The Timeless Crew Cut Haircut And Its Variants

Last updated on February 11th, 2024 at 10:13 am

The crew cut hairstyle, known for its short length and even trimming all around, has become a timeless symbol of masculinity and sophistication.

Originating from the military culture in the mid-20th century, and another variant of the buzz cut hairstyle, the crew style gained popularity among servicemen as its practicality and low-maintenance nature perfectly suited their active lifestyle.

Over time, this hairstyle transcended its military roots and found its way into mainstream fashion, with celebrities and men alike adopting it.

Beyond its aesthetic appeal, it embodies the significance of a well-groomed appearance for gentlemen.

It reflects self-care, confidence, and attention to detail, making it an essential aspect of personal style.

Recommended: The Basics of Gentleman’s Grooming

Table of Contents

Why Choose the Crew Cut?

It is a popular choice for many individuals due to several reasons:

Classic and Timeless Look that Never Goes Out of Style

The crew has been a fashionable haircut since the 1920s and has remained popular over the years.

Its simplicity and clean lines give it a classic and timeless appeal that never goes out of style.

Whether it is the military origins or its association with iconic figures like James Dean or Brad Pitt, the hairstyle carries a sense of sophistication and masculine charm that stands the test of time.

Related: Understanding Hair Treatment

Versatile and Suitable for Various Face Shapes and Hair Textures

One of the key advantages of this hairstyle is its versatility. It is suitable for a wide range of face shapes and can be adjusted to balance or enhance different facial features.

Whether you have a round, square, oval, or heart-shaped face, it can be adapted to suit your unique features.

Similarly, it works well with different hair textures, from straight to wavy to curly.

This versatility makes it a favored choice for individuals with diverse hair qualities.

Related: The Side Part Classic Hairstyle

Low Maintenance and Practical for Busy Lifestyles

The haircut is known for its low maintenance requirements, which makes it highly practical for those leading busy lives.

Its short length minimizes the need for frequent styling and grooming. With this style, there is no need to spend excessive time on blow-drying, shaping, or applying styling products.

This convenience makes it an ideal choice for individuals who prefer a hassle-free grooming routine without compromising on style.

Additionally, its short length also means less time spent on washing and drying, making it a practical option for those on the go.

Related: Men’s Hair Types and Appropriate Styles

Types of Crew Cut

Though it is derived from the buzz cut, it still has many variants. Let’s take a closer look…

Tapered Crew Cut

The high, mid and low taper crew cut

The tapered crew is a variation of the classic crew with a distinct feature: tapered sides and back.

While the hair on top remains short and uniform, the length gradually decreases as it moves down the sides and back, creating a subtle, tapered effect.

This style offers a more gradual transition from the top to the sides, resulting in a softer and less abrupt appearance compared to the standard mother cut.

This variant maintains a clean and polished look while adding a touch of sophistication, making it a versatile choice suitable for both formal and casual settings for gentlemen.

Related: Hairstyles for Older Gentlemen

Messy Crew Cut

The messy crew cut hairstyle

The messy crew style takes the traditional crew and introduces an element of dishevelment and texture.

While it retains the short sides and back, the top is cut slightly longer and styled in a way that appears intentionally tousled and undone.

This style offers a casual and effortlessly cool aesthetic, making it a popular choice for those seeking a relaxed yet stylish haircut.

Achieving the messy look often involves the use of styling products like hair wax or pomade to add texture and create a controlled disarray.

This messy variant is perfect for individuals who want a trendy and low-maintenance hairstyle.

Also Read: Getting Familiar with the Buzz Cut Fade Hairstyle

Crew Cut Fade

A collection of the crew cut fades - low fade, high fade, drop fade and burst fade

The crew cut fade or faded crew combines the classic cut with a fading technique that tapers the hair on the sides and back.

The fade can vary in intensity, from high fades with a pronounced contrast to low fades with a more subtle transition.

This haircut adds a contemporary touch to the traditional or parent cut, making it more stylish and adaptable.

The hair on top is usually kept short and even, while the fade enhances the overall aesthetics by emphasizing the short sides.

It offers a balanced blend of classic neatness and modern flair, suitable for various occasions and personal preferences.

Long Crew Cut

The long crew cut

A long crew cut is a variation that features longer hair on top, while still maintaining the shorter length on the sides and back.

This style offers more versatility as the longer length on top can be styled in various ways, such as being combed to the side or styled with a messy texture.

This variant exudes a sophisticated and contemporary look while retaining the clean and polished elements of a crew style.

Short Crew Cut

The short crew haircut

As the name suggests, the short crew cut is a classic and timeless men’s hairstyle characterized by closely cropped hair on the sides and back, while the hair on top is slightly longer but still very short.

It’s a low-maintenance haircut that offers a clean and neat appearance.

This style is versatile and suits various face shapes and hair types.

The style is popular in both civilian and military circles for its practicality and no-nonsense look, making it a go-to choice for individuals who prefer a neat and simple haircut that requires minimal styling.

