What are some of the most popular hairstyles for men?
Well, it’s hard to say. But I will say this:
The Pompadour haircut is a definite contender for the first place.
This haircut has a rich history dating back to the 18th century. It owes its name to Madame de Pompadour – yes, a woman and King Louis XV’s chief mistress.
The hairstyle was only recently appropriated by men – in the 1950’s – and popularized by superstars and cultural icons such as Elvis Presley, James Dean, David Beckham, Rihanna, and Pink.
A testament to the gender-neutrality of the ‘do.
Anyway, I know what you are asking and yes:
The Pompadour will leave you looking elegant, fresh, and classy – no doubt!
In this post, I’ll walk you through all you need to know about the Pompadour haircut and its variations.
So, let’s get to it.
What is a Pompadour Hairstyle?
The Pompadours’ popularity has exploded over the years, gaining it a lot of attention and variations.
Due to the sheer creativity of these variations, it’s hard to find a one size fits all definition, but here is the basic concept behind the Pompadour:
You have short hair on the sides and back and longer hair at the top.
I know from that definition the Pompadour sounds like most other hairstyles for men. But here’s what makes the hairstyle unique:
The top should be large – in length and volume, swept up from the face, and then slicked or rolled back.
And with that in mind, let’s look at a few stylish ways to get a pomp haircut.
#1 Classic Pompadour
The Classic Pompadour features long hair at the top but with no fades on the sides and back – think Elvis Presley.
Even without fades on the sides/back, this haircut still looks fresh and elegant while projecting the wearer’s strong personality.
So, how do you get it?
- Firstly, for this style to work, you’ll need straight and preferably, thick hair.
- Next, use a pair of scissors to cut the sides and back but leave the hair with an ideal length. Remember: no fades.
- Lastly, trim the top if you have to and comb back your hair.
As for the styling, a matte pomade would be fine.
#2 Undercut Pompadour
The Pompadour undercut is classic and clean but with a much more impactful appearance.
To achieve this look, get a fade on the sides and back.
Once you are done cutting, use your favorite pomade, wax, or gel and style the hair backward or sideways.
Making an undercut yourself can be a bit tricky – but not impossible.
#3 Textured Pompadour
If traditional Pompadours prove to be a bit too neat for you, then consider adding some texture.
The textured Pompadour provides a contemporary yet elegant appearance.
Moreover, this hairstyle has a matte shine and tousled look, making it suitable for any occasion.
How do you get it?
- Simply apply a texturizer to your towel-dried hair before making it into a Pompadour
- While styling, you can use a comb, but you’ll find your fingers work well enough
Getting this hairstyle is easy for gents with wavy hair.
#4 Side Part Pompadour
Paring your Pompadour with a side-part will give you a versatile and classy look.
To achieve this look:
- Start by applying a generous amount of pomade to the hair
- Next, use a comb to distribute the pomade throughout the hair evenly
Now for the side part:
- Using the comb, find your natural part line – on either side of the head – and make a part.
- The part can be as deep or shallow as you like.
For the finishing, use a matte product and some texturizer for an even better look.
This hairstyle also works well/looks fabulous with a beard.
#5 Curly Pompadour
I know you didn’t see this one coming: a curly Pompadour…?
Curly hair paired with the right cut can bring out some fascinating results.
A good example? The Curly Pompadour.
Apart from giving its wearer a unique look, this hairstyle is also easy to maintain and style.
While styling, use some texturizing cream and a matte product to keep those curls in place.
This hairstyle isn’t reserved for those with natural curls.
With proper styling, men with straight hair can also rock this hairstyle.
#6 Modern/Disconnected Pompadour
The Modern or disconnected Pompadour is ideal for gents leaning towards a more contemporary look.
This hairstyle features a striking contrast between the length of hair at the top and the sides’ shortness.
Compared to the Classic Pompadour, this modern spin requires a lot less styling.
Of course, this makes it an excellent choice for anyone in a hurry.
How to get it?
- Start by buzzing the sides and back short
- You can have a uniform length or a fade – for a more modern look
- Use pomade, wax, or gel to style the hair into a pompadour
For contemporary results, you should consider adding some texture.
#7 Short Pompadour
If what you want is a subtle yet elegant look, try the Short Pompadour.
With a less dramatic Pomp, this hairstyle is suitable for any occasion and situation.
The Short Pomp’s sides and back are buzzed short, either with a fade, taper, or uniform length.
Its fringe features longer hair – but not too long – with a lot less volume.
Although you’ll need to build a pomp, as usual, you’ll be working with less hair and thus require less product and time.
For a neat look, try using a wet-finish product.
#8 Pompadour Fade
The popularity of fades cannot be disputed.
Some of the most trending men’s hairstyles today incorporate a fade of some kind.
Because fades bring stability and definition to what could easily be a messy haircut.
