The 37 Coolest Pompadour Hairstyles For Men
With deep ties to the rock and roll era, this cut is as smooth and slick as it is suave and sophisticated.
Its bold impression is serious, yet still vividly fun; perhaps it’s a good reason as to why the pompadour has always been a popular choice.
Aside from product alone, the pompadour can be seen in any modern barbershop along with fades and uncombed sides. Even the front by the forehead can take on a messy or wavy appearance.
We wanted to break down the main types of pompadour for you and show you some great examples. Let’s take a look!
History of the Pompadour Haircut
It’s no surprise the pompadour ranks as one of the most popular men’s hairstyles at the barbershop. The cut dates back to the 1950’s and 1960’s where it took the spotlight in everything from automotive racers to folk music singers and more. Even famous actors like James Dean sported the pompadour, not to mention, the president Ronald Regan too.
Yet, you might be even more surprised to know this style actually started over three-hundred years ago by Jeanne-Antoinette Posson. She was the mistress of King Louis XV and known as the “Madame de Pompadour”. It wasn’t truly until the late 1950’s before this haircut would become treasured by males, though some still claim it started in the 1920s.
What’s clear however, is there’s no doubt about its massive surge in popularity with the birth of rock and roll. When Elvis Presley rocked the style in 1956, it rose to fame just as fast as he did. Soon after younger males of the working class took an interest in the cut; aka the greasers or rockabilly gentlemen.
Unlike most trends the style kept evolving over the years especially with bands, shifting from the jellyroll to the quiff and more. Sure, it lost its peak over the years however, the idea behind this haircut hasn’t changed a bit. In a sense, it is a symbol of both sexuality and sensuality all while being masculine, clean and rugged. It’s a showcase of free-spiritedness and makes a bold statement about a man’s personality.
Types of Pompadour Haircut
The way people have styled their pompadour has changed over the years. There are now many modern variations on the classic look. Here we take a look at the different styles available and see which one is going to suit you.
1. Classic pompadour
The classic pompadour is a slicked back, high grease hairstyle with sharp sides and a lot of shine. Both sides meet back at the nape of the neck into a duck tail. The lengthy front features a small round mound at the front of the forehead.
The classic pomp has long been associated with Elvis Presley and that’s probably the image you think about in terms of the classic pompadour. This style is defined by much longer hair on the sides than other types of pompadour.
Those sides will still be cut longer than the top of the pomp, with the fringe left much longer. It’s perfect for those who want to really throw back to those days of the ‘50s. Most people these days opt for a slightly different type of pompadour and even the classic versions we’ve shown here have a modern twist.
2. Modern pompadour
Unlike the pompadours of the past, today’s modern cuts typically feature far less shine. With all sorts of more natural-looking grooming products available, the style varies vastly man to man. Of course, certain men still elect to follow the classic fashion statement of the greasers by using oil-based pomades extremely generously.
The modern pompadour has the hair on the sides cut a lot shorter but still far from a buzzcut. It’s more of a fade but without being fully disconnected. The top of your hair doesn’t have to be fully slicked back either and is more about getting that famous height.
The modern pompadour is a bit less of a statement than the classic pomp and you’ll see many men wearing it today with style. With not as much requirement for shine, it’s also a little easier to maintain than the classic version.
3. Faded pompadour
The modern pompadour has shorter sides than the original and the faded pompadour takes that one step further. Having a faded hairstyle has been popular for a long time and combining that with a pompadour will make you stand out from the crowd.
There are many different ways of having a disconnected pompadour as you can opt for a taper fade, a high fade a drop fade or any other style you want. The short sides of the faded pompadour help to give it a cleaner and professional look.
If you wanted the cleanest looking version, then the faded pompadour is the one for you. It looks brilliant and also no shine is expected. That being said, you can still style it with your favorite product.
Pompadour Haircut Lengths
As well as the style, you also want to give some thought to the length of your pompadour. You can go for a safer shorter version or decide to be more daring. Here we take a look at some examples.
