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Should Men Cut Their Hair Short If It’s Thinning? [Solved]

February 7, 2021
Should Men Cut Their Hair Short If It’s Thinning? [Solved]

It doesn’t need to be a stressful experience. Once you accept that your hair is thinning, you can search for a style that suits your needs. But should men cut their hair short if it’s thinning?

Yes, short haircuts are almost always the most flattering looks for men with thinning hair. Styles like buzz cuts make thinning hair appear thicker and they make receding hairlines less obvious.

It may sound a little strange – reducing the amount of hair you’ve got to make it appear less thin. 

But it works. 

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about why it works, as well as the best hairstyles you could go for. 

Let’s get to it. 

Does Thinning Hair Look Better Short or Long?

Thinning hair tends to look better when it is kept fairly short. Attempting to grow the hair long in order to cover up thinning spots will often backfire, as the hair is typically still thin enough to see through to the balding area. 

This is not a flattering look, and men with thinning hair should never attempt a comb-over. 

Although this seems like the easiest and most practical solution, it’s really not. Plus, combovers hardly ever look good on any man. 

In addition to being aesthetically unattractive, combovers also suggest a lack of confidence. Cutting the hair short is a way of embracing thinning hair and making it work for you. 

This confidence speaks volumes about a man. 

In contrast to long hairstyles and combovers, short styles will actually make all of your hair a nice even length, which gives it the appearance of being thicker. 

These short styles also make a receding hairline less noticeable, as there is less of a contrast between the length of hair on the top and the sides and the forehead. 

The Best Short Hairstyles for Thinning Hair 

Again, thinning hair is not a cause for despair. 

There are several hairstyles that flatter men with thinning hair, including many variations of a buzz cut to start with. 

There are even a few slightly longer styles that will temporarily work for men who are not ready to cut their hair incredibly short or to go bald. 

The following styles are the best for men with thinning hair: 

1. Buzz Cut 

We’ve mentioned this one already, but it definitely belongs right at the top. 

Yes, buzz cuts are great for thinning hair and receding hairlines. 

Many different styles are included in the term “buzz cut”, and the main three forms of a buzz cut are all excellent options. These styles are an induction cut, a crew cut, and a burr cut. 

The induction cut is the same very short length all over the head, and it gets its name from its military origins. 

This style is great for men with a pretty advanced receding hairline, as it makes all of the hair extremely short, creating a bold, uniform look that is easy to maintain.

A very short buzz cut
[From Shutterstock]

The crew cut is made short on the sides. Some length is kept on top of the head, enough to spike or slick a bit to the left or right. The hair generally gets shorter as you go from the front to the back. 

This gives a man some variety in terms of styling and it’s a good look for men with mild thinning or receding spots, as they can be blended into the cut. 

Finally, a burr cut is somewhere in the middle. While it is a bit more similar to the induction cut, it’s less extreme, as the top is left with a little more length than the sides. This variation is a good choice for men that want to cover their temples or even out thinning hair near the scalp. 

2. Fades

A fade is a blending technique. Any style where the sides and back transition from short at the bottom to longer at the top includes a fade, and crew cuts and burr cuts often do. 

comb over with 2 fade
Faded sides
[From Shutterstock]

Skilled barbers can use this technique to blend receding hairlines into a haircut. 

Fades can often make receding temples look less obvious by blending into them at the sides. 

Aside from a crew cut or a burr cut, fades are also frequently included in popular men’s hairstyles like quiffs and pompadours. 

For one of the longest styles that might suit a man with thinning hair and also often includes faded sides, see the next option.

3. Side-Slicked

If you are not ready to get your hair cut extremely short just yet, you might be able to pull off a side-slicked style for a while. This hairstyle will not cover a receding hairline, but it does hide thinning spots on top. 

Plus, it doesn’t need to be as long as it would need to be to slick it straight back. 

Even short hair can be gently slicked to the side. 

When doing this with thin hair, it’s important to try to avoid shinier hair products. Pomades, gels, and waxes are pretty shiny and will usually reveal some of the scalp when applied to thin hair. 

Products that have less shine but still give you some hold include clays, creams, putties, and pastes. 

4. Shaved Head

Lastly, some men prefer to start shaving all of their hair off once they start to go bald, and this is a valid option. 

In fact, most men look pretty good with a completely bald head. Sure, certain head shapes suit baldness more than others

But in general, it’s the ultimate solution to fretting about thinning hair. It’s the most complete and total method of embracing thinning hair – exaggerating it to the max. 

An awesome shaved head
[From Shutterstock]

It oozes confidence and often suits men more than they may have initially expected it to. It’s a pretty bold step, so going for a buzz cut first would be a good stepping stone before you whip off the training wheels and reach for that razor. 

But a lot of men really do prefer a fully shaved head rather than a buzz cut

Sure, it requires some maintenance, but men get used to it. It’s harder than a buzz cut to maintain because you’ll need to shave off head stubble more regularly than you’d need to re-trim a buzz cut. 

But it isn’t too bad. In fact, a lot of men enjoy the head-shaving experience. It has a pretty zen-like feel to it. 


Seriously, avoid combovers. 

There are plenty of flattering short hairstyles to choose from that will blend or actually make thinning spots and receding hairlines look less noticeable. 

It’s hard to believe, but it’s a pretty well-known phenomenon. It’s why you see so many balding men finally embrace it, cut their hair short, and never look back. 

It just works so often. 

The easiest way to see for yourself would be to take the plunge and trim yourself a basic buzz cut. If you’d rather visit a barber to get it done, go for it. 

Worst-case scenario: You hate it and it doesn’t work. In which case, it’ll grow back to how it was before and you haven’t really lost anything. 

Best-case scenario: That thinning hair looks neater, sharper, and fuller.