As such, by combining the classiness of a Pompadour and the modern look of tapered sides can leave you with a rather dashing appearance.
Achieving this look is relatively simple:
Just ensure you have shorter hair at the hairline that gradually gets longer as you move upwards.
The type of fade you get is entirely dependent on your taste and preference; it can either be a low, high, or mid fade.
#9 Wavy Pompadour
For a less serious and playful take on this timeless hairstyle, you should try a Wavy pompadour.
As you’ve probably guessed, this hairstyle works best if you have thick or wavy hair.
We all know how hard styling wavy hair can become; I mean, just making sure the hair stays in place is a problem.
So, here’s how you get a wavy Pompadour.
- First, apply some pomade
- Next, you’ll want to use a blow drier together with a comb and style the fringe into a pomp
- Now, the secret to getting a perfect Wavy Pompadour is using a high hold product
You can also use a texturizer to give your waves a contemporary look.
#10 Slicked Back Pompadour
This hairstyle variation offers an elegant and polished appearance ideal for any occasion; thus, giving it a perfect blend of class and versatility.
To get this haircut, you’ll need shorter hair on the sides and back either evenly cut or with a fade.
After cutting, apply some pomade and comb the hair up and back.
For a better look, use a blow drier to smoothen your locks before styling. Also, although you can use your favorite product, opt for a low sheen matte finish for a more natural look.
And that’s that.
Let’s look at a few things you need to know about Pomps…
How to do a Pompadour Haircut?
Cutting a Pompadour is relatively easy; more so if you have the right tools, for example:
- A good reference photo
- An effective hair clipper
- A pair of shears
- And a nice, strong comb
You need to make sure you have the right hair-length at the top of the head for starters.
So the hair can have a bit of height once it’s styled; at least 4 inches will do.
Next, tie this top part with clips or bands – whichever you fancy – and separate it from the rest of the hair.
To help you decide which hair should be clipped on top, create a side part on both sides of the head. These side parts should start from the temples and meet at the back in a V shape.
Once you’ve secured the top part, you can then proceed to clip the sides and back.
Here, you can always choose any fade you like.
Relativity matters a lot.
Therefore, if you have 4-inch long hair at the top, keep the sides/back at about 2 inches. That is if you don’t want a fade.
Remember, having a fair bit of contrast is the whole point of a Pompadour.
After you are done with the sides and back, it’s time to tackle the top.
Here, there should be longer hair at the front that gradually reduces both in length and volume towards the back.
You can also choose to add some texture to your hairstyle, and this is where that reference photo comes in handy. It helps you select your finishing.
How to Ask for a Pompadour Haircut
If you find a DIY Pompadour a bit intimidating, you can always go to a barbershop.
The best part is that this haircut is trendy, and most barbers will recognize the name immediately.
What if you are interested in a unique variation? Will your barber recognize that name?
It’s hard to tell but if they don’t, here are some tips to help you get what you want:
1. Bring a Reference Photo
Having a reference photo is a sure way of getting what you want. All the barber has to do is look at the photo and tell you whether or not they can do it.
2. Use the Right Terminologies
Using the correct language/terms to describe your desired style often proves very useful to the barber. Try and use the right words to describe the type of fade, giving guard sizes, finishing, etc.
This might sound like a no-brainer, but you’d be amazed by the number of people who don’t communicate properly with their barber. So, if you want to change something up, then say it. You’ll also be making your barber’s work easier.
Now that you know how to ask for and do a Pompadour, the next logical question is:
How do I style and maintain my new hairdo?
If so, this next bit is for you…
How to Style a Pompadour?
It’s all in the styling with this haircut.
1. Start with towel-dried hair.
2. Proceed to apply a generous amount of high-hold pomade. Use a comb to even out the product throughout your hair.
3. You can add a part if you want. Keep in mind this step is entirely optional.
4. Now it’s time for the “Pomp”. With a comb, lift the hair and comb it backward in a rolling motion. The hair at the front should be pointed at a 60-degree angle. For a taller pomp, you can use a blow-drier.
For a longer Pomp, style the hair more upward than backward. The opposite is true for a shorter one.
5. Although entirely optional, you can finish off with some light hairspray.
Without a doubt:
The Pompadour is a high maintenance hairstyle.
Maintenance often boils down to trimming and styling.
You will spend a fair bit of time in front of a mirror, setting up your Pomp.
Moreover, regular trimming of the sides and back is required; but, in my opinion, the results justify the effort.
There you have it: all you need to know about the timeless Pompadour haircut.
Although a woman came up with it, this hairstyle has evolved to be truly gender-neutral.
Moreover, as seen in the examples above, the pomp can be customized easily to fit any preferences and personalities.
No wonder it’s a popular choice for most guys.
Now tell me:
What is your favorite Pompadour hairstyle? Or do you have any questions about this cool men’s haircut?
If so, let me know in the comments below. Until next time… #StaySafe