Military Crew Cut

Military crew cut demonstrating how neat and responsible it looks

The Military variant is a straightforward and practical men’s haircut characterized by very short, evenly buzzed hair on the sides, back, and top of the head.

It is a utilitarian style, favoured in the armed forces for its easy maintenance and professional appearance.

The hair is typically cut to a uniform length, creating a clean and disciplined look.

Variations include the high and tight, where the sides and back are shaved even shorter.

This cut is a timeless and functional choice, ideal for individuals who require a no-fuss, low-maintenance haircut while exuding an air of discipline and authority.

Military Crew Cut Fade

Military crew cut fade sported by a military man

The Military crew cut fade is a modern twist on the traditional Military variant.

It features short, buzzed sides and back that gradually blend or “fade” into slightly longer hair on top.

This fade adds a stylish touch to the standard military haircut while maintaining a clean and disciplined appearance.

The length of the fade can vary, from a high fade with a significant contrast to a low fade with a more subtle transition.

This style is favoured by individuals who want a military-inspired look with a contemporary edge.

Side Swept Crew Cut

Side swept crew haircut

The side swept crew cut combines the parent crew with a touch of modern styling.

In this haircut, the hair on top is kept slightly longer than the traditional parent cut, allowing for a side-swept look.

The longer top hair is typically brushed or combed to one side, creating a neat, stylish, and slightly asymmetrical appearance.

This style offers versatility and can be tailored to suit individual preferences, with variations in the length of the top hair and the degree of side-sweeping.

This style is a popular choice for those seeking a more contemporary and refined crew option.  

Asian Crew Cut

The Asian crew cut sported by a young man

The Asian crew cut is a popular hairstyle among individuals of Asian descent, characterized by a short, neatly trimmed top with slightly longer sides and back.

It typically features straight and sleek hair, making it well-suited to Asian hair types.

This haircut emphasizes a clean and polished appearance, often incorporating tapered sides for a refined look.

The length on top can vary to suit personal preferences, with some variations allowing for a slightly longer, textured top.

The Asian crew offers a contemporary yet timeless style that complements various face shapes and is relatively low-maintenance.

Textured Crew Cut

Textured style crew

The textured variant of the crew style is a modern take on the classic parent crew, adding dimension and style through deliberate texturing.

While the sides and back are kept short, the top is cut with varying lengths to create a textured and layered effect.

This results in a more casual and relaxed appearance compared to the traditional cut.

The texture can be achieved through techniques like point cutting or razor cutting, giving the hair a slightly tousled look.

The textured crew offers versatility and can be customized to suit individual preferences, making it a popular choice for those seeking a trendy yet easy-to-maintain haircut.

High Fade Crew Cut

The high fade crew is a contemporary haircut characterized by very short sides and back that gradually transition into longer hair on top.

The fade in this style starts high on the sides, typically above the temples or ear level, creating a stark contrast between the short sides and the longer top.

This sharp and dramatic fade variation adds a stylish and edgy element to the traditional crew.

This style suits those who desire a bold and eye-catching look while maintaining the practicality of a shorter haircut.

Low Fade Crew Cut

The low fade crew cut is another variation of the classic crew, featuring short sides and back that gradually blend into slightly longer hair on top.

In this style, the fade begins lower on the sides, closer to the earlobes or the nape of the neck.

This results in a more subtle and gradual transition compared to the high fade, creating a balanced and polished appearance.

The low fade crew offers a clean and modern look that retains the neatness and professionalism of the traditional cut while allowing for a bit more flexibility in styling the top.

How to Achieve the Crew Cut

Achieving this hairstyle involves a simple process that you can follow:

Preparation: Make sure you have the necessary tools including a good-quality clipper, guard attachments, a comb, and a pair of scissors. Also, ensure your hair is clean and dry.

Determine the desired length: These hairstyles are typically have short hair on the sides and back, with slightly longer hair on top. Decide on the length you want for this style. You can start with a longer guard attachment and later work your way to a shorter one if needed.

Guard attachment selection: Attach the desired guard size to your clipper. Start with a higher number guard, such as #4 or #6 if you want to keep your hair slightly longer, or use a lower number guard, such as #2 or #3 if you prefer a shorter version.

Start with the sides and back: Start from the bottom, using the clipper with the guard attachment attached. Move it upward against the hair growth direction, running it smoothly and evenly across the sides and back of your head. This should create a consistent length.

Blend: After finishing the sides and back, remove the guard attachment and switch the clipper to its shortest setting or no attachment at all. Carefully trim the hair around the edges to create a clean, blended look. Be sure to gradually blend the hair on the sides and back with the slightly longer hair on top.

Trim the top: Use scissors to trim the hair on top to an even length, ensuring it’s longer than the sides and back but still short. You can comb the hair straight up and trim any excess length, creating the desired look.

Refine the cut: Take a comb and scissors and tidy up any uneven sections or stray hairs. Check for any inconsistencies and make necessary adjustments for a clean and well-blended cut.

