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Men’s Quiff Hairstyles: It’s All About Volume

The men’s quiff never stopped being cool. If you want to know more about quiff hairstyles, read on!

Photo by ASphoto777 / Depositphotos.com

In the men’s style realm, you might hear us talk about the cool factor a lot. There might be something about a watch or jacket that separates it from the rest, elevates it, and does so seemingly without effort. 

The quiff hairdo has always been cool. It’s cool now. It’s not one of those style trends that started out cool and then became classically neutral. I mean, it’s classic, but the likelihood you’d see an elder member of any royal family or a politician sporting a quiff is slim. 

But it’s always finding new life in new contexts. And ironically, pulling off a quiff isn’t effortless at all.

Today, we’re going to deep dive into men’s quiff hairstyles. From modern quiff hairstyles to classic quiffs, here’s what you need to know. 

Men’s Quiff: What Is It Exactly?

Before we get into the details, let’s answer the basic question. What is a quiff? 

When you wear a quiff, it means your hair has much more length and vertical volume at the top of your head, especially at the fringe. It’s been combed upwards, then back, or to the side in a way that it looks visually loose and airy. The hair at the sides is dramatically shorter.

It can be confusing since a quiff is really just a general term for a bunch of different hairstyles that follow this general blueprint.

Some History: The Quiff and the Pompadour

The quiff and the pompadour have a lot in common. The main difference is that, as mentioned, the former is airy and at least looks loose. Many variations even have hair falling out of place and to the side. 

The pompadour, on the other hand, is stiff, slicked back, and has a clean silhouette.

Many Elvis performances start out with him in a pompadour. After a lot of spirited hip-shaking and head bobbing, that pompadour will have usually transformed into a quiff by the end of two or three songs.

And speaking of Elvis, the quiff first came into prominence in modern men’s style in the ‘50s. It was the bad boy cut, compared to the trimmer, cleaner styles preferred by schools and the army.

This is actually one of the reasons why it’s difficult to separate the pompadour with the quiff. They were popularized by the same subculture at the same time, and they’re both reminiscent of the way French nobles wore their hair in the 1800s.

Quiff Hair Style Variations

You may have shorter hair or longer hair, and you may want a variation of a classic quiff or a modern quiff. This style has such a range that you’re likely to find one that suits you.

Short Quiff

Yes, you can technically make a quiff with short hair. Remember, as long as it’s longer and airily voluminous up top, you’re good to go. 

In fact, this variation is so clean-cut that it looks natural with less fashion-forward or rebellious outfits.

Wear a short quiff with a moderate fade on the sides, and it’ll look similar to a ‘50s Ivy League. Go for a more dramatic undercut-style fade, and you’ll combine a preppy clean-cut aesthetic with the vintage working-class coolness.

Long Quiff

What’s great about a long quiff is that there are a lot of places the hair can go. You can make the voluminous hair on top as high as you want, with no slack. Or you can keep it high enough so that slack kind of falls to the side for a less put-together look. 

This would further separate the ‘do from a pompadour.

And, of course, there’s also medium quiff, which falls somewhere in between a short and long. There isn’t some universal hair rule that decides where the line is drawn, though.

Towards the Center

This approach is a fun, almost beachy way to style a long or medium quiff. It’s mainly about taking your top hair and loosely styling it towards the middle like a horn. From there, you can kind of let the sides and slack fall where they may.

Again, it’s like a beachy, boy-band-esque approach to the quiff. In fact, some sea salt spray would give it that natural out-of-the-ocean texture.

Mullet Adjacent

If you aren’t a mullet guy, don’t let the description turn you off right away. The formal mullet can be done subtly and has been repopularized by Paul Mescal.

The length of the top makes its way towards the back. However, the back can be shorter than the top and just a touch longer than the sides. Otherwise known as a formal mullet, and was a go-to for later-years Elvis.

Modern Quiff With Waves

You can definitely do a quiff with curly hair. The curly top look is so popular among teens and men in their ‘20s that it’s become downright memeable.

Now imagine a curly top with the front combed back, and what do you have? A curly hair undercut quiff. Showing natural waves and curls, or even texturing them in, is a modernization of the classic quiff. 

This is different than an old-school quiff. Back in the 50s, men tended to slick their hair back instead of letting their natural texture show.

Post-Performance Elvis

Otherwise known as the messy quiff hairstyle, I call it the “post-performance Elvis” because the slack from the hair that’s been volumized doesn’t fall in any single place.

To achieve this, you’d basically just do a standard side-swept quiff, then ruffle it up as you take hairspray to it.

Modern Subtlety

By going for a tapered fade and a moderate length up top, you get one of the most accessible modern quiff hairstyles. It’s pretty clean-cut and downright neutral-looking.

In fact, the more subtle the fade, the more it starts to look like a standard comb-back — with a touch more pizazz, of course.

Textured Quiff

A textured quiff is just one that showcases your hair’s composition.

The ends aren’t perfectly combed into the structure for smoothness; gaps between groupings create peaks and valleys, and so on. You can apply this to any style of quiff, and many agree it exudes more character.

Undercut Quiff

While the sides of any quiff are worn shorter than the top, a quiff with an undercut provides a more dramatic contrast.

The sides are closely cut, buzzed, or even fully shaved. This can result in a military-style look or a rebellious rock and roll look.

Men’s Quiff Hairstyles: Who Are They For?

Most guys, regardless of your personal style, can pull off a quiff. If you’re more conservative or prefer a less in-your-face look, go for a short quiff or a medium quiff with an incredibly subtle taper.

If you want something with a lot of character but isn’t flashy, you can always take one of those styles and add some texture to it.

I’ve always recommended a messy quiff as a casual summer hairstyle. There’s structure, but the breezy softness of the strands lend themselves to a patio party or beach day.

And, of course, if you do like a vintage style or a more rocker aesthetic, then there are several long quiff variations you can go for.

FAQs

Here are some quick answers to common questions about quiffs.

What Is a Quiff vs Pompadour?

A quiff is a lot like a pompadour but looser and more airy. A pompadour is cleaner and more slicked-back.

What Do I Tell My Barber for a Quiff?

Most barbers will know that a quiff is a style that’s longer up top and shorter on the sides. You’ll need to let him know whether you want it short or long, how dramatic the taper is, or if you want an undercut. You can also get his professional advice on what might look good with your hair texture and face shape.

Are Quiffs in Style?

Yes, at this point, quiffs are pretty classic. Their popularity will go up and down, as with any hairstyle, but they’ll likely never be irrelevant.

Conclusion: The Perfect Quiff for You

The great thing is despite your hair type or natural texture, you can always find a way to make a quiff haircut work for you. There are so many quiff styles and styling products out there to make it happen.

Are you a quiff fan? Would you consider getting one after this article? Sound off in the comments! We love hearing from you!

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