The modern pompadour is a stylish variation of a cool classic style. While the men’s pompadour hairstyle is one of the most popular looks in barbershops these days, styling the pompadour can be a challenge for guys who don’t have experience working with pomade or hair wax. But if you’re looking for tips on how to style a modern pompadour, we can help you make your hair into a pomp easily. Our guide will give you the run down on how to comb a pompadour, the best products to use, and introduce you to all the different types of pompadours.

From the pompadour fade and undercut to the messy, textured, hard part, blonde, comb over and slicked back versions, this cool hairstyle for men is versatile enough to suit any guy’s hair. As a trendy look with a touch of traditional sophistication, it’s no surprise that the modern pompadour has shot into the spotlight over the last few years and become a top men’s haircut to get in 2018.

Whether you have short, long, thick, curly, or wavy hair, read on to learn everything you need to know about how to style a pompadour.

Modern Pompadour

What Is The Modern Pompadour?

The pompadour is a classic men’s hairstyle which combines sleek traditionalism with a touch of modern invention. While the modern pompadour has historic origins and the classic pompadour became popular in the 50’s and 60’s, skilled barbers have reworked the look to suit contemporary guys.

The fundamentals of the pompadour are short hair on the sides of the head with longer (3 to 5 inches) hair on top. Some guys like to go for very short, buzzed sides, while others prefer a more gentle scissor or taper haircut to soften the look. For the sides, we recommend a high bald fade for a high-contrast finish, which is why the pompadour fade is the most common version of the style. However, guys can also choose the pompadour undercut, depending on their personal preference.

How To Style A Pompadour

Usually, the hair is longest in the front and progressively gets shorter towards the back of the head. Styling is the most important part of getting a good pompadour, and the hair is swept back from the front of the head to create a sleek “pomp”. Depending on how much product you use and how long your hair is, the pomp can be large and eye-catching or a subtle addition of volume.

Modern Pompadour + Low Fade

Modern vs Classic Pompadour

Although the modern pompadour is much more popular these days, some guys still enjoy styling retro hairstyles. While it can be difficult to notice the subtle difference between the modern and classic pompadour, the new pomp is generally a more relaxed look with short, faded sides while the traditional version requires more structure and defined styling on top with longer hair on the sides.

Modern vs Classic Pompadour

The different ways of cutting a pompadour reflect the more conservative men’s hairstyles of previous generations, and much of the same applies to old school haircuts like the side part and slick back. After all, fades and undercuts are a relatively new hair trend for guys!

Classic Pompadour

How To Style A Pompadour

To learn how to style a pompadour, you’ll need good hair styling products. Hair wax and pomade are the best to use as they both have a strong hold and ensure that the pomp keeps its height throughout the day. This is important because the pompadour is effectively defying gravity to maintain volume and won’t stay in place by itself, so you’ll need a reasonable amount of hair product to wear this hairstyle all day.

How To Do A Pompadour

Here’s a basic guide on how to do a pompadour. Follow these steps to apply hair product and style a modern pompadour.

  1. Begin with damp, towel-dried hair. Feel free to apply pomade, wax or clay through your hair, but it’s not necessary unless your hair is thick and difficult to style.
  2. Blow dry and comb your hair up and back. Focus on creating volume in the front and brushing the sides back.
  3. When your hair is almost dry, use a brush to hold the longer hair in the front up – this will help shape the pompadour. Continue to blow dry in that position to maintain the height and volume until your hair is styled properly.
  4. At this stage, you should have the pompadour style. To refine the look and make sure it stays in, use more hair product. Consider a hair spray if necessary.
  5. Take a small amount of pomade or wax, rub it between your hands to warm up, and then lightly coat your hairstyle. Similarly, you can run the product through your hair gently with your fingers, starting with the sides and saving the front for the end. Use a strong hold pomade on the front to keep the hairstyle in place all day.

For a textured pompadour with a natural look, use a medium to strong hold hair wax; otherwise, the best pomades will provide a shiny finish.

How To Make A Pompadour

How To Comb A Pompadour

Styling a pompadour is one thing, but learning to comb it correctly will make it easier to get. For instance, picking out the right type of comb is an essential for combing the pompadour. If your hair is on the thicker side, use a wide or medium-tooth comb rather than a fine one. You’ll still have the control to smooth your hair, but you won’t struggle to pull the comb through. However, if you have thin hair, use a fine-tooth comb for maximum control.

How To Comb A Pompadour

Adding a little water to the teeth of your comb before you brush the pomade through your hair will help keep the style sleek. Other than that, all you need to do to comb your pompadour is make sure that you’re combing in the right direction. Comb back and up for the front section, but comb the middle and sides of your hair straight back to create contrast with the pomp.

Cool Pompadour Styles

Best Hair Products For The Pompadour

The best hair product for a pompadour depends on how you want your hairstyle to look. Different pompadour hair products will deliver different finished styles, and while all of them look good, which version you want will determine which type of products to apply.

For example, the best pomades from brands like Suavecito, Layrite, Imperial Barber, American Crew and Baxter of California generally offer a strong hold and high-shine finish. Whereas, a top-rated hair wax or clay can provide the same high-hold but with a natural matte texture. A sleek versus textured pompadour is entirely up to you.

