50 Comb Over Haircuts For Men

For an adaptable, easy variation on the comb over, opting for a shorter haircut is a good option. Men love the short comb over because it’s quick to style in the morning yet still shows off the hipster look. Similar to the classic comb over, the transition between the top and sides is not as pronounced or extreme as in other variations.

The Comb Over Is Cool Now—and These 10 Haircuts Prove It

Bryan Levandowski

Bryan is a contributing writer for Byrdie covering all things beauty and grooming. He has over 16 years of experience in beauty editorial and has been with Byrdie since 2020.

hairstylist sky kim

Sky Kim is a hairstylist with over a decade of experience. She currently works at Serge Normant at John Frieda in New York City.

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Close up of soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo with a comb over haircut.

In This Article

Classic Comb Over Comb Over With High Fade Comb Over With Medium Fade Comb Over With Low Fade Comb Over With Natural Hair

Comb Over Taper Fade Comb Over With Long Hair Comb Over With Hard Part Comb Over With Line Up Comb Over With Wavy or Curly Hair

The comb over has gotten a bad rap over the years, considered by many as a trick to hide a thinning scalp or a characteristic foible of a certain former U.S. president. But recently, fuelled by a ’60s-inspired revival in classic men’s style (à la Mad Men), as well as celebs like Justin Timberlake and Cristiano Ronaldo sporting bold parts, the comb over—including its modern cousin the comb over taper—has reclaimed a top spot in trendy men’s hairstyles.

To better understand the comb over, forget what you think a comb over is and focus on what we’re about to show you. The comb over taper has been reinvented into a sleek, modern men’s hairstyle that flatters a variety of looks. And the best part? There are several distinct variations that allow you to tailor it to your own style and preference.

We sat down with two experts in all things hair—barber Hung Q. Nguyen and celebrity hairstylist Kristan Serafino—to unpack the various versions of the comb over taper and to find out how you can get the look at home.

Meet the Expert

  • Hung Q. Nguyen is the regional barber manager at Fellow Barber in New York City.
  • Kristan Serafino is a celebrity hairstylist and men’s grooming authority. Her clients include Ryan Reynolds and Shawn Mendes.

What Exactly Is a Comb Over?

The comb over, also called a side part, is a haircut where the back and sides are cut short and the hair on top is longer and parted to one side. Where it gets interesting is the placement of the fade on the sides, which, Nguyen explains, depends on both the client’s preference as well as what best complements their head shape. The same goes for the part: Whether you part from the left or the right comes down to your hair growth pattern.

“The comb over is a timeless haircut that has not and will not go out of style,” Nguyen says. “There are many variations that will either make it edgier (fit for a night out on the town), or more conservative fit for a day at the office.” He also points out that the comb over fade is a practical option for guys who may be self-conscious about their hairline, as the recession actually lends itself to the natural flow of the haircut.

Check out our top 10 comb over haircuts.

Classic Comb Over

“This is where it all started,” Nguyen says. The back and sides are cut to a conservative length without showing any scalp for a look that’s clean and professional. And because it doesn’t expose the scalp on the back or sides, it grows out well, meaning you probably won’t need to get your hair cut more often than every four or five weeks.

What to ask your barber for: “Ask for an all-scissor cut to preserve the length on the back and sides,” Nguyen says. “You can also ask for a clipper cut with the fade starting with a #3 guard (10 mm) and let the barber know if you prefer to comb your hair from right to left or left to right.” He also recommends that both you and your barber take time to assess your natural growth pattern to determine the ideal placement for your part and hair growth pattern.

How to get the look:

  1. Start by finding your part on clean, wet hair. Use a comb and comb the hair on the top forward, looking for a disconnection from the top and sides where the barber established your part. Locate the disconnection and split the longer hair from the shorter hair.
  2. Comb the hair into place based on how you want the final result to look.
  3. Use a blow dryer to quickly dry and set the hair in place.
  4. Finally, run a matte-finish styling paste through your hair to help set the look.

Comb Over With High Fade

The high fade is often referred to as a “high and tight,” and resembles a military-style cut on the back and sides. These days, the high fade is more versatile, where the top can be left longer for a more contemporary look. Nguyen mentions that sometimes the length on the side where the part sits is so short that you don’t even need to fuss with finding a part. It’s a great style for guys with thick, coarse hair as well as guys dealing with thinning hair on top. If you’re of the latter, Nguyen recommends keeping the back and sides tight, which will help the top to look fuller by directing the focus away from the back and sides.

