The 11 Best Short Haircuts for Men in 2024


Our current personal-and-work hybrid landscapes have provided opportunities to experiment with hairstyles. And while some guys will continue to grow their hair out (which, by the way, requires more maintenance), others may opt for shorter styles. The great news: There are numerous short haircuts to suit whatever your aesthetic and hair type happen to be—and the best part is they feel timeless. 

We consulted with Joseph Pluchino, the lead stylist at Outsiders in Brooklyn, about the best short haircuts for men in 2024. With over 20 years of experience cutting men’s hair, Pluchino deeply understands clients’ preferences and the delicate art of achieving their desired looks. Below, he shares his perspective on current trends in short men’s haircuts that you might actually want to get.

2024 Trends in Men’s Haircuts

“Haircuts are leaning toward a low-maintenance approach,” Pluchino says. “Not achieving a perfectly styled appearance, but rather creating the impression that the client didn’t fuss too much over his cut.”

Traditional elements such as hard parts and tightly locked styles are giving way to balanced layers that maintain their charm, he notes, even in situations like wearing a hat, braving a windy day, or stepping out of the ocean. And though a buzzer is necessary for many short cuts, a lot of guys are opting for a scissor cut or some kind of combo of the two. 

“Scissor cuts allow for embracing imperfections with a shorter style and let the hair settle naturally, granting it the freedom to behave within the chosen shape,” Pluchino adds.

Related: These Are the Best Haircuts for Men in 2024

Best Short Men’s Haircuts

Like menswear, haircut trends go through cycles—and while some of the styles below are undoubtedly contemporary, more importantly, they have lasting stylish power.

Here, Pluchino offers his thoughts on each popular shorter cut, along with some styling suggestions:

Buzz Cut


The classic hard-edged buzz cut has relaxed a bit for 2024, according to Pluchino. “It still involves using a single guard number all around (typically a two or lower), but there’s a shift in how we approach cutting the perimeter,” he says. “Nowadays, individuals are embracing their natural hairlines, leading to the use of scissors for a softer taper along the bottom edges.”

When talking to your barber, Pluchino suggests requesting a 1.5-inch guard and softening the edges. Avoiding any harsh lines can result in a more natural look.

Styling suggestion: Try using a cream pomade like this organic one from Church California ($30) to add some shine and softness.

Crew Cut


The crew cut is similar to the buzz cut in that it’s achieved primarily with clippers, followed by fine-tuning using scissors. Pluchino points out one key distinction: The top is consistently longer than the back and sides. The polished appearance is “essential to eliminate any fringe using scissors,” he notes.

“When asking for a crew cut, have a detailed discussion about the desired length, whether you prefer it shorter or longer,” Pluchino adds. Providing a picture (like, say, of Oscar nominee and overall handsome guy Jake Gyllenhaal!) as a reference can be particularly helpful in conveying your preferences to your barber or stylist.

Styling suggestion: Rub a conditioning cream like this one from Bumble and Bumble ($35) over your cut to maintain a natural and classic look.

High and Tight


To achieve the short and well-defined crown look that the high and tight style provides, Pluchino says it’s necessary to go with a guard length of two or lower and to taper the back and sides into the top of your hair.

“Make sure to communicate to your barber how you intend to style the remaining hair at the front. The cut can be customized to include or exclude a fringe based on your preference,” he says.

Styling suggestion: As with the crew cut, use a conditioning cream for slight texture and softness. A good option: Malin + Goetz’s Sage Styling Cream ($10).

Messy Textured Crop


The crop haircut has evolved to feature a longer fringe in recent years, Pluchino points out. The top is always scissor-cut, while allowing for more length and heavy texture toward the front. 

“You have the flexibility to determine the desired length of the sides, but opting for shorter sides requires incorporating an undercut to accommodate the additional length in the fringe,” he says.

Styling suggestion: Try using matte clay, like Hanz de Fuko’s Claymation ($25), to show off the texture.

Side Part (or Ivy League)


“Hard or locked-out [haircut] parts are no longer in trend,” Pluchino says. “Instead, they are replaced with evenly balanced layers on the top.” This ensures that your hair will maintain a more natural, less rigid look.

He suggests asking your bartender to create balanced layers on the top so that you can easily move your part or run your hands through it, allowing it to settle perfectly.

Styling suggestion: Using a good pomade like the one from American Crew ($21) should provide a slight sheen and hold.

Light Caesar


Pluchino: “A light Caesar is essentially a crew cut designed for curly hair, with the term ‘light’ suggesting the use of a 1.5-inch guard or lower.” It features longer hair on the top and shorter sides and back, eliminating a fringe.

