Flat Top Haircut: A Short History and 10 Ways to Wear This 50s Inspired Style

Take it back to the '50s when the flat top haircut made its first appearance. 

The flat top haircut is one of those trends that came into the men’s hairstyle scene with a bang, and has consistently stuck around since. This style first made an appearance in the 1950s in a military-inspired form, wherein the sides were shaved and the top stood straight up in a clean and uniform style. It’s no surprise that this eye-catching look quickly gained popularity and has remained a hairstyle staple since its inception. While there are a few variations and slightly different ways to wear the flat top haircut, the key characteristics include those shaved sides and the straight-up styled flat top. Keep reading for some flat top haircut inspiration and 10 ways to wear this look:

The Flat Top Haircut

flat top haircut styled brunette
A modern take on the classic 50s flat top haircut.

1. A Modern Take

Skip the hair products and use your fingers to comb your flat top off to the side and away from your face. This modern variation on the classic flat top haircut allows you to rock the trend without going overboard on hair products.

flat top haircut spiked up
This hack will help you style your hair without going overboard.

2. Spiked Up

If you’re feeling up to experimenting with a little bit of hair product but don’t want to go overboard try AXE Messy Look: Matte Gel. This product will help guide your hair into that classic flat top gravity-defying style without looking too greasy. The matte finish will give you a clean look that doesn’t look too over-the-top.

flat top haircut slicked back
Slick your hair back on days when you want something sleeker.

3. Slicked Back

Run your comb under water and slick your hair back by combing it straight back. This is a great alternative style for those days when you’re looking for something sleeker.

flat top haircut salt and pepper gelled
Keep the style centered.

4. Mini Flat Top

Opt for a mini flat top and keep your style centered on your head.

flat top haircut natural hair fade
Show off your natural hair with a flat top haircut.

5. Natural Hair

Show off your natural curls with a classic flat top haircut.

flat top haircut natural curls
Go for the volume.

6. Volume Up

Amp up the volume on your natural curls by brushing through them for maximum volume and drama.

flat top haircut medium length
Take the same approach down a notch or two.

7. Understated

Alternatively, leave your curls closely cropped and coiled for a slightly more understated look.

flat top haircut long natural hair
Grow your curls for a statement-making flat top.

8. The Elongated Flat Top

Grow your curls out and keep them hydrated with Suave Professionals Moroccan Infusion Styling Oil and wear them out for an on-trend and modern elongated flat top.

flat top haircut gelled hair
Style your flat top with one of our favorite hair gels.

9. All Gelled Up

Spike up your flat top with a generous dollop of Dove Men+Care Control Gel combed through your strands.

flat top haircut close beard
Pair your flat top haircut with a closely shaven beard.

10. Flat Top + Beard

Let your beard grow in a little for the ideal on-trend balance to your brand new flat top haircut.

Looking for more men’s hairstyles to consider? Check out 15 timeless hairstyles for men over 40.