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.”

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.

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:
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Liam Payne’s Comb Over Hairstyle
Joe Seer / Shutterstock.com

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.

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Comb Over Taper Fade
@jeezybok

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.

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comb over
@blackfishbry

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.

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comb over
@jeremywexlerhair

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.

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boy hairstyle
Classy comb over hairstyle with a side part

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.

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George Clooney’s Slicked Back Side Part
s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

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.

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comb-over-round-glasses

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?

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Bradley Cooper parted comb over
Krista Kennell/Shutterstock.com

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.

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Chris Pine classic gentleman comb over side part
s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

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.

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James Corden brushed up comb over
JStone / Shutterstock.com

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.

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Josh Duhamel widow peak messy side part comb over
s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

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.

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Comp Over Side Part + Drop fade
Comp Over Side Part + Drop fade, by @criztofferson

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!

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Rob Lowe comb over hairstyle
Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock.com

Rob Lowe's Slick Comb Over

Rob Lowe’s agelessness is on full display here. With the dyed blond comb-over plus the dark facial scruff, Lowe shows why he is a lady killer.

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Undercut and Tidy Side Comb
@iliketocuthair

Undercut and Tidy Side Comb

There is a fine line between hipster and gangster. Here, this gentleman has a nice comb-over that accentuates his fade and skull tattoo.

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Curly and Puffed Comb Over
@squirebarbershop

Curly and Puffed Comb Over

Even though redheads are on the verge of extinction, this model is very now. Waxed, puffed, and combed over is the name of the game here along with a thick beard and slight fade.

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Rusty Dyed Classic Side Brushed Comb Over
@andrea_lynne_hair

Rusty Dyed Classic Side Brushed Comb Over

This classic look could be 1920 or 2020. The rusty dye and comb-over give it an old fashioned look, while the trimmed facial hair screams 2000s.

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Undercut Long Haired Combover
@andrewdoeshair

Undercut Long Haired Combover

The unruliness of this cut gets all the attention when he walks into any room. Part skater, part punk, and all the way chic.

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Layered Comb Over with Drop Fade
@hair_bello

Layered Comb Over with Drop Fade

The layered claw-like look is starting to appear more and more for 2020. With a comb-over and a drop fade, as well as a very thin beard, this haircut turns heads.

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Puffy Comb Over
@figarosbarbershoplisboa

Puffy Comb Over

If Archie from the comic books were to be drawn today instead of 1939, he’d look like this. The slicked back puffy comb-over really brings attention to his captivating eyes.

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Wavy Comb Over
@thatrealbarber

Wavy Comb Over

It’s been nearly five decades since the wavy look made its way to the big screen with John Travolta in Grease. Now, the look is back and the wavy comb-over has us pining for the days of way back.

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Comb Over + Slicked Back Combo
@ javi_thebarber_

Comb Over + Slicked Back Combo

Is it slicked back? Is it combed over? No one really knows, which is the beauty in the combo that is 100 percent suave.

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Ty Simpkins’ Comb Over
Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock.com

Ty Simpkins' Comb Over

Ty Simpkins has been acting since he was three weeks old. He’s 18 now, but his comb-over is definitely a reason for his boyish good looks and why he keeps getting cast in so many blockbusters.

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Line-Up and Hard Part
@nomadbarberldn

Line-Up and Hard Part

For many people that are just getting out of the army, they can’t wait to get a ‘real’ haircut. Even a few extra millimeters of hair with a hard part and a line up feel really good when you’ve been forced to have the same haircut for a long time.

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Modern Taper Faded Comb Over
@tailorfade

Modern Taper Faded Comb Over

Freddy Mercury would be proud of the mustache in this look. The comb overlooks extremely now with the taper and the skin fade.

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Neat Comb Over and Tapered Sides
@hosseinsarv

Neat Comb Over and Tapered Sides

Comb overs are ageless and this look could be now, 20 years ago, or 100 years ago. The tapered sides on this neat comb-over really hark back to a simpler time.

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Puffed Comb Over with Tapered Sides
@giuse_laguardia

Puffed Comb Over with Tapered Sides

Have you ever gone to the barbershop and thought you had a really fresh cut and then you looked over and saw someone who just had it better than you? That’s this guy. His puffed-up comb-over, tapered sides, and stylish sunglasses really make him stand out from the rest of the average.

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Modern Pushed Back Comb Over with Skin Fade
@ javi_thebarber_

Modern Pushed Back Comb Over with Skin Fade

This pushed back cut takes some patience to style, but when it is combined with the skin fade, it really works.

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Classic Rusty Mid Volumed Comb Over
@loxam_barber

Classic Rusty Mid Volumed Comb Over

The comb-over has been around since combs were invented. This classic rusty mid volumed comb-over looks like it has a place in all decades.

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Gentleman’s Flattened Comb Over
@jason_dutch

Gentleman's Flattened Comb Over

The comb-over has been around since combs were invented. This classic rusty mid volumed comb-over looks like it has a place in all decades.

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Did You Say Puffed Front Comb Over?
@ georgi_petkov_salon

Did You Say Puffed Front Comb Over?

For the reboot of the Pee-Wee Herman Show, the main actor will be puffing the front of his comb-over up so that it looks more modern. This guy could be his stunt double in the show.

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The Most Perfect Comb Over with Hard Part
@abbas_ahmadifard

The Most Perfect Comb Over with Hard Part

Sent from the year 2040, this barber has done everything right. His comb-over with the hard part is expertly cut and his skin fade and facial hair meet perfectly on the side of the jaw.