When requesting this style, you’ll likely be asked whether you prefer to go with or against the grain. Opting to go with the grain, or the natural growth pattern, allows the clippers to cut the ends of your hair at a 45-degree angle, resembling a scissor cut. This technique creates more space within the defined shape, so the hair settles more naturally. On the other hand, cutting against the grain yields a more classic and cleaner look.

Styling suggestion: Start with using a boar bristle brush to get the hair to lay close and neatly to the head shape. Then apply a shiny pomade like this one from Cremo ($12) to get any flyaways to lay smooth and add a nice finish to the look.

Dark Caesar


Pluchino describes the dark caesar as similar to the light caesar, but with one key difference: It’s typically cut using a two or higher guard. “This leaves more hair on the head, resulting in a darker appearance.”

Styling suggestion: Use a clay pomade to give it a matte finish with some hold and texture. An option like the one from Baxter of California ($24) should do the trick.

Short Pomp


A short pomp is a standard haircut with a notable feature: The top length begins short at the crown and gradually increases as you approach the forehead. This style usually involves pushing the hair back from the front. “Ask your barber to cut the top shorter while ensuring the sides and back maintain a fuller appearance,” Pluchino says. 

Discuss how long or short you want the sides and back to be, as well as how big you’d like the pomp. This is another example where showing a picture of what you’re going for will help you and your stylist get on the same wavelength.

Styling suggestion: Using a bit of gel pomade, like this option from Brickell ($23), provides sheen and hold to give the pomp that retro, John Travolta-in-Grease look without, you know, going too retro.

Short Natural


“Short natural haircuts are making a comeback in the curly hair category,” Pluchino observes. To achieve this look, your barber should use a four guard for the higher sections and a two guard for the lower parts. He then suggests having them pick out the remaining hair and perform a freehand scissor cut on the dry hair.

Styling suggestion: Those with tighter curl patterns don’t need any product, as the cut is locked in. Others with a looser curl should consider a conditioning cream such as Kiehl’s Creme with Silk Groom ($26) to help settle the curl and control frizz.

Two Block


The two block is characterized by a complete undercut around the head, with the top length ending at the eyebrows and maintaining the same length all around. The look is characterized by heavy layering to add texture and a playful touch, moving away from past associations with the not-so-easy-to-pull-off bowl cut.

“This style is most suitable for straighter hair and is the longest of shorter haircuts,” Pluchino adds. “When requesting a two block, it’s important not to go shorter than a two guard on the undercut. Additionally, when opting for pronounced layers, ensure that your barber is aware of any unconventional growth patterns that might pose an issue if cut too short.”

Styling suggestion: Apply a texturing powder, like This Is a Texturing Dust from Davines ($31), to separate the layers and add volume.

Bald Is Beautiful


“To achieve a completely bald look (smooth skin) at a barbershop, request a buzz cut foil all around,” Pluchino advises. (This refers to a foil shaver typical for the style.) After the buzz, finish the experience with aftershave, a hot towel treatment, and the application of a skin conditioning cream to refresh and smooth the skin—and feel about as nice as if you got a massage.

“Men who can grow facial hair should experiment here to provide a nice contrast with the top,” he says.

Styling suggestion: This one is more about the look of your skin, so try using an SPF moisturizer like Bee Bald’s Smooth Plus ($9) to protect against UV rays and keep your skin unblemished and hydrated.

How to Achieve Your Preferred Short Haircut

Here’s a list of terms to help you find your best short haircut. Some may not be relevant to you, but the right words will allow you to better communicate what you want out of a cut to your barber or stylist—and nail it.

  • Clipper cut: Using clippers to achieve a close, uniform, one-length cut or a shorter-length fade.
  • Scissors over comb: Employing scissors over a comb to blend and shape the hair, resulting in a softer, more organic finish.
  • Point cutting: Technique used to create texture and soften edges by using the scissor tips.
  • Grade or guard: The designated length or level of the hair, often referred to as a clipper guard number. Guards generally go from 0 to 8 (sometimes up to 10) and the lower the guard number, the shorter the hair will be.
  • Fade: Styling so the hair smoothly transitions, or blends, from very short (close to the skin) to slightly longer, typically on the sides and back.
  • Taper: Similar to a fade, but involving a more gradual length transition.
  • Disconnected: A contrast between different sections of the hair, often with abrupt transitions and distinct lines.
  • Hard part: A clearly defined and shaved parting line, usually created with clippers or a straight razor.
  • Undercut: A hairstyle characterized by short sides and back with longer hair on top, creating a contrast between the lengths and often featuring a noticeable transition between the short and long sections.
  • Layered: Cutting hair at elevation to create various lengths and add depth and movement.
  • Choppy: An intentionally uneven and textured cut for a (stylishly) disheveled appearance.
  • Texturizing: Removing portions of hair using a straight razor, shears, or thinning shears to create a dynamic and layered effect.

You Might Also Like