Today’s comb over haircuts isn’t the same as they were in the 1980s or 1990s. If you’re thinking of that signature middle-aged look that involves plastering a few strands of hair over a thinning patch or a bald spot, you’re barking up the wrong tree.
Most combed over styles involve the same general details, such as closely shaved sides and a long thatch of hair on top. While the basic details are the same, the cut itself is endlessly adaptable, which means that every guy who’s eager to try this sophisticated ‘do can find the exact style that works for him.
Sleek Comb Over Styles for Men of All Aesthetics
The key to choosing a complementary comb over hairstyle is to make sure that it works with the angles of your face and highlights your features. There’s nothing to hide behind with a cut like this, plus the look requires styling and upkeep. Bearing that in mind, here are some of the hottest examples of the comb over trend. Which one’s going to become your new signature ‘do?
1. Tapered and Tidy
Not all comb over haircuts is over-the-top. This style is an excellent example of a neat, tapered comb over. Actually, it’s more of a comb up. In styling this cut, you use the same technique that you do for a faux hawk by finger-combing the hair up and slightly forward. Instead of a pompadour in the front, the hair is slightly spiked.
2. Chic and to the Side
This haircut doesn’t have quite as much height. It’s more of a preppy-inspired ‘do, making it an ideal corporate cut. The sides aren’t nearly as short. To get that chic final touch, you simply comb your hair with the hint of a part.
3. Subtly Slicked Back
Any man will look as handsome as a Hemsworth with this subtle take on the combed over crop. The different lengths blend together seamlessly. This is a great comb-and-go cut. It requires very little product and maybe a puff of hairspray—that’s it.
4. Close Cropped Sides
The men’s undercut is one of the sexiest looks a guy can ask for at the moment. It gets women swooning like nothing else. Not only is it one of the most popular comb over haircuts, but it’s also one of the most universally flattering. Ask the barber to keep the top long enough. The idea is to wear it just like this, softly brushed back from the face.
5. Shades of American Psycho
Fans of Patrick Bateman already know this combed back aesthetic. Sophisticated preppy meets Wall Street wealth in a sleek, timeless cut that never goes out of style. Avoid the cropped sides with this version. It’s all about length.
6. The Vintage Take
Now that Justin Timberlake no longer has an oodles of noodles ‘do, he defines #hairgoals for quite a lot of guys, and rightly so. Learn how to do a comb over with short hair by stealing JT’s look. Notice how the sheared sides transition into a longer length closer to the crown. That clean part is an important detail, too.
7. Up and Over
To achieve a comb over like this, you have to focus on volume and height. That high spike requires a product to keep its shape. At the very least, you have to spend some quality time with your blow dryer to perfect this style. Don’t worry, though. It’s as easy as combing your hair up and to the side.
8. Fade into Curls
There’s a lot going on here, but all of it’s on-point. Men with naturally curly or wavy hair bring a new dimension to the combed over undercut. Notice how his hair is shortest around the temples and the nape of his neck. The fade is crucial. You also need to ask the barber or stylist to create a clear line of delineation at the part.
9. Combed Over with a Sleek Side Part
Everything about this comb over hairstyle is sleek, polished, and put together. This is a cut that easily carries you from the office to the club, from the classroom to the bar, or from the gym to the movies. It always looks good, it’s easy to style, and because it doesn’t require much shaving, the upkeep is fairly minimal.
10. Back Combed Undercut
A simple undercut can take you far. There’s no fade to deal with here, just a simple shave. Styling is just as effortless—all you have to do is slick back your hair, make sure it stays put, and off you go. Look for flexible hold products, though. You don’t want a hairdo that looks like a helmet.
11. The Flawless Fade
You’re looking at the perfect fade here. It’s more like a work of art than a hairstyle. Notice how blended everything is, including the swoop and shape of the longer hair on top.
12. A Casual Swoop
This classic combed overlook is easy to style and maintain. The sides can be a bit longer with this variation. It helps to create a slightly shaggy aesthetic, which is irresistible, especially when accompanied by that soft side swoop.
13. Softly Spiked
Spikes work well with comb-overs and undercuts, as you can see. You don’t have to go crazy. Place a small dollop of gel or styling wax in your palm, rub it into both hands, then comb your fingers through your hair, always directing it upward. Voila! It’s that simple.
14. Spiked to the Side
Here’s another example of subtle spikes. Actually, with this comb over a haircut, the spiking effect almost creates a pompadour. It’s not quite there, but that’s what leads this look to its casual, devil-may-care appeal. You can check other spiky hairstyle ideas for men here.
15. Pompadour and Circumstance
Look at the shaping of this combed up pompadour. It’s perfect. The key here is to finger-comb your hair from the sides, pushing it toward the middle. If you’re careful and patient, you’ll end up with the same subtle, swooping pattern seen here.
16. The Comb-Hawk
This haircut takes the classic comb over hairstyle and then goes crazy with it. It’s more than a faux hawk but less than a mohawk. It’s a punk rock take on the undercut, with just enough tousling to look charming.
17. Sharp Edges
If you want a sharp style, this is your end goal. Not only is the fade flawless, but the etched edges create sharp contrasts that keep people staring at your daring ‘do. Those swoopy spikes are a must, as well, but you might want to skip the frosted tips.
18. Effortlessly Elegant
The next time you need a hairstyle for a formal function, look no further. Everyone loves the guy who looks like he’s not even trying to look like a million dollars. Wear your comb over like this, and you’ll look red carpet ready even if you’re just going to the office Christmas party.
19. Scruffy but Sleek
The easiest way to ask for a comb over haircut is to describe a style like this. There’s nothing complicated about it. Styling takes seconds, if that. Best of all, it goes well with a beard. Can’t beat that.
20. Platinum Fade
To pull off a bold look, you have to exude confidence—and nothing says confidence like bleaching your hair platinum. Even if you’re not ready to go that far, the style itself is on fire—literally, he looks like his hair’s going up in white hot flames.
Not every man can pull off comb over hairstyles, but many of them can. The cut’s a universal pleaser, and because there’s such an array of variations, it’s not difficult to find a cut that suits you.