Want vintage vibes with a modern edge? Sounds like the pompadour may be the perfect haircut for you to try next. See 20 examples of this haircut that will liven up your look and make you feel like a new man!
What Is a Pompadour?
Elvis may be the official poster child of the pompadour haircut, but this is no longer a novelty 1950s style. Today, men are rocking modern versions of the pompadour with confidence.
Long on top with lots of volume and shorter on the sides for a clean-cut contrast, pompadours are one of our favorite looks for men. Their amazing versatility is part of what makes them great. Don’t want to draw a lot of attention with your pompadour or prefer lowkey looks? Opt for shorter length on top with a classic mid or low fade.
Want to stand out or rock the edgiest haircut in the room? Grow out the length on top and experiment with unique ways to style and cut the sides, like burst fades or undercuts. From the length to the way you style your pomp, you have tons of options with this unique haircut.
And if you decide to give any of the haircuts below a try, we promise you won’t end up looking like an out-of-work Elvis impersonator (unless that’s what you’re going for, and hey, we don’t judge).
20 Pompadour Haircuts With a Modern Edge
Here are some of our favorite examples of this classic-yet-cool haircut. Time for a little pomp and circumstance!
1. Tapered Pompadour
This professional and polished look is brought to you by a tapered back and sides that keep this style clean-cut. A little styling gel will keep your pomp slicked-back and suave.
2. Burst Fade With Pompadour
Burst fades are similar to drop fades, but the difference is how far the fade drops in the back. Here, the fade is shaved down to the skin just around the ears to really highlight the volume up top.
3. Wavy Edges With Side Part
Make your cut stand out by playing up your hair’s natural texture! Wavy texture is in the spotlight on the carefully styled top (you’ll need a hair dryer and mousse to recreate it) and a deep side part creates a little more definition.
4. Pomp-Fade Haircut With Single Rail
Take it old school with a fresh pomp-fade featuring a single rail (line) shaved into the sides. Feel free to mix it up and make it your own with other shaved designs or more rails!
5. Pushed-Back Pomp With Skin Fade
If you’re not a fan of the polished slicked-back look, try something a little more casual like this. Lightweight mousse will give you this workable texture, so use a small amount and brush the hair on top back and over slightly with a side part.
6. Long Top With Skin Fade
Short sides, long top looks are never going out of popularity and they’re flattering on every man. Liven up your look with this cut, brushing the top up and slightly back for plenty of volume on top.
7. Pompadour Faux Hawk
Here’s a cool twist on the long-top look! Keep the length concentrated down the center like you would in a faux hawk. Shaved sides keep the focus on the length up top. Then, slick it all back to nail this look.
8. Ultra-Long Top With Tapered Sides
If you’ve been growing your hair out for a while and have a good amount of length, you can experiment with a debonair style like this. Have your barber trim up and taper the length on the back and sides, keeping it long enough on top to style into a perfect pompadour.
9. Hi-Topadour With Burst Fade
Hi-top fade meets the voluminous pompadour in this cool mashup style. The hair around the ears and temples is faded to a shorter length, making it a burst fade that polishes the style.
10. Side-Swept Pomp With Burst Fade
Here’s a perfect example of how a little concentrated fading can draw the eye to your best features! Where the fade is shortest around the ears, the eye is directed to the cheekbones and eyes. Brush the top over to the side for a classic look.
11. Pushed-Back Pompadour Fade
If you don’t like the idea of going too short, leave as much length as you want on top and fade the sides down to the skin in a low fade. We love this look with facial hair!
12. Mini Pomp and Fade
Leave 2-3 inches of length on top to create a smaller version of the popular pompadour haircut. This is a classic cut that will never go out of style!
Mohawk plus pompadour gives you the effortlessly cool ‘hawkadour. Shaved sides keep all the length and volume focused down the middle of the head, which is perfect for guys with round or square faces.
14. Undercut With Tousled Top
Concentrated volume on top is contrasted with shaved sides. Look closely and you’ll see that the length on top dips down in the back like a drop fade. Tousle the length on top with a little mousse for texture.
15. Long Pushed-Back Pomp
Blessed with thick, full hair that you want to show off? A cut like this is perfect. Instead of fading the sides, you keep them long enough to brush back and set with gel. After applying gel, run your fingers through your hair to break up the texture and keep it casual.
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16. Slicked-Back Pompadour With Undercut
Nothing says tough yet sophisticated like a clean shaven undercut paired with a slicked-back long top. Shake things up for casual settings by wearing it to the side instead of slicked back.
17. Perfectly Coiffed Pompadour
You’re going to need a bigger can of hairspray, but if you’re really dedicated to the pomp look, this is the cut to get. Leave the top ultra-long with tapered back and sides to recreate this look.
18. Psychobilly Wedge
The wedge haircut is a uniquely shaped pompadour that is longest in the front and gradually gets shorter toward the crown. Wear this bold style with any length – even shorter hair can rock the wedge!
19. Side-Swept Undercut Pomp
When you’re working with plenty of length on top, you can create a lot more looks. This style is perfect for guys with thick, full hair who like to keep things neat but want the look of longer hair!
20. Gelled With a Fade
If you’re the type that doesn’t use hair products, it’s time to start! A little gel goes a long way in keeping your long top styled and pushed back. Fade the sides to keep the look clean cut and fresh.
Things to Consider
Think this might be the perfect haircut for you? We’re thinking so, too! But this cut can pose a few problems for guys who rush into it. Here are a few things to think about before you make your final decision.
- Daily styling will be a thing. If you’re more of a “roll out of bed and go” guy, getting a pompadour haircut is going to frustrate you. This cut relies on the boost of volume on top, which (for most people) means daily styling and product usage will be unavoidable. On the days you don’t feel like styling it, you can wear it brushed over to the side – but it won’t look like a pompadour.
- Be realistic about the length. If you’re slow to part with your longer locks, you might consider an extra-long pompadour to keep the appearance of long hair. But the longer you leave the top, the higher it will reach – and the more product and heat styling you’ll need to mold it into that recognizable pompadour shape. Be realistic about the length as you decide if this is the haircut for you.
- Get it cut by a skilled barber. Your barber or stylist is instrumental in making your pompadour lay properly and easy-to-style. Bad layers, too-short length on top, mishandling the clippers, and sloppy fades will only make your pompadour look fall flat. So make sure you’re working with a skilled professional who has successfully done this haircut before!
- Consider your options if you end up hating the cut. Before you get this haircut, think about how you’ll handle it if you end up disliking it. You can always cut the top to a shorter length, but if you’ve chosen an undercut pomp, that might mean you’ll end up shaving your head to start over. It’s possible you might realize this isn’t the cut for you, so ensuring you know how to “fix” it is essential.
The pompadour haircut has roots in history but modern style has definitely tweaked this classic style into something edgier and cooler. If you’re drawn to this look but still feel unsure about whether or not it’s right for you, we encourage you to take a step out of your comfort zone and give it a try!
After all, if you hate it when it’s all said and done, you can take solace in knowing hair always grows back. But there’s a good chance you’ll love the way it looks, and who knows? You might end up feeling like a brand-new man.