What to ask your barber: Simply ask for a high and tight fade with a comb over, Nguyen explains. Be sure to mention your preferred length for the hair on top as well as the fade. “I recommend talking about how much of the skin you want to be exposed rather than using guard numbers,” he says.

How to get the look:

  1. Start with slightly damp hair and add a bit of styling cream, such as Fellow’s Styling Cream ($25), as a base. “Definitely don’t skip the styling cream because it will lock in moisture and tame those dreaded flyaways,” says Nguyen.
  2. Blow-dry on medium heat and high speed, pointing the dryer in the direction you’d like the hair to go once styled.
  3. If you like to have a bit more volume on the top, take a few sections and mist a texturizing spray to the base of the hair.
  4. To finish, apply a texturizing paste for a matte finish, or a high-hold pomade for a shiny finish.
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Comb Over With Medium Fade

The most common variation of the comb over, the medium or mid fade features a smooth transition that doesn’t have as much contrast as a high fade. No surprise then that it’s the go-to style for most clients seeking a comb over style, according to Nguyen. Serafino also points out how nicely a beard tapers into the haircut— rather than stopping with a hard line—which adds to the overall quality of the look.

What to ask your barber: Just go for a mid fade with a comb over, but be sure to explain where you like to part your hair and discuss the length options for the hair on top.

How to get the look:

  1. Begin with slightly damp hair and work through a dime-sized amount of styling cream.
  2. Again, blow dry on medium heat and high speed.
  3. Spring for a texture spray like Briogeo’s Ginseng + Biotin Volumizing Spray ($24) if you want more volume on top.
  4. To set the look, finish off with your choice of styling products: a clay or paste for a matte finish or a pomade for a high-shine look.

Comb Over With Low Fade

The low fade version of the comb over places the fade transition lower on the sides and helps to build weight as it blends up towards the parietal ridge. Due to the fade placement, there is usually a bit more length on the sides, which allows you to comb the hair down when styling. Serafino points out that the barber who created this style opted for a softer part, rather than a hard line, because this client has finer hair on the top. This helps the whole look meld together nicely.

What to ask your barber: Tell your barber you want a comb over with a low fade and added length on the sides so that you’ll be able to comb it down while styling. Nguyen also says that since the sides are longer for this style, be mindful of your natural hair growth pattern in these areas, since your hair will lay down better when it’s combed in the direction in which it naturally grows.

How to get the look:

  1. Start with slightly damp hair and work through a dime-sized amount of styling cream.
  2. Blow dry on medium heat/high speed, aiming the air in the direction you want you hair to fall.
  3. Again, go for texture spray around the base of the hair if you want more volume on top.
  4. To perfect the look, finish off with your choice of styling products: a clay or paste for a matte finish or a pomade for a high-shine look.

Comb Over With Natural Hair

Serafino points out that this is more of a hard part, rather than a comb over, since there was no manipulation of the natural hair. “Putting a part into the natural texture gives it a super modern look and feel,” she says.

What to ask your barber: The easiest by far, just ask your barber for the cut you’d usually get and request for a part to be cut in.

How to get the look:

  1. Start by prepping the hair, massaging a pump or two of hair oil, like Jim + Henry Five Hair Oil ($22), into the hair and scalp, followed by a frizz control lotion to hydrate and moisturize curls.
  2. Nguyen recommends then using a texture comb like the Twist It Up ($25) to give the curls a textured look, or going for a pick comb to pick out the hair and using a handkerchief to shape hair into the shape you’re going for.

Comb Over Taper Fade

Nguyen says the comb over taper fade is where only the nape of the neck and the temporal areas are faded. “This style blends the classic comb over with modern-day fading techniques—by tapering out the sideburns and neck, it gives the classic style a modern twist.” Serafino adds that the comb over taper fade is especially great for guys with shorter foreheads, as pushing the hair on the top back and to the side helps open up the forehead and face, and even slightly elongates the face.

What to ask your barber: Nguyen says you can ask for the classic comb over with a natural taper around the neckline and sideburns.

How to get the look:

  1. Starting with damp hair, work through a dime-sized amount of styling cream as a base to help hydrate hair and stop flyaways.
  2. Use a blow dryer on medium heat and high speed, directing the flow of air in the direction you want your hair to go.
  3. If your hair is longer on top and you want more volume, Nguyen says to spray a texturizing spray onto the base of the hair as you blow-dry.
  4. Finish off your comb over taper with a clay or paste if you want a clean, matte-finish look, or go for a strong-hold pomade for a more classic, shiny finish.

