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Best Hairstyles For Receding Hairlines - Taron Edgerton | Image: Magarila

12 Best Hairstyles For Receding Hairlines

Is your hairline starting to betray you? Fret not, because you’re far from alone. A receding hairline is a natural symptom of aging, with the American Hair Loss Association reporting that by the age of 35, approximately 66 per cent of men will have experienced some degree of hair loss. In more severe cases, it might be time for a buzz cut but for those with a little left on top, finding a quality hairstyle for a receding hairline isn’t impossible. Whether you are thinning at the fringe, or your density is waning, there are haircuts for receding hairlines that will more than suffice. Here are the receding hairline hairstyles you need to consider.

Hairstyles for Receding Hairline

The bad news is you have a receding hairline and might even be going bald. The good news is you still have plenty of hairstyle options. We’re talking haircuts for short hair, medium hair, and long hair alike. Here are some popular haircuts for men with a receding hairline.

John Travolta with a triple zero buzz cut
John Travolta with a Triple Zero Buzz Cut | Image: Matt Winkelmeyer

1. Clean Shave

Let’s just get this one out of the way because it’s probably the first thing that popped into your mind when you spotted that receding hairline. You’ve seen the clean shave on everyone from Common to Bruce Willis, and if it works for them, it can work for you, too. To maintain the “clean” in your clean shave, visit your barber on a regular basis and be sure to keep that scalp moisturised. Also, remember to incorporate stubble or facial hair so that you don’t look like some sort of weird man-baby.

How to achieve a Triple Zero

  • Ask to run a triple zero blade over the back, sides and top of the head
  • This will reduce the hair to skin, leaving only stubble behind
  • As this buzz cut style is very short, it will require regular cutting, usually twice per week so it’s recommended you buy clippers and do this yourself
Channing Tatum on The Kelly Clarkson Show with a Buzz Cut
Channing Tatum on The Kelly Clarkson Show with a Buzz Cut | Image: YouTube

2. Buzz Cut

If the smooth style isn’t exactly for you, then you do have options. A simple buzz cut, leaving around 1 or 2 blade’s worth of length on top will give the illusion of a more complete head of hair, whilst styling maintaining a fresh look. Importantly, this style of cut can help hide sparse areas, provided your barber is adept at blending hair lengths.

If your hair is receding more at the front, ask to leave this section slightly longer than the top and crown section of your head. This will allow the hair to appear more uniformly dense across the entire top, creating a more structured and intentional haircut. Leaving the hairline at the front more natural will also help to hide corner recession, whereas lining this section up with the mini-trimmers will only accentuate the sparsity.

How to achieve a Buzz Cut

  • Take a single clipper guard and run it over the back, sides and top of the hair
  • This will create a uniform length across all sections
  • For a slightly cleaner look, you can taper the edges and nape
  • For sections that are receding, try leaving these slightly longer and blending the sparse and dense sections
Male model with short choppy bangs
Short Choppy Bangs I Image: Prada

3. Textured Layering

No one will notice your receding hairline if it’s flanked by choppy textures, brilliant layering, and maybe even some colour contrast. Ask your barber or hairdresser to ‘feather blade’ the hair, rather than scissor cut it. This process creates a softer, more free-flowing edge that can easily be swept back or to the side. If you are receding on the corners of your hairline, a messy textured fringe will help to hide some of the sparse sections without feeling too much like a comb-over.

Remember, with this cut texture is your friend and accentuating the variable lengths on top and on the sides is critical. Look to incorporate a texture powder product, which helps to clump the hair together and create the illusion of density.

How to achieve Textured Layering:

  • For this receding hairline hairstyle, try visiting a hairdresser stylist rather than your regular fade-orientated barber
  • Ask to have the hair feather-bladed on the top and sides, leaving some length on top
  • Leave some extra length on the corners of the forehead, giving you some room to play with
  • Keep the nape natural, rather than squared off
  • Style the hair with texture powder and vigorously run your hands through the top, creating a messy, soft look
Henry Cavill with side-part hairstyle in 'The Man from U.N.C.L.E.' (2015)
Henry Cavill with side-part hairstyle in ‘The Man from U.N.C.L.E.’ (2015) | Image: Warner Bros. Pictures

4. Parted Comb Over

If you have voluminous hair of decent length, this haircut can do wonders for your personal aesthetic, presuming you know your way around hair product and a fine-toothed comb. If your hair is overly thin at the front, particularly in the centre, this haircut is not recommended as it can accentuate sparsity when not styled correctly.

