Ah, the pompadour. Its dimensions are simple, but its impact is incredibly vivid. Featuring, plenty of volume on top, the pompadour is the ultimate classic contemporary hairstyle for men. Be it a tall style with Elvis-esque proportions or a subtle and sleek take on this trend, the pompadour can come in many stylish forms. Here, we’ve rounded up a selection of the best pompadour haircuts that every man should try.
1. Modern Pompadour
Although the pompadour has proven itself to be an utterly timeless hairstyle, a contemporary twist can make it more relevant. The modern pompadour exaggerates each of the haircut’s components to construct a look that is striking and edgy. You can completely own this version of the cut, as long as you wear it with confidence. The angles of this haircut are more defined than the original version, using height to make your face appear longer. As such, the style is particularly well-suited to those with round faces.
2. Pompadour Fade
Faded sides are an element of many men’s hairstyles at the moment. The fade’s popularity stems from its ability to bring structure and neatness to what could threaten to be a messy style. Pompadour fades combine the contemporary style of tapered sides with the classic pompadour. By graduating down to a short length above the ears, you create the illusion of more weight and height on top, so keep the pompadour neat and tight for best results.
3. Side Part Pompadour
For a slightly different take on the pompadour styling, you can bring a side part into the mix. While the classic pompadour is usually a backward-swept cut, the side part pompadour utilizes your part line as the base of the quiff. It’s a versatile look and lets you get away without too much styling when compared to the swept-back pompadour. While the side part can look great with a firm hold wet-look hair product, you can have even better results with a matte finish and some natural-looking texture.
4. Short Pompadour
Wanting to rock a pompadour without committing to the traditional length and volume of the cut? The good news is that you can still get that look with shorter hair. Short pompadours are a neat yet striking style that can suit almost any situation. For a more modern interpretation of the short pompadour, style your hair from your temple near the part line. For the neatest look, opt for a strong-hold wet-finish hair product.
5. Undercut Pompadour
The undercut is a no-brainer to incorporate its aesthetic into the pompadour. The undercut pompadour offers a similar juxtaposition as faded sides but in a far more impactful way. The sudden shift in length from clipped sides up to the volume-heavy top makes for a jarring but strong style. It also offers excellent versatility meaning you don’t need to worry too much about always styling your hair. The longer hair on top can look just as good falling over the short sides as a neat style does.
6. Curly Pompadour
When you think about a pompadour, your mind doesn’t immediately relate curly hair into the mix. But curls can bring a look that you could never achieve with straight hair. Greater texture and volume and much more interesting, a curly pompadour can look outstanding with the right cut. Avoid pretending your hair is straight, you won’t be able to emulate the super neat pompadour styles out there. But by integrating short sides, or even an undercut, you can celebrate your natural curls with this style.
7. Wavy Pompadour
While a perfect pompadour comes across as sharp and sophisticated, a wavy pompadour feels youthful and fun. Ideal for a fashion-forward weekend look, this style doesn’t take itself too seriously. On top of appearing approachable and easy-going, this look is also much easier to create than a traditional pompadour.
8. Quiff Pompadour
Combining a pompadour and a quiff is an excellent way to create a stylish appearance. The look, which still boasts plenty of volume up top, places more focus on the front section of hair. Emulating a wave shape, this combined hairstyle is eye-catching and impressive. It can also easily be adjusted to create a more dramatic or simplistic style by making the quiff larger or smaller. Likewise, a neat and tidy quiff pompadour will appear more structured and intense while a messier version will come across as softer.
9. Mini Pompadour
Even smaller than the short pompadour, the mini pompadour is a barely-there version of this big-haired trend. The look is particularly suited to two types of men. The first is gents with short strands whose limited length leaves them unable to rock a proper pompadour. As such, the mini pompadour makes a great option and can slowly be built up as locks grow longer. The second is men who want to try this trend but prefer a more subtle style. While a mini pompadour won’t garner much attention, it will still appear stylish and on-trend, making it ideal for minimalistic modern men.
10. Straight Pompadour
For a sharp and classic look, a straight pompadour makes an excellent option. While the style can be achieved on wavy hair with the help of a hairdryer and a round brush, it tends to look best on naturally straight strands. So, if your locks are free from kinks and curls, consider giving this pompadour style a try. For a great professional look, try creating a neatly combed-back pompadour with understated sides. If you want a look that’s a little bolder for the weekend, consider a voluminous straight pompadour instead, and pair it with contrasting short sides.
