Looking for modern or classic examples of a bowl cut? Read on to learn what a bowl cut is, see real-life examples of this style, and determine if this haircut suits you.

Best-Selling Hair Products

Click below to shop the best selling hair products and tools.

Shampoo and Product Care and Styling Tools
We may earn a commission when you click this link, at no extra cost to you.

Wait, Bowl Cuts Are Back in Style?

Man with a bowl cut (literally, he's cutting his hair with a bowl on his head)
Carolyn Franks/Shutterstock

We never thought we’d say this, but guys – it looks like bowl cuts are coming back. Don’t panic! We’re not talking about the puffy ‘shroom style cuts mom gave you in the ’90s.

There’s a bolder, better version of the cut on the rise, and we can’t lie — it looks pretty good. Before we show you some of our favorite upgraded bowl and mushroom cuts, let’s have a quick lesson on this iconic haircut.

Other Trending Hairstyles:

What Is a Bowl Cut?

A bowl cut (also known as a mushroom cut) is a haircut that features bangs that go all the way across the front. The back and sides are either the same length as the bangs, or longer toward the back.

However a bowl cut is done, the ends of the hair follow a straight or angled line around the head. The result is a mushroom-like haircut that looks like it was done with a bowl inverted on the head as a guide.

In fact, that’s how bowl cuts got their name. In medieval times, a bowl was used as a guide for cutting. Also, it’s featured in the movie Dumb and Dumber.

So, a bowl cut is a haircut with:

  • Blunt bangs across the forehead
  • Back and sides cut to same length as bangs
  • Or, back and sides cut longer than bangs at an angle

There’s a lot of variation in these haircuts. They can be shaved underneath with longer hair on top. They can be very short or long enough to cover the ears. These haircuts can be worn by children, men, and women. 

We usually think of yesterday’s straight hair tucked under at the ends when we think of bowl cuts, but today, they are commonly worn messy, layered, and tousled with wavy or curly hair.

Now that you know what makes any old hairstyle a bowl cut, it’s time to take a look at some of the revamped, new-and-improved examples you might consider getting. 

30 Bowl Cut Examples That Will Bowl You Over

Check out these updated versions of the classic bowl/mushroom cut. They’re coming back into style for a reason. Which one can you see yourself sporting? 

Short Undercut

Man with a bowl cut and a blue denim shirt smirks directly into the camera
ESB Professional/Shutterstock

This example features super-short hair on top with a fringe that hits the temple area instead of the eyebrows. The hair underneath is shaved, making this a cool hybrid between the two-block cut and a mushroom cut.

Read Next: What Is an Undercut?

Curly Bowl Cut

Portrait of a handsome young man with a floppy haircut sitting outside and smiling
Rido/Shutterstock

Natural curls put a modern twist on the old-school version. The curls are cut to follow the classic bowl shape without being too rigid. 

Swept Forward

young asian man sitting inside and looking at his phone
Chaay_tee/Shutterstock

A few layers will give your hair more dimension and texture. Sweeping it forward with a bowl cut keeps it from looking outdated and shows off the layers. 

Wavy Ear-Length Cut

Man with wavy ear-length hair grins while in a studio and wearing a grey tshirt
Tom Wang/Shutterstock

These cuts look great with any hair color or texture, but we really love the dimensional effect dark, wavy hair gives them. Cut to the ear level, this fashion-forward cut is easy to manage and takes no time to style. 

Bowl Cut With High Drop Fade

Smiling man in a wool button-up sweater shirt holds a phone and ponders while looking to his right and wearing a bowl cut
Mangostar/Shutterstock

These haircuts don’t have to be super long. We like the short version with a high drop fade pictured here as a modern twist. 

High Curly Crop

Man with an unkept beard and a curly top bowl cut smiles big at the camera against a gradient gray background
Pathdoc/Shutterstock

Bringing the long top up a bit higher is a trendy way to wear the ‘shroom cut. Many guys who don’t have naturally curly hair to give the top height and texture are getting perms.

Read Next: What Does a Perm Cost?

Parted Bangs

Happy little boy with a bowl sits outside in a bomber jacket and holds a small stick
Phovoir/Shutterstock

This kid is sporting a straight bowl cut with a slight off-center part. If you’re looking for a haircut suitable for a little boy who hates sitting still to have his hair styled, this is perfect. 

Stacked Mushroom Cut

Woman with red lipstick and sunglasses rocks a short bob bowl cut and wears a tight black and white striped dress
SunCity/Shutterstock

A stacked mushroom cut is propped up by successively shorter layers underneath. This gives the hair some added volume and height in the back. 

