Like the high top fade, the flat top haircut rose to prominence in the 1950s like so many other popular men’s hairstyles. Although flat top hair is a retro look you wouldn’t expect to commonly see on the streets today, that doesn’t mean it’s not a stylish choice. The structure and silhouette of the men’s flat top hairstyle is unique, and some aspects are similar to other cool cuts that include a taper fade. If you’re curious about a flat top fade, this guide will detail how to get, cut and style the best flat top haircut whether you have straight or curly hair.
What Is The Flat Top Haircut?
The flat top haircut gets its name because of the flat hair across the top. Simply put, the sides are usually a high skin fade, and the top resembles a box or rectangle, depending on how high the hair on top goes. This design is why the flat top is also sometimes called a high top or box fade.
Although the haircut is more common for straight hair, the curly flat top haircut is a possibility if you have the right cut and styling products. This is why we highly recommend you get your flat top cut at a reputable barbershop where your barber really knows what he’s doing.
How To Cut The Flat Top Haircut
Most barbershops, especially ones with older barbers, will know exactly what the flat top is and how to cut it. The popularity of this old-school hairstyle makes it an easy request, yet the trickiest part of cutting the flat top is getting the top of the hair even and straight. For those with curly or wavy hair, this part of the cut will be even more difficult.
To get a flat top haircut, the sides of the hair will be cut first, usually with clippers on a setting between #1 and #4. We recommend a high or low bald fade for a fresh, modern cut. Plus, your short, shaved hair on the sides will create a contrast with the longer hair on the top, allowing you to really show off your high top.
The barber will then comb all of your hair up, and use clippers to trim the top into the flat style. It is incredibly important that the top of the hair is as flat as possible, so your barber will probably double check your head and make any adjustments after they finish. Because the flat top fade relies so heavily on uniformity throughout the hairstyle, maintenance cuts may be required at least once a month to keep the design looking sharp and neat.
How To Style The Flat Top
To maintain the flat top hairstyle at home, guys will need high-quality hair products, such as pomade or hair wax. For black hair, you may need to consider hair oil or grease as black men’s hair have unique needs. A curly flat top may be even more difficult to style, so be sure to have a strong-hold product and a hairdryer. To style a flat top, follow these directions.
- Start with damp, towel-dried hair.
- Work in a small amount of product while pushing your hair up.
- Then comb or brush your hair up and back, using a hairdryer if necessary to increase hold.
- For curly hair, use some high-hold styling product to keep the style sleek and neat.
The Best Flat Top Haircuts
Flat top haircuts offer a great look with a cool design. Because there are so many different high top hairstyles, we compiled a gallery of trendy long and short flat top styles for inspiration. Check out these very cool flat top fades before your next visit to the barbershop!
If you like the flat top, check out our other haircuts for black men!