Flat Top Haircut: A Short History and 10 Ways to Wear This Military-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 short, 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 some ways to wear this look:

1. A Modern Take

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

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.

2. Spiked

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

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.

3. Slicked Back

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

Run your comb under the faucet 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.

4. Mini Flat Top

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

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

5. Natural Hair

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

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

6. Volume Up

flat top haircut natural curls
Go for the volume.

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

7. Understated

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

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

8. The Elongated Flat Top

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

9. All Gelled Up

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

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

10. Flat Top + Beard

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

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

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