Comb Over With Long Hair

This variation is cut like an undercut but styled like a comb over. “The length on top is more exaggerated—usually there is a disconnection on both sides of the head, but the client will use one of those disconnected sides as their designated part,” Nguyen explains. He also says the length on top makes this cut ideal for those who want several different styling options.

Serafino points out that the hair starts at the round of the head, whereas a more typical part would be somewhat higher up on the head. Along with the variation in color, it makes for a bold, edgy style statement.

What to ask your barber: Nguyen says you can start by asking your barber for an undercut, but specify on which side you prefer to part your hair.

How to get the look:

  1. Start with slightly damp hair and work in a dime-sized amount of styling cream to keep hair moisturized and prevent flyaways.
  2. Set your blow dryer to medium heat and high speed and aim it in the direction you want your hair to lay when it’s styled.
  3. This is a great style that can benefit from some extra volume, and Nguyen recommends using a vent brush to create volume on top as you blow-dry.
  4. Finish off using a paste or pomade-based product to give your hair texture and shape.

Comb Over With Hard Part

Here, the parting of the haircut is cut in using a trimmer and straight razor. This makes finding your part easy peasy and allows for a fuss-free style. This cut is ideal for a variety of hair types, however, Serafino points out that the hard edge requires high maintenance. Since the growth will show quickly in such detailed areas, you might be looking at a trim every two weeks or so.

What to ask your barber: Start by asking for a comb over haircut with your preferred fade length, fade placement, and top length, then request for a hard part to be cut in and your barber should take care of the rest.

How to get the look:

  1. Starting with hair that’s slightly damp, add a small amount of styling cream and work through to cover all your hair.
  2. Using a blow dryer, dry your hair on medium heat/high speed and point the nozzle in the direction you want your finished hair to lie.
  3. For a sleek, shiny look finish off with some strong hold pomade, but for a more texturized, matte look, opt for a styling paste or clay.
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Comb Over With Line Up

Here, the comb over style is basically the same as a typical comb over with a hard part, but the hairline has been shaped up to achieve perfect symmetry. Nguyen says the line up is a great option if you have an uneven hairline and are looking for a more balanced shape, and is an essential for those with natural hair, as it helps define and pull together the final result. Serafino added it’s also a great way to add edgy style and definition to the face.

What to ask your barber: After describing your comb over preferences in detail, Nguyen says to ask your barber to line up your hairline for a more defined result.

How to get the look:

  1. While the styling rules are essentially the same as the hard part comb over, Nguyen notes that the line up is a high-maintenance style that will require frequent touch-ups to keep it looking its best.

Comb Over With Wavy or Curly Hair

This comb over style is similar to other variations. except that it is specific to wavy/curly hair clients. “Oftentimes, clients with this hair type are not sure what else can be done with their hair and tend to be more apprehensive about trying something different,” Nguyen says. “The comb over is a safe and stylish look that can be achieved with a bit of coaching and patience.”

What to ask your barber: After giving your barber your comb over haircut preferences, ask for styling tips on how to turn your curls into waves. Unlike other hair types, curls need heat styling in order to change the natural formation of the hair to fit the comb over look.

How to get the look:

  1. Serafino recommends using a wax or pomade that will work nicely with your natural waves and add both shine and definition, such as Dax Wax ($10).

50 Comb Over Haircuts For Men

Men's Hairstyles Now

Comb Over Hairstyles For Men

  • Chris Wright
  • April 26, 2023

The comb over is easily one of the coolest men’s haircuts around. The comb over hairstyle offers a classic style that has evolved over time into a trendy modern cut that looks great with any hair type, texture or length. Stylish and popular, men’s comb over haircuts have become ubiquitous, especially in the top barbershops around the world. While there are many different types of comb overs, including the side part, comb over undercut, and comb over fade, the concept of sweeping your hair to the side is universal among all of them.

Fortunately, no matter what your hair type, face shape or age, comb over styles are sexy and easy to ask for or do. Below, we will discuss the best comb over haircuts, how to cut and style them, and examples of the look with short and long hair.