1. Short pompadour
The short pompadour is the easiest to maintain and can look fantastic on many men. It’s where the length of your fringe is much shorter and often the style is restricted to the top of your head rather than over to the nape of your neck. This style is almost always done with a fade.
2. Medium pompadour
The medium pompadour is ideal for those who want to rock the classic style without committing to a full-length pompadour. It won’t turn as many heads but maybe that’s what you prefer. It looks great and can be styled in many different ways.
3. Long pompadour
Want to wow the crowd? If so, then the long pompadour will certainly do that. The long hair on the top looks striking and you can do this in the classic style or go for a fade. We love the long pompadour and many others do too. You just need the confidence to carry it.
Different Pompadour Variations
Along with the common styles and lengths, there are popular variations of the pompadour. We look at some of the best here.
1. Bearded pompadour
We think a pompadour with facial hair looks epic. The beard compliments the pompadour, especially when there is a fade, as you have that disconnection on both sides of your face. As you can see from our examples, the results can be fantastic.
2. Curly pompadour
Think the pompadour isn’t for you because you have curly hair? Then think again. The pompadour can work with any hair type. Having a thick volume of wavy hair on top of your head suits many men as you can see from this pic. A curly pompadour is a brilliant option.
3. Textured pompadour
As we mentioned with the curly pompadour, not every version needs to be slick and combed back. Having more texture on the top of your head may suit your style. If you don’t want to fit your hair into the classic style, then simply go for the textured pompadour.
Pompadour Hairstyle FAQs
There are now many different styles of pompadour that you can go for. The classic version has plenty of volume and length on top of the hair which is then swept completely back towards the nape of your neck with a comb.
On a classic pomp, the hair on the side of your head is slightly shorter but slicked back with the rest of your hair. You’ll need to use plenty of hair product to keep it in place.
Famous examples of the pompadour include Elvis Presley and John Travolta in Grease. A great decent example is Bruno Mars whose often been seen with a curly pompadour.
Unless you’re extremely skilled and brave, you’ll need to head over to a barber to get a pompadour as it requires a lot of styling to get it into the right shape. It’s important to communicate with them about exactly what type of pomp you want. You can even use on of our pictures as an example!
Once you have the cut, then you need to know how to style your pompadour on your own.
For styling product, pomade has been traditionally used but you can go for a high-quality hair gel or hair wax to get the right results.
With dry hair, you start with clicking back your sides if you don’t have a fade.
After that, it’s all about blow drying your hair on high heat and using a round brush to make your hair as high as possible. Once you’ve worked your way up the hairline, spend a little bit extra at the front as that’s where you want the most volume.
Once you’ve finished brushing, you then want to work your hair product though the pompadour, being careful not to lose volume.
Happy with your pomp? If so, then seal it with some hairspray.
For a short modern pompadour, you only need about 3-4 inches of length in the hair that you want to style. For those that wanted to for the classic long pompadour, you’ll need hair about double that figure and maybe a bit more.
A quiff is all about having length at the very front of your hair. You can have short hair on most of your head and still rock a quiff. A pompadour is where you have longer hair on almost all of the top of your head with along a gradual decline to the back of your head.
The pompadour looks its best with high volume, which makes it ideal for those with thick hair. If you have thin hair, then you can still have a pompadour but it will be harder and you’ll probably need a combed over version rather than combed straight back.
In terms of hair type, anyone can have a pompadour. It looks great with a curl or with texture. In terms of hair length, you’ll need at least a few inches on the top of your head. Those with shorter hair can sport a short pompadour until it grows a little more.
Let’s be honest, you don’t see many people with a classic pompadour these days. The modern pompadour is called that for a reason, it takes the style and brings it into the 21st century. We’ve seen many celebrities with either a modern or faded pompadour. It looks great and looks very stylish on a wide variety of men but also women too.