11. Pompadour + Beard
Pairing a pompadour with a beard is an easy way to create a stylish, standout look. The combination of the bold hairstyle with a beard is sure to catch eyes and make your presence known. But, you should be aware that it’s not the easiest of looks to pull off. To start with, you should tailor the length and width of both your pompadour and beard to suit your face shape. Then, once you have your ideal look, you’ll need to regularly style, trim, and maintain both the hair on your head and your face to keep this combination appearing sharp and sophisticated.
12. Single-Length Pompadour
While many of today’s pompadours are partnered with an undercut to intensify the style, some still feature longer sides. The single-length pompadour, which is characterized by little to no distinction between the length of hair on the top of the head and the sides, provides a more classic take on this trend. You can achieve the style by combing the side sections of hair back during the process of creating the pompadour. The result is a polished and traditional look that also has a little attitude. For a more youthful and slightly preppy look, you can consider adding a side part to this style.
13. Full-Volume Pompadour
If you believe in the saying “go big or go home,” the full-volume pompadour may just be the hairstyle for you. Taking the original pompadour to new heights (and widths), this look is eye-catching and impactful. Although the style may be out of the question for gents with fine strands, those with thick locks will be able to don the look with confidence. All it will take is a bit of skill with a blow dryer and the right amount of product, and you’ll be able to produce a full-volume pompadour with ease. By shaving the sides of your hair short, you can also help to create the illusion of a fuller pompadour without any extra work.
14. Textured Pompadour
While super sleek and straight pompadours often appear traditional and a little rockabilly, textured pompadours are entirely modern. The less structured look adds a contemporary element to this hairstyle without verging on the messy territory, meaning that it’s ideal for both the office and after hours. If you have naturally wavy hair, then a textured pompadour is easy to create. If you have straight strands, on the other hand, you may find achieving this look a little more challenging. To nail the style, invest in a texturizer or sea salt spray and spritz on damp strands before styling into a pompadour.
15. Elvis Pompadour
The pompadour may have originated in the 1700s, but it didn’t become a popular hairstyle for men until the 1950s. Thanks to the rockabilly culture and Elvis Presley, the style took off in the decade to become an iconic ‘50s look. Unlike today’s pompadour, which features extra volume and texture, the original men’s pompadour was sleek and straight. To recreate this look today, use plenty of hair gel to keep every strand smooth and expertly in place.
16. Asian Pompadour
The pompadour looks excellent on a range of gents. In particular, the style can appear fantastic on Asian men. Sleek, straight, and dark, typical Asian hair is ideal for styling into an eye-catching and suave pompadour. If your hair is already voluminous, you’ll be able to achieve an impressive pompadour with ease. However, if your locks are thin, you may need to invest in some volumizing hair products to help add height to your hair.
17. Slick Back Pompadour
To give your hair a sleek and suave aesthetic, opt for a slick back pompadour. Unlike textured and messy pompadours, a slicked-back version appears straight and polished. It also offers a smart, retro touch and is ideal for formal occasions. To nail the look, just be sure to make your locks as smooth as possible by blow-drying your hair before styling. Then, use pomade, wax, or gel to style your strands up and back for the perfect sleek pomp.
18. Disconnected Pompadour
Looking to infuse an extra edge into your pompadour hairstyle? Why not add a stylish disconnected undercut to your look. The combination of a disconnected undercut and a pompadour is fashionable and ideal for the modern man. Far from subtle, this bold hairstyle, which features a sharp contrast between the pomp on top and shaved sides, is on-trend and eye-catching.
19. Textured Relaxed Pompadour
For a stylish “I just woke up like this” look, consider a textured relaxed pompadour. Combining the full-volume look of a traditional pompadour with a disheveled touch, this hairstyle is the epitome of laidback cool. It’s especially ideal for gents with thick, wavy hair. However, it can still be achieved by others with the aid of some volumizing powder.
20. Pompadour + Shine
For a sleek and dapper take on the pompadour, shine is essential. To ensure you pull off an impressive pompadour with shine, it’s important to make sure your hair is as naturally healthy as possible. Then, you can boost your hair’s natural shine by blow-drying it smooth before applying pomade for styling and finishing with a shine spray.
21. Pompadour + Extra Volume
If your motto is “go big or go home”, you’ll love the look of a pompadour with extra volume. Although a pompadour is already a full style, it is possible to go higher. However, you’ll need to have the length and natural thickness to be able to nail the look. Likewise, you’ll also need to aid of volumizing products, a blow-dryer, a round brush, pomade, and hairspray to ensure this oversized pomp stays in place all day long.
