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 hair stylist Stephen Marinaro. That includes a whole range of cuts—from short and textured to long and loose.
Meet the Expert
• Stephen Marinaro is an experienced hairstylist and media personality based in New Jersey with more than 20 years in the beauty industry.
• Vicky Pena is a hairstylist as well as the employee engagement and training coordinator at Boardroom Salon, a chain of upscale barber shops for men.
• Gregory Patterson is a stylist for Sally Beauty, an international beauty supplies retailer.
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.
Read on for 22 of our favorite low-maintenance haircuts for men.
The crew cut is classic. Relatively short on the sides and back and cut finger length on top, this is a very easy style.
Keep the top looking polished with a bit of styling paste. A short beard that's neatly trimmed and edged adds to the effortlessness, since you can occasionally skip shaving.
"A buzz 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, Chris Evans, 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. A short beard can add a rugged, masculine vibe.
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 hair from falling flat, work a little styling cream into damp hair. Once dry, comb through it to create a more polished look.
Spiky With Short Back and Sides
This style is almost like a faux hawk. 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.
Apply styling wax and use your fingers to spike it up. Alternatively, you could also wear your hair forward and swept slightly to the side for a formal look.
Grown-Out Fade With Beard
Kevin Hart's grown-out fade is a decidedly casual (and easy, to boot) style. 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. Hart's grown-out fade is balanced by his beard, which adds a decided ease.
Number 3 Buzz
A number 3 buzz—in which hair is just slightly longer than a classic buzz, as seen here on John Legend—is no-fuss. And even better, it can be done at home.
"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 ($58) 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."
Clipper Head Shave With Beard
A clipper head shave is a great option for men who want the lowest maintenance haircut possible or those who 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.
You could balance out this look with a short beard, like Jason Statham, for added masculinity.
Don't forget sunscreen—the scalp is very susceptible to burning.
The tight taper is a classic barbershop haircut. The hair is clipper-cut short around the sides and back and smoothly blends into about 2 inches on top (the top can be taken longer or shorter, depending on your preference).
Apply a little styling paste or pomade, and style hair loosely back and to the side with your fingers. You could also do a crisp side part for a formal look.
"Low-maintenance hairstyles include those that can be put into a ponytail or man bun," says Marinaro. While growing hair out might take time, the end result is a length that's easy to wear and can be thrown up in a ponytail at a moment's notice.
Short and Textured
"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.
"This style allows the hair to fall into its natural, undone state," says 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."
As Pena notes, Brad Pitt, Justin Timberlake, and George Clooney have taken the shorter approach to this look. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there's Robert Pattinson, Jared Leto, and Jake Gyllenhaal sporting the longer version.
For an even more casual look, ditch the comb and use your fingers to style.
"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," says Patterson. "With contrasting lengths—shorter on the sides—you don’t run the risk of a poufy side, which most men loathe." Here, Idris Elba rocks a subtle tapered fade that doesn't run the risk of looking poufy at all.
Longer on Top
As Patterson notes, longer hair equals lower maintenance. "I always say the shorter you go, the more often you have to go to your barber or stylist," he says. "Plus, as we’re headed into the fall and winter, some length on top will also help keep your head warm." Here, Jake Gyllenhaal adds some length to a classic crew cut, resulting in a sophisticated and low-maintenance look.
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. Moisture is key, so be sure to use a healing conditioner and shampoo. We like Carol's Daughter Black Vanilla Moisture and Shine Leave-In Conditioner ($11).
Once they're in, braids are the ultimate in a low-maintenance style. 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.
A standard quiff features short hair on the back and sides, with longer hair up top. For added style, sweep the hair on top of the head up and back at the front (like Zac Efron here).
Short With Texture
Curly hair tends to do as it pleases, so it's best to play around with it a bit. Take a cue from British comedian Nish Kumar, letting it grow long enough to show off the curl but leaving the sides and back cut short for ease.
This low fade style first rose to prominence in the early 2000s. Today, it's a classic and for good reason: The style keeps hair out of the face and requires nearly nothing in terms of styling. Here, hair is kept short (sometimes shaved) on the sides, with more length up top.
Ear-Length With Texture
This style is best for those with thicker hair, as it requires growing it out enough to yield some great texture. Ask your stylist for layers and keep it trimmed around or above shoulder-length, a la Milo Ventimiglia.
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 full 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. If you're taking a lot off, start slowly, utilizing a one-inch guard on your razor for safety.