Messy Shag

Man with a messy shag bowl cut smiles at the camera and crosses his arms
Kite_rin/Shutterstock

A side part makes a big difference in the way a bowl cut looks. If this model’s hair were brushed down and forward instead, it would look like the classic version. But we love this tousled, messy twist.

Read Next: Short Shag Haircut Inspiration

Choppy Full Bangs

Asian man with a bowl cut puts his hands in his pocket in a salmon shirt against a salmon background
Atstock Productions/Shutterstock

With straight hair, you can add a little interest and texture to this cut with choppy bangs. An uneven line in the front helps separate this cut from the old-school versions.  

Pieced-Out and Layered

Asian man on a bus wearing a choppy bowl cut and a jean jacket with white tshirt
Makistock/Shutterstock

Styling wax can help you make sections of the hair look “piece-y” while giving it some hold. Sweep the hair off to one side for a casual look.

Tousled Top

Young asian man smiling and looking at his phone and holding headphones that rest on top of his long bowl cut
TimeImage Production/Shutterstock

Steering clear of the carefully coiffed mushroom cuts of the past, this version is mussed up and tousled for a more casual and updated look. 

Coily Crop

Brazilian man with a curly tight bowl cut and a thin beard and mustache stands outside smiling
Gustavo Frazao/Shutterstock

Super curly hair cut to the temple area brings a modern twist to the classic. Bringing the long portion up much higher looks edgy and clean-cut at the same time. 

Light Violet With Short Fringe

Woman with lilac hair and a bowl cut holds the top of her hair and wears lilac lipstick
Daniela Collins/Shutterstock

Modern women are breaking the rules of a classic bowl cut with a vivid color and a shorter fringe that isn’t the same length as the rest of the hair. We like the way this cut frames the face.

Read Next: Hair Dye Costs at a Salon

Curtain Bangs

Man with a blue button up oxford shirt sits in a living room against wooded backdrop and looks above an open laptop
Zhanghaoran/Shutterstock

Popular in the ’90s, a center or off-center part lets the front of the hair hang over the forehead like curtains. Make sure to leave the top at least eyebrow length for the best effect. 

Hipster Parted Fringe

Hipster asian man with a parted bowl cut stands against a block background and wears an open jean jacket with white tshirt
Paulaphoto/Shutterstock

Keep longer straight hair out of your eyes with a bowl cut like this, where the front of the hair is parted to the side and held with a dab of light to medium hold gel. 

Point Shaved Undercut

Unique version of an undercut and rat tail bowl cut being shaved into a woman's head
Spaskov/Shutterstock

Light blonde hair pairs perfectly with a classic-style bowl haircut. But the surprise in the back – a point-shaved undercut – adds a little edge. 

Low Fade Bowl Cut

Closeup of a hairdresser cutting a bowl cut into the back of a man's head
Bodnar.photo/Shutterstock

You can always modernize a bowl haircut with a fade. A low fade that starts just above the ears refreshes this cut and makes it new.

Read Next: How to Do a Fade Haircut

Parted in the Middle

Portrait of a happy man in a studio crossing his arms and wearing a blonde bowl cut spilt down the middle and combed to the sides
Mimagephotography/Shutterstock

You don’t have to wear a bowl cut straight down and forward. Take a page out of this guy’s book, who parts it down the middle for a face-brightening look. 

Layered With Side Swept Bangs

Asian man in glasses dressed in business casual attire in a high-rise office setting wearing a bowl cut with bangs combed to his right
Tirachard Kumtanom/Shutterstock

Instead of letting the hair fall straight down, use a small amount of gel or pomade to sweep the front over to one side across the forehead. This softens the look. 

Temple-Length Curls

Man with a long curly bowl cut sleeps on his hand and closes his eyes
ESB Professional/Shutterstock

Don’t sleep on this haircut, because it’s getting more popular by the minute. It’s like a blend between Patrick Mahomes’ iconic cut and the classic mushroom cut. 

Arched Fringe

Woman with an arched fringe and pink hair that covers her eyebrows does not wear a shirt and looks down to the point her eyes are nearly closed
FlexDreams/Shutterstock

The shape of this cut is almost classic, but with the twist of an arched fringe across the front. Add in a vivid hair color, and you’re anything but dated. 

Sporty Shag

Man with a sporty shag haircut lifts weights in the gym and wears a tank top
Minerva Studio/Shutterstock

The textured nature of curls is such a great fit for a bowl cut. They keep the hair from lying limp and flat and create so much interest in the haircut. A curly shag like this is perfect for active guys who need their hair to stay out of their face. 

