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The Modern Crew Cut: What It Is And How To Style It

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For a long time, the classic crew cut was a major no-no in the fashion world. But along with wide-leg pants, kaboodles, and round glasses, the crew cut has earned its revival. From bald-fade crew cuts to more traditional styles and hard parts, there are so many ways to rock this short men’s hairstyle. But before you head to the barbershop, let’s take a look at what this haircut is all about, as well as some inspiration on how to style it.
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What Is A Crew Cut?
Photo credit: Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock.com
When you think crew cut, you may think the military or receding hairlines (it does do wonders for the balding man), but that’s not all it’s good for anymore. In simple terms, it’s a short haircut for men that is either faded or buzzed all one length on the sides, while the top is about an inch long and forms a pompadour at the hairline.
The classic crew cut welcomes no variation, but lately, a more modern approach has been taken to spice up the traditional look. More on that in a bit.
How To Style A Crew Cut
Posted on Instagram by @reeko_the_barber
Step one – head to your barber. You may be a master at cutting your own hair, but we recommend having a professional take charge at least the first few times before you learn the ropes. (Don’t worry, this is one of the simplest cuts you can ask for.) If you go in for a standard crew cut, your barber will start with shaving around the neckline and ears with a #0 or #1 guard (AKA super short). Then, he’ll work upward, fading the sides of your hair with the bottom section, but cutting it with a #1.5 or #2 guard. To finish off, the barber will cut the remaining hair at the top to about an inch – but never longer than that.

Because the crew cut is so short, it does not require much styling – if any at all. It all depends on your preference, but we recommend adding a bit of firm-hold wax to add some texture to it, especially if your natural hair is fairly straight. One of our go tos is Suavecito Pomade Firme Hold. Simply scoop out a nickel-sized amount on your fingertips and run it evenly throughout your hair, then shape with a fine-tooth comb if desired.
Modern Crew Cut Trends To Try
From the traditional military haircut to something a bit more fashion-forward, the modern crew cut has been seen on celebs from Channing Tatum to Justin Timberlake, Nick Jonas, and Jake Gyllenhaal. It’s a sleek, sexy, and masculine look that has come along way over the years. Here are a few of our favorite modern crew cut trends:
Bald Fade Crew Cut
Photo credit: Tinseltown / Shutterstock.com
Rather than opting for short sides, a bald fade really stands out. Skip the shine on this one because the bald fade crew cut looks great with a bit more texture, creating that purposefully-messy look.
The Nick Jonas Crew Cut, AKA the Mid-Fade Crew Cut
Photo credit: DFree / Shutterstock.com
Remember teenage heartthrob Nick Jonas? The one sporting a super curly mane reminiscent of a poodle? Well, we’re sure glad his look as evolved (as is Priyanka, we’re sure) into this dapper, trendy style. His hairstyle is a simple mid-fade crew cut, which is a great place to start if you’ve never had one before. It looks great with a little stubble, too, if you’re into that.
The Crew Cut With A Hard Part
Posted on Instagram by @hawkinsbarbershop
Something as simple as adding a hard part to your crew cut can be a major fashion statement. It creates a dapper, put-together look without adding any extra effort to your styling routine. However, instead of using a firm-hold wax for texture, you may want to use something a bit more slick to add shine and keep hair in place. We suggest American Crew Pomade with High Shine.
Crew Cut With A Beard
Posted on Instagram by @ericbandholz
It almost sounds like an oxymoron – crew cut with a beard. With its history being a standard military cut (haircut once a week, always clean shaven), it seems peculiar to throw a beard into the mix, but it’s actually one of the hottest trends of the year. Whether you’re rocking a little stubble or a full-on beard, be sure to have it properly faded from your facial hair, into your sideburns and the start of your fade haircut.

Not so much into the crew cut? It’s not for everybody. Instead, check out these 13 Men’s Hair Trends That Aren’t The Fade.

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