Start with a scissor or clipper on the back and sides, leaving a natural part on one side. To find your natural part, brush all your hair forward and draw a direct line from the centre of your crown to the corner of your hairline. Barring irregularities, such as cow’s licks, the hair should naturally fall on either side of the part giving you a defined part to work with.

From there, leave a significant amount of hair on top, generally two to three inches, and style it to the side in one direction. For a cleaner and classic look, you should opt for a pomade or water-based product, however, you can usually tone down the look with a matte product such as clay.

How to Achieve a Side Part

  • Ask to clipper or scissor the sides and back
  • Using the natural part as a guide, ask to leave some weight on the part side and blend it
  • Trim the top to around two or three inches
  • Style the top by combing the hair to one side and elevating the front section
David Beckham with a slicked back hairstyle
David Beckham with a slicked back hairstyle | Image: Anthony Devlin

5. Slicked Back

Sure, you can try to conceal that receding hairline, or you can play off of it by way of a slicked-back cut. Throw in a fade or undercut (i.e. shorter hair around the sides) and you’re deftly keeping pace with modern trends. Hair product is required, as is a fair amount of volume.

Again, similar to the side part, this hairstyle is only recommended if you have a moderate density at the corners and front of your hairline. As the hairstyle is pulled back, this may accentuate receding sections at the temples and high forehead, so check with your barber first before you commit to this receding hairstyle.

How to achieve the Slicked Back hairstyle:

  • Ask to clipper of scissor-cut the back and sides
  • Leave significant hair on top, with the sides scissor-over-comb blended for a smoother graduation
  • You may want to taper the back and sides, but this is only recommended for shorter lengths
  • Ask to point-cut the top to increase texture and movement
  • Style with a texture clay by running the hands through the hair in a front-to-back motion while damp
  • Allow to dry and restyle as necessary
Male model with a faux hawk on receding hairline
Faux hawk on receding hairline | Image: His Style Diary

6. Faux Hawk

An accessible alternative to the mohawk, faux hawks strike a balance between contemporary norms and uncompromising personal expression. They also do a pretty great job at masking a receding hairline because they push all the hair toward the centre of your crown. Don’t forget to go short around the sides.

Important to note with the faux hawk is that shorter lengths tend to work better. By keeping the blend point (the point at which the side lengths meet the top length) high and near the temple, you avoid unsightly sweeping. Remember, you don’t want to cover sparse sections with longer hair, you want to graduate through these sections and up into your more complete lengths.

How to achieve the Faux Hawk:

  • Ask to take a short clipper (generally 3 and below) to the back and sides quite high up the head
  • Trim the top in an over-directed manner, taking the corners of the hair tight against the skull
  • Blend the sides and top using clipper-over-comb techniques
  • Be sure to taper the back and edges for a more professional look
Colton Haynes with a Buzz Cut
Colton Haynes with a Buzz Cut | Image: Huff Post

7. Crew Cut

When a buzz cut is a little too short or revealing, the mighty crew cut comes into play. A fixture in the business world, this relatively short haircut features a small pompadour at the front hairline and gets shorter in length as it flows toward the back. This gives the hair a more rounded cut, compared to the harsh, square shapes seen in the fade-styles.

If you head to a barber and ask for a Classic Crew Cut, you will likely get a 3 or 4 guard all over. While a classic cut, this style should be avoided if you have a rounded face shape, as the rounded edges will not suit. Better yet, grow it out a little longer and you’re sporting an Ivy League cut.

