Pompadour is one of the most easily recognizable hairdos out there. We’ve written about it several times, and we’ve decided to give it the Haircut Inspiration treatment. In this post, we’ll talk about the pompadour hairstyle and its many variations.

Slicked Back Pompadour with Glasses
@barberdeano/ Instagram

What Is The Pompadour Hairstyle?

In a word: Elvis. The King of Rock and Roll sported a high-volume pompadour as part of his iconic style. But rock and roll didn’t give rise to the ‘do: truck driving did. In his youth, Elvis was training to be a truck driver, and the pompadour hairstyle was the cut of choice for truck drivers nationwide.

Today, there are many variations. You can have it short or long, disconnected, paired with an undercut, and more. There’s also tons of products available to help you style it, and we’ve included our favorites for you.

Guys with round faces might want to pass on this one, as it tends to round the face out. However, it’s great for most other face shapes as well as nearly all hair types.

Pomp Hardpart

How To Get The Pompadour Hairstyle

As with most hairstyles, we recommend taking pictures to your stylist when you go to get this hairstyle. Surprisingly, the energetic pompadour is mostly style. The cut itself is rather simple: short sides, long on top.

The sides can be buzzed with any razor length. Shorter guard settings (#2) will go well with shorter hair, and longer guard settings (#5) will go well with longer pompadours. This is all up to your preference. Finally, ask your barber or stylist to taper your cut so the hair fades into the skin of your neck.

Zachary Quinto slicked back undercut with hard part
Twocoms / Shutterstock.com

Products For The Pompadour Hairstyle

To get this truly standing-out hairstyle, you’ve got to use the best product out there. It relies almost exclusively on pomade, and the pomade has to have a firm hold. Pomades can also give your hair a glossy shine, but hold is the most important factor.

Suavecito Firme or Layrite Super Hold are two of the best high-hold pomades. They’re both water-based, so they wash out more easily and don’t make your hair feel greasy. If your hair is lighter, the regular versions of these pomades (Suavecito Original Hold and Layrite Original) should provide more than enough hold. However, if you have really tough, thick, or coarse hair, go for the stronger hold pomades.

Pompadour 4
@jubei_ma / Instagram

How To Style The Pompadour Hairstyle

It’s best to style it right after you’ve gotten out of the shower, since damp hair is necessary. Styling is a three step process. You apply the pomade first, make the part, and then create the pompadour itself. It is quite tricky to style it correctly, so it may take a few times before you get what you’re satisfied with, but don’t give up!

Step 1:

The first step is to coat your hair in pomade. You can do this in a couple of different ways. The easiest approach is to take a few generous scoops of pomade and work it into your hair. Alternatively, you can lift your hair up with a comb and apply the pomade to your lifted hair, working it in and backward.

Either way, to finish the pomade application, take a comb and comb backward, all the way down to your neck. This helps to even out the pomade and gives you a nice coating all over.

Pompadour Boy

Step 2:

If you desire, you can part your hair. This is an optional step, so if you don’t want a part with your pompadour, go on to step 3.

To part your hair, simply pick a parting line (above the left eyebrow is good) and comb the hair in opposite directions there. All of the hair to your left should be combed to your left, and all of the hair to your right should be combed to the right. Both sides should be combed in an outward direction.

Pompadour with Tapered Fade
@blackfishbry / Instagram

Step 3:

Now you’re ready to make the pompadour. There are a few different ways of creating it, but we’ve outlined a fairly basic process that’s easy to pick up.

For the following instructions, you’ll only be concerned with the hair to your right, which is the larger section of your hair that’s parted. Use the comb to lift up the hair. With a rolling motion, comb the hair backward. This should give the curved pomapadour. You can use your fingers (and perhaps a little extra pomade) to lift the hair up and back to further style it. Looking at pictures while you’re styling could be beneficial.

Stylish Pompadour
Credits: Braid Barbers

Continue styling in this way until you have a good pompadour going. Depending on how long your hair is, you can go for a short or long one. If you want it shorter, style it more backward than upward. If you want it longer, use the comb to draw the hair more upward than backward.

Alternatively, you can comb your hair upward and then push it down and forward. This might be a better option if you’re going for a shorter hairdo.
If you want more volume to your hair, you can blow dry it in the direction of the pompadour for a taller style.

Scroll below for more examples:
Classy Brushed Up Pompadour

The modern pompadour is a mix of old and new. The sides get an undercut while the top is styled in a wavy way. Like the disconnected pompadour, its modern version is a high contrast style that defines both the sides and top.

