Banishing Bad Hair Days since 1997!™

Men's Haircut & Hair Style Terms

Karen Marie Shelton/Dedicated To FFOS 
Revised Date: 11/22/2007 - Original Publication Date: 12/26/2003

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Induction Cut (or burr cut) - the cut given to male recruits when they enter the United States armed services. Generally, the cut is made with electric clippers with no guard comb attached. This just leaves an even length stubble across the head. The armed services of other countries vary in their haircuts regulations for both new recruits and trained soldiers.

Men's Haircut & Hair Style Terms TomArnold011Crewcut
Ivy League - This haircut is basically short and tapered at the back and sides and cut close - about 1/4 to 1/2 inch across the crown of the head, but graduated to longer lengths of up to 1 1/2 to 2 inches extending from the hairline at the front of the head.

(Image of Tom Arnold with a version of the Ivy League cut - DailyCeleb.com - all rights reserved).

This is very similar to the traditional crew cut, but cut longer at fuller the front of the head. The hair at the front is usually brushed up using styling products that will provide hold, such as hair gel or pomade. It can also be worn down or parted on either side or in the middle.  This haircut provides more flexibility that with a crew cut.  It can be styled more than one way but still provides a crisper "buzzed" appearance along the sides and at the back.

The Ivy League style can be modified in a number of ways such as leaving the sides a little longer or even buzzing them a lot tighter.  The top can also be slightly textured or layered to give a different look that includes popular tousled or messy styling.

Landing Strip - the patch of scalp that can been seen in the flat area of a very short flattop haircut.

Layered Cut - Style of having hair cut so that hair on different parts of the head is approximately the same length (instead of being cut longer in the centre and shorter around the edges). This cut contrasts from tapered cuts and bowl cuts.

Low And Tight - Similar to the high and tight haircut, except instead of having the sides and back completely clipped to the skin, the hair is only partially buzzed to about half way up the head. The higher side and back hair is clipped fairly short, but not to the skin. The hair on top of the head may be cut as a flattop or clipped short.

Mohawk -  A traditional Mohawk also known as a Roosters Comb or Cocks Comb and features a completely shaved head with just one center strip of hair that extends from the front of the head down to the nape of the neck.  The head was either shaved with razor blades or a clipper with no guard comb.

A Mohawk is worn in an arched shape and is spiked several inches off the scalp.  The center strip of hair is generally between 2 and 4 inches in width.  The hair would extend up from the crown by anywhere from 6 to 12 inches or more.  The determining factors in the height would be whether the hair could be stiffened enough to stand up straight.

In the early days Mohawks were sculpted with egg whites and Aqua Net to guarantee extremely strong holding power. 

In 2001 and 2002 the modified Mohawk known as the Faux Hawk evolved as a fashion hair statement and became popular with sports stars and celebrities.  Almost mostly worn by male, some women wore softer diffused versions of the Faux Hawk.

Mullet -  Two haircuts put together to form one hairstyle.  Although popular with men at one point, women also have been known to wear mullets which are termed Gullets.  Ellen Degeneres wore a Gullet at the beginning of her stand up career.

The traditional mullet combines a very short front and side cut with or without bangs with a long back section that will hang down to the shoulders or longer.  From different angles the style looks like different cuts.  From the back the Mullet looks long but from the front it looks short.  The Mullet was trendy during the 1970s and 1980s.  It made a brief return in the 1990s on the fashion runways of all places.  David Bowie was the poster boy for mullets in the early 70s when he wore it for his role as Ziggy Stardust.

The Mullet is sometimes controversial with some people using it in a derogatory tone to define hair of questionable fashion.

Men's Haircut & Hair Style Terms OzzyOsbourne008Page
Pageboy - Style of having hair cut so that hair is all one length from top to bottom and then curled under around the bottom.  Pageboys can be worn with center or side parts and are often worn down to the shoulders or a little longer.

(Image of Ozzy Osbourne in long version of center parted pageboy style where the ends are turned under - image from DailyCeleb.com - all rights reserved).

Pompadour (or quiff) - the style of wearing the hair brushed back off the forehead. Typically a pompadour is not parted, but just brushed straight up and back.

The term pompadour is also a woman's hairstyle again with the hair brushed back high from the forehead, into a roll (much higher than for a man's pompadour). The term is named after a woman (Marquise de Pompadour, a mistress of France's Louis XV). The pompadour is referred to (as a man's hairstyle) in John Steinbeck's classic 1952 novel "East of Eden":

Porky Cut - Same as the Induction Cut which may also be referred to as a Jarhead Cut.

Princeton/Harvard Cut - this is basically another name for an Ivy League cut (Princeton University & Harvard being two of the official eight Ivy League universities in the United States).

Pudding Basin Haircut - another term for a bowl cut that is derived from the history of the cut. This term is not a widely used term these days. Haircut performed by placing a pudding basin over the head and cutting off all the hair below the rim of the basin all the way around the head. Commonly used for hundreds of years by poor and rural families. Other names for this haircut are bowl cut, bowl crop, basin cut and basin crop.

The roundheads of English 17th Century history got their name from this haircut. The apprentices rioting in London wore their hair 'cut around the head' using a bowl as a guide; hence the name roundhead. Two German names for this haircut are Topfschnitt and Pottschnitt.

Regulation Haircut - a very short tapered haircut. The back and sides are cut very short and clipped to the scalp lower down at the back and sides, tapered very short to the crown, with the top cut just long enough to comb over. This is a broad term and you may wish to provide more details of what you want to your barber. In some shops, you might expect to have the hair clipped to the scalp up to about an inch and a half or more above the hair line. In other shops, less of the head may be clipped to the skin.

Razor Cut - a technique of cutting hair using the blade of a razor instead of scissors.


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