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The Preppy Ivy League Haircut Is 2024’s Next Big Hair Trend

Bye-bye buzz cut

Tired of your ultra-short crop? You’re not the only one. Men’s hair is taking a turn towards longer styles this year, with shorter classics getting a more tousled treatment that spotlights natural textures and longer strands. The latest style on our radar is the Ivy League haircut, a preppy take on military-style crew cut.

What Is An Ivy League Haircut?

‘The Ivy League haircut is a modern twist on the classic American crew cut,’ explains celebrity hairstylist Gustav Fouche. ‘Unlike the crew cut, which features closely shaved sides created by clippers, the Ivy League style opts for scissor cuts to create its shape. This softer approach maintains shorter edges while avoiding the military-esque appearance. The key element lies in keeping the hair slightly longer over the ears, creating a defined shape, while maintaining texture on the sides and top. This transition away from a strict military look leans more towards a polished, polo-style aesthetic.’

So, why the recent shift away from these ultra-neat, ‘military’ cuts? Gustav tells us it’s simply a sign of the times – in fact, we’ve seen this very pattern pop up before. ‘If we examine hair trends throughout history, a pattern emerges,’ Gustav says. ‘During times of significant economic downturn, men tend to opt for short, sharply defined hairstyles akin to a warrior’s – but when the economy improves, there’s a noticeable shift towards softer, longer styles with a focus on precision cutting.

‘Instead of simply shaving their heads, men begin to appreciate and showcase their hair, seeking a polished appearance over a closely cropped one,’ he continues. ‘This transition reflects a desire to present oneself with finesse rather than austerity.’ Some notable celebs Gustav has seen wearing the hair trend recently include Matt Damon, Channing Tatum and Zac Efron; they ‘have all embraced the timeless Ivy League haircut, adding their own style and flair to the classic look,’ comments Gustav.

Who Suits This Haircut?

The short answer: everyone. ‘Personalisation is key when it comes to any haircut, and the Ivy League style is no exception,’ highlights Gustav, although he mentions that the cut can be tailored to better accentuate certain face shapes. ‘While it’s versatile enough to suit various hair textures, it’s essential to consider individual face shapes for optimal results. For instance, individuals with rounder faces may want to avoid excessive volume around the sides and opt for more length on top to elongate their features, while those with square faces might aim to soften the corners for a more balanced appearance. Despite these considerations, the Ivy League haircut can be adapted to complement all hair textures and face shapes with the right adjustments.’

How To Ask For An Ivy League Haircut At The Salon

As always, bring plenty of reference pictures for your stylist when making the switch to a new hairstyle. ‘When requesting an Ivy League haircut at the salon, it’s best to communicate your preferences and even show a picture,’ advises Gustav, who also tells us how to request more details about the shape of the cut. ‘Ask for a scissor cut rather than a clipper cut, ensuring that the hair above the ears maintains some length while the sides allow for texture. Additionally, specify whether you’d like a bit of length throughout the top of your hair. You can opt to keep the front slightly longer than the back or crown, or maintain a uniform length throughout. Clarity in communication ensures your stylist can achieve the desired look.’

How To Style An Ivy League Haircut

Lucky for those with an Ivy League haircut, the at-home styling process is pretty simple. ‘When styling, aim for a bit of lift at the top,’ recommends Gustav. ‘If you typically opt for a wash-and-go approach, towel dry the top thoroughly to add volume. Similarly, if you’re accustomed to using a hairdryer, give the top a gentle lift. Choose styling products with a moderate hold that allow you to run your hands through your hair effortlessly (so avoid stiff gels); this style exudes understated elegance, so maintaining a natural, refined look is key.’

The Future Of The Ivy League Haircut

Since the Ivy League haircut is a natural evolution of the crew cut, we can only expect that it too might evolve into something different over time. ‘The future of this hairstyle appears to involve a transition towards longer tops, with men embracing more texture and length, perhaps even incorporating natural kinks into their hair,’ agrees Gustav. ‘Expect a shift towards softer, more playful styles reminiscent of a beachy aesthetic, albeit with a refined twist – think more Hamptons than Ibiza. This evolution suggests a move towards a relaxed yet polished look, embracing a laid-back sophistication.’

Hair Inspiration

Get your hair on point with The Shampoo Lounge and Bali Barber. The Shampoo Lounge and Bali Barber has been attending to an international and Indonesian clientele since 2012 so check out our instagram, our website and our TripAdvisor reviews! We can’t wait to have you in.

Article written by Charlie Colville

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