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Men's hairstyles are generally pretty easy to care for, but they can still be super stylish and quite nuanced. "The best types of hairstyles for men are those that are low maintenance and require little styling effort," says hairstylist Stephen Marinaro. That includes a whole range of cuts—from short and textured to long and loose.
As for which celebs sport low-maintenance styles really well, Marinaro says, "Bradley Cooper and Robert Downey Jr. have great hairstyles that are age-appropriate and easy to style." We asked him and fellow stylists Vicky Pena, and Gregory Patterson, for their favorite low-maintenance looks for men along with tips for how to style them.
Meet the Expert
• Stephen Marinaro is a hairstylist with over 20 years of experience. He is based in New Jersey.
• Vicky Pena is a hairstylist as well as the employee engagement and training coordinator at Boardroom Salon, a chain of upscale barbershops for men.
• Gregory Patterson is a stylist for Sally Beauty, an international beauty supplies retailer.
Read on for 25 of our favorite low-maintenance haircuts for men.
The crew cut is classic—and customizable. Relatively short on the sides and back and cut finger length on top, this is a very easy style that looks especially flattering on oval-shaped faces. To style, keep the top looking polished with a bit of styling paste. A short beard will make it all feel effortless.
"A Cesar cut is a great low-maintenance style," notes Pena. "Although it does require a frequent visit to the salon to clean and maintain close lines, it is an easy get-up-and-go style." This has been a frequent look for celebrities over the years, including David Beckham, Antoni Porowski, and—as seen here—Michael B. Jordan.
The undercut is equal parts classy and trendy. The hair is clipped all the way up the sides and back of the head. There's no blending between the top and sides. To style the top, sweep it back with your fingers using a little pomade to create a pompadour effect. Use a blow-dryer to add height to the front, if needed. To add some rugged edge, grow a beard that complements your face shape.
To increase the time between haircut appointments, ask your stylist to add texture to your cut. When it grows out it will look more natural and less obvious than, say, a blunt cut would.
Whether your hair is straight or wavy, a shag is a hip, low-maintenance style for men who prefer to have longer hair. The hair is razor cut in long layers to add movement and give a shaggy look around the perimeter. To keep this cut from falling flat, work a little styling cream into damp hair. Once dry, comb through to create a more polished look.
Men's "updos" are trending—just look at Chris Lane as proof. The hair is clipper cut very short right up the sides and back. The top is blended with the sides at the round of the head and cut to about 1.5-inches on top. Try applying a product like Sachajuan Matt Wax ($31) and use your fingers to spike it up. Alternatively, you could wear your hair forward and swept slightly to the side for a more formal finish.
Chris Rock's salt-and-pepper hair à la grown-out fade is utter perfection. Here, hair is cut close up the sides and back, and it's shorter at the crown and gradually gets longer toward the front. It looks great freshly-cut and manages to retain a suave look even as it grows out. It's casual by nature but his mustache adds a touch of refinement.
Number 3 Buzz
A number 3 buzz—in which hair is just slightly longer than a classic buzz—is no-fuss. And even better, it's totally DIYable. "Depending on your length, this cut can easily be done at home and requires little to no skill," says Patterson. "All you need is a steady hand and to be mindful your chosen guard size doesn’t pop off. The Wahl Peanut White Clipper and Trimmer ($66) is great because it has a convenient, reversible finger-ring, which helps with controlling the clipper while in use and it comes with four attachment combs for variable lengths."
Buzz With Clipper
Another variation of the buzz cut, this look is a great option if you want the lowest maintenance haircut possible—or have thinning hair. It's an easy haircut to do at home and doesn't require shaving with a razor and shaving cream. The hair is buzzed with a clipper set to the closest setting. Follow Jason Statham's lead and balance out this style with some scruff.
The tight taper is a classic barbershop haircut. The hair is clipper cut short around the sides and back and smoothly blends into about two inches on top (the top can be taken longer or shorter, depending on your preference). To bend it like Beckham, work in a little pomade and style hair loosely back and to the side with your fingers. Or go formal with a crisp side part instead.
Contrary to popular belief, long hair can be low-maintenance. And while growing hair out might take time, the end result is a length that's easy to wear and can be thrown up at a moment's notice. "Low-maintenance hairstyles include those that can be put into a ponytail or man bun," comments Marinaro. If you wear hair loose, incorporating long layers can lend natural volume and movement.