How to achieve a Crew Cut:

  • Take a longer clipper guard over the top of the hair
  • Using a shorter guard, trim the back and sides of the hair
  • Blend these two sections together, keeping the blend point on or slightly below the temple
Side view of male model with a high fade receding hairline hairstyle
High fade receding hairline hairstyle | Image: Instagram

8. High Fade

Upward-facing longer hair on top and a gradual fade around the sides make for an expert combination, especially among men with receding hairlines. A high fade allows you to make the most of the shorter sections of your hair in an entirely intentional manner. This time around, the blend is taken up very high, occurring around temple height.

This receding hairline hairstyle allows you enough hair on top to play with, elongating your face and helping to slim your cheeks. This High and Tight cut can help to add height to your face and make it appear more angular, should you naturally have a rounder face shape. When the hairline goes low, you go high!

How to achieve a High Fade:

  • Take a clipper to the top, back and sides of the hair
  • Starting one finger width above the ears, run the triple 0 guard around the entirety of the hair and remove the bulk
  • Gradually fade up using different clipper guards to achieve a smooth graduation
  • The point of blend should occur right on or slightly above the temple
Side view of a man with an undercut on receding hairline hairstyle
Undercut on receding hairline | Image: Book of Barbering

9. Edgy Undercut

With forward-facing spiky hair on top and an even shave around the sides, the edgy undercut is a guaranteed head-turner. It’s also yet another perfect haircut for men with receding hairlines as it accentuates the strong points of your hair while downplaying the less dense areas.

By taking a clipper all the way up the side of the head on both sides, you essentially remove the receding sections at the corners and temples, which are generally the problem areas. From here, some significant length on top will not only give you something to play with but also help to demonstrate that you are not completely bald just yet. Similar to the slicked back cut, however, it is recommended that you only opt for this hairstyle if you have a solid hairline in the centre of your forehand.

How to achieve the Undercut:

  • Ask to shave the sides and back relatively high
  • Disconnect the top by having a defined contract between long and short sections (no blend)
  • Remember to taper the sides and back for a cleaner look
Greyscale image of male model with an angled fringe haircut
Angled fringe haircut | Image: Pinterest

10. Angled Fringe

Grow that hairline while you still have it and then style your bangs into an angled fringe. Similar to the textured layering option, an angled fringe allows you to hide your receding sections with choppy bangs and varying lengths. A versatile hairstyle, you can choose to either scissor, feather or clipper cut the sides, provided the top and fringe remain heavily textured and point-cut.

When it comes to styling, drag the fringe in a downward diagonal direction across the front of the hairline, draping the hair across to one side. Importantly, this hairstyle is best suited to those who have one side that is stronger and more dense than the other. This way, you can hide the shorter sections with your more prominent hair lengths. This hairstyle works with thin hair and goes best with a messy or tousled overall aesthetic.

To achieve the Angled Fringe:

  • Trim the back and sides according to your preferred length
  • Leave some extra length on the corners of the forehead, giving you some room to play with
  • Keep the nape natural, rather than squared off
  • Style the hair with texture powder by draping the front section downwards in a diagonal direction
Chris Hemsworth with a widow's peak hairstyle
Chris Hemsworth’s widow’s peak | Image: Getty

11. Widow’s Peak

You’re already sporting v-cut hair, why not run with it as Chris Hemsworth has before you? While this is more of a genetic trait rather than an actual hairstyle, it is something that you can get away with accentuating. Grow out as much hair as you can and then get busy with the sculpting clay, shaping and styling your front hairline. Soon enough, your v-cut hair has become a work of art.

To achieve a Widow’s Peak:

  • First off, you have to be born with the recessive trait
  • Next, style the hair in a front-to-back motion, texturising it with your fingers
  • Accentuate the corners and temples, ensuring that the front of the hairline is always visible
Man with a textured crop hairstyle
Textured Crop | Image: Keller Konturen/Instagram

12. French Crop

Short hair on the top plus a taper fade or undercut plus a long fringe equals the French crop. This unique cut is generally characterised by short hair fixed close to the crown and commonly pointed forward. Due to the hair sitting flat and down, this hairstyle works well if you are receding. It allows you to cover the more sparse section with longer hair lengths, creating the illusion of a more complete hairline.

Best of all, the cut is entirely in your hands. You can opt for equal length all around or juxtapose a longer top with a solid undercut and/or fade. With short men’s hair, the crop cut exudes sharpness. It’s a great look for the modern professional who works as hard as he plays.