Comb Over Haircut

  • 1 What Is The Comb Over Haircut?
  • 2 Comb Over Haircut Styles
    • 2.1 Comb Over Fade
    • 2.2 High and Low Fade Comb Over
    • 2.3 Undercut Comb Over
    • 2.4 Short Comb Over
    • 2.5 Long Comb Over
    • 2.6 Classic Comb Over
    • 3.1 Doing A Comb Over
    • 4.1 What To Tell Your Barber
    • 5.1 Comb Over with Hard Part
    • 5.2 Comb Over with Shaved Sides
    • 5.3 High Fade + Comb Over
    • 5.4 Slick Comb Over Fade + Spiky Fringe + Hard Part
    • 5.5 Comb Over + Low Fade
    • 5.6 Short Comb Over Fade + Part
    • 5.7 Long Hair Comb Over Fade
    • 5.8 Beard + Comb Over
    • 5.9 Wavy Comb Over + Low Fade + Part
    • 5.10 Comb Over + Undercut Fade
    • 5.11 Comb Over Quiff + High Bald Fade + Cool Beard Design
    • 5.12 Big Comb Over + Mid Fade + Long Beard
    • 5.13 Comb Over with Long Hair
    • 5.14 Mid Fade + Part + Combover

    What Is The Comb Over Haircut?

    The comb over is a classic haircut for men where the longer hair on top features a part to the side and comes combed across to create an elegant look. The hairstyle can be paired with a fade or undercut on the sides, and the longer hair on top parted to the side. The undercut and high fade comb over are high-contrast versions that many hipsters love to wear. However, for a look that may be more professional for business, you may try a low fade comb over.

    Comb Over

    As for the hair on top, if you’d rather keep the length, you can simply accentuate the part line with a hard part and comb your hair all to one side.

    Classic Comb Over Haircut

    Guys can even add volume or spikes, and you’re not restricted in terms of the length of your hair because men can choose between a long or short comb over. In fact, anywhere from 2 to 5 inches of hair will work for this iconic look.

    Comb Over Fade + Hard Part

    Ultimately, our favorite is the comb over fade – high, low, skin or tapered. Whichever comb over haircut you choose is bound to look great, as the hairstyle is universally flattering for its asymmetry and ability to complement your natural hair texture.

    Cool Comb Over + Tapered Sides

    Comb Over Haircut Styles

    Comb Over Fade

    The comb over fade combines the classic side-swept look with very short hair on the sides. The fade involves tapering the hair towards the neck, so that your hair gets gradually shorter lower down your sides and back. The technique creates a fresh, high-contrast look, especially when combined with a smooth and timeless haircut such as the comb over.

    Comb Over Fade

    In a faded comb over, the sides are cut short and faded away from the longer hair on the top of the head. This creates a contrast between the two textures, for an edgy look that is sure to impress.

    Comb Over Fade Haircut

    High and Low Fade Comb Over

    The fade haircut also allows guys to tailor the cut to suit their personal style. For example, a high fade is a more extreme and daring look, while a low fade is quite subtle and only takes place around the edges of your neck and ears. For something in the middle, a medium fade is always an option.

    Low Fade + Comb Over + Beard

    However, it is important to note that there are many different types of fades. Men can ask their barber for a skin or bald fade that blends directly into the skin, or even a razor fade with shaved sides. This year, a number of guys are picking the comb over with shaved sides for the ultimate “short hair, long top” haircut.

    High Skin Fade Comb Over

    Nevertheless, if you’re a businessman who wants to look tidy for work, a mid or low comb over fade could be the perfect style, while those who want a more sexy hairstyle should choose a high comb over fade.

    Low Fade Comb Over Haircut

    Either variation leaves you with enough length to style the hair on top of your head, and the fade technique merges seamlessly with the timeless short comb over.

    Undercut Comb Over

    The undercut comb over is another contemporary take on the this men’s hair trend. By combining a comb over haircut with an undercut, the sides are cropped very short and all one length using clippers, while the hair on the top of the head is left long. Alternatively, guys can get their barber to shave their back and sides for a closer cut.

    Undercut Comb Over

    The contrast between the short sides and longer hair on top makes the style trendy and exciting, while the hairstyle is combed to one side in a classic iteration of the comb over. With this type of comb over, the part usually takes place at the edge of the undercut.

    Long Undercut Comb Over Hairstyle

    Similarly, a barber can always shave a thick hard part into your scalp. This can create a more pronounced side part, but the hairstyle is still distinctively a comb over.

    Comb Over Undercut

    Short Comb Over

    For an adaptable, easy variation on the comb over, opting for a shorter haircut is a good option. Men love the short comb over because it’s quick to style in the morning yet still shows off the hipster look. Similar to the classic comb over, the transition between the top and sides is not as pronounced or extreme as in other variations.

    Short Comb Over - Hard Side Part +High Bald Fade

    Most of the hair on your head will be cut to around 2 inches in length, with some slight tapering at the back and sides of the head. The advantage of the short length means that you can change your hairstyle to a messy, textured crop or crew cut any day.