"The classic George Clooney cropped haircut is great, as it’s easy to maintain, stylish, and sophisticated," says Marinaro. Here, Clooney's scruff accentuates the casual nature of his hair, which is left just slightly longer than a Caesar.
Idris Elba opts for a simple yet stylish 'do with his tapered fade. "Any style that has more length on top with tapered sides and back will also be lower maintenance in that the cut will grow in well," Patterson tells us. "With contrasting lengths—shorter on the sides—you don’t run the risk of a poufy side, which most men loathe."
Mid-Length Crew Cut
As Patterson notes, longer haircuts tend to be lower maintenance. "I always say the shorter you go, the more often you have to go to your barber or stylist," he says. Leaving some length on top will also keep your head warm and makes for a practical winter haircut, Patterson adds. Here, Jake Gyllenhaal's mid-length crew cut results in sporty sophistication.
With long hair, don't forget to use conditioner. It will make hair healthier, softer, and easier to style (read: fewer knots).
If you're growing out your hair, but don't want the maintenance of having to taper the sides every few weeks, embrace the texture and length with a short fro. Just remember: Moisture is key, so be sure to use a healing conditioner and shampoo. We like Davines OI All-In-One Milk ($32).
Once they're in, braids are the ultimate low-maintenance style. Sure, they'll require that you remove any excess build-up—we recommend Alodia Nourish & Heal Organic Black Soap Wash ($16) for that—but honestly, it's a breeze. Ask your stylist to create all-over braids as seen here on Travis Scott, or just add a couple of plaits for style's sake.
Robert Patterson sports a longer version of the versatile quiff cut. "This style allows the hair to fall into its natural, undone state," notes Pena. "How long or short this style is can be up to the individual and depends on how much length you are wanting to leave untamed." For an even more casual take, ditch the comb and use your fingers to style instead.
Curly hair tends to do as it pleases, so it's best to play around with it a bit. Take a cue from Timothée Chalamet, letting it grow long enough to show off the curl but leaving the sides and back cut short for ease. Work in a small amount of curl cream, such as Bevel Curl Cream ($12), to define coils and keep frizz at bay.
Here, Brad Pitt opts to keep hair short and shaven on the sides with more length up top. While his low fade first rose to prominence in the early 2000s, it's still a classic today—and it's not hard to see why. This look keeps hair out of the face and requires practically zero effort in terms of styling.
Milo Ventimiglia's grown-out style seems to have been inspired by the curtain haircut trend of the '90s, albeit, it's way sleeker. Keep in mind that it works best for those with thicker hair, as it requires growing it out enough to yield some serious texture. Ask your stylist for layers and keep it trimmed around or above shoulder length.
Rami Malek offers a great example of how easy it can be to look sophisticated. Here, his hair is left roughly two inches long so that it can be slicked back with product, like Rudy's Matte Pomade ($19).
The clean shave requires little more than sunscreen and moisturizer to head out the door, making it an easy choice for those who don't want to fuss with their hair—or lack thereof. If you're taking a lot off, start slowly, utilizing a one-inch guard on your razor for safety.
John Boyega plays with length and texture to create this stylish undercut, which we love. Tapered sides contrast well with the length left on top. And while undercuts have been criticized for being difficult to transition out of, there are tricks to help you avoid the awkward grow-out stage.
Simu Liu's classic style looks—and is—visibly effortless. While straight hair has a tendency to fall flat, with the right products on hand, anything is possible. To feign a full mane, simply sprinkle on a bit of volumizing powder, like American Crew Boost Powder ($19), and finish with a douse of high-hold hairspray. Seb Man The Fixer ($18) by Sebastian is where it's at.
Kumail Nanjiani's cut is not too long but not too short, either. This length allows you to get creative—or at least gives you some options—in terms of styling. You can pull off Nanjiani's classic James Dean-inspired look or go modern by adding in some texture with Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Body Builder. Best of all? It works ace on a thick mane and can also lend fullness to finer tresses, too.
Is long hair low-maintenance?
As long as you use the right styling products and consider your hair texture, long hair can be relatively easy to maintain.
What is the best low-maintenance haircut for textured hair?
A short afro is a super low-maintenance hairdo. Just don't skimp on the moisturizing products since textured hair requires plenty of hydration.
What low-maintenance haircut should I get if I have thin hair?
If you're feeling bold, a full shave can give off confidence, but in general, any short cut, such as a buzz, will be flattering.