Intended or not, men mostly attain shorter hair on the back and sides. It is the most common and versatile hairstyle that blends in very well with a wide range of iconic hairstyles. Any barber around the world usually reduces the hair volume on the sides and back compared to the top. It is because when you reduce the hair on the side the main focus will fall on the hair on top. And, the hair on the sides grew back faster compared to the hair on top.
Short back and sides have been in style since the early 19th century and several variations have been introduced to it. Whether you get an undercut, a classic tapering, a fade, or any other iconic style come under short sides and back hairstyles. By implementing this look, you add more personality to already established styles like the pompadour, quiffs, slick back, crew cut, buzz cut, etc.
Most hairstyles are defined by the shape of your face, facial features, and hair texture. Whereas short back and sides hairstyle acts as an enabler to all hairstyles and almost never fails you irrespective of the shape of your face. Unlike other hairstyles, there is a good chance that your barber won’t need much guidance in grooming you with a short back and sides. However, you might need an idea of how you can use this style to your advantage when you combine it with other prominent styles. So, to save you the time and pain of looking all over the internet, we brought a list for you to explore. Check out the 20 best short sides and back hairstyles in the list below.
Top 20 Short Back and Sides Hairstyles for Men
1: Modern Quiff
Modern-day quiffs are the most common hairstyle variations you can find among men of all ages. Give either a subtle tapering or a fade or an undercut to the sides and back to elevate the hair on top. Massage your hair smoothly with the best quality hair wax frequently to keep your hair flexible and shiny. Use a comb for typing your hair with or without a parting. Let your hair in the front rest backward making a small bulge.
2: The French Crop
This is another prominent hairstyle that requires very minimal maintenance. Unlike other popular hairstyles, you won’t be needing a clipper necessarily to groom this one. You can reduce the hair length on the sides and back using scissors. The hair on the top is not neatly arranged but left free and short. You won’t be needing any high-grade styling product or a comb for this style.
3: Messed Up
Similar to french cop, for this style you will be leaving your hair intentionally messy just like the name indicates. Give a decent low fade on the sides and extend that to the back. Keep the rest of your hair short but not too low. Apply your most trusted styling product such as hair mousse, pomade, or gel. Style your hair using your hands without allotting any direction to the strands. Let some bangs fall on the forehead to keep it wild.
4: The Faux Hawk
A faux hawk hairstyle gives you a remarkable makeover and makes you the party man at any time. First, give a uniform undercut on the sides and back with the length of your choice. For the hair on top, use scissors and groom over the edges to attain a neat look. Use pomade or hair gel for further styling. Make your hair stand in a random direction. Keep the temples neat and sharp while they are connected uniformly to the sideburns.
5: The Slick Haircut
You need to definitely try this hairstyle if you are someone who likes classy mixed with mean. First, make a rough parting on any side. Use clipper and give a classic mid fade that is extended to the back of your head. Keep the hair on the top to a medium length and change the rough parting into a rough one using a razor. Use a good amount of trusted hair mousse or gel for further styling. Use a comb and pull back your hair flat to the scalp. Give a small quiff in the front for the final mean look.
6: The Side Part
A side part has the versatility to work with short and long hair. A side part without a doubt adds great definition to the hair with short sides and back. For a funkier look reduce the hair on the sides and back with a clipper or for a classier look, cut short the hair with scissors. If you are going for a classier look, cut the hair on the top to anywhere between short and medium length. Use hair gel and make a side part dividing the hair on top with one side. Make sure no hair falls on your forehead and is neatly resting to the sides.
7: Military Crop
Military personals maintain short hair to avoid usual distractions. It is indeed a simple hairstyle that can be attained without too much effort. Give your sides and back a uniform tapering and reduce the hair volume on the top with scissors. Keep the hair on the top flat and uniform in all dimensions. Apply pomade or mousse and neatly comb all your hair in one particular direction. Keep the hair professional and make sure no strand falls on your forehead.
8: The Buzz Cut
A buzz cut is always a safe bet for men who do not like to spend too much time on their hair. It is uniform grooming all over your head bringing down the hair length to the shape of your head. You need to keep in mind that if you have a receding hairline or a widows peak, a buzz cut enhances it. This style looks great with or without a beard, so it is up to you to decide whether you want to grow one with it or not.
Pompadour and its variations transform your look like no other hairstyle. For this style, you leave the hair on anywhere between medium and long while trimming down the sides and back. Divide the hair on top and one side by giving a parting. Give your sides and back a high fade with a clipper. On the top leave long-length hair in the front and gradually decrease the length as you go back. Apply pomade or hair mousse and comb your hair on the top to the sides with thick pomp in the front.