    Short Comb Over Fade

    Long Comb Over

    The long hair comb over continues the tradition of short sides and back with a fade or undercut, but keeps the hair on top medium-length or longer. The long comb over hairstyle works beautifully for men with thick, wavy, or curly hair. Plus, the extra length on top allows guys to style a number of other stylish looks, including the quiff, pompadour, of faux hawk.

    Long Comb Over

    Ultimately, this hairstyle for longer hair is perfect for showcasing your hair’s natural texture. Anywhere upwards of 4 inches on top can be styled into the long comb over, and shaping or layers will require a quality pomade or wax.

    Long Hair Comb Over

    Styling a comb over with long hair is effortless when you have good product!

    Classic Comb Over

    The classic comb over side part features hair on the top and sides with similar length. As a cool short men’s haircut, the classic version requires a tapered cut on the sides and back, often achieved with scissors. This keeps the transition between the sides and top more gradual, with scissor cut sides of around 1.5 inches in length gradually tapering towards the neck.

    Classic Comb Over Side Part

    The style on top looks like a gentleman’s haircut from the 50s, exuding sophistication and class. To ask for this haircut, simply tell your barber that you want a classic comb over style.

    Classic Comb Over Hairstyle For Men

    How To Style A Comb Over

    Styling a comb over is easy. Unlike other haircuts, like the quiff and pompadour, that require time and effort, comb over styles can be achieved in 5 minutes. This is because the side part comb over simply needs a little practice to learn how to style a part properly.

    How To Style A Comb Over Haircut

    All you’ll need to start is your favorite hair product – whether that’s pomade, hair wax, or putty is up to you – and a comb. Use a fine tooth comb for maximum control if you have thin hair, but those with thicker hair are better off using a brush or medium comb. These instructions break the process down for you and get your comb overlooking tidy and sleek.

    Doing A Comb Over

    To part your hair and do a comb over, follow these simple steps.

    1. Start by applying a hair styling product. If you’re using pomade or wax, rub it between your hands to warm up before using.
    2. Distribute the product evenly by running your fingers through your hair. For a neat comb over, don’t tousle your hair too much as you’ll want it to sit relatively flat for the final style. Otherwise, for a big comb over with volume, feel free to lift as you spread the product throughout.
    3. Comb your hair forward and select a part line. It’s best if your part is where your hair naturally falls, as this will make the style look better. Part your hair away from the line, pushing it to the side of your head.
    4. Comb the product through that section of hair, directing the comb straight to the side.
    5. For a different look, comb diagonally back instead of straight to the side. Brush the front of your hair up if you’d like to add volume to the hairstyle. A messy look can be created by gently separating strands of hair with your fingers, but most men prefer a sleek look.

    Remember, styling a side part may demand some practice at first, but with the right technique and hair product, beginners can do the comb over as well as stylists.

    Side Part Comb Over + Hard Part

    How To Ask For A Comb Over Haircut

    All good barbers know how to cut a comb over haircut. However, the comb over is a broad category of men’s hairstyles, and simply asking for a comb over doesn’t provide enough detail to get the cut you want. The more specific you can be about the type of comb over you want and how you want to style it, the better the final haircut will look.

    Deciding on a few elements before you arrive at your local barbershop will make sure that your instructions are clear and the haircut you get is exactly what you want.

    What To Tell Your Barber

    First, you can start by telling your barber you’d like to part your hair on the side. The part line is the central component of a comb over hairstyle. Decide where you want to part your hair and whether you want your barber to create a hard part.

    How To Ask For A Comb Over Haircut

    Next, decide whether you want a fade or undercut on the sides. You can ask for a comb over fade and then decide how high or low the fade should be. Hair that is faded down the skin, also known as a bald fade, can offer a lot of contrast for a sweet look. But there are other types of fades to consider as well.

    Comb Over Fade + Line Up

    Afterwards, you’ll need to tell your barber how long or short the hair on top should be. Think about how you want to style the comb over. If you want to add volume to the front of the cut, your barber needs to leave enough length that you can do so. On the other hand, if you want to spend as little time styling as possible, going for a shorter look will work best with your preferences.

    Long Comb Over Haircut

    Lastly, feel free to ask your barber for advice. As men’s hair experts, they can tell you what will work and look good for your hair type and style.

    Coolest Comb Over Hairstyles For Men

    The comb over is a men’s haircut with many variations. You can choose between long or short, faded or tapered sides, and part your hair wherever you think the most flattering. The best feature of comb over styles is that, although the classic look is not for everyone, you can find a modern versions of the cut and tailor them to your hair type and length. For more ideas, check out these other ways to wear your comb over haircut.

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