• The Shampoo Lounge

The Best Short Haircuts For Men: 42 Styles To Try For 2022

Short back and sides, please. It’s been the default setting for men’s hair since, well, the beginning of time presumably. Sure, there’s been the odd exception – Jesus, Jason Momoa, basically anyone from the 1970s – but on the whole, if you’re male, you’re probably rocking a cropped cut.

It sounds simple enough, but the word ‘short’ is actually an umbrella term for myriad different styles, each with its own set of rules. Picking one out isn’t always easy. There are more considerations – regarding face shape, styling and all the rest of it – than most expect. Which is why we’ve put all the information and visual inspiration you need in one convenient place.

Whether you’re wondering what hair trends to jump on this year, or just need some visual cues to nudge your barber in the right direction, you’ll find everything in our ultimate short haircut guide.

Key Short Haircut Terms

Before we go any further, it’s worth being clued up on the short-hair lingo. It’ll help you decide what you want and help your barber give it to you. Here are the terms you need to know when it comes to getting the chop.


A barbering technique using clippers whereby hair is graduated from very short – sometimes to the skin, known as a ‘skin fade’ – to something slightly longer. This usually occurs on the back and sides of the head and is used as a way to blend different lengths smoothly.


Similar to a fade but working with longer lengths. A taper typically requires a combination of clippers and scissors to blend the back and sides into longer hair on the top of the head.

Taper Fade

The clue’s in the name. A taper fade is a combination of the above techniques allowing hair to be graduated from very short to a significant length on the top of the head. It’s often paired with short hairstyles that lean towards the longer end of the spectrum, such as a pompadour or an Ivy League.

Shape Up

Have you ever noticed how Drake’s hair is weirdly straight and perfectly precise around the hairline? That’s called a shape up and it involves cutting along the natural hairline removing stray hairs to create a straight line.


As the name suggests, an undercut is traditionally where the back and sides of the hair are cut short, often buzzed, underneath longer hair coming from the top of the head. Today, however, the term is commonly used to refer to any style where the back and sides have been cut much shorter than the top.


This refers to having two different lengths of hair that haven’t been blended or graduated in any way. For example, you might hear someone talking about a ‘disconnected undercut’. That’s a style with very short back and sides and longer hair on top, but without the use of a taper or a fade to connect the two.

Picking A Short Haircut For Your Face Shape

Naturally, the first thing to consider with a new short haircut is whether or not you like the style. The second is whether or not it’s going to complement your face shape.

The good news is, short haircuts are pretty versatile. They’re close to the head and don’t add much height, which is good if you have a long face. That said, anything involving a quiff or a pompadour is best avoided for those with rectangular faces as that extra bit on top can make the face appear even longer.

Conversely, if you have a very round head, short styles with a little height on top can balance out proportions. Try a pompadour with the sides kept short and close to the head. Avoid a buzz cut unless you want to look like a golf ball.

If you’re lucky enough to be blessed with an oval-shaped face, there’s not really anything that’s off limits. Go wild.

Key Short Hair Trends For Men

Take It All Off

Good news for anyone who enjoys an extra 10 minutes in bed in the morning. The most low-maintenance of trims is trending hard and has been for a good few years. From Becks’ high and tight to Zayn Malik’s all-out, grade-two buzz; down-to-the-bone trims are all the rage. To be honest, they can’t really go out of style.

This trend is perfect for those who find themselves thinning on top. Taking the hair short makes it appear thicker, and a close shave will always trump a wispy combover.

Texture Is Everything

When it comes to hair, texture is just as important as style, particularly when dealing with shorter trims. The less length there is to play with, the more of a difference choppy scissor work and well-placed product will make.

Highly textured styles have been doing the rounds for some time, both on the red carpet and the high street. Aside from getting a good haircut in the first place, two of the best tools to help you achieve the look are a matte clay and a sea salt spray. Use the latter while blow-drying and the former to style.