Grooming

The Best Short Haircuts for Men in 2020

For your next haircut after the lockdown, take note of these short ’dos that favor texture and tapered sides.
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What are the best haircuts for men this year? Short, long, retro? With the rise of barbery in recent years, we’ve seen a deluge of retro and rockabilly haircuts make its way onto the heads of men care of new-wave barbers, who have revived the timeless styles. Aside from these slick parts and flawless fades, there is also the famous undercut of the mid-2010s, as well as the dramatic pompadours and other top-heavy looks seen on many celebrities.

In 2020, these vintage haircuts reign supreme but with other elements in play. Instead of cuts that look like sculptural feats, today’s styles are predisposed toward sleek, tapered forms and interesting textures, especially for cropped styles. For your next haircut (after the lockdown), take note of these new short ’dos.

The Flat Top

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With its funky aesthetic reminiscent of Will Smith on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, the flat top is a haircut that also doubles as a conversation piece. This updated take is a little more subdued, military-inspired, and maybe even more wearable for men with tamer personalities. It still retains that too-cool-for-school vibe, too, with a skin fade on the sides.

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High Skin Fade Pompadour

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The pompadour of previous years placed so much emphasis on vertical height and with good reason: This hairstyle is styled after how royal courtiers wore their hair in the French court. Today, opt for a toned-down, more wearable version of the pomp that won’t raise eyebrows. A high skin fade on the sides directs the attention to the mop on top without the need for theatrics.

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The Tapered Quiff

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The quiff was once associated with heartthrobs, from James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause to modern-day pretty boys such as Zac Efron and Shawn Mendes. That said, it can be a pretty versatile and flattering haircut on many, such as this tapered take on the quiff, which tames the height and volume and channels a slimmer, more low-key look.

The Textured French Crop

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Back in 2018, the stylish French crop was coveted by many men, who momentarily switched hard parts and slick backs for this fashion-forward hairstyle, a take on the classic Caesar cut. While they've since gone back to their old, pomade-styled ways, there are a few who haven’t quite gotten over their love for the cut. This year, try a fresh and avant-garde take on the French crop by introducing texture. Begin with raised textures at the back before cascading into an asymmetrical and blunt fringe at the front.

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The High and Tight Fade

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The high and tight fade, one of the most classic short haircuts for men, has largely stayed the same over the years. It’s neat and appropriate enough for the strictest office dress codes, yet somehow retains that chic appeal that makes it the cut of choice among creatives and the streetwear-loving set.

The Modern Executive Contour

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Modern executive contour @tony.labrusca haircut ????

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The executive contour was the quintessential American haircut, a style that was most frequently requested by generations of American men who ruled the boardrooms (see Wall Street bankers and Mad Men). The original cut is characterized by longer hair on top, which is styled to the side, and faded sides and nape. Today’s version plays more with texture and side fades to show variety and edge.

The South of France 

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You may have seen the South of France, one of the more modern haircuts on this list, on men who favor an urban or street-ready look. Made popular by Usher and his barber Curtis Smith, it’s a hybrid between a mohawk and a burst fade, where the fade tapers and curves from behind the ears all the way to the nape. For an even more non-traditional look, ask for a razor line. 

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The High and Tight Crew Cut

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One of the most ubiquitous and utilitarian short haircuts for men, the crew cut conjures images of discipline due to its military history. There’s no doubt, however, that busy guys would benefit from a crew cut as it removes the need for everyday maintenance. A high and tight fade gives it a tapered and modern update.

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Sam Beltran
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