13 Short Haircuts That Will Never Go Out of Style
How to get the look you want—with a little help from some of Hollywood's best heads of hair.
We spoke to the stylist for our shoot with Leonardo DiCaprio, Natalia Bruschi, to get the scoop on how to achieve his signature brand of graceful messiness. "On his wet hair, I applied Oribe Gel Serum and then combed it through into a side part. Once the hair was partially dried, I broke it up a bit." Gel Serum isn't a hard product, so you won't get the kind of stiff helmet head that you could crack an egg on. Instead, once it's dry, your hair will loosen up and soften, leaving enough hold to give it a sort-of-orderly-but-still-sort-of-messy look.
A cousin of the crewcut, the high-and-tight gets you as close to the ease of a buzzcut as you can without the latter style's commitment to the crop. It's especially good if you have a square head shape, although pretty much anyone can wear it. Simply have your barber start with a low setting on the clippers—1 or 2 should do it—and then fade up. The top should be left just long enough that you can work in some pomade to give it a bit of texture.
For those willing to commit, the buzzcut is a perfect spring hairstyle. No maintenance, no muss, no product to worry about. The only choice is how short you want to go. A 1 setting on the clippers gets you close to the skin, while a 4 gives you about a half an inch of fuzz. Just make sure you have a good skull shape before going this route.
As far as short hairstyles go, this one is a bit higher maintenance—but it's worth it. The biggest issue is keeping that volume in the front. For the cut, ask your barber to go shorter on the sides, with layered length on top. To style it, comb pomade back from your forehead while your hair is wet. Then break out the blow dryer and blow it back and up in order to create some height. Once it's dry use your fingers and a bit more product to give it separation. And then stay out of the rain.
Gosling sports one of the easiest styles to emulate for any face or hair type. Ask for something high and tight on the sides, and about an inch longer on top. Add a side part, which you'll maintain by towel-drying, then using matte pomade with a comb. Side note: We can't guarantee this hairstyle will make you look like Ryan Gosling.
This is for the man who wants something like a buzzcut only with a bit more personality. Ask your barber for a skin fade, or, if you don't want that much skin showing, fade up from the sides and back with a 1 setting on the clippers. Go with whatever length you want on top, although for a sharper look like Zayn, it's better to keep it pretty short. Accessorizing with robot arms is not recommended.
Jason Schneidman, the man Hollywood trusts to translate the image of its biggest characters from the big screen to the red carpet, says about Jackman, "We wanted to keep the feel of Wolverine but do something more wearable."
He cut the hair to about a half-inch on the sides and two-and-a-half inches up top before shaping it so that it could be swept up and back, or just brushed to the side. The "corners" are left rough and textured, "so it looks a little more wild, like it hasn't just been cut."
For guys with thick wavy hair, a little length on top can be a good way to keep things in check. Just have your barber point cut two- or three-inch layers to remove bulk and add texture. A light conditioner is good to help dial down any frizziness, and to keep things more manageable. And if your hair tends toward the dry side, a little oil (jojoba, argan, take your pick) can help smooth and soften things as well. To style it, rub a dime-sized amount of texturizing cream in while it's wet and then, once it's dry, some strong-hold wax to break it up and add texture. And make sure to ditch you comb and style it with your fingers.
Almost any man can achieve this look, and it's an especially good choice for guys with a receding hairline. "Longer up front and shorter everywhere else gives the illusion of a fuller head of hair," says Elle Medico, a men's stylist at Paul Labrecque Salon. One thing to note: If you've got curly hair, this style's probably not for you.
For guys with straighter hair who don't want their hair too short—i.e. no skin showing—the side sweep is the way to go. Stick with a scissor cut on the sides, about an inch and a half in length, and then cut it to medium length on top. This style works best with a minimal amount of product, like a light styling cream. Basically you want to be able to run your fingers through it for that natural and easy look.
Most guys with a receding hairline opt to clip things short all around so as not to draw attention to their follicular distress. Not Daniel Day-Lewis. “He’s growing more hair where it’s receding, which isn’t something a stylist would normally tell a guy to do,” says Elle Medico, men’s stylist at Paul Labrecque Salon in New York.
But it works because he’s also cutting the sides very short and going right in for a strong, square top. By not blending, he shifts attention away from the forehead, and instead puts it on the locks that are still left. You can achieve a similar result by pumping up your hair’s body and texture. After towel drying, style it with a small amount of stiff wax.
Square jaw line? Good for you! Get it cut almost like Chris Pine. Go shorter and tighter on the sides and let it air-dry. Then go back at it with a bit of pomade. You can skip the highlights, unless you’re headed back to the Starship Enterprise.
If you’ve got curly hair and a more angular face, go modern with a round cut. This one’s about a half-inch longer on top than on the sides. If it starts looking too bushy it’ll be pretty obvious you need a trim.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.