The Comb Over Is Cool Now—and These 10 Haircuts Show It


Close up of soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo with a comb over haircut.

The comb over has gotten a nasty rap through the years, thought-about by many as a trick to cover a thinning scalp or a attribute foible of a sure former U.S. president. However lately, fuelled by a ’60s-inspired revival in traditional males’s model (à la Mad Males), in addition to celebs like Justin Timberlake and Cristiano Ronaldo sporting daring elements, the comb over—together with its trendy cousin the comb over taper—has reclaimed a prime spot in stylish males’s hairstyles.

To raised perceive the comb over, neglect what you suppose a comb over is and give attention to what we’re about to point out you. The comb over taper has been reinvented right into a modern, trendy males’s coiffure that flatters a wide range of appears to be like. And one of the best half? There are a number of distinct variations that will let you tailor it to your individual model and choice.

We sat down with two consultants in all issues hair—barber Hung Q. Nguyen and movie star hairstylist Kristan Serafino—to unpack the varied variations of the comb over taper and to seek out out how one can get the have a look at house.


What Precisely Is a Comb Over? 

The comb over, additionally known as a facet half, is a haircut the place the again and sides are reduce quick and the hair on prime is longer and parted to at least one facet. The place it will get fascinating is the location of the fade on the perimeters, which, Nguyen explains, is determined by each the shopper’s choice in addition to what greatest enhances their head form. The identical goes for the half: Whether or not you half from the left or the best comes right down to your hair progress sample.

“The comb over is a timeless haircut that has not and won’t exit of favor,” Nguyen says. “There are lots of variations that can both make it edgier (match for an evening out in town), or extra conservative match for a day on the workplace.” He additionally factors out that the comb over fade is a sensible choice for guys who could also be self-conscious about their hairline, because the recession truly lends itself to the pure move of the haircut.

Try our prime 10 comb over haircuts.

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Traditional Comb Over

“That is the place it began,” Nguyen says. The again and sides are reduce to a conservative size with out exhibiting any scalp for a glance that’s clear {and professional}. And since it doesn’t expose the scalp on the again or sides, it grows out properly, that means you in all probability gained’t must get your hair reduce extra usually than each 4 or 5 weeks.

What to ask your barber for: “Ask for an all-scissor reduce to protect the size on the again and sides,” Nguyen says. “It’s also possible to ask for a clipper reduce with the fade beginning with a #3 guard (10 mm) and let the barber know if you happen to desire to comb your hair from proper to left or left to proper.” He additionally recommends that each you and your barber take time to evaluate your pure progress sample to find out the best placement on your half and hair progress sample.

get the look:

  1. Begin by discovering your half on clear, moist hair. Use a comb and comb the hair on the highest ahead, in search of a disconnection from the highest and sides the place the barber established your half. Find the disconnection and break up the longer hair from the shorter hair.
  2. Comb the hair into place based mostly on the way you need the ultimate outcome to look.
  3. Use a blow dryer to shortly dry and set the hair in place.
  4. Lastly, run a matte-finish styling paste by your hair to assist set the look.
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Comb Over With Excessive Fade

The excessive fade is sometimes called a “excessive and tight,” and resembles a military-style reduce on the again and sides. Lately, the excessive fade is extra versatile, the place the highest may be left longer for a extra modern look. Nguyen mentions that generally the size on the facet the place the half sits is so quick that you simply don’t even must fuss with discovering an element. It’s an excellent model for guys with thick, coarse hair in addition to guys coping with thinning hair on prime. In case you’re of the latter, Nguyen recommends protecting the again and sides tight, which can assist the highest to look fuller by directing the main focus away from the again and sides.