22. Pompadour + Blonde Hair
When rocking a pompadour, there are a lot of different elements with which you can experiment. Along with size and texture, you can also play with the color of your hair to achieve a different appearance. For example, a blonde pompadour can look particularly striking. Thanks to its full volume yet light shade, a blonde pompadour appears unique and eye-catching, especially if the hue isn’t your natural tone.
23. Pompadour + Mid Fade
For a cool and contemporary take on the classic pompadour, consider partnering it with a mid fade. By graduating from a long length on top to shorter hair around the temples and ears, a pompadour mid fade can add a sense of sharpness and structure to your look. Smart enough for the office yet sufficiently edgy for evenings out, this style is a truly winning look.
24. Textured Mid Length Pompadour
Mid-length cuts are perfect for modern-day gents. Short enough to appear smart yet long enough to allow for exciting styling, this great length is always a good option. In particular, a medium length haircut looks fantastic when paired with a textured pompadour. Messy in the best of ways, the look creates an on-trend appearance that’s ideal for fashionable gents.
25. Short Curly Pompadour
For a subtle take on the pompadour, a short version can work, especially if your hair is curly. Thanks to the natural volume that curls provide, a short curly pompadour can still appear full and stylish. Best of all, it’s also easy to style. All you need to do is use a wide-tooth comb to smooth hair back after washing. Then, allow your locks to air dry or, if you want extra volume, gently blow-dry the roots upwards using a cool setting to avoid frizz.
26. Short Pompadour + High Fade
A high fade is a fantastic way to add a sharp military-style edge to your pompadour look. However, it’s essential to consider proportions when rocking this look. While a large pompadour and high fade can often appear overly contrasting and elongate the face too much, a short pompadour with high fade looks balanced and seriously flattering.
27. Pompadour + Hard Part
If you like the look of a side-parted pompadour but want more distinction, a pompadour with hard part could be the hairstyle for you. Featuring a shaved part, this style appears sharp and smart. To maintain the clean look created by the hard part, ensure your pompadour is sleek and neatly combed to the side and back.
28. Pompadour + Low Fade
While a pompadour is an on-trend and stylish look, it can also appear somewhat intense. So, if you’re looking to soften the appearance of your pompadour, consider adding a low fade. By adding such a fade, you’ll be able to offset the large proportions on the top of your head without causing too much contrast.
How to Style a Pompadour
- The first step is to towel dry your hair.
- Next, blow-dry your hair while combing it with a round brush.
- Grab a decent size amount of pomade with your fingers, and warm it up in the palms of your hands.
- Work the pomade through your hair with your fingers. Start with the sides then the top. The front portion of your hair will require the most hair product as you will need the added strength to hold up this hairstyle.
- Comb your hair to get the product to the roots and create a better hold.
- Brush the front part of your hair up to spread the pomade through. With one hand holding the comb, brush the front of your hair up and into your free hand. Your free hand will act as a guide for your hair to fold over and to also serve as a limit to how high the front will go.
- Finally, comb your hair up, and pat it down. Finish with hairspray for extra hold.
What is a pompadour haircut?
A pompadour haircut features length and volume on top, swept-back, while the sides and back are either slicked down or short. Elvis Presley was one of the most famous faces to rock a pompadour; however, the cut has evolved to incorporate more variations and modern styling.
What's the difference between a quiff and a pompadour?
A quiff and pompadour are very similar styles. A pompadour features volume along the entire top section of the head, slicking everything back. On the other hand, a quiff focuses on creating volume in and slicking back just the forelock, or the area of hair on top that sits in front of your ear. A pompadour tends to be a neater, more precise style, while a quiff can have more texture and be more causal.
How long does hair need to be for a pompadour?
Ideally, the hair on the top of your head needs to be around three to four inches long, while the sides and back can vary depending on how you style it. This length will allow you to blowdry enough volume into it to get the best results.
How do you do a pompadour hairstyle?
Start with clean but damp hair and apply your chosen styling product throughout. A water-based pomade works best. Then dry your hair with a blowdryer on high heat, brushing the hair on top up and back to create volume. If your sides are longer, use a similar technique, brushing back and smoothing down as you dry so you can easily slick them down. Next, use some more of your styling product to finish the look, styling the hair back, and using a brush or comb if you need. Finish with a coat of hairspray.
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER
Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.