Popular Retro Hairstyles For Men

Modern men’s hairstyles tend to lean toward spikes and a messy appearance. However, there are several popular retro hairstyles for men that have either never lost their popularity or are making a comeback. Several of these styles are able to evoke a sense of nostalgia and transport one to a past era. However, choosing the right look depends a great deal on the type of hair one has.

Photo of Lenny Kravitz curly hair.
Lenny Kravitz curly hair.

Those who have thick, curly hair may choose to blow dry it to get it to stand out from the head. With a little bit of shaping, this can be turned into a look very similar to the afro worn by men in the 1970s. The longer they let their hair grow, the thicker the style will be.

The Beatles hairstyle photos.
The Beatles mop top hairstyle.

Men with fine, straight hair are going with a style similar to that worn by the Beatles in the late 1960s. Commonly referred to as a “mop top“, this is a form of shag style. The back is cut in a straight line across at a level even with the chin. The bangs are cut straight across the forehead just above the brows. The sides angle back in a straight line between the two levels.

David Beckham crew cut.

One of the more common choices is to have the hair buzz cut into a crew cut. Here, the sides and back are tapered extremely close to the scalp. The top is left just a touch longer with a fade from the front to the back so that the front is a little bit longer than any other hair.

Picture of Brian Haley flat top hair.
Brian Haley flat top hair. Photo by BrianHaley.com.

One popular variation on this is known as the brush. It is so named because the top is left long enough to brush back or to the side while the sides and back are cut closely and tapered down to nothing. Another is known as the flat top. Here, the sides of the top hair are left a bit longer to create a flat plane across the top of the head. The hair in the center is cut shortest, creating a nearly bald patch known as a “landing strip”.

Picture of Cary Grant classic hairstyle.
Cary Grant classic hairstyle.

Although not quite as drastic as these examples, most popular retro hairstyles for men are short styles. One of the most popular of all time is a simple classic with the hair parted on one side and combed over.

This look was popular when Cary Grant was actor and has remained in style since the 1930s. It is strongly favored by men who want to project a conservative appearance and those who work in professional offices.

Elvis Presley hairstyle for men.
Elvis Presley pompadour hairstyle.

Another classic retro look that is making a comeback is the Pompadour. This style was first made popular by rockabilly musicians of the late 1950s and early 1960s.

It is created by having the hair cut short on the sides and back. The top is shorter in back, tapering to a longer length (up to three inches) in the front. The hair is combed at an angle tending forward. The front hair is then flipped upward and straight back. This creates height in the front.

Although originally created using hair cream that imparted a greasy appearance, this style can now be created using pomade or wax to provide the needed hold. This gives the style a softer, more touchable appearance.

Many of the newer hairstyles for men tend toward a lot of spikes and a messy, devil may care look. However, there are still several retro hairstyles for men that have never lost their popularity and/or that are making a comeback in recent years. These include a wide range of buzz cuts, the simple classic, the pompadour, and other short styles.

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