11 stylish vintage hairstyles for men

All Things Hair | 04 September 2018

Find out how to bring 11 of the most iconic vintage hairstyles for men into 2018.

We’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for vintage hairstyles for men. From ’20s comb overs to ’50s pompadours, these looks remain some of our favourite men’s looks of all time – and they’re arguably just as coveted today.

So, if you share our sentiment for retro styles, take a look below to discover 11 modern ways that you can channel vintage vibes with your hair this year.

11 popular vintage hairstyles for men


Vintage hairstyles for men: Close up shot of a man with dark brown hair styled into a comb over with a neat side part
Which side will you choose? Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

1. Slick comb over

From the turn of the 20th century until the 1920s, the most popular hairstyle for men was undoubtedly the sleek comb over. Inspired by the movie stars of the era, men strove to achieve the perfect, high-shine look with a clearly defined side parting. And guess what? It’s still a popular go-to style for formal events today.

To give your comb over an edgier update, combine with a fade or undercut detail for a classic-meets-contemporary look.

Lynx Signature Clean Cut Look Definition Wax

Editor’s tip: To recreate the classic comb over, run the Lynx Signature Clean Cut Look Definition Wax through your hair, making sure it’s evenly distributed.

Then, using a comb, trace where you’d like your parting to be from your hairline to the crown of your head, and use your comb to smooth down the sides into position.

Vintage hairstyles for men: Close up shot of a man with dark brown hair styled into a high pompadour, wearing blue and pinstripe suit
Pomp it up! Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

2. Pompadour

Never heard of a pompadour? Characterised by a peaked “wave” shape at the front of the hair, this look has actually been around for centuries, first gaining recognition thanks to Madame de Pompadour, the mistress of King Louis XV and a member of the French court in the 1700s.

The look returned to the limelight in the 1950s, when men reached for their pomade and started styling. With the back and sides of the hair kept shorter, and the top of the hair left to grow longer, it ensured the top layers of the hair were the main event.

Both Bruno Mars and Justin Timberlake still turn to this style when they need a red carpet look, so why not try it for your next big occasion?

Vintage hairstyles for men:
This style has got a royal seal of approval. Credit: Verity Jane Smith

3. Quiff

You didn’t think we’d do a round-up of the best vintage hairstyles for men and not include the quiff, did you? Similar to the pompadour but combining elements of other contemporary styles (including the flat top), quiffs became globally recognised in the 1950s thanks to a certain Mr Elvis Presley.

With actors like Robert Pattinson and Zac Efron still flying the flag for quiffs today, you’ll need at least medium-length hair to get a real, gravity-defying style.

VO5 Lifting Paste

Editor’s tip: The key to creating an authentic quiff is height. The VO5 Lifting Paste is great for sky-high styles, as it’s able to provide your hair with the hold it needs.

brunette male model with a 70s shag haircut
The shag was all about plumped-up layers, which could be either left natural or spiked up for a rockstar look. Credit: indigitalimages.com

4. Shag

After the ’60s hippy style phase, men continued to grow out their hair in the 1970 and ’80s. Inspired by stars like Rod Stewart, the unisex cut featured lots of layers up top, with longer, often shoulder-length hair underneath.

How you wore your shag was up to you, but the most popular styles were fluffy, soft styles like the one above or, alternatively, the ends of the hair were curled inwards to create a rounded, pageboy look (think The Beatles).

And now, thanks to the return of Stranger Things, mullet and shag styles are back in action once again!

Vintage hairstyles for men: Close up shot of a man with chestnut medium wavy brown hair, wearing white striped shirt and jeans
This ‘do is staying alive. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

5. ’70s hair

You can’t talk about vintage hairstyles for men without paying tribute to this Bee Gees-approved number. The best way to rock this wavy, shoulder length hairstyle? With an equally dashing moustache.

Recommended read: 6 men’s haircut styles that go perfectly with facial hair.

blonde male model with long flowing '90s kurt cobain hair
Long hair: It’s not just for the girls. Credit: indigitalimages.com

6. ’90s band hair

Continuing the trend of longer hair for men, Kurt Cobain pioneered the look of a simple centre parting with messy, unkempt lengths and also led the way for men wanting to grow out their hair in the ’90s.

VO5 Dry Texture Spray

Editor’s tip: If your hair is naturally very straight, you can add texture to your lengths with the VO5 Dry Texture Spray. Spritzing this into your hair will instantly give it more of a relaxed, tousled vibe.

Vintage hairstyles for men: Street style up shot of a man with slicked back dark hair, wearing black and posing
Have you got a rebellious side? This look has got you #sorted. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

7. ‘Grease’ hair

Part smart, part rock ‘n’ roll, this slick swept-back hairstyle combines all the ’50s greaser boy tropes into one great look.

What makes vintage hairstyles for men (like this one) look on-point is a great hair gel (which you’ll be happy to know we have a guide on, here).

Vintage hairstyles for men: Street style shot of a man with an afro high top with a low fade hairstyle, wearing a red top and necklaces
The ’80s were the best decade. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

8. High top fade

One of our favourite vintage hairstyles for men with black hair? The high top fade. Just by going a little bolder with a shaved hair design like this gentleman, to make this old school ‘do feel new again.

Vintage hairstyles for men: Close up shot of a man with a golden blonde Caesar cut
If it’s good enough for Julius Caesar, it’s good enough for you. Credit: Verity Jane Smith

9. Caesar cut

Because who wouldn’t want to look like a Roman emperor? If you’re after a low-key haircut to take you through 2018 in style, trying getting this Caesar cut complete with a fringe hairstyle.

Vintage hairstyles for men: Close up shot of a man with dark brown medium bowl haircut, wearing black and shearling coat
This is how you pull off a bowl haircut. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

10. Bowl haircut

Want to pull off a daring bowl haircut? Then you need to take some style notes from this brave gent, who has given his hair an edgy update with this throwback cut.

It’s perfect for guys with straight hair as it’ll mean you’ll hardly need to style your mane in the mornings to achieve this polished finish.

Vintage hairstyles for men: Close up shot of a man with dark brown hair styled into a high and tight short haircut backstage
Keep things neat with this military crop. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

11. High and tight

Looking for short vintage hairstyles for men? We’ve got just the thing: a military-approved high and tight haircut, with cleanly faded sides and back.

This retro haircut is great for creating the illusion of fullness as it has a longer, textured top, while the rest is left as short and faded as possible.

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