10: The Crew Cut
This popular hairstyle has gained a remarkable craze because many celebrities maintaining it on and off the screen. Even from afar the men with this hairstyle are seen clearly with thick hair on the top. You can attain this look by tapering the sides and back and neatly scissoring down the top. Keep the temples and sideburns neat and sharp while letting them complement each other.
11: The Box Fade
Most commonly seen on black men a box fade is a sophisticated style best suited for flat tops. Taper down the hair on the sides and back of your head using clippers. Don’t reduce the hair volume on top except for shaping it. Apply hair mousse and neatly groom the hair using hands and clippers into flat shapes. Shape the temples and forehead into three sides of a square and keep them neat and connected to the fading sideburns.
12: Ivy League
This formal hairstyle is most common and popular for providing classier looks. Maintain a subtle variation between the hair on top and the rest when it is still damp. Keep the hair on top thick but not too long meanwhile keep the hair on the sides and back way shorter. However, instead of using a clipper style your using scissors. Blow-dry your hair and apply pomade for further styling. Comb your hair backward with a rough parting between the hair on top and sides.
13: Cool and Messy
We already discussed messy hairstyles, this one is similar to those except it is way cooler. Give a low fade on the sides first with an extension to the back. Cut the hair on top over the edges to keep the hair short and sharp. Apply pomade and style your hair in the direction you like. To make it look cool and trendy let a few bangs fall on your forehead. The hair can cover your forehead but make sure it does not exceed the eyebrows.
14: Short and Messy
Have you ever tried spikes for your short hair? Well, this style brings the same coolness with short messy hair. Give a classic undercut to the sides and the back of your head. Keep the hair on top less than medium in length. Apply styling products such as mousse or gel and let it dry for further styling. Use your hands to give your messy hair a random direction to stand in. Make a small quiff in the front from one temple to the other. Speaking of temples, keep them sharp and closer to the right angle while still being connected to neatly groomed sideburns.
15: The Tight and Height
As the name indicates, you will be creating the illusion of having really long hair by combing the front part on the top backward with a bulge. Give a medium fade to the sides and extend it to the back of your head. Keep the hair on top a little bit thicker than the sides but still short and leave the hair in the front with a little bit extra length. Apply hair mousse or pomade to style further. You won’t need to comb all of your hair as it is short. Coming to the front, let it rest backward with small pomp. Make sure no strand is falling on your forehead.
16: The Fade Haircut
We have been discussing several hairstyles until now that were elegant because of a neat fade cut applied to the hair. Similarly, this hairstyle requires you to get a classic fade from above the temples to your ears level. Assuming you are going for short hair on top, use scissors or clippers to reduce the hair volume on the top to a uniform level. Give the temples a sharp edge and let them be in line with the forehead hairline and your sideburns.
17: Fresh and Short Haircut
This look brings you a fresh-out-of-shower look all day long. Keep the hair short in length as the name indicates starting with the sides. Choose uniform undercut or classic tapering. Either way, reduce the hair volume to the scalp above and behind your ears. On the top cut down the hair with scissors to short length but still more than the sides. Apply hair gel or any other trusted styling product. After your hair is dry, style your hair with your hands in a random direction.
18: The Mid Fade
A mid fade or medium fade is where high and low fade finds a middle ground to give you the best output. Give a deep fade starting at the temple to above and behind your ears. Give a downward arch to the back of your head for a stable look. Keep the hair on top medium or a little more. Keep a hairline in the front straight and let it be in line with the temples and sideburns. If you fancy a beard, let its shape come together with sideburns forming a classic 3. For the hair on top, apply hair mousse and neatly comb your hair to the back.
19: Wavy with Low Fade
If you have naturally curly or wavy hair then you just might love this hairstyle. First, give a low fade starting below the temple and ending around your ears. Keep the hair on top to a medium length and give a gradual variation between the front and back. Apply pomade and starting combing your hair with a round brush. Let your hair stand in the upward direction to flaunt your wavy texture. If you like to grow a beard, make a classic 3 shape between the forehead, temples, sideburns, and the beard.
20: The Flat Top
This is yet another famous style especially among black men due to their strong and unique hair texture. Give a shallow tapering to the sides and back let them have a flat angle on all sides. For the hair on top, apply hair mousse and keep your hair standing erect while you trim it down flat on the top. As you maintain a flat angle on all sides, they let the hair match with the flat top. Keep the forehead, the temples, and sideburns sharp and connected to each other.
Used in the right proportion haircut with short sides and back is the best thing you can do to your hair. It has the property to enhance any prominent hairstyle and make it even better. Use our list above as a reference for your next visit to your barber or hairstylist. Though we collected almost all popular hairstyles, we don’t mean you have to limit yourself. Stay open to experimenting and figure out your signature style. Happy grooming!