Pompadour haircut is a men’s short, slicked-back style with extra volume on the top. It’s versatile enough to be dressed up for the office or down for a more relaxed setting.
Master barber Kirby Stout of Fort Bragg, NC finds this cut a true classic. No matter what era, this look will never go out of style. In her opinion, everyone can rock it regardless of age.
Have a look at Stout’s advice on how to pull off this style.
💡 Key Things to Know First
- An important factor is the fringe area, which needs to be the longest.
- Understand the difference between pompadour and combover. With a combover, there is little height at the crown, and the top is just long enough to blend in when combed to the side.
- A combo of blowdry and strong hold product makes the best result.
- When not styled, the cut may appear more of an undercut mens haircut or disconnected.
Remember to bring an inspo picture to your salon appointment. See examples of the most popular pompadour cuts and styles for guys by browsing through our gallery.
#1: Stand-Out Gentlemen’s Pompadour
This is a gentleman’s cut with a light taper. To create this look, I recommend a medium hold pomade. The look is best suited for on-the-go Millennials, individuals with profound jawlines, and oblong face shapes.
#2: Bold High Volume Pompadour
The longer hair on top adds lots of contrast to the short back and sides. It’s one of the boldest pompadour haircuts you’ll see here.
#3: Modern Comb Over Pomp
This is a classic cut with a slightly modern twist. I’m always trying to stick with traditional barbering techniques as the base, then I’ll try to think outside the box with styling and modern barbering techniques. The shape of the cut is very classic and traditional while the fade and the styling give the look that modern twist.
I personally use a grooming tonic before blowdrying. Reuzel’s grooming tonic is my favorite, but I like the Suavecito one as well. Once your hair is completely dry, use a matte pomade like the Uppercut Deluxe Matt Pomade). The hold of this pomade is great for heavy hair as well as for men with thin hair.
#4: A Modern Side-Part Pompadour
The pompadour is always classic and always a stylish hairstyle. The style has evolved since the 20s and 30s, and in the 50s, Elvis made this his signature look. Modern takes on the pompador, such as this one I created, take inspiration from the traditional style and give it a modern twist, experimenting with length through the top and keeping the back and sides sharp and short.
While the hair was wet, I set the part and applied a sea salt pre-style spray (Beach Muk by Muk) before drying with a hairdryer to create the volume and lift essential to the style. I finished the look by styling with Pomp and Co Pomade, thoroughly working it from root to tip before combing into the finished style. This product gives great hold and medium shine.
#5: Classic White Pompadour
Are you looking for the best options to bring your aging hair back to life? If you are bored with your current hairstyle or your hair texture is changing, a pomp might be your next best bet.
#6: Executive Contour Pomp
This haircut is called the “Executive Contour.” My favorite thing about it is that it can be done on the majority of hair types and be worn by men with short hair or long hair at any age. I recommend this look for clients who want a classic haircut and don’t have much time to spend styling their hair. This haircut can be applied to all face shapes because its structure elongates the head silhouette. The curlier your hair, the harder it will be to style like this.
#7: Retro Rockabilly Pompadour
I like this look because it is the perfect example of classic barbering and the 50s rockabilly style. To recreate this style, I recommend Uppercut Deluxe Matte Pomade or Sweet Georgia Brown Pomade. Blow drying is very important. You need to start from the back and then for your fringe, you have to dry the roots to stand up with tension from the brush. The best brush for this style is a Denman d3. This style is good for men with strong hair or thick hair. Even men with curly hair, when blow-dried properly, can become straight and hold its shape.
#8: Versatile High Fade Pompadour
This look is my modern twist on a true rock n’ roll classic pompadour. I absolutely love pompadours because it offers a ton of versatility as far as styling is concerned. And it’s a great way for men to get comfortable using more than just their hands to put it together.
I use a styling spray while the hair is still damp, a round brush to set it, then finish with a mix of grooming cream and fiber by Crew to finish it off. Because this classic pompadour hairstyle is so versatile, it can be styled to meet almost any liking. As far as I’m concerned, any guy can wear it.
#9: Classic Taper Faded Pomp
Taper faded pompadours are a classic look that has been around for decades. This style is mainly all scissor work using a short graduation technique and has been faded tightly at the ears and base of the neck using clippers. Although this is a longer style, you will need to see your barber every 3-4 weeks to keep the shape. A long pompadour hairstyle does require styling every day so make sure you have the time to do so before committing.
#10: Dramatic Contour Pompadour
The pompadour, although originally associated with female haircuts is making a mark in crossing genders. A very theatrical cut, with a dramatic upper side, hair being lifted up as if to form a wall, then shifted backward for continuity.
