Short Sides, Long Top: 30 Unique Hairstyles
Let’s face it — while men’s haircuts and styles change over time, the short sides, long top haircut is in. From the slicked and heavily oiled hair of the 1920s to the mullets of the 80s (and those dreaded frosted tips), men’s hair is perpetually in a state of change.
Long top, short sides haircuts are all the rage this year. They’re edgy, modern, and look great dressed up or down, with facial hair of clean-shaven. With this style, you’ll see a blend of yesterday’s classics with modern, cutting-edge twists.
Whether you’re after a no-nonsense, low-maintenance cut that highlights your features or a bold haircut that other guys wish they could pull off, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading to see what makes a long top, short sides haircut so popular.
30 Examples of Short Sides, Long Top Haircuts
Find the best examples of short sides, long top haircuts that will have you contacting your barber ASAP in our guide. Let’s get started!
Long Top With Steep Fade
This modern take on a classic combines a longer top with tapered, faded sides. The result is an easy-to-maintain haircut that can be worn styled and structured or loose and casual.
The slicked-back pompadour is a popular haircut for men with plenty of styling options. Ask your barber to leave the top long enough to slick back into a pompadour and keep the sides short.
Long Top, Short Sides Casual Classic
If you’re not one to go heavy on the hair products, this haircut featuring short sides and a longer top might be perfect for you. Show off your hair’s natural texture by leaving extra length on top, but have your stylist fade the sides slightly above the ear level.
Curly Undone Coif
Featuring an ultra-long top that can be styled with hair products or worn relaxed to showcase your hair’s natural texture, this “undone” haircut is perfect for guys with curly or wavy locks.
Adopt the trend without sacrificing too much length on the sides with this haircut. The top is kept longer (but not long enough to slick back into a pompadour), and the sides aren’t cut as short as you see in many of these haircuts.
Faux Hawk Fade
This cut shows the hair buzzed short on the sides with a longer top that tapers a bit in length toward the back of the head. Instead of keeping the longer length to the crown forward, it extends down a little further for a look that reminds us of a faux hawk.
Mini Short Sides, Long Top Pompadour
If a full-on pompadour isn’t for you, consider the mini pompadour look with sides that are slightly longer and start a bit higher.
Classic With Part
You can’t go wrong with a classic cut like this. It features a hard part for a clean-cut look that is easy to style and maintain between trims.
For the man who takes pride in precision, this haircut may be the perfect solution. Meant to be worn styled and parted to show off the perfect fade from long to short, it’s a clean style that gives your barber a chance to show off his skills.
Pompadour With Hard Part
A hard part sets this cut apart from others, but you’ll get the same lift and volume from the top that’s left long. Ask your barber to fade the sides as long or short as you’d like.
Basic Short Sides, Long Top Crew Cut
If you’re not trying to be a trendsetter but like looking fresh, a basic crew cut might be just what you need. There’s not a ton of maintenance required – just pop into the barber shop every few weeks to keep the top and sides trimmed.
Long Crew Cut
Get the longer top and shorter sides you want while leaving enough length on top to tousle your curls or give your straight hair a little height and structure.
There’s not a huge difference between the length of the top and sides with this haircut, so the maintenance is easy, and styling it is a cinch. Just let your hair do its natural thing – the progressively shorter sides will keep everything in check.
Long Top, Short Sides Messy Undercut
We like the carefree vibe of this undercut, where the top is left long and allowed to fall into its natural shape. The sides and back are undercut, so the long top retains the spotlight.
Bold Mohawk with Designs
Admittedly not for everyone, this bold look gives your barber a chance to showcase his skills with a razor to make detailed designs. The top is kept ultra-long, so it can be gelled and styled into a true mohawk.
Casual, comfy, relaxed – and maybe just a touch of Jim Carrey’s iconic haircut in Dumb and Dumber. If you can pull it off, you’ll like this easy to style and maintain haircut.
Celebrity Style Short Sides, Long Top Quiff
You don’t have to be a celebrity to look like one, especially with a luxurious haircut and style like this. Keep the top long enough to style upward in a quiff, and have your barber carefully taper the sides without a harsh fade.
The Young Professional
Turn heads at the office with this structured, easily styled haircut that leaves the top long enough to slick back and fades the sides to keep it neat.
Bold Pompadour Undercut
If by “short sides” you really mean “completely buzzed sides,” this is the cut you want. Pair a bold pompadour with an undercut style that keeps the top center stage.
Long On Top With Fade
Keeping your hair long on the top really contrasts with the shorter sides that are carefully and precisely faded down above the ears. We like the additional length this haircut keeps on top.
