Pompadour Hairstyle Tutorial: Haircut & How to Style it

Last updated on April 22nd, 2013 at 01:44 am

Pompadour Hairstyle Tutorial: Haircut & How to Style it

The Pompadour hairstyle is associated with the rebels of the ’50s, rockabilly music and men like Elvis Presley and Johny Cash. The Pompadour aims to have the hair slicked and with volume on the front so that the hair style, when seen form the side, looks like a wedge.

Hair length category


Suitable hair type

Straight hair

Rockabilly Johnny Cash sporting a cool Pompadour hairstyle for his straight hair

Haircut for the Pompadour hairstyle

The haircut for the Pompadour should leave the hair on the top with an even medium length (4-6 inches) while the hair on the back and sides should be tapered to 0.5. inches. The top and back/sides should be smoothed so as to not distort the appearance of the Pompadour.

Haircut difficulty

3 out of 5

How to style a Pompadour

To style the Pompadour, the hair on the top of the head should be first lifted in its entirety by using a comb. Once the hair is lifted, coat your fingers in pomade and work your fingers through the lifted locks to coat them in pomade. Once the hair is coated in pomade, it is time to slick the hair back.

The hair should be slicked back with a comb, starting from the back of the top of the head, not the front. Starting from the crown, slick back the first 4 inches from the crown forward, then slick back the next 4 inches and end by slicking back the remaining hair that is left on the front top of the head. Once you’ve slicked the top of your head in the aforementioned chronological order, proceed to slick the hair back again for a second time but this time starting from the front.

When you’ve slicked the hair back, run the comb through the each side of the slicked area, starting from the temple and finishing at the vertex (i.e. back of top of the head); this sweeping of the sides will cause the slicked-back area to lift up a bit. Retouch the slicked back area by further flattening it except for the front part (the front part is what will create the quiff for the Pompadour so it should not be flattened). You can also leave the slicked back area without any flattening if you like the volume achieved by running the comb through the sides.

Once you’ve done the above, work on the hair on the front to create the quiff, which is what will give the Pompadour its wedge-like shape. Use the comb to lift up the hair on the front; as you lift the hair up, roll the comb backwards, thus creating a wave-like shape. Then, coat your fingers again with some more pomade and use the fingers to further define the front by lifting the hair up and rolling it back. The idea is that, when seen from the side, the Pompadour looks like a wedge, with the front being the tallest section of the top of the head and then smoothly decreasing in height towards the vertex. You can continue using your fingers to retouch your Pompadour as you desire but the wedge-like emphasis must be maintained.

A trick that works great for creating the quiff is to use a hair pick to lift the hair up. The teeth of a hair pick are longer than those of a conventional comb, which will allow you to penetrate deeper into the front of the slicked-back hair and lift more hair up. Just for this reason alone, owning a hair pick is worth its inexpensive cost.

Styling difficulty

4 out of 5

Which popular men have sported a cool Pompadour hairstyle?

Talented blues/rock & roll singer Johnny Cash was known for his cool Pompadour in the mid ’50s. Elvis Presley was also known for rocking a Pompadour during the beginning of his career.

The Pompadour hairstyle as sported by rockabilly icon Johnny Cash during the 1950s.

Recommended hair products for the Pompadour hairstyle

The Pompadour is a men’s hairstyle that will not let you down on those occasions in which you want to stand out from the crowd. Hardly any men style their hair with a Pompadour hairstyle so, now that you know how to style your hair in a Pompadour, go out and rock that hair like an oldschool rockabilly!

For your male grooming needs, visit the Barbershop Forums, the mens style and fashion community with some epic male grooming stuff thrown in!

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