Thin Hair with Low Fade

Who says guys with thinner hair can’t have lots of volumes? This pompadour style strategically uses hair products to give the hair extra lift.

Puff with Undercut
Puff with Undercut

For a looser, more relaxed pompadour, try this one. The pompadour is finger combed, which results in the visible waves at the front of the head.

Combed Pattern Burst Fade Hairstyle

Here’s a smart look that’s great for school or the office. The medium length pompadour is combed just right, and the burst fade complements everything wonderfully.

Vivid Taper Fade with Hand Brushed Top

Finger combing (or hand brushing) is a surprisingly versatile hairstyling technique. A little bit of finger combing goes a long way, as shown by this elegant, contoured style.

Skin Fade Pompadour with Beard
Classic Skin Fade

We think the humble skin fade doesn’t get enough credit. It does a lot more of the heavy lifting than you might think! Here, it anchors the tall pompadour and provides balance.

Breezy Pompadour with Line Up
Skin Faded Neckline

After a picture-perfect pomp? This style is tidy yet textured, striking a happy medium that not many hairstyles can achieve.

High Volume Pomp with Hard Line Design
High Volume Pomp with Hard Line Design

If you want to (literally) turn up the volume, this skyscraper pompadour is for you. Even though it’s one of the most voluminous styles on this list, it’s still nicely proportioned thanks to the skin fade and shaved line.

Almost Mid Part Brushed Back
Almost Mid Part Brushed Back

Pompadours and parts have traditionally gone together, but typically, you’ll see side parts used with pomps. This style takes the part nearer the middle of the head for a striking look.

Pompadour with Tapered Drop Fade
Drop Fade with Tapered Sides

Simple and flexible, this pompadour draws a lot of its style from the sudden drop fade on the sides. It’s a nice twist that shakes up an otherwise classic haircut.

Brushed Back Layers
Brushed Back Layers

This large pompadour shows how much finger combing can do. Waves radiate in a semicircle from the top of the head down to the side, resulting in satisfying shape.

Touseled Top with Tapered Sides
Tousled Top with Tapered Sides

The classic pompadour is neat and slick, but that doesn’t mean all pompadours have to fit that description. This contemporary take has the hair messy and uses a matte finish for a less shiny appearance.

Thin Grey Hair
Thin Grey Hair

Grey hair can look especially suave when styled into a pompadour. This look shows how some deliberate styling can bring loads of character out of grey hair.

Bloated Top with Stranded Pompadour

If none of these styles has to whet your appetite for volume, perhaps this one will do the trick! A fluffy, “bloated” pomp is the centre of attention here (and of course, it’s got plenty of volume).

disconnected low fade pompadour
Disconnected Low Fade Pompadour

Matte finish pompadours are quite trendy, and this hairstyle is a fantastic example that shows just why they’re so in vogue. In particular, the disconnected fade does a wonderful job of enhancing the cut.

Taper Fade with highlighted Layers
Taper Fade with highlighted Layers

The layered pompadour is a great choice for guys who want to try something different and get an eye-catching look. Again, the trademark finger combed look is critical here.

Loosely styled pompadour with a medium skin blend for a vintage look
Loosely styled pompadour

This pompadour shows that you’re classy but still easygoing. Instead of being styled into a tight and tidy formation, the hair forms a looser, more relaxed pompadour.

Modern Pompadour Style
Classic Pomp Slight Fade

Here’s a narrower pomp that brings the hair to an apex in the middle. A slight fade keeps the hair longer on the sides for a fuller look.

Disconnected Finger Comped Pomp + Slicked Back
Disconnected Finger Comped Pomp

This pompadour takes many of the techniques we’ve already discussed (finger combing, a skin fade, and a disconnect) and gracefully blends them into one look.

Disconnected Finger Comped Pomp + Slicked Back, by @javi_thebarber_ / Instagram
Undercut with Short Pompadour
Undercut with Short Pompadour

The undercut is still as popular as ever, and it can be combined with the pompadour for some amazing results. This style takes the classic undercut approach on the sides while keeping the pompadour the star of the show.

Undercut with Short Pompadour, by @javi_thebarber_ / Instagram
Designer Shaved Temple
Designer Shaved Temple

Pompadours can be modified in many different ways. You might try a shaved design like the zigzag line shown here.