#11: Stylish Pompadour Mullet
This beauty is a combination of classic styles, we’ll call it the stylish pompadour mullet. The back section has been disconnected to be able to grow the mullet. The sides have been taken short, they have then been blended up into the mullet. This really suits a round face shape. The short sides take the attention away and the pompadour elongates the face. You will have to take time to style this so try adding time to your morning routine.
#12: Mountain High Pompadour
Skin faded sides, until the last possible moment hair is kept short and then ZOOM raised like a mighty mountain, unapologetic, a cut that’s definitely BOLD.
#13: Cool Short Pompadour
Short pompadours don’t just pair with a suit and tie. This look keeps your style genteel no matter what the setting.
#14: Classic Pompadour with Hard Part
This haircut is called mid-razor fade with a hard part pompadour hairstyle. For me, it represents elegance and masculinity. My favorite thing about this look is the quality of the haircut. I would recommend to a client a matte pomade for styling. The best type of hair is straight and thick. The shape of the face should be oval, and the client should have a strong personality.
#15: Low-Maintenance Disconnected Pompadour
The haircut is a classic pompadour-updo with a drop skin fade. My favorite thing about this haircut is that it’s a long disconnected classic look but with a short clean fade on the side. Find a knowledgeable barber/stylist who will help cut, form, and shape your hair to your desired look and also provide the right product and volume for your hair.
#16: Cool Side Parted Pomp with a Beard
While many barbers refuse to call this a combover and instead refer to it as a “side part”, the hairstyles are really similar. The combover hairstyle consists of hair combed to one side with a part. The primary difference between the classic side part and the combover is the side-swept look and angular brush back of the hair.
My favorite thing about this medium pompadour hairstyle is the faded sides between the hair and the beard. I give personal attention to each of my clients. If they have a long face, I advise them to keep a short and dense beard. They have to keep thick beards to make the face look less extreme. Beard scruff will only show that you can grow a lot of it!
#17: Stylish Pompadour with a Taper Fade
Pompadour hairstyles are cool, stylish, and smart. I like the fade and the amount of volume it has. This style suits guys with straight hair or with a slight wave to their hair. Curly hair will not work for this look. It’s perfect for guys with an outgoing personality.
I recommend using a salt mist and blow drying the hair up and back to create volume. Then, use a small amount of matte clay and hairspray to finish. Make sure you blow dry your hair every day for volume. Get the cut shaped up approximately every three weeks.
#18: Modern-Looking Low Fade Pompadour
This is one of my favorite haircuts from the past decade. The style is reminiscent of the 20s-40s haircut but with a modern touch. Using the hair dryer to add volume and achieving the skin fade are two steps that are key to this haircut.
The type of the dude and his personality really don’t matter. What matters most is your hair type to achieve this specific hairstyle perfectly. I prefer the not-so-silky smooth hair with a thick scalp because the hairdryer adds a lot of volume to it even without any additional products.
#19: Textured Shadow Taper Pompadour
This haircut is a shadow taper with a textured top. I recommend any pomade with a matte finish to create this look. This time I used Layrite Cement. It’s a matte-based pomade that makes your hair look natural. It is water-based so it is very easy to wash out, too.
This haircut would work best for the military man who wants to look like a civilian, and civilians who want to have a clean beach look. If you have never buzzed your sides short, try it out. Your hair will always grow back!
#20: Classic Razor Fade Pompadour
The pompadour was a popular haircut back in the 50s with the likes of Elvis and Johnny Cash making it a popular style amongst rock and rollers. This razor fade is giving the classic haircut a modern twist.
It is all about blow drying to achieve volume in your hair. I like to add Holland’s finest Reuzel Hair Tonic before blow drying to give volume and then Reuzel Clay Matte Pomade to hold it in place. This style suits straight to fine hair best. I think of it as a barbershop classic rock and roll/rockabilly haircut.
#21: Unique Transitional Pompadour
This is a men’s pompadour. My favorite thing about it is the transition between the top and the bottom. To style, I recommend Elegance hair products. No matter what haircut you want, you have to be sure that your hair type will work with the cut you want. My advice is to dare to change your look. Change is good and can take your hair to the max!
#22: Rock N’ Roll Pompadour
I would describe this pompadour as pure rock ‘n roll. I love the fact that it gives a lot of styling options to fit the client perfectly in terms of height and how it is connected/styled at the top and rear. I like to use a strong oil pomade like the Pink Reuzel and either a touch of Green Reuzel or Grooming Tonic. If the client wants a clean head, a water-soluble will work just fine if you blow-dry your hair in place with the help of some grooming tonic. If you want that classic pomp, you want length on the sides. With a younger client, I love to go skin-faded. Let’s not forget that you can never go wrong with a taper either!
