The 3 Best Men’s Cuts in the History of Guys
For 20 years, the folks at American Crew have pretty much owned men’s hair grooming. They’ve dominated men’s education, they’ve ruled men’s trends, they’ve pioneered the products needed to make it all happen. This year, in honor of 20 years of Crew male mastery, they’ve sifted through two decades worth of iconic haircuts, put the finalists to a vote and come up with three looks that have stood the test of time. These cuts are as perfect and on-trend today as they were in 1998, 2007 and 2012, and we would bet our last taper blade that in another 20 years, guy will still be asking for these cuts every single day! Here are the winning Crew Classics:
1998’s Businessman’s Pompadour
A little bit business, a little bit rock and roll.
1. Create a medium, horseshoe parting.
2. In Zone 1 (nape section) and Zone 2 (center back) cut vertical, flat, square sections, working from the center to each side.
3. In Zone 3 (side panels), connect the side with the back using flat, horizontal sections.
4. In Zone 4 (crown to temple on each side, following the original horseshoe section) cut flat, square, side-to-side sections, overdirecting slightly to each previously cut section. If there is too much top length, reduce the overdirection.
Apply a dime-sized amount of American Crew Pomade to towel-dried hair. Place the pomade evenly throughout the entire head from roots to ends. Comb the hair into place with the wide teeth of the comb. Place the part and direct the hair away from the part above and below it. Use the wide teeth to elevate the hair at the top of the head. Pull the hair back with the brush then push to create a bend that targets back. Use the heat of the dryer with a concentrator and the fine teeth of the comb to elevate at the very front and fold back and to the side.
2007’s Long Layers
1. Create a low, horseshoe-shaped parting.
2. In Zone 1 (nape section) and Zone 2 (center back), elevate vertical sections and razor-cut using a sliding motion and creating a shallow, saw tooth texture on the ends. Work from the center back to the hairline on each side.
3. In Zone 3 (center panel), razor subsections using a simple angle and overdirecting each subsequent section to maintain length. Take wide sections and texturize the ends moderately to reduce bulk.
4. In Zone 4 (crown to temple on each side, following the original horseshoe section), elevate subsections straight up to connect the top with the sides, using a razor slide-cutting technique.
5. Detail the cut at low taper, using a razor-over-comb or freehand technique.
Apply American Crew Medium Hold Spray Gel to damp or mostly dry hair. Elevate the hair so the product lays into the hair from underneath as well as on the surface. Comb the hair into the preliminary style with your fingers. Begin drying the hair with a blow dryer and your fingers. Lift the hair away from the scalp and direct it into the desired direction as it dries. When the hair is almost dry, brush the hair back with a Mason Pearson Brush and apply heat with the concentrator. Brush tightly against the head and direct the hair back on the sides. Wrap dry the bottom half and brush down. Place heat directly at the scalp to get the hair to bend back quickly. Pull the hair off of the face with the Mason Pearson Brush at the front, then push the hair to direct the top back. When dry, brush through the hair, using the fingers to finish and separate. Brush the hair back, then push to create a bend that targets back. Use American Crew Molding Clay for lightweight separation and surface shine, or Liquid Wax for medium hold and shine.
2012’s Playful Faux Hawk
The boyish bump.
1. Create a medium horseshoe parting.
2. In Zone 1 (nape section) and Zone 2 (center back), create the desired length in vertical panels using a clipper-over-comb square technique with no- to low- scalp exposure.
3. In Zone 3 (center panel), switch to shears and cut vertical, low facet sections. Start behind the ears, overdirect to the previous section. Hold sections straight out around the crown in order to maintain weight with a lean shape.
4. In Zone 4 (crown to temple on each side, following the original horseshoe section), use a slide cut technique with a razor, and connect the lengths. Lift hair straight up from the back of the crown to just behind the ear; begin overdirecting as work progresses from behind the ear to the front hairline.
5. Elevate the top and detail with razor slide cutting for lift. Continue slide-cutting the front lengths to remove length and for lift and separation.
Mist American Crew Medium Hold Spray Gel onto damp hair, saturating thoroughly and working the product in with your hands. Concentrate more product on top to support weight. Brush the hair into place with a Denman-style brush. Wrap dry the bottom half and brush down when complete to a directionless finish. Separate the hair in Zone 3 on one side and move the hair away from the part. Elevate the hair over the part by pulling the hair up, then push the hair so the hair bends over to the side at the center hair. Elevate the hair off of the scalp at the top and on the opposite side. Use the dryer with a concentrator and direct the air to the front. Hold the front in the brush and pull the hair up with tension, then pull the hair with your fingers. Apply heat at the root. Keep working the front hairline up without the dryer until cooled. Finish with American Crew Defining Paste–apply with your palms through the bottom half of the head and work into the top for moderate separation.