How to Get the Pompadour Haircut

How to Get the Pompadour Haircut Mariano Di Vaio

It’s a modern retelling of a classic style, and it’s now one of the most versatile and stylish hairstyles around now. Read our guide on how to get the pompadour haircut, and see how it can work for you. 

Read more Men’s Hair features.

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Men’s Pompadour

Throughout the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st the gentleman’s haircut has evolved, from that questionable 1970’s do, to the outlandish 80’s style then on to the floppy 90’s cut, we have all loved contemporary hairstyles no matter how inexcusable they might be. Without further ado I introduce you to the new contemporary hairstyle on the block, the pompadour haircut. This hairstyle gives you simple and defined dimensions, bestowing the short-back-and-sides cut an Elvis edge.

Even though the Pompadour is a truly contemporary men’s style, the cut originates from 18th century France and is named after chief mistress of Louis XV, Madame de Pompadour. Despite its feminine beginnings the modern man’s haircut only bears a slight resemblance to a style that was rocked by old-school female aristocrats.

The Pompadour is most known for being a rockabilly 1950’s style that has been loved and sported by legendary hip-thruster Elvis Presley. The contemporary pompadour has been popularised by street style look and rocked on the Summer 2016 runway. Now cemented into the barber’s look book this style has fast become a hipsters dream.

I have loved the Pompadour ever since I started listening to the Smiths after hearing them in a friends Dad’s car at the age 11. Morrissey (TCM stand for this Charming Man) along with Elvis and James Dean have this timeless style that starts with the iconic style.

Sam – This Charming Man

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Pompadour Haircut – Tips

So, if you define yourself as a man about town and want a cool cut to accompany that recently purchased leather jacket, then look no further as this Elvis-esq cut. However before you rush off to the barbers clasping a printed out Google image, I want to give you a few tips and tricks on how to get this iconic style.

If you want to get the best ‘Pomp’ out there you need to do your research prior to getting the cut. A cheeky Google may not be sufficient, so Instagram that potential barber/shop to see what they are really about and if they can deliver you the best style. Also, check out their online reviews as your hair is important, and Sweeny Todd’s just not going to cut it.

The thing I love most about cutting the style is that it uses every skill I have as a barber… fading, blending, sectioning, lining and finishing. The Pompadour offers formality and style across the whole spectrum. It is versatile, yet can also be changed massively by altering the side length, back length and the size of the pomp on top.

Sam – This Charming Man

Which Pompadour Hairstyle?

Good things come in all shapes and sizes, such as the Pompadour. You need to find the right variety of ‘Pomp’ in order for you to pull off your dapper new look, as one style does not fit all.

The Pompadour is a very classic and timeless look. When the haircut is done properly the style can look very expensive and slick. It’s a style that now a days can be formal as well as informal.

Kevin Luchmun – Art Director for Toni&Guy and Label M Professional

How to Style a Pompadour

Modern Pompadour

You’re a guy who is not a stranger to the old hair products, in other words, you are incredibly hair-savvy, that doesn’t do mediocre. You like the slicked and sharp look because that’s just that kind of man you are. Own it.

Features of the slicked and sharp include:

  • Buzzed sides
  • Razor sharp, crisp edges
  • An exceptional amount of top length

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Elvis-esq

You have decided to roll back the years and follow in the footsteps of the King, and get the classic Pompadour. Contemporary is fine, but you sir are a gentleman who likes that old-school look. If it is good enough for Elvis, then it is good enough for you.

Features of the Elvis-esq:

  • A vast quantity of rolled back hair
  • Classic short sides

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Short Sort

If you are someone who thinks less is more then this short and sweet Pompadour will tick all the boxes. The haircut is a modest alternative to that crazy Elvis. You can still Pomp, but you’re a guy who thinks subtlety is key when it comes to your style.

Features of the Short Sort:

  • Simple, neat style
  • Slightly smaller pomp

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The Parted Pomp

Keep your parting with this pomp – it’s not just about the quiff. This haircut also falls under the category of pompadour undercut because of the faded sides. If you are a man who defines himself as a hipster, (be it an ironic one) you will love this atypical alternative to the classic pompadour.

Features of the Parted Pomp:

  • Wear this cut styled high or simply swept to the side
  • Tapered hair on the sides and back

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The Swooper

This style of Pompadour takes inspiration from the comb-over, but it’s not what you think. You are the guy who just wants to be a bit daring and different, which is exactly what this hairstyle is; a quirky retake of the classic pomp.