Styling and Maintenance Tips for Crew Cut

Proper hair care routine for crew cut maintenance:

  • Wash your hair regularly with a gentle shampoo to keep it clean and healthy.
  • Use a conditioner to restore moisture and keep your hair soft.
  • Rinse your hair thoroughly to remove all product residue and avoid build-up.
  • Avoid using excessive heat tools like hair dryers or straighteners, as they can damage your hair.
  • If you have dandruff or flaky scalp, consider using a medicated shampoo or seeking professional help.

Use of Styling Products to Enhance Texture and Hold

  • Use a small amount of hair gel or wax to add texture and hold to your crew cut. Rub the product between your palms and evenly distribute it through your hair.
  • To find the perfect product for your hair type and desired style, it’s important to experiment with different options. By trying out various products, you can discover the one that suits you best and helps you achieve your desired look.
  • Avoid using too much product, as it can weigh your hair down and make it look greasy.

Regular Visits to The Barber for Maintenance Trims

  • Schedule regular appointments with your barber to keep your crew cut looking sharp and well-maintained.
  • Trims every 2-3 weeks can help control hair growth and keep the style tidy.
  • Communicate with your barber about the specific length and style you want to maintain.
  • Regular trims can also help prevent split ends and keep your hair healthy.

Who Can Rock the Style

It is a versatile haircut that can suit various individuals, regardless of age or hair type.

Suitable for all ages and hair types: The style is a hairstyle that transcends age. Whether you are a young adolescent or a mature adult, the hair style can be a suitable choice. It is a timeless style that can give a clean and polished look to anyone who wears it. Additionally, it works well with different hair types, such as straight, wavy, or curly hair. It can be easily adjusted and customized to fit various hair textures.

Ideal for men with receding hairlines or thinning hair: One of the advantages of the style is that it can effectively camouflage receding hairlines or thinning hair. By keeping the sides and back short, it draws attention away from the thinning areas on the top of the head. The slightly longer hair on top can be styled forward or to the side, creating the illusion of thicker and fuller hair. This makes the style an ideal choice for men who want to address hair loss concerns while maintaining a stylish look.

Confidence booster and symbol of masculinity: The style has a long-standing association with confidence and masculinity. Its clean and sharp appearance can give men a sense of empowerment and self-assurance. The low-maintenance nature of the haircut allows individuals to feel put-together and ready for any occasion. Additionally, it has a military background, and this association with discipline and strength adds to its image as a symbol of masculinity.

Notable Individuals Who Sport the Crew Style

Julius Caesar: The Roman Emperor is often depicted with the style, characterized by short hair all around the head.

Alexander the Great: The famous military leader and conqueror was known for his clean-cut hairstyle, including a crew style.

Sir Winston Churchill: The former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom sported a crew style, emphasizing his no-nonsense and practical personality.

Celebrities and Athletes Who Popularized the Haircut

David Beckham: The renowned footballer has been regularly seen with a crew style, contributing to its popularity among men.

Brad Pitt: The Hollywood actor’s appearance in the movie Fury, in which he sported the hairstyle, sparked renewed interest in the hairstyle.

Tom Hardy: Known for his versatile roles in films such as Mad Max: Fury Road and Inception, Hardy’s crew has become an iconic part of his rugged image.

Fashion Icons Who Continue to Rock the Haircut

Rihanna: The Grammy-winning singer has experimented with various hairstyles, including a crew style, proving its versatility and its appeal for women as well.

Emma Watson: The British actress, famous for her role as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter film series, has sported the style, breaking stereotypes and showcasing its modern and edgy appeal.

Victoria Beckham: The fashion designer and former Spice Girl embraced the crew style, setting trends and establishing it as a chic and stylish choice for women in the fashion world.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do I tell my barber for a crew cut?

To get this haircut, tell your barber to use clippers on the sides and back, leaving about an inch of hair. Keep the top slightly longer.

What is considered a crew cut?

It is a short hairstyle where the hair on the sides and back is cut short with clippers, while the top is kept slightly longer.

Will a crew cut look good on me?

Whether it will look good on you depends on your face shape, hair texture, and personal style. It’s best to consult with your barber to determine if it suits you.

What is the difference between a taper and a crew cut?

It is a specific type of short haircut, while a taper refers to gradually shorter hair on the sides and back, blending into longer hair on top. A crew cut is typically one length all around.


The crew cut haircut and its variants have proven to be timeless and versatile options for men’s hairstyles.

With its roots in military tradition, this style has transcended generations and continues to be a popular choice for men of all ages.

From the classic crew to the high and tight, the variations of this haircut offer a range of options that suit different face shapes and personal styles.

Whether it’s a clean and structured look or a more textured and modern interpretation, the style remains a reliable choice that exudes masculinity and sophistication.

With its simplicity and versatility, it is no wonder that the style maintains its popularity as a go-to hairstyle among men.


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