Ideal for men who want a minimalist style without going for a clean shave or buzz cut, the short Afro has an understated yet undeniably stylish appeal. Have your barber tailor your Afro to suit your face shape, and schedule regular trims to keep your hairline neat and clean. You can pair the look with a shaved face or full beard, too.
20. Short Curly Hair with Taper Fade
Give your curly hair a gentlemanly look by cutting it short and adding a taper fade. The taper fade adds structure and provides a clean, polished effect while also cutting down on styling time. Meanwhile, going short will make your curls easier to manage and define with a styling product, without weighing them down or getting in your face. You can also adapt the style to suit your face shape – push your curls straight back, add a side part, or let them fall forward as a short fringe.
What is a gentleman's haircut?
A gentleman's haircut has a classic feel inspired by vintage and traditional styles. It is usually short – or at most medium length – and neat, with a professional and refined finish, rather than looking ultra-modern, fashion-forward, or edgy.
How do you ask for a gentleman's cut?
When discussing your haircut with your barber, use words such as 'professional,' 'structured,' and 'refined' to describe the type of look you want. The specific instructions will depend on the type of gentleman's cut you want but as a general rule, a side part or comb-over are some of the most popular gentleman's cuts and are ideal for those trying the look for the first time.
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