Don’t let your 9 to 5 screw with your sleek hair game.
What you’ll need
The comb over haircut is a classic that’s stood the test of time, due to equal parts versatility and swag. Oozing with democratic appeal, it’s one of those rare cuts that looks good on nearly everyone.
First off, some definitions—not to be Captain Obvious, but some guys don’t even know if they’re already sporting this cut, as it can come with various nuances. If you have a haircut with a hard part, and have used a comb and product to style your hair, chances are you’ve got some version of a comb over.
To be even more specific, it’s a style where hair is left longer on the top or crown of the head and is then brushed over or slicked back to one side, usually following your natural part. Sidebar: The phrase “comb over” has also gained quite a colorful reputation, as it’s a technique usually employed by older men or those with thinning hair to hide their growing bald spots, sometimes with comical effects.
The younger set however has put a twist on this dapper—and albeit very practical—hairstyle, and have found sexier, more creative and more personalized ways of wearing it, while still managing to rein it in for buttoned-up settings like the office. Click on to see the best comb over styles to rock at work, wherever that may be:
How to Wear a Comb Over Haircut at Work
Comb Over Fade
Hot on guys in: finance, banking, sales
Highlight the neat, clean cut vibe of your taper or fade by keeping the longer top lengths brushed off to the side. Blowdry the crown and run through some pliable wax or pomade such as Axe Signature Clean Cut Look: Classic Pomade. Brush hair at a 45-degree angle using a brush for some polished yet touchable control. Brushes are better than combs in this case—they give that uniform sheen to your comb over haircut.
Hot on guys in: advertising, digital marketing, editorial
Keep It Short and Sweet: Any pouf higher than 3 inches looks a tad too kooky for the office (or if you’re not a 1950s grease-head). If you have longer lengths that are non-negotiable, opt to slick them to an angle for a more polished look. That said, this style is also most suitable to guys with smaller foreheads. Apply some non-greasy pomade such as Bed Head for Men by TIGI Slick Trick onto hair. Evenly comb it through using a fine-toothed comb and create your part (grab your girl’s rat-tail comb for this—the “tail” comes in handy for creating really sharp hair parts). If you’re not working with a fade, proceed to slick down each side. Comb the top part straight back, being careful not to flatten it too much. Hold the rear of your pomp and simultaneously nudge it forward gently with your non-dominant hand to set the shape, and refine the front pieces by combing in an upward motion until all strands have some lift.
Hot on guys in: events, sports, public relations
Not to be confused with the infamously sleazy look of Prohibition-era gangsters, the updated version of a slicked-back ’do can work with both an undercut and a fade. High-shine pomade such as Dove Men+Care Defining Pomade is the keystone to a slick-back: Work a dime-sized amount onto damp hair, and then refine it by combing hair straight back once the entire top area is saturated. The game-changer: A slight side parting upgrades the dated slick-back by providing some definition amidst all that product, so part hair at your natural line and proceed to comb each side back from there.
Hot on guys in: entertainment, retail, tech
Messy comb over? Not an oxymoron. A shorter comb over haircut can really come to the fore with a piecey, tousled take. When done right, this style evokes a more relaxed look and is particularly flattering on men with thick, straight or slightly wavy hair. Use a wax or clay such as Bed Head for Men by TIGI Pure Texture Molding Paste instead of pomade—it helps give better grip and dries matte. Blowdry hair until damp, and emulsify the product by rubbing it between palms till slightly warm for better distribution. Apply it first on the back of your head, carefully matting down the fluff, and then leaving the excess to muss up the crown and your hairline. Also called a “natural comb over,” this style is an easy, everyday look for those pressed for time.
Would you wear a comb over haircut? How would you style it?