23 Stylish Black Men Haircuts to Check Out and Barbershop Terms Explained!

All Things Hair | 20 July 2017

You’re going to want to bookmark this black men’s haircut guide. 

Not all hairstyles for African American men, or black men haircuts are the same. Rooted in history and modified through the years, we have seen many iterations and styles on this hair type such as on cool dread styles, the natural afro, hair that’s buzzed short and more! No matter how you want to style or cut it, there are tons of black men hairstyles out there for you. To get inspired to switch things up a bit, or just check out what’s out there, we’ve complied a gallery of some of the most stylish black men hairstyles that just may inspire your next ‘do.

Stylish Haircuts for Black Men

black men haircuts baby afro
Keep things cool with a baby afro Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

1. Baby Afro

This look is great for professional dudes who want some length but don’t have much time to style their hair. Go for an all-over chop and maintain this look with regular trips to your barber. Be sure to use some pomade to help you create your structured and defined afro hairstyle.

black men haircuts mini coils
Mini dreads on African American hair.

2. Mini Coils

Another take on the classic dreads, this modern version works for those that don’t want long hair but still want to express some of their unique style.

twist out black men haircuts
Twist out and master this cool style for your hair. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

3. Twist Out Hair

This haircut styles for black men works on both men and women where you create curls by twisting your hair. You’ll have to maintain this look by constantly twisting your locks, but it’s so worth it to try out this stylish look.

high and tight black men haircuts
The high and tight is a classic look on black men. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

4. High and Tight

We love black male haircuts that are structured and easy and handle. The high and tight is all about shaved sides with some length on the top of your head. Great for professionals and low-maintance guys.

black men haircuts buzz cut
Go for a buzzed look for your next look. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

5. Buzz Cut

To go one step further in the short hair department, opt for a buzzed cut as your black haircuts for men. This is a great look for summer that requires minimal styling while looking effortlessly cool.

black men haircuts short dreads
Go short with your look with these awesome dreads. Photo credit: Dvora

6. Short Dreads with a Fade

If a whole head of dreads isn’t for you, try this cut. It’s a mix of mini dreads, a high top and the stylish Brooklyn fade. That sounds like a lot all together but this look is simple and extra cool. Dreading just the hair on the top of your head will feel a lot lighter, and the fade ties the style together.

black men haircuts blonde afro
Go for a bold afro for your next style. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

7. Bold Afro

Channel the ’70s with this bold afro. Whether you take it to the next level and opt for color is up to you, but if you go for this look you’ll have to master how to style and maintain this awesome hair. Be sure to keep your afro style in check by using some gel. This product will works to give your afro hairstyle a strong hold with a smooth finish.

black men haircuts blonde dreadlocks
Try out new hairstyles with your dreadlocks.

8. Dreadlocks with Blonde Tips

Rooted in Rastafarian culture, dreadlocks have definitely made their way to popular culture and it’s easy to see why! Once you’ve mastered the loc style, you simply have to maintain the look with minimal styling. Add some color or cool hair ties to your hair to mix up this cool look!

curly afro black men haircuts
Embrace those curls in this mid afro.

9. All Over Curls

African American men with curly hair should embrace their look by rocking a full-head of curls. You’ll need to master your own styling routine (hair mousse is key!), but once you have that you’ll be golden and look incredible to boot!

high top fade black men haircuts
Go for a high top fade for your next look. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

10. High Top Fade

A high top will always exude an air of style and confidence. Add a little more style to this cut by creating definition to your sides with clippings. Keep it simple with one clean line for a professional look. And remember, a high top doesn’t have to have a perfectly flat top. Let your barber work with your hair texture to create the best finish for your hair.

black men haircuts braids
Go for a braided hairstyle to embrace your texture. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

11. Short Braids

Although more of a braided hairstyle than a wild n’ out afro, the look still entails wearing natural hair in its virgin state, but with a twist. Hair is kept to cheekbone length and box-braided from a half-inch from the root to tips. Wear in a middle part to maximize the look and highlight the uniform sleekness of the braids.

haircut styles for black men dreadlocks
Pull back your dreadlocks in a ponytail for a cool update on this look.