Clean Cut, Hard Part
Picture a clean-cut gentleman circa 1950, and you’re probably thinking of a haircut like this one. We like the smooth lines and hard part that keep the guesswork out of maintaining this fresh style.
Ultra-Long Top With Short Sides
If you’ve been growing your hair out and are hesitant to lose any of that luscious length, check out this style. The sides are cut pretty short – maybe an inch or so – but the top is left longer for plenty of movement and styling options.
Long Top With Bangs
This haircut is unique because it leaves the hair at the hairline – the bangs – a little longer than the rest of the top. This makes it easy to wear styled forward, to the side, or straight back.
The Kansas City Chiefs quarterback certainly turns heads with his long on top, short on the sides haircut. If your hair has the right texture, you can pull it off, too!
Curls on Top
Put your curls in the spotlight with this cut that leaves the top long enough to showcase your wavy or curly texture. The top extends out a little further before sharply fading into short sides.
Medium Side Part
Keep your medium length on top and have your stylist gently taper the sides to about a 1” length. No harsh lines, easy-to-maintain side parts, and a classic look that is easily styled the way you want it.
True Long Top, Short Sides Pompadour
For a bold cut that stands out with a little vintage flair, you can’t beat a true pompadour. Go for some extra length up top to give you height at the hairline when you slick it back. Keep the sides short and tapered – and we recommend pairing with a little facial hair to balance it out.
Take advantage of your hair’s natural wavy or curly texture with lots of length on top to give your locks plenty of movement. The quiff hairstyle needs lots of length on top and shorter sides to contrast.
Up and Away
If you like to keep your longer hair out of your face, this might be the haircut for you. Featuring long hair up top that seamlessly tapers into shorter sides, you can use a strong-hold product to style the hair upwards and away from the face.
The Man Bun
You know we couldn’t create a list of men’s haircuts without paying homage to the legendary man bun. Keep the top long enough to pull back into a messy bun or knot, and keep those sides short to draw a clear contrast between the lengths.
Things to Consider
Before you visit the barber shop or pick up the clippers, here’s what you should know about these long on top, short on the sides haircuts.
You’ll need a trim every 4-6 weeks. You can easily ride out a haircut for up to 8 weeks with medium or longer hair, but with the short sides in these haircuts, you’re going to notice when they’re growing out a lot sooner. Plan on getting a trim every 4-6 weeks to keep your cut looking fresh.
Find out your barber’s specialties first. For classic and basic cuts, you can usually go to any barber or hair salon to get what you’re looking for. But if you’re after a bolder, more complex haircut or style, make sure you know if your stylist can swing it ahead of time. You might need to visit a new salon or shop to get a specialty cut, like intricate clipper designs or steep fades.
Know what you’ll pay for your haircut. Nationwide, the average price of a men’s haircut is about $40. It’s a lot cheaper in some states and more expensive in others. Check out our complete guide to learn more: How Much Does a Haircut Cost?
Come in with clean hair. Clean hair is the key to getting a great haircut, even if you plan to get shampooed while you’re at the hair salon. Wash your hair, preferably with a clarifying shampoo, before you go in for a haircut. Your stylist will appreciate it, and it prevents your hair from being weighed down with product and oil.
Be prepared to leave a good tip. Your barber or hairstylist will work hard to bring your vision to life. In addition to the payment for the haircut itself, be prepared to leave them a good tip to show your appreciation and develop a long-term relationship with your stylist. We recommend leaving a 15% or 20% tip in most situations. Read more here: How Much to Tip Hairdresser
Is a Short Sides, Long Top Haircut Right for You?
Now that you’ve seen plenty of examples of the different haircuts you can get with short sides and a longer top, do you think this type of cut is right for you? A few things to consider before you sit down in the barber’s chair:
- Maintenance: Getting a trim every 4-6 weeks will keep your cut from growing out into an unrecognizable mess. Are you prepared to commit to getting regular trims?
- Styling: Some haircuts with short sides and longer tops will require daily styling to look their best. Have you chosen a cut that you can easily style each day, or are you prepared to spend more time styling an intricate cut?
- The Look: After checking out these examples, do you like the overall look of these tapered cuts?
- Price: With the average men’s haircut running about $40 in the U.S. (plus tip), does this fit your budget?
- Your Features: Are there any facial features you want to play up or tone down with your new haircut? Some cuts are great for hiding a receding hairline or slimming a round face. Talk to your stylist to find the cut that works best for your features.
Every person is unique, and having good communication with your stylist is key to getting a haircut that suits you perfectly. There are so many different types of haircuts with short sides and a longer top.
There’s definitely one out there that will be just right for you. Make sure to bring photos of similar haircuts you like when you visit a barber or stylist. They’ll be able to make sure you leave the chair looking as good as you feel.