Short and Tapered

Chinese man holding a red mug and pointing to himself while wearing a white tshirt and a rocking a bowl haircut in a studio
Krakenimages.com/Shutterstock

A shorter bowl haircut is a new way to wear the trend without pointing too much to the older style. Pair it with a tapered cut to keep the lines from looking too harsh.

Parted off-Center

Man with a parted and combed-over bowl cut in professional attire smiles in a studio against white background
ESB Basic/Shutterstock

An unexpected part is a great way to style a longer bowl cut like this. Parting off-center near the middle really opens up the face and gives the hair more shape. 

Undercut With Side Part

Young student holds his phone and expresses excitement while standing against blue background
Aslysun/Shutterstock

Doing an undercut with a bowl cut helps keep your head cool and looks great. Part it off to one side so you can tuck your hair behind your ears to keep it out of your face. 

Parted and Casual

Man wearing a long and shaggy bowl cut looking at the camera in a white shirt without smiling against grey background
Sam Wordley/Shutterstock

The effortless look is always popular – it looks cool and requires less of your time to style. Part a bowl cut to the side and tousle your hair with a little mousse or gel for this look.

Drop Mushroom Cut

Drop mushroom bowl cut that is colored spotty pink on a woman with a ton of makeup on
Eugenia Porechenskaya/Shutterstock

Even if pink isn’t your thing, this drop version of the classic dips down in the back for an updated look. The front hits mid-forehead, and the drop is done behind the ears with a shaved undercut. 

Choppy Layered Cut

Choppy layered bowl cut on a young man with the hair in front almost covering his eyes
Morrowlight/Shutterstock

Mushroom cuts have a lot of versatility when you add choppy layers. This cut extends just past the ears and angles down in the back. 

Wavy Middle Part

Wavy middle part bowl cut on a guy with glasses and a black turtleneck
Viktoriia Hnatiuk/Shutterstock

Make the most of your waves with a medium-length bowl cut and a middle part. Parting down the middle gives you swooping bangs that can hang loose or be tucked behind the ear. 

Things to Consider Before Getting a Bowl Cut

Some of us were traumatized by a bad bowl haircut early in life. We hope the inspiration photos above helped show that today’s mushroom cuts are much different from the 90’s monstrosities.

If you feel ready to get back out there and try again, arm yourself with knowledge first. Here’s what you need to know before you get it done. 

Know what’s different about the modern version. Vintage bowl/mushroom haircuts were voluminous and polished. Today’s are often layered, choppy, wavy, or curly. And if they’re left straight, they need some added interest – shorter bangs, an angled back, or an undercut all work perfectly to bring the style into today’s fashion. 

Face shape matters. Most face shapes will look great with any kind of bowl haircut – heart, oval, and square faces are all a good fit. But if you have a round face, a bowl cut can exacerbate the fullness at the cheeks and make your face look bloated. A shorter cut with a fade can help diminish the added volume on the sides for round faces.

Make sure your stylist knows what you want. If you’re visiting a stylist who might not be up on today’s trends, asking for a bowl cut might result in you getting the vintage version you’re still having nightmares about. Make sure you’re specific about what you want and have plenty of inspiration photos to show them.

Know your hair type and characteristics. It’s easy for a stylist to make your hair look great in the salon or barbershop, but you need to understand your hair and how it tends to behave before you get this cut. If you have cowlicks, super coarse hair, stick-straight locks, or curls that always frizz, a bowl cut could make those challenges even harder to manage.

Thick hair can puff out when cut this way. Thin and medium-thick hair won’t have issues with a mushroom cut, but super thick or coarse hair can. If you want to avoid the puffy look, have your stylist undercut the hair under the longer top or thin out the hair underneath.

Should You Get a Bowl Haircut?

If you’re thinking about getting a modern bowl or mushroom cut, now is the time to do it. You’ll be at the forefront of this growing trend, and you’ll love the way it looks. These haircuts are easy to manage and quick to style.

When it comes to the old school bowl cuts of yesteryear, we can’t be mad at ‘em. They taught us a lot. Take a few pointers from the vintage version, keep the parts that looked good, and put a modern twist on the cut to make it less dork and more New York. 

Find a stylist to help you achieve the look you want with our free Hair Salon Database now. Just enter your zip code to see all the salons and shops near you!

Best-Selling Hair Products

Click below to shop the best selling hair products and tools.

Shampoo and Product Care and Styling Tools
We may earn a commission when you click this link, at no extra cost to you.
Author: Debra Carpenter

Debra is a Nashville-based content creator and strategist. As the daughter of a long-time hair stylist and salon owner, she’s spent most of her life as a guinea pig for new color and cut techniques. Writing for respected publications like Forbes and HuffPost, she’s committed to bringing her passion for great hair to the masses.