While it's true that beauty begins from within, we can't deny that when you look good, you feel good too. Just think about when you're having a good hair day. Is there anything more confidence-boosting? Still, finding the right cut and style can be tricky, especially given all of the options out there. From long locks like Jared Leto to a buzz cut like Michael B. Jordan—and everything in between—how do you know what's the best hair length for you?
To help us out, we turned to celeb stylists and groomers Ben Talbott and Jillian Halouska. Not only did they tell us what factors we should be considering when choosing a hair length, but they also let us in on their pro tips for pulling off various styles.
Meet the Expert
- Ben Talbott is a London-based groomer and hairstylist. His celebrity clientele includes Joey King, Laura Harrier, Jeff Goldblum, and Daniel Glover, to name a few.
- Jillian Halouska is a New York- and Paris-based hairstylist and groomer. She counts Julia Garner, Chloë Grace Moretz, Sebastian Stan, and Penn Badgley, among her celebrity clients.
Keep scrolling for our complete guide to determining the best hair length for men.
Finding the Right Haircut Length for Men
Let's face it: Just because hair chameleon Zayne Malik can make alternating between a pink pompadour and blonde buzzcut look natural, doesn't mean that we can. The thing is, while personal taste is a major factor when deciding what hair look to go with, it's not the only one. According to Halouska, a few key factors to consider are your hair texture, upkeep and maintenance, density and weight, as well as the time frame you have each day to achieve your desired style. "If your hair is on the fine/ thin side, it's best to keep it short in my opinion," comments Talbott. "Face shape and bone structure are also factors to consider. If you have a long face it’s better to keep some weight on the sides to balance the face shape out."
Once you've settled on a haircut, don't skimp on the styling. Investing in quality hair products is a surefire way to keep tresses looking both healthy and stylish. Daimon Barber Yuzu Paste ($29) and Ouai Matte Pomade ($24) are just a couple of Talbott's product picks.
From its edgy aesthetic to its wash-and-go style, a nearly shaved cut is an appealing look for anyone on the go—as well as those with thin hair. Just keep in mind that in terms of upkeep, this cut is a commitment and requires regular trimming. "Cut every two weeks minimum to keep the style looking fresh and neat," recommends Talbott. When shaving hair yourself, "Be aware of dips in the head, and behind ears—easy spots to miss," notes Halouska." "And don’t forget to moisturize your scalp or use cream to prevent sun spots and sunburn," adds Talbott.
Short hair, don't care. This cut is ideal for those of us who want a stylish 'do sans effort. Still, "Minimal upkeep with a short cut is key, emphasizes Halouska. "Even just trimming around the ears can help this stay sharp when it starts to feel overgrown. Using a little pomade will effortlessly separate and help give this length some style and swag." She loves the offerings by Patricks.
If you're wondering whether you can pull off short a short 'do, Talbott offers some advice: "For shorter lengths, make sure you have a good head shape. "If you don’t, you can fake it by keeping weight where you need it." (Well, that's a relief). For example, for a flat head, Talbott suggests maintaining the hair longer though to the occipital bone. And if you have a rounder head shape, he recommends keeping the cut tight around the sides with longer length through the top. And don't forget: "Always use a product to stop the hair looking 'fluffy'," says Talbott. Daimon Barber Forming Cream ($35) will do the trick.
If you've got medium to thick hair, a cut that's not too long and not too short will give you the best of both worlds. Medium-length hair is incredibly versatile and will allow you to change up your style with ease. Although it will require some prep time to style, upkeep is minimal. "Cut your hair every four weeks to keep the shape and the cut looking fresh," advises Talbott. "Always use a grooming cream to tame flyaways." He likes Bumble and bumble Grooming Cream ($28).
When it comes to medium-length hair, shape is important, stresses Halouska. "You'll want to take out bulk where hair is thick (usually on the sides to decrease puffiness) and keep density where lacking," she advises.
Long hair might not be the go-to length for most men, but it's worth considering. "Here is where the health of the hair matters," emphasizes Halouska; meaning, a solid hair care routine is essential. "Use a mask if hair is dry or brittle, a clarifying shampoo for deep cleaning, and high-quality elastics to keep hair from breaking." "Wash your hair regularly and use a moisturizing conditioner to keep those luscious locks fresh and hydrated," adds Talbott. "I also like to use a leave-in conditioner like Moroccan Oil Leave In Conditioner ($30)."
In terms of maintenance, Talbott recommends a good cut every three months to keep split ends at bay. Make styling a breeze with protective styles or simple updos like a man bun. Alternatively, you can show off your length by wearing hair down and loose—just let your natural texture be your guide. "My biggest tip is allowing and embracing your natural texture to be helpful instead of a hindrance," says Halouska. "You shouldn’t have to fight your hair; it should flow and take shape with just the slightest bit of effort, whether that be product, blow dryer, brushes, combs, shampoo/conditioner, etc."
The Final Takeaway
When determining what hair length works for you, let's just say, you've got options. So to help narrow them down, it's worth thinking about what cut will go best with your lifestyle, face shape, hair type, and texture. Each length comes with its own level of maintenance and if you want to keep styling to a minimum, opt for cuts that embrace your natural texture. And in case you're still unsure of whether you prefer a close crop or a lengthier style, why not try doing both with a cut that's got short sides and a long top? Just sayin'.