12. Ponytail Dreadlocks

Dreadlocks have become more and more mainstream in recent years. This look will instantly give you a cool rastafarian vibe, and so long as you keep up with your hair growth they will always look pulled together. You can wear long dreads down, in a man bun, or in a loose ponytail. Whatever works for you!

afro styles black men haircuts
Go natural and wear it proudly. Photo credit: indigitailimages.com

13. Full Afro

The full ‘fro is back and better than ever. It’s because now we have super convenient ways to keep up the moisture so your afro isn’t frizzy. Use a spray to add moisture and shine to your hair. It’s also a good option to spray onto wet hair when you need to get any knots or tangles out of your hair.

tapered black men haircuts
Ends that aren’t too precise give a more casual feel. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

14. High and Tapered

The ’90s called, and it wants its high-top ’fro back! This campy take on afro hairstyles popularized in teen movies past gets a more serious update. Instead of a full, round shape, 3C hair is left to grow out to a longer length up top, but is tapered towards the neckline at the bottom. The result is a narrower, “reverse triangle” look that actually is super-flattering on guys with a square jawline and sharper features. You may also need some texurizing paste to help you to shape and define your afro.

cropped black men haircuts
Closely cropped afros are comfy (and casual-cool) in hotter weather. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

15. Cropped

We can’t get enough of the baby ’fro, and it looks like the guys agree with us. Different versions of the cropped afro have been seen on designer runways and celebrities, and with good reason: This look keeps your head cool (literally) and ready for the workday, while retaining some natural swag. Not to mention a relatively easy upkeep, which entails a simple trim every month.

rounded black men haircuts
The more conservative version of a tapered afro. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

16. Blocky

Wearing your ’fro like a curly, medium fade gives it a modern shape. The tops are left in a slightly rounded, natural shape, but the sides are cut more squarish (yet not shaved). The overall result is a softer and shorter version of the tapered afro, and complements men with high foreheads and guys with a strong jaw. If you want a slicked blocky look, use some pomade.

black men haircuts dreadlocks
Playing with the direction of your dreads gives your hairstyle a kicky, more contemporary twist. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

17. Medium-Length Dreadlocks

Medium-length dreadlocks are one of the more popular afro hairstyles for black men we’ve seen out on the streets, as it marries ease of wear and a unique, creative way to rock natural hair. Instead of wearing your locs long and strong, sections are kept at a shorter length (enough to still spike out). The sides are usually shorter and the top can be kept long enough to be styled at an angle.

natural black men haircuts
High and super fly: The natural afro retains a longer length on the crown and a closely cropped neckline. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

18. Go Natural

the classicists out there, the natural afro is (and as far as we’re concerned, will always be) in vogue. The go-to length for this year is around 5 inches up top, and slightly shorter in the neckline and sides. Wearing hair in a true afro has some responsibilities, the biggest of which is consistent conditioning. Spritzing it periodically during the way with some leave-in conditioner can help with the frizzing and keep your spirals bouncy and well-defined.

close buzz black men haircuts
This military cut is perfect. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

19. Close-Cropped Buzz

For the shortest of black men’s hairstyles for short hair, go for the buzz. This all-over abbreviated look keeps you from totally shaving your head while giving that barely-there feel. This particular cut is great because military haircuts have become so popular. Bonus: An all over short buzz looks good on almost everyone. It’s a confident look that we think is extra dapper.

mini afro black men haircuts
Do the ‘fro without all the length. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

20. Mini ‘Fro

If you like to show off your natural hair texture while keeping your cut short, try this mini-afro. To keep your mini ‘fro in great shape (literally) make sure you have a hair pick. It’s useful for making sure you can maintain a nice rounded shape to your afro. You should also keep some hair oil on hand for hydrating your hair and adding sexy shine. Just run through your hair with a few drops of hair oil throughout your hair to hydrate your curls.

black men haircuts high top
A crisp, clean high top. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

21. Clean-Cut High Top

If you’re really going for that clean-cut look, ask your barber to pay extra attention to your hairline. They can shave and style your hairline to get that perfectly straight look. Ask for a Brooklyn fade to get the short fade right at your temple for a look that’s definitely more unique.

angled fade black men haircuts
Precise cuts create a unique look. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

22. Angled Top With Fade

For a slightly more funky high-top look, try adding in an angle. The precise cut of this look makes it extra special and stylish. To get this look, make sure you show your barber just how much of an angle you would like. You don’t want it to be too steep of an angle or risk looking a bit silly. But, too low of an angle may just make it look like your haircut is slightly off-kilter. Aim for an angle like our model, that makes the look obvious without going too far.

curly top black men haircuts
Texture and style? Done and done. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

23. Curly Top

For a cut that is right in between a high top and a mini ‘fro, try the curly top. It’s got the clean cut look of a high top, with the curly appeal of an afro. This is another cut that looks particularly great with a fade. Depending on your curl structure and preference, you can keep your curly top longer or shorter. We like this medium length on most dudes.