Classic Pompadour
Classic Pomp Taper Fade

This is a very classic slicked back pompadour with a fairly traditional taper fade on the sides. If you’re after an extra retro look, this is a style to consider.

Disconnected Short Pomp with Glasses and Beard
Disconnected Short Pomp

Short and brushed back, this pomp is elegantly unified into one whole by the disconnected fade. If you’re not sure whether the pompadour look is for you, this is a good way to ease into the world of pomps.

Disconnected Short Pomp with Glasses and Beard, by @javi_thebarber_ / Instagram
Line up with Pompadour
Line up with Pompadour

Line ups are known for adding definition to any hairstyle, and they work well with pompadours, too. The angular line up offers an interesting counterpoint to the rounded, wavy pomp.

Line up with Pompadour, by @anton_marchenko_ / Instagram
Pompadour + High Skin Drop Fade
Pompadour + High Skin Drop Fade

This clean matte finish pompadour is one of the neatest styles on this list. The drop fade accentuates the pompadour and also ensures that no hair is sticking out of place.

Pompadour + High Skin Drop Fade, by @javi_thebarber_ / Instagram
Undercut Taper Fade
Undercut Taper Fade
Disconnected Pompadour + Hair Design
Disconnected Pompadour + Hair Design
Disconnected Pompadour + Hair Design, by @javi_thebarber_ / Instagram
Line up + Disconnected Fade + Pompadour
Line up + Disconnected Fade + Pompadour
Line up + Disconnected Fade + Pompadour, by @javi_thebarber_ / Instagram
Low Key Hard Part with Side Brushed Fade
Disconnected Skin Fade Pompadour
Disconnected Skin Fade Pompadour
Disconnected Skin Fade Pompadour, by @javi_thebarber_ / Instagram
Disconnected Blonde and Loose Pompadour
Disconnected Blonde and Loose Pompadour
Disconnected Blonde and Loose Pompadour, by @javi_thebarber_ / Instagram
Short Disconnected Pompadour
Short Disconnected Pompadour
High and Tight Drop Skin Fade + Hair Design, by @javi_thebarber_ / Instagram
Classic Pompadour
Classic Pompadour
Burr cut with a Disconnected Fade, by @twobitsbarber / Instagram
Skin Fade Pompadour + Hair Design
Skin Fade Pompadour + Hair Design
Skin Fade Pompadour + Hair Design, by @javi_thebarber_ / Instagram
Side Parted Pompadour
Side Parted Pompadour
Side Parted Pompadour, by @menshairstyles / Instagram
Undercut with High Volume Brush Up
High Volume Top with Dry Texture
Open Ended Pompadour with Temple Cut
Classic Combed Lines
Side Combed Sleek Hairstyle
Side Combed Sleek Hairstyle
Disconnected Pompadour with Hair Design
Disconnected Pompadour with Hair Design
Skin Fade Pompadour
Skin Fade Pompadour
Skin Fade Pompadour, by @mattjbarbers / Instagram
Tapered Pompadour
Tapered Pompadour
Tapered Pompadour, by @gallokutz / Instagram
Low Fade Pompadour
Low Fade Pompadour
Mini Pompadour
Mini Pompadour
Mid Pompadour Taper
Mid Pompadour Taper
Mid Skin Fade Pompadour
Medium Skin Fade Pompadour
Mid Skin Fade + Short Pompadour
Short Pompadour + Mid Skin Fade
Mid Skin Fade + Short Pompadour, by @mattjbarbers / Instagram
Disconnected Pompadour
Disconnected Pompadour

This take on the pompadour hairstyle features a dramatic part in the hair to differentiate the long and short hair. This is similar to the disconnected undercut.

Side Part Pompadour
Side part short pompadour with middle skin fade undercut
Pomp + Hart Part
Classic Pompadour with Zero Sides
Classic Pompadour with Zero Sides
Skin Fade Pompadour
Skin fade pompadour
Blonde Pompadour
Blonde Pompadour
Pompadour Fade
Wide Pomp
Men’s Hairstyles – Skin fade with pompadour 2
Skin Fade and Pomp
Pomp and Hard Part Skin Fade
Pomp and Hard Part Skin Fade
Classic Pomp and Fade
Classic Pomp and Fade
Razor Part Loosely Styled Pompadour
Razor Part Loosely Styled Pompadour
Pompadour with Hard Side Part
Classy Pompadour with Handle Mustache
Classy Pompadour with Handle Mustache