Here are the best hair products for styling a pompadour.

Pompadour Fade

The pompadour fade is an edgy modern twist on the classic cut. Rather than just having short sides, the sides are faded down to your neck. The fade haircut requires barbers to blend your hair progressively shorter towards the bottom of your head in a trendy technique that has become very popular in the last few decades.

Pompadour Fade

And with so many different types of taper fades, guys can have total control over how they customize their modern pomp. For instance, you can ask your barber for a high, mid, low, and bald fade to create a unique modern pompadour fade you’ll love.

Modern Pompadour Fade

Like the pompadour undercut, this variation of the style epitomizes the high-contrast modern twist that reflects the super cool “short sides, long top” hairstyle trend. Ultimately, fading the sides brings the pomp right out of the 1950’s and into today’s hottest barbershops.

Short Pompadour

The short pompadour is often worn smooth and sleek, and can be a great choice for guys with really thick hair or hard-to-manage curly or wavy hair. Rather than adding heaps of volume to the front of your hair, the short pompadour only has a few inches of height. To balance, the sides are buzzed very short all over, making this type of pompadour very easy to maintain and style every morning.

Short Pompadour

If you want a stylish short haircut but don’t want to exert too much effort into styling or growing your hair out, then the short pompadour may be the best hairstyle for you.

Short Pompadour + High Taper Fade

Long Pompadour

By contrast, the long pompadour involves medium length to long hair on top, while the sides continue to be faded or undercut. Leaving more length on top give you more possibilities while styling and makes a statement about your sense of style. For instance, on days you get bored with the modern pomp, longer length hair on top affords you the flexibility to style a quiff, slick back, textured brush up, or angular fringe.

Long Pompadour

Furthermore, the most height can be achieved with the long pompadour, as there is more hair to play with and add product to. For those who are keen on greaser hairstyles or want a pompadour like Elvis, leaving your hair longer on top will allow you to achieve a number of different styles.

Long Pompadour Fade

Best Modern Pompadour Hairstyles

The pompadour is a versatile hairstyle that looks great with a variety of hair types. If you have naturally curly or wavy hair, adding volume will bring out that natural texture and allow you to rock a hot look. Since the pompadour simply involves adding volume to the front of the hair, there’s no need to smooth out or straighten your natural curls.

In fact, a curly or wavy pompadour can add a unique element to this modern hairstyle that few others can recreate. Guys with these hair types will simply need a good, strong pomade or wax to style their hair properly.

Check out these pictures of pompadour haircuts for examples of different styles to get in 2018.

Blonde Pompadour

Blonde Pompadour

If you’re considering highlights or platinum blonde hair coloring for men, then this blonde pompadour should demonstrate how cool the style can look even with different hair colors.

Messy Pompadour

Messy Pompadour

While styling the pompadour usually requires a certain neat, structured look, the messy pompadour can offer a laid back version of the hairstyle.

Long Hair Pompadour Fade

Long Hair Pomp

Guys with long hair have a lot of options, and the long pompadour is certainly at the top of the list when it comes to stylish hairstyles to do.

Slicked Back Pompadour

Slicked Back Pompadour

One thing that makes the pompadour super versatile is the fact that guys can combine it with many different styles. In this example, you see slicked back hair paired with a small pomp in the front.

Curly Pompadour

Curly Pompadour

While curly hair can be a challenge to style, using the right hair products offers men the option of getting a curly pompadour.

Wavy Pompadour

Wavy Pompadour

A pompadour with wavy hair can be one way to stand out in a crowd. Plus, the high skin fade and shape up combine for a sexy style.

Hard Part Pompadour

Hard Part Pompadour

A hard part and line up can be an awesome addition to any pompadour fade. You’ll just need to find a barber skilled enough to get you this clean haircut!

Textured Pomp

Textured Pompadour

While some guys love the shiny finished provided by pomade, others prefer the natural style of a good matte hair wax. A textured pompadour leverages the natural feel of your hair and looks great!

Comb Over Pompadour

Comb Over Pompadour

Comb Back Pomp

Comb Back Pomp

Thick Hair Pompadour

Thick Hair Pompadour

Hard Side Part Pompadour + Low Fade

Hard Side Part Pompadour

Pompadour with Wavy Hair + Undercut

Wavy Hair Pomp + Undercut

Shaved Sides + Thick Pompadour Hairstyle + Part

Shaved Sides + Thick Pompadour Hairstyle + Part

Textured Modern Pompadour + High Bald Fade + Part

Textured Modern Pompadour + High Bald Fade + Part

Big Pomp + Undercut Fade + Line Up

Big Pomp + Undercut Fade + Line Up

Taper Fade + Classic Pompadour + Beard

Taper Fade + Classic Pompadour + Beard

Tall Pompadour + Mid Skin Fade

Tall Pompadour + Mid Skin Fade

Messy Textured Pompadour + Undercut Fade

Messy Textured Pompadour + Undercut Fade

Low Fade Pompadour

Low Fade Pompadour