Flat Top Curls
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The Flat Top Haircut: A Classic Fifties ‘Do

The old school sass

written by The Editors

The flat top haircut is one of the few haircuts that is instantly recognizable. It gained popularity in the fifties and sixties, especially among football players and the staple athletic boy.

Today, the flat top haircut often preferred by older men, and its shape complements a head of gray hair. It’s also a good choice for younger boys who are active or desire a more military-style cut.

It’s a staple in many barbershops, especially in shops where older barbers work, so often it’s a simple matter of walking down to your local barbershop and asking for a flat top haircut. (We’ll give you all of the details just in case.)

The flat top haircut lives up to its name, giving the wearer a head of hair that is flat across the top. As a result, this gives a square look to the head and face. If you have a square face shape, a flat top haircut will reinforce the square frame of your face. Because of this, the flat top works best with a square face shape. If you have a triangular/diamond or round face shape, consider getting another, similar style.

The flat top haircut is also best for straight hair. If your hair is naturally wavy or curly, you might have a difficult time with this style. However, with the right cut and use of products, it is possible to get a flat top with wavy or curly hair.

How To Get

Due to the flat top’s immense popularity, many barbershops (and even salons) are familiar with it. Your local barbershop may even advertise flat tops as one of their standby hairstyles. However, if you encounter a barber or stylist who has no idea what a flat top is, here’s what to tell them.

The key to this haircut is (as you might guess) flatness. The hair should be clipped on the sides and back using a relatively short guard setting (from #2 to #4 or so). When clipping the hair, the barber should clip in a straight line all the way up the head to create the flatness necessary for this cut.

Next, your stylist should stand all of your hair up (about 1-3 inches of hair is good for this cut). They should then use the clipper over comb technique to create a flat head of hair that’s even all over. Your hair should get shorter as it goes backward toward the crown.

Finally, your stylist should touch up any areas that need some final cuts. And as always, bringing in a picture is immensely helpful; it’s truly worth a thousand words, and to stylists, it’s worth even more.

Because the flat top haircut is so meticulously cut, you’ll want to visit your barber or stylist every 2 to 4 weeks to touch it up, depending on how fast your hair grows.

How To Style

To maintain the flat top’s style, you’ll need some good quality hair wax or gel. Work the product into your damp hair. Then, comb or brush the hair upward and backward. If your hair is particularly stubborn, try blow drying it, using a higher hold wax or gel, or a combination of these two techniques.