Master Barber Carlos Rivera Explains Some Popular Black Men’s Haircuts:

When it comes to getting the look off the runway, a haircut you saw on your friend or a passerby, it can be difficult communicating the look to your barber unless you have an image. While having an image of the look you want to emulate is ok, the ability to explain specific details in order to put your unique spin on it, you’ll have to speak your barber’s jargon — at least a little. Carlos Rivera, co-founder and Master Barber at Allen Cut Shave in New York City, has created every cut and style under the sun for his diverse clientele. We chatted with the pro to get the appropriate terms for popular and classic haircut styles for black men, along the best way to communicate the look to your stylist. Take it away, Carlos!

black men haircuts low buzz
Black men’s haircut: the high fade. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

Correct Hair Cut Term: High Fade

How to ask for it: Zero fade on the sides, not skin nor shaved on the side. Number 1 1/2 guard on top, or 1/4 of an inch on top. If customer is African American, he might ask for top hair to be cut with the grain. Front hairline is in between “clean” and “natural.”

As a barber, I would start by listening to what the customer wants, then I’ll ask the customer when the last time they cut their hair was to estimate how fast their hair grows. I would also ask about sensitive skin or sensitive areas, along with hair products customer uses and their brushing/combing style. I’ll proceed to cut the sides with clippers and no guard (if he has sensitive skin, I try not to apply too much pressure on sensitive areas, such as the neck), cut top with 1 1/2 guard, and fade the sides at the top.

Pro tip: Fade names have nothing to do with the actual length of the hair on top, but rather where the barber starts fading the sides.

At-home maintenance tip: Visit your barber every two weeks. I wouldn’t recommend customers take matters into their own hands on a cut this short. Customers tend to push back their hairline. I would recommend not to touch the neck area to prevent irritation or ingrown hairs. Keep hands clean, and use clean hats. If a customer sweats, they should use a paper towel to absorb moisture. Read the ingredients of any bump-control substance to make sure they are not allergic to anything. Since hair is so short, it doesn’t require too many products: All you need is a sunscreen during the summer and a product capable of moisturizing.

black men haircuts high top
Black men’s haircuts: the high top. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

Correct Hair Cut Term: High Top (but haircut names can change from barber to barber or city to city)

How to ask for it: Take an image to your barber and ask for short on the sides and about 5 to 7 inches of length on top, and leave the front hairline natural. A barber would use a clipper cut on the side, and probably a number 2 guard or half an inch at the bottom, gradually faded to the top.

At-home maintenance tip: Depending on hair type, recommendations can change. If the customer has dry hair, I would recommend not to wash hair everyday (something a lot of men tend to do) but probably every other day or twice a week. I would also recommend a series of tools to keep curls on point, such as leave-in conditioners or natural oils. Throw away the little combs and invest in new ones, and maybe in a hair pick or a hair sponge to help with styling and creating texture.

Ed’s note: To style curly hair types, opt for using a gel like Dove Men+Care Control Gel.

black men haircuts mid fade
Black men’s haircuts: the mid/skin fade. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

Correct Hair Cut Term: Mid/Skin Fade

How to ask for it: Skin on the sides, but if customer has sensitive skin, he can tell the barber not to use the razor or shaver, and only to use an outliner on the bottom part of the fade. Start low and fade it all the way up. Leave about 1 to 2 inches of hair on top. I would also highly recommend taking the picture to the barber. No barber should get offended by this; if they do, run away! Carry picture in your phone.

To create this look, after determining the clients styling and hair growth habits, I’ll to cut the sides with outliner clippers (if skin is sensitive, I try not to apply too much pressure on sensitive areas, such as the neck), then I take another pair of clippers to fade up using other guard or use clippers over a comb, depending on hairstyle. Have them use scissors on top by dividing hair in various sections, and start from the back towards the front.

At-home maintenance tip: All recommendations depend on hair type. But most likely a wax or pomade for the hair [is best].

Ed’s note: Use a wax like Bed Head for Men by TIGI Matte Separation Workable Wax for daily styling.

black men haircuts bowl cut
Black men’s haircuts: the blowout. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

Correct Hair Cut Term: Blow-out, Tape-up, Taper, Temple fade, Temp fade, etc.

How to ask for it: Since this haircut has about five different names, I recommend taking the image to barber and forget about the name. Tell your barber to leave everything on top, or just clean the tips and fade the sideburns down to a 1/16 of an inch or use a .5 clipper guard, to leave a little shadow on the sides.

At-home maintenance tip: Keep hair moisturized. Use an afro pick to help with detangling and styling.

Ed’s Note: Using a wash and care system like Dove Men + Care Oxygen Charge Fortifying Shampoo can help in the moisture department.

Looking for more black mens hairstyles? Check out these spring hairstyles for black men.

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