While 2020 was the year of big beards, undercuts, and man buns, there are some changes in store for 2021. I think this year will trend towards shorter beards and clean shaves. The slick, side-parted hairstyle will stick around, but we’ll see more blending and less disconnection, and more aggressive tapers. I also think we’ll see shorter styles (especially as guys begin to grow out their undercuts) and more texture this year.
Following are the types of men’s hair trends you’ll see in 2021. If you find a style you love, bookmark it and show it to your barber or stylist to avoid the guesswork of having to describe it.
Men’s Short Textured Haircut
Actor Eric Davies Wagner needed something that would allow him to maintain that boyish charm but still have a somewhat rugged edge. For this style, we went with a number two blade high up the sides and back. The top is left around one inch long at the front and gradually tapers back to a half-inch at the crown. Texturing shears were used to create additional texture, and the cut was styled with Baxter of California Hard Cream Pomade.
Casual Slick Back
For this style, the hair was cut scissor short on the sides and back (about one-half inch) and gradually tapered up to about four inches on top. The hair is styled by adding a pomade or cream (such as Kevin Murphy Free Hold Styling Cream) and directing it back with the fingers.
The Tight Taper
This is an aggressive variation of the classic taper. John is a client who wanted something a little more on-trend, but still suitable for any situation. For this style, we went down to a 000 blade around the ears and at the nape of the neck and then tapered into about three inches of length on top. The style was finished with 18.21 Man Made Pomade.
The Causal Pompadour
For 2021, I’m seeing pompadours with more blending and less disconnection, and more casual styling. This is a good example of casual pompadour. The hair is styled with pomade using the fingers for a more casual effect. For variation, this style could be worn more neat and formal or even down for a cool weekend look.
The Skin Fade Haircut
This is another style I did on actor Eric Davies Wagner who needed something a little more aggressive. For this cut, we went to the skin on the sides and back using an Andis T-Outliner and gradually faded into a longer top. The style was finished with 18.21 Man-Made Pomade.
The Short Textured Crop
For this short style, the hair is clipper cut using a number two blade high up the sides and back of the head. The top is cut finger length with a bit of texture added. For styling, I recommend a matte finish texture paste such as Kevin Murphy Rough Rider Matte Clay.
Medium Layer Cut
This is a longer style I really love – it’s classic without being too fussy. For this style, the model’s hair was cut in long layers and styled with fingers using a light styling cream.
Short Back and Sides
For this style, the model’s hair is cut scissor short (about one and a half inches) on the sides, back, and gradually gets longer into about four inches on top. This is a versatile cut that could be staled with the fingers for a casual look as shown or could be styled as a pompadour for a more formal look.
Ivy League Haircut
For this variation of the Ivy League, the hair is cut short using clippers high up the sides and back and quickly blended into the top to create a more square shape. The top, which is about three inches long, is styled with a bit of paste for a neat, but casual look.
The Classic Buzzcut
This is a buzzcut done the right way on Actor Glen Powell (Ride Along 2, Scream Queens). This cut is buzzed short on the top (using a number two blade) and gradually tapers down to a number one blade at the sides and back. Although you can’t see the back in this photo, it is tapered cleanly with no line (Powell is a client of one of my colleagues, so I’ve seen the cut done). A short beard adds a rugged feel and balances his face nicely.
No styling with this type of haircut is required, but I would recommend using a bit of sunscreen during prolonged exposure to the sun (Axe actually makes one that is pretty good with their Crew Cut Buzzed Look Cream).
Textured Disconnected Pomp
Los Angeles actor Blake Dang wanted something trendy, but somewhat rugged and easy to style. For this cut, I took him high up the sides and back with a number one blade. There is very little blending with the top to create a square shape. The top was cut t about four inches long, and I added texture with a razor. The cut is styled with Kevin Murphy Gritty Business. Because of the extreme amount of disconnection between the sides and top, styling options are limited, but I have seen Blake wear this style down with very little product and it looks great.
Conservative Mod Haircut
This haircut reminds me of a slightly more conservative version of some of the haircuts from the 1970s which were cut shorter at the crown and left scattered around the edges. This is a fun option for the guy who wants a trendy cut with a little more length and very easy styling.