pro business hairstyle for men
Written by Dr. Sedat Öz
3 March 2021
Average reading time of this content is 8 minutes
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Business and professional hairstyles for men

The recent pandemic has seen more of us work from home than ever, yet the day is hopefully not too far off when we will return to the office, at least for some of the week. Dressing to impress has always played a big part of corporate life, with the search for smart suits and snappy accessories a common quest in commercial districts around the world. Just like wearing a good quality suit is important in the business world, so too is having a sharp haircut that shows people you mean business.

Traditionally, men had less say in choosing which haircut to sport when rocking up to the office on Monday morning. There were a small handful of acceptable corporate hairstyles for men and any major deviance from these was viewed with some suspicion. Nowadays, there are far more professional hairstyles for men to wear at work and more options when it comes to achieving the perfect business haircut for 21st-century commerce.

So, whether you are gearing up for that all-important job interview, or getting ready to  present the latest figures to the Board, here are twelve professional haircuts for men to consider when they are next in the office.


Side parting

This classic style is perfect for any office setting and one of the most professional looking haircuts for the modern business man. It suits all types of hair, straight and wavy, and a wide range of lengths as well. It is also easy to maintain and – in normal times when we are all allowed regular access to a hairdresser or barber, easy to keep looking sharp and fresh, Comb your hair so that your side parting falls naturally and finish off with a light hold wax, gel or spray to help your style stay in place all day.


Buzz cut

Men who want to keep their hair short, but still look suitably smart for the office should consider the trusty buzz cut. Taken from the military world, where it is prized for its practicality, this no-nonsense haircut keeps the hair out of the eyes and gives the wearer a tough, mature feel. Perfect for the Boardroom or for negotiating the trading floor. Ask your barber to tailor your buzz cut to match the shape of your face and features. It can also look great with a shorter beard or goatee.


Crew cut

Another short, yet stylish businessman haircut is the popular crew cut. Low maintenance, tidy and practical, it help you establish a quicker morning routine, as you just need to shampoo, rinse, towel dry and you are good to go. It also looks great with designer stubble and a sharp suit for maximum masculine appeal. This cut works for all hair colours and can even take a slightly longer length if you want to retain a slight curl in your hair for added interest.


Slicked back

This fiercely corporate hairstyle was all the rage in the 1980s and is experiencing a come-back as men become more confident in their hairstyle choices. Yet you don’t have to be a ruthless stockbroker to make this look work for you. Its vintage, bold look (it has a definite 1940s vibe as well) will make you stand out from the crowd and tell people that you mean business. Comb your hair back from the hairline while it is still damp and add a strong-hold wax or gel to keep it in place. Finish off the look by blow drying it to boost the effectiveness of the wax or gel.


Ivy League

This is the name give for a smart, yet stylish haircut that is based on a crew cut, but with a more established side parting and additional volume on top. While it takes its name from the top echelons of American academia, the haircut is suitable for all kinds of corporate arenas and gives you an air of quiet competence and intelligence that could serve you well in the negotiations room. This style is also known as the Harvard clip or the Princeton, securing its academic credentials and sophisticated vibe even more. Especially suitable for men with a prominent jawline and terrific bone structure.


Comb over

Once the bastion of balding men everywhere, desperate to keep hold of their youthful looks by hiding a pesky bald spot, the comb over has pulled its socks up and transformed itself into a far more serious look. The secret is knowing how to style your comb over to avoid it tipping over into a middle-aged, balding male trope. Done properly, the comb over adds a touch of class to your overall look and flatters most face shapes. It works well with a beard or moustache and offers a neat, dignified style that is easy to maintain and keep in check.



This cool cut is making strides into the corporate world as men are less afraid to sport longer haircuts and to experiment with their styles to see what suits them best. The quiff stems from the 1950s when rock and roll was influencing pretty much all aspects of fashion from top to toe and helps keep the hair under control without taking away any interest or height. Keep your hairline neat and clean with your sides short to emphasise the longer style on top. Emphasis the effect by using a high-gloss product to style the quiff and give you that classic, vintage shine.


Man bun

The controversial man bun may not be top of everyone’s list of traditional business hairstyles for men, but when done properly, it can actually work very well in a corporate setting. The key here is to pay attention to your hairstyle, making sure it is neat, well-groomed and set in the right place on the back of your head. Use gel or wax to smooth down any stray hairs and make sure your fringe, if you have one, is short enough not to flop into your eyes or you will start to look scruffy. Using a clear elastic or one that closely matches your hair colour will add to the put-together, corporate feel.


Taper fade

If you work in a self-confessed ‘cool’ environment like an ad agency or internet think tank, you may want to opt for something a bit more edgy and fun. The taper fade is a sophisticated, sleek professional haircut that makes your face look thinner thanks to the gradual fading down the sides and the longer length left on top. Add gel and comb carefully to draw even more attention to your trendy new ‘do. Works well with a hard side parting for a more vintage, classic feel. It is based on the classic taper haircut, which is also known as the ‘businessman’s haircut’ in some circles. It looks good on a variety of face shapes, including oval and round.


Afro options

When it comes to hair with an afro texture, the range of men’s professional hairstyles might appear limited at first. It’s all about taking proper care of your hair so that it appears well cared for, stylish and manageable. If you want to retain your afro, consider cutting it shorter for a fantastic, low maintenance option for the office that still allows you to express your personality and cultural background while remaining business-like and formal. You can mix it up a bit too, by introducing a short or medium fade on the sides of your head for a modern, sleek look. Use a suitable hair product to keep your locks moisturised and under control. If you are not so keen on cutting your afro hair shorter, consider introducing neatly plaited cornrows, but do make sure your overall appearance is well-groomed and tidy to maintain that all-important corporate vibe.


Wavy hair

If your hair has a natural wave, you might want to show this off, rather than opting for too short a hairstyle that removes the option to retain many waves or curls. The good news is that there are many styles out there that offer the sharp, office look you need while keeping the length to show off your waves. Being a wavy or curly pioneer amongst a sea of shorter styles could stand you in good stead, as you will be more recognisable and can make more of an impression on your bosses, clients and peers. As ever, keep your style neat and tidy and use hair products to keep stray wisps under control as required.


Clean shave

Bald is beautiful, and more and more men are embracing the ease and freedom of a clean shave. This helps disguise thinning hair or a receding hairline and gives the wearer the ultimate in easy to care for style. A clean shaven head suggests maturity and confidence too. Make sure you have a professional care for your head, as an amateur shave or cut can look out of place and patchy. If you wear a beard or moustache, keep these neat and well maintained to help add definition, angles and balance to your face. Is it time to free yourself from the tyranny of an over-styled look?

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