What to ask your barber: Merely ask for a excessive and tight fade with a comb over, Nguyen explains. You should definitely point out your most popular size for the hair on prime in addition to the fade. “I like to recommend speaking about how a lot of the pores and skin you wish to be uncovered quite than utilizing guard numbers,” he says.

get the look:

  1. Begin with barely damp hair and add a little bit of styling cream, corresponding to Fellow’s Styling Cream ($25), as a base. “Positively don’t skip the styling cream as a result of it’s going to lock in moisture and tame these dreaded flyaways,” says Nguyen.
  2. Blow-dry on medium warmth and excessive velocity, pointing the dryer within the course you’d just like the hair to go as soon as styled.
  3. In case you wish to have a bit extra quantity on the highest, take a couple of sections and mist a texturizing spray to the bottom of the hair.
  4. To complete, apply a texturizing paste for a matte end, or a high-hold pomade for a shiny end.
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Comb Over With Medium Fade

The commonest variation of the comb over, the medium or mid fade contains a easy transition that doesn’t have as a lot distinction as a excessive fade. No shock then that it’s the go-to model for many purchasers looking for a comb over model, in keeping with Nguyen. Serafino additionally factors out how properly a beard tapers into the haircut— quite than stopping with a tough line—which provides to the general high quality of the look.

What to ask your barber: Simply go for a mid fade with a comb over, however make sure you clarify the place you wish to half your hair and talk about the size choices for the hair on prime.

get the look:

  1. Start with barely damp hair and work by a dime-sized quantity of styling cream.
  2. Once more, blow dry on medium warmth and excessive velocity.
  3. Spring for a texture spray like Briogeo’s Ginseng + Biotin Volumizing Spray ($24) if you’d like extra quantity on prime.
  4. To set the look, end off together with your selection of styling merchandise: a clay or paste for a matte end or a pomade for a high-shine look.
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Comb Over With Low Fade

The low fade model of the comb over locations the fade transition decrease on the perimeters and helps to construct weight because it blends up in the direction of the parietal ridge. As a result of fade placement, there’s often a bit extra size on the perimeters, which lets you comb the hair down when styling. Serafino factors out that the barber who created this model opted for a softer half, quite than a tough line, as a result of this shopper has finer hair on the highest. This helps the entire look meld collectively properly.

What to ask your barber: Inform your barber you desire a comb over with a low fade and added size on the perimeters so that you simply’ll be capable to comb it down whereas styling. Nguyen additionally says that because the sides are longer for this model, be conscious of your pure hair progress sample in these areas, since your hair will lay down higher when it’s combed within the course by which it naturally grows.

get the look:

  1. Begin with barely damp hair and work by a dime-sized quantity of styling cream.
  2. Blow dry on medium warmth/excessive velocity, aiming the air within the course you need you hair to fall.
  3. Once more, go for texture spray across the base of the hair if you’d like extra quantity on prime.
  4. To excellent the look, end off together with your selection of styling merchandise: a clay or paste for a matte end or a pomade for a high-shine look.
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Comb Over With Pure Hair

Serafino factors out that that is extra of a exhausting half, quite than a comb over, since there was no manipulation of the pure hair. “Placing an element into the pure texture provides it a brilliant trendy feel and appear,” she says.

What to ask your barber: The best by far, simply ask your barber for the reduce you’d often get and request for an element to be reduce in.

get the look:

  1. Begin by prepping the hair, massaging a pump or two of hair oil, like Jim + Henry 5 Hair Oil ($22), into the hair and scalp, adopted by a frizz management lotion to hydrate and moisturize curls.
  2. Nguyen recommends then utilizing a texture comb just like the Twist It Up ($25) to present the curls a textured look, or going for a choose comb to select the hair and utilizing a handkerchief to form hair into the form you’re going for.
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Comb Over Taper Fade

Nguyen says the comb over taper fade is the place solely the nape of the neck and the temporal areas are light. “This model blends the traditional comb over with modern-day fading strategies—by tapering out the sideburns and neck, it provides the traditional model a contemporary twist.” Serafino provides that the comb over taper fade is very nice for guys with shorter foreheads, as pushing the hair on the highest again and to the facet helps open up the brow and face, and even barely elongates the face.