Features of the Swooper:

  • Longer looking buzzed sides
  • Thick hair on top, combed over

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Textured Top

This contemporary Pompadour encompasses texture, a style that doesn’t do things by halves. Whether it’s curly, straight or buzzed this style has it all.

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The Pompadour Mohawker

This sharp style really takes the Pompadour to a whole new level. This outlandishly outlined pompadour is all about precision and creative detail. However, a sufficient amount of product is needed to keep this style looking fresh and on top.

Features of the Pompadour Mohawker:

  • Cut throat outlines which highlight the Mohawk within the Pompadour

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Think Face Shape

It’s all about the face, so you need to consider what style of Pompadour will work best with your proportions. There are many ways in which you can adapt this hairstyle to best suit your face shape.

If your mug is of the rounder variety go for a fuller Pompadour, this will give you the ultimate edge, trust me your proportions can handle it. If you are a gentleman with a longer face then take on a shorter classic style, which will suit your facial features down to the ground. Choosing the top length of your hair is down to personal preference it’s your mop. However between 4-5 inches is a typical gentleman’s choice.

How to Pomp it With a Beard

If you love your face forest then the Pompadour is the perfect hairstyle for you. Elvis may have been clean-shaven, but you and your beard will bring something new to the table. All you need to remember is to balance your beard with your new cut so you don’t too asymmetric.

Groomed facial hair works fantastically with the pompadour because it continues the theme of refined masculinity. It’s a look that never goes out of fashion and works with any outfit, from tailored dinner jacket through to casual summerwear.

Adam – The Male Stylist

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Consider Your Hair Type

The men’s pompadour haircut is one of those styles that can be easily adaptable to any hair type. The key is how you style it.

Men with straight hair are probably better off going for a clean pompadour like David Beckham. It’s sharp, simple and requires only a small amount of styling to get right. Men with wavy hair should experiment with a more relaxed look that uses the natural style of their hair, rather than cover it up.

Adam – The Male Stylist

If you’re dealing with thinning hair or you just don’t want to make much of a statement then a shorter, slicked-back pompadour hairstyle is probably going to be your best bet. If your hair is on the wild side then let it fly free with a longer style pompadour that requires a little less controlling. The great thing about the pompadour hairstyle is that you can easily go for a range of looks and styles, and as there’s no real set rule on what it should look like, you change it up to best suit you.

How to Control Your Pompadour

Gravity, wind and general wear and tear can mean that your pomp may flop, a vibe that you are certainly not going for. Great hair comes with great responsibility so treat yourself to a few handy hair products, it will make all the difference. Happily, the result the daily grind of battling against the elements will no longer result in a bad hair day. Sorted.

If you want to keep things simple and not overload your shelf with products, just stick to the basics. With most pompadour styles you’ll need two main items, a comb and a good hair wax or clay. Make sure you go for a wax that suits your hair type, so if you have thin straight hair you’re better off with a lightweight wax rather than a more heavyweight clay for thicker, curly hair.

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For the comb choose a thin tooth comb if you’re dealing with thinner, straight hair, and a medium tooth comb if you’re trying to comb through thicker or coarser hair. Forcing a comb through hair that’s too thick for it is only going to end in a lot of breakages and tugging.

How to Get the Pompadour Haircut

  • Go for a barber’s that deals with more modern cuts rather than simply classic styles.
  • If you have thinning or flat hair go for a shorter pompadour style that doesn’t require a lot of volume.
  • If you’re dealing with thick or curly hair go for a longer pompadour style.
  • Tame your pompadour with two simple products – a comb and some hair clay or wax. 

how to get the pompadour haircut

On That Note

The Pompadour is not just a reference to the 50’s of even the 1700s. It’s a style that has braved through turbulent hair trends and fashion faux pas’. It is a cut that’s versatile, classic, and has stood the test of time as well as evolved. It’s sported by everyone from football focused celebrities to flannel-wearing hipsters.

Whatever your hair type – curly, straight, thin or thick, there’s going to be a pompadour for you. With a trusty comb and a bit of product, you can sculpt your pompadour to suit whatever style you’re going from, from fancy weddings to casual meet ups. So if you want to get a classic hairstyle with a contemporary edge the Pompadour is the way to do it.

Author: Jess Gruet

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