How to Achieve a French Crop:

  • Ask for a fade on the back and sides. The starting point should be particularly short, generally under a 1-blade
  • Scissor-cut the top to around a finger length.
  • Ask to have the top point cut for texture.
  • For a more blunt look, you can ask to line up the front, however, this will be dependent on your hairline.
  • Using texture powder, style the hair forward.

Tips for Men with a Receding Hairline

Congratulations! You’re possibly going bald. What? Congratulations aren’t in order, you say? Well, maybe you’re right. We’re just trying to keep things positive. Geesh—way to ruin the vibe!

Honestly, going bald or dealing with a receding hairline isn’t that big a deal. For starters, men with receding hairlines are a dime a dozen, so join the club. And while you’ll probably never look like a 1980s rock star, those guys spend far more time at the hairstylist or in front of a mirror than you would ever want to.

That said, don’t think for a second that your thinning hair or receding hairline means the end of your grooming regimen. On the contrary, you’ll have to make every detail count on a daily basis. Here are some general tips for men with a receding hairline:

  1. Presuming you don’t opt for a clean shave, you should go for a haircut that’s shorter around the sides than it is on top. As a result, the hair on top will look that much thicker and longer.
  2. If you’re going to rock the clean shave, take your facial shape into consideration before you do. Total baldness works with some face shapes more than others.
  3. Along similar lines, you should grow a beard or, at the very least, retain a certain amount of facial hair if you have thin hair or a bald head. We all love Noho Hank, but that doesn’t mean we want to look like him.
  4. Do what you can to reduce the contrast of your receding hairline or take attention away from your bald spot.
  5. Keep your scalp clean, hydrated, and nourished because the last thing you want with short or thin hair is a head full of flakes.
  6. Evaluate potential causes for your receding hairline in an effort to stop it from getting worse. Keep in mind that some potential causes aren’t as obvious as others. Some experts suggest that stress or poor diet, for example, might lead to thinning hair. Perhaps a lifestyle change is in order.
  7. Research treatment products designed to prevent further hair loss and try one on for size. Believe it or not, some actually work.
  8. If you have thinning hair, avoid the comb over at all costs.

Things to Consider For Receding Hairline Haircuts

First and foremost: your receding hairline doesn’t automatically mean you should veer straight toward a clean shave. Sure, it’s an option, but so is a quality fade or parted combover.

  • Style – The style you adopt mostly boils down to the texture, type, and volume of your thinning hair, along with factors like the shape of your face. All we’re really trying to say here is that you shouldn’t freak out the moment you spot that bald spot or bad hairline, with visions of George Costanza popping into your mind…not there’s anything wrong with it.
  • Density – For many men, a receding hairline doesn’t necessarily equate to a lack of hair density. In many cases, the front section of the hair is sparse, while the top and back can be very coarse and thick. Keeping this hair long will only add to the contrast between dense and sparse areas, which could make you look balder than you think. Try to keep things uniform across the top for a more complete and natural look.
  • Receding Edges – If your receding hairline is limited exclusively to the corners of your forehead, a well-executed cut can help hide the sparse sections. A parted style may accentuate the point, but it looks like a deliberate choice rather than one born out of necessity. Try not to sweep longer sections over the corners of your hairline as this merely adds to the contrast and gives that unsightly comb-over look.

With hair loss being a symptom that just about nobody escapes as they age, and in keeping with the topic of receding hairlines, to find out more about hair loss and the various treatments, check out the links below:

Hair Loss

Haircuts and Hairstyles

Receding Hairline Hairstyles FAQs

How do you regrow a receding hairline

Unfortunately, there is no cure for a receding hairline, however, there are tools to help slow the process down. Prescription drugs such as finasteride (Propecia) and minoxidil (Rogaine) have both been approved by the FDA to help slow the rate of a person’s receding hairline.

What causes hairline to recede?

Typically, a receding hairline is caused by genetics and ageing in men that is completely natural and poses no potential health risk. Other causes may include frontal fibrosing alopecia, which can stem from stress and hormonal changes.