What to ask your barber: Nguyen says you may ask for the traditional comb over with a pure taper across the neckline and sideburns.

get the look:

  1. Beginning with damp hair, work by a dime-sized quantity of styling cream as a base to assist hydrate hair and cease flyaways.
  2. Use a blow dryer on medium warmth and excessive velocity, directing the move of air within the course you need your hair to go.
  3. In case your hair is longer on prime and also you need extra quantity, Nguyen says to spray a texturizing spray onto the bottom of the hair as you blow-dry.
  4. End off your comb over taper with a clay or paste if you’d like a clear, matte-finish look, or go for a strong-hold pomade for a extra traditional, shiny end.
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Comb Over With Lengthy Hair

This variation is reduce like an undercut however styled like a comb over. “The size on prime is extra exaggerated—often there’s a disconnection on each side of the pinnacle, however the shopper will use a kind of disconnected sides as their designated half,” Nguyen explains. He additionally says the size on prime makes this reduce excellent for many who need a number of totally different styling choices.

Serafino factors out that the hair begins on the spherical of the pinnacle, whereas a extra typical half could be considerably larger up on the pinnacle. Together with the variation in colour, it makes for a daring, edgy model assertion.

What to ask your barber: Nguyen says you can begin by asking your barber for an undercut, however specify on which facet you favor to half your hair.

get the look:

  1. Begin with barely damp hair and work in a dime-sized quantity of styling cream to maintain hair moisturized and forestall flyaways.
  2. Set your blow dryer to medium warmth and excessive velocity and intention it within the course you need your hair to put when it’s styled.
  3. It is a nice model that may profit from some further quantity, and Nguyen recommends utilizing a vent brush to create quantity on prime as you blow-dry.
  4. End off utilizing a paste or pomade-based product to present your hair texture and form.
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Comb Over With Onerous Half

Right here, the parting of the haircut is reduce in utilizing a trimmer and straight razor. This makes discovering your half simple peasy and permits for a fuss-free model. This reduce is good for a wide range of hair varieties, nonetheless, Serafino factors out that the exhausting edge requires excessive upkeep. Because the progress will present shortly in such detailed areas, you may be a trim each two weeks or so.

What to ask your barber: Begin by asking for a comb over haircut together with your most popular fade size, fade placement, and prime size, then request for a tough half to be reduce in and your barber ought to maintain the remainder.

get the look:

  1. Beginning with hair that’s barely damp, add a small quantity of styling cream and work by to cowl all of your hair.
  2. Utilizing a blow dryer, dry your hair on medium warmth/excessive velocity and level the nozzle within the course you need your completed hair to lie.
  3. For a modern, shiny look end off with some sturdy maintain pomade, however for a extra texturized, matte look, go for a styling paste or clay.
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Comb Over With Line Up

Right here, the comb over model is mainly the identical as a typical comb over with a tough half, however the hairline has been formed as much as obtain excellent symmetry. Nguyen says the road up is a superb choice when you’ve got an uneven hairline and are in search of a extra balanced form, and is a necessary for these with pure hair, because it helps outline and pull collectively the ultimate outcome. Serafino added it’s additionally a good way so as to add edgy model and definition to the face.

What to ask your barber: After describing your comb over preferences intimately, Nguyen says to ask your barber to line up your hairline for a extra outlined outcome.

get the look:

  1. Whereas the styling guidelines are primarily the identical because the exhausting half comb over, Nguyen notes that the road up is a high-maintenance model that can require frequent touch-ups to maintain it wanting its greatest.
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Comb Over With Wavy or Curly Hair

This comb over model is just like different variations. besides that it’s particular to wavy/curly hair purchasers. “Oftentimes, purchasers with this hair kind are usually not positive what else may be executed with their hair and are typically extra apprehensive about making an attempt one thing totally different,” Nguyen says. “The comb over is a protected and trendy look that may be achieved with a little bit of teaching and persistence.”

What to ask your barber: After giving your barber your comb over haircut preferences, ask for styling recommendations on easy methods to flip your curls into waves. Not like different hair varieties, curls want warmth styling to be able to change the pure formation of the hair to suit the comb over look.

get the look:

  1. Serafino recommends utilizing a wax or pomade that can work properly together with your pure waves and add each shine and definition, corresponding to Dax Wax ($10).

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