I know what you’re thinking: “Isn’t the comb over haircut reserved for old men and Donald Trump?” For some comb over haircuts, that’s true: the hair is combed over a bald spot in order to hide it. This is what you probably think of when you first hear the words “comb over haircut.”

Classic Tapered Comb Over

But today, the phrase “comb over haircut” also means a vintage-looking style where the hair is combed to one side. This creates a style similar to the side part that’s stylish and classic. It’s a flexible look that’s almost nothing like Trump’s iconic coif (which is technically not a comb-over).

The contemporary comb over is a wonderful choice for a stylish hairdo that’s relatively easy to maintain. It takes about 5 minutes to style and doesn’t require too much maintenance otherwise. It’s ideal for straight or wavy hair, fine to thick hair, and suits square and oval face shapes.

paul_barbercode hard part
@paul_barbercode / Instagram

What Is The Comb Over Haircut?

The comb over haircut is a style in which the hair is combed to one side and paired with a hard side part. It’s similar to a classic side part, but its side swept look gives a different appearance. The comb over haircut is often paired with other styles, like an undercut, and styled to the wearer’s liking.

It’s also one of the few styles that gives you volume by its construction. Even though the hair is only a few inches long, it gives the appearance of much more hair.

Zachary Quinto flow combed back hairstyle
Jaguar PS / Shutterstock.com

How To Get The Comb Over Haircut

We recommend having 2-4 inches of hair on top for this cut. Depending on how much volume you want, you can go shorter or longer and adjust the volume accordingly.

The sides can be clipped with any setting you like; the #4 to #6 setting range works best. Alternatively, you could ask for an undercut or a fade to make the comb over haircut a high-contrast cut.

You can also ask your barber or stylist to give you what is known as a hard part. This is a line that’s cut through the hair with a razor to give a dramatically defined part. With a hard part, you can see the part line separating your hair. A natural part would not be as defined. Of course, this is up to your preferences.

Comb Over

How To Style The Comb Over Haircut

You’ll need a high-quality pomade for the comb over haircut. We recommend Suavecito Original Hold and Layrite Original. Apply it to towel-dried, slightly damp hair and work in thoroughly.

Next, comb or brush your hair to one side, away from your part. The pomade will help it stay in place and give it some shine. After you’ve worked it in, your comb over haircut is finished.

If you’d like, you can comb the top upward and backward to create a small pompadour. The resulting style will be a mixture of a comb over, side part, and pompadour. If you choose to go with this variation, you may find it helpful to blow dry the front of your hair into place.

See the gallery below for more examples of this hairstyle:
Liam Payne’s Comb Over Hairstyle
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Liam Payne's Brushed Up Comb Over

This comb over is clean and sleek-looking, thanks to the careful styling. The soft side part adds even more flare to this simple style.

Joe Seer / Shutterstock.com
Comb Over Taper Fade
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Taper Fade with Subtle Beard

A tapered fade keeps your head cool with this thick top hair. Combing up and sideways creates extra volume with no effort.

comb over
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Tapered Comb Over with Side Part

The close-cut line in this part emphasizes an air of manliness in this cut. Subtle facial hair adds to that, with careful combing of the top hair introducing some elegance.

comb over
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Rolling Comb Over

There’s no harsh lines needed to achieve this cut. The combed top and appropriately trimmed sides look good on their own.

boy hairstyle
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Boomerang Side Sweep with Part

A naturally formed side part comes together with long, blow-dried locks for this young and very cool comb over.

Classy comb over hairstyle with a side part
George Clooney’s Slicked Back Side Part
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Elegant Comb Over

There’s nothing more presentable than a man with carefully combed hair, apart from a man with carefully combed hair and a well groomed beard.

s_bukley / Shutterstock.com
comb-over-round-glasses
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Long 'n' Messy Sweep

Neat is elegant, but messy is cool. Is there anything cooler than this and haphazard side sweep with the sunglasses to match?

Bradley Cooper parted comb over
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Bradley Cooper Comb Over

This comb over features Bradley Cooper’s ultra long hair, which is swept down at the back. The soft part adds texture, as with the little curls.

Krista Kennell/Shutterstock.com
Chris Pine classic gentleman comb over side part
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Thick Comb Over

This hairstyle is incredibly thick, and features a very necessary side part. It’s thoroughly combed and looks ready for any Ivy League university.

s_bukley / Shutterstock.com
James Corden brushed up comb over
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Swept Ivy League

Speaking of Ivy League universities, here’s an Ivy League itself. Medium on the sides, medium on the top, a small side part, and a generous helping of hair gel.

JStone / Shutterstock.com
Josh Duhamel widow peak messy side part comb over
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Long Sweep with Widow's Peak

Here’s a particularly long comb over that works excellent with the dark hair color. The Widow’s Peak just adds interest to an already exciting cut.

s_bukley / Shutterstock.com
Comp Over Side Part + Drop fade
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Comb Over Side Part with Drop Fade

This fresh style features a heavily gelled comb over that’s faded away after the side part. It works great with the facial hair!

Comp Over Side Part + Drop fade, by @criztofferson / Instagram
Rob Lowe comb over hairstyle
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Rob Lowe's Slick Comb Over
Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock.com
Undercut and Tidy Side Comb
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Undercut and Tidy Side Comb