#23: Old School Pompadour
This is an “old school” type of pompadour hairstyle. It’s hard to share my favorite thing about this look because it’s the final result with all the details that make it so great. I used two kinds of products for this look. I used a powder for volume and a pomade for hold and shine. This style is suitable for guys that are willing to at least spend a little time styling their hair.
#24: Traditional Pompadour for Curly Hair
This pompadour is a textured curly crop. My favorite thing about this style is how easy it is to maintain daily. I also love the disconnection from the length on the sides to the length on the top.
#25: The Businessman Pompadour
Having a very busy day means you get to retouch your styling less often. This pompadour cut proves to be a trusty one for all busy men out there. Less styling but still giving a lot of flair.
#26: Awesome Faded Pompadour
I would describe this pompadour as a fade haircut for men with a disconnected cropped top styled up into a faux hawk. I love this style because it’s versatile and can be styled in multiple ways. You can comb everything forward and up in a faux hawk, comb it back for a pompadour, or over to the side for a business professional look.
This is one of my favorite pompadour styles because it’s suitable for any face shape or hair texture. I like it most for men who aren’t quite sure what they’re looking for because it gives them different styling options. It’s great for the guy on the go who doesn’t have all the time in the morning to blow dry and style. It’s simple yet sophisticated no matter which way they decide to wear it for the day.
#27: Scumbag Boogie Pompadour
This look is a modern pompadour, sometimes known as a Scumbag Boogie. It’s a very popular style at the moment as it’s smart but very up-to-date. My favorite thing about this style is that it compliments both classic and modern barbering into one look with a skin fade on the sides and a classic scissor cut style on top.
This pompadour hairstyle really compliments men and can be worn in a number of ways. Whether you have thin or thick hair, it’s very simple to recreate this style. If you have a busy lifestyle, in which you don’t have time style your hair every day and still want to look smart, I wouldn’t recommend this look as it needs to be styled in order to achieve its potential as it is cut to a style.
#28: Vintage Slicked Back Pompadour
This is a classic tapered slick back pompadour. It’s cut to an executive length and utilizes the natural hair flow and growth pattern. The best part of this look is its classic nature. It’s been around forever, always being slightly modified through subtleties over time.
Basically, this haircut would be suited for guys with a natural back-flowing growth pattern and a fairly full top head of hair. This hairstyle is also best suited for men that are cool with applying some product and taking a little time to create the look in the morning. We consider this a medium-maintenance level hairstyle. It works for men hanging around the garage, the office, or the bar.
#29: Edgy Disconnected Pompadour
My favorite part of a pompadour is the vintage class of the style. It brings you back to the days of the 50s when hair was done every day and everyone was well dressed. If you are looking to style a larger pompadour, I recommend a blow-dry product such as a salt spray or a grooming tonic. For styling, I recommend a pomade or fiber product.
The pompadour cut is a great style for most face shapes as it can be cut and styled according to your face shape. A low and slick pompadour can be styled quickly with pomade and comb, whereas a larger pompadour should be blow-dried for volume.
#30: Dapper Rockabilly Pompadour
This pompadour style is a very classic hairstyle. I love this look because you can match the different shapes to each personality type and lifestyle. To style, I mainly use and recommend Reuzel Red pomade. Gentlemen, rockers, teddy boys, and rockabillies can all wear their version of the pompadour! A good barber will design a pompadour to flatter any face shape.
#31: Progressive Pompadour
I would describe this look as your classic and traditional pompadour haircut. My favorite thing about the cut is the silhouette. Creating the volume in the front and ending it slicked up in the back gives it a progressive style. I recommend pompadours to the gentlemen who take time in the morning to style their hair. This isn’t for the wake-up-and-go guys.
Readers Also Ask
The pompadour style is named after Madame Pompadour (1721-1764), a mistress of King Louis XV of France. She always wore her hair with lots of volume at the front and swept back at the sides. It has been adopted by men in the modern age and there are many variations on it.
The pompadour is a classic style that will never go out of fashion. There are many varieties of the style, some have a more modern twist and some keep it classic. It can be worn by men, women, and children.
It depends on how big you want it to be. The shortest I would suggest would be 2 inches minimum. The longer you have the hair the more height and volume you can get, but in turn, more styling and more products are needed to keep the shape.
A quiff and a pompadour are two different styles. A quiff is where the fringe is styled up, very similar to a pompadour but the emphasis is on the fringe. A pompadour has the height and volume in the fringe and the rest of the hair brushes back with it getting gradually shorter.
The pompadour is a hairstyle and a haircut as well. The style is well known but the hair has to be cut in a particular way for the style to set. There are many different variations and modern twists on the style so I would say it is more a style than a cut in the modern day.
Most traditional barbers will know what a pompadour style is and know how to cut it. Always describe how you want it, a simple way is to say ‘I want the fringe to up and back’. But as always show your barber pictures so they have a good visual idea.