French Crop Haircut – The Iconic Hairstyle for Men
The French crop haircut has been a staple men’s hairstyle for decades. Its timeless elegance and versatility continue making it one of the most popular short hairstyles for men in 2023.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know about getting and styling the perfect French crop haircut.
What is a French Crop Haircut?
A French crop is a short hairstyle characterized by its signature textured fringe and short sides and back. It features slightly longer hair on top that is trimmed neat and cropped close to the head around the sides and back.
Unlike a traditional short back and sides haircut, the French crop allows the hair on top to be a few inches long. This extra length creates a signature textured fringe that is the hallmark of the French crop style.
The term “French crop” comes from the fact that this hairstyle first became popular among French men in the 1920s. It exuded a sophisticated, continental style that soon caught on around Europe and America.
The French crop haircut has remained an iconic men’s style for almost a century because of its ability to be tailored to accentuate different face shapes and hair types. The cropped sides create definition and contrast against the textured top, allowing for versatility in styling.
Key Features of the French Crop Haircut:
- Shorter hair on the back and sides, trimmed close to the head
- Slightly longer hair on top, around 2-5 inches
- Textured or spiky fringe/bangs in the front
- Clean lines and cropped edges around ears and neckline
- Versatile style that can be tailored to different face shapes
Benefits of a French Crop Haircut:
- Timeless and stylish look
- Low maintenance compared to longer hairstyles
- Works well with many face shapes
- Easy to style and re-style as needed
- Allows you to customize your look by changing the fringe
- Looks neat and polished for professional settings
- Ideal for accentuating masculine jawlines and features
How Short Should the Sides Be?
One of the keys to a great French crop is creating contrast between the longer top and closely-trimmed sides and back. This is achieved by cutting the hair at the sides and back very short, even faded or skin faded.
Popular options include:
- Short Back and Sides: Clippered very short, around 1/4 inch
- High Fade: Faded out to skin at the temples and neck, blending longer at the crown
- Low Fade: Faded near the neckline but longer near the temples
- Skin Fade: Faded completely to the skin for maximum contrast
- Tapered Sides: Gradually tapered from hairline to nape
The degree of shortness on the back and sides depends on personal preference and desired look. In general, the longer the hair on top, the more dramatic the fade can be on the sides to create definition.
Ask your barber for a short crop with clean lines to achieve the signature cropped sides that define this classic haircut style.
How Long Should the Top Be?
The length left on top is a matter of personal preference and styling goals. A classic French crop features around 2-4 inches on top. But some modern variations go longer for more dramatic fringe styling options.
Here are popular French crop top lengths:
- Short French Crop: 2-3 inches
- Classic French Crop: 3-4 inches
- Long French Crop: 4-6 inches
- Curly French Crop: 3-5 inches
- Textured French Crop: 4-5 inches
In general, the top should be long enough so that the fringe can be pushed forward and styled into the signature textured look. Go with a length that suits your hair type and desired finish.
For a more avant-garde cropped style, try leaving 5-6 inches on top for an edgy long fringe. Or keep it trimmed down to 2-3 inches for a minimalist take on this timeless cut.
Styling Your French Crop Haircut
Styling the French crop fringe is key to achieving the iconic, sophisticated look of this haircut. Here are some tips:
- Apply styling product like wax, pomade or mousse to towel-dried hair. This creates hold and texture.
- Use your fingers or a comb to push the fringe forward towards the front of the head.
- Style into a textured, swept look by brushing the fringe upwards and across the forehead.
- For added height, tease or backcomb the fringe lightly at the crown before styling forward.
- Re-style the fringe throughout the day for added volume and lift at the roots.
- Finish with a medium shine pomade or hairspray to keep the textured shape in place.
- For curly hair, apply curl defining creams or gels, then break up the curls with fingers.
- Use a pre-styler before blow drying for enhanced volume and control.
- When blow drying, use a round brush to direct the fringe up and forward.
Pay close attention to styling the fringe, as this will define the entire look of your French crop haircut. Work with your natural texture and create variation to avoid a flat, uniformed appearance.
French Crop Variations
Below are some of the most popular modern variations of the classic French crop haircut:
- Textured French Crop: Features messy, choppy layers on top with a textured fringe. Great for thicker hair types.
- Disconnected French Crop: The sides are cut shorter than the top, creating an edgy disconnected look.
- French Crop + Mid Fade: A medium-length fade provides contrast against the longer crop top.
- French Crop + Side Part: Swept to one side, away from the center part. Creates a slightly asymmetric look.
- French Crop + Comb Over: The fringe is styled into a side-swept comb over.
- French Crop + Beard Styles: Pair your cropped cut with stubble, a beard, or goatee.
- French Crop + Highlights: Strategic highlights or blonde tips give an edgy accent.
- French Crop Undercut: Super short sides and back with long crop top. Very high-contrast.
- French Crop + Quiff: The fringe is styled up off the face into a mini quiff.
- Curly French Crop: Embrace natural waves and curls on top.
- Vintage French Crop: A nod to the retro origins with a side part and slicked fringe.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to customizing a French crop to suit your personal style and hair type. Talk to your barber about adding fades, parts, undercuts, and unique styling twists.
How to Get the Perfect French Crop Haircut
Follow these tips for getting the perfect French crop haircut from your barber:
- Bring reference photos. Show your barber exactly the French crop style and length you want. Communicate details like fringe length, side parting, fade type, etc.
- Get a consultation. Discuss the look you want, and your hair type, growth patterns, and daily styling routine. This allows the barber to give recommendations tailored to you.
- Keep the sides/back short. Emphasize you want high contrast between the cropped sides and longer top. Bring photos to illustrate the side length you prefer.
- Specify the top length. Tell your barber exactly how many inches to leave on top based on your desired fringe style. Err on the longer side, as you can always taper it shorter.
- Texture is key. Request added texture and layers, especially for thick hair. Layers enhance movement and flow.
- Style it properly. Have your barber demo how to style the signature textured fringe after the cut. Ask questions and pay attention to their techniques.
- Schedule regular maintenance. Book follow-up trims every 4-6 weeks to maintain the cropped silhouette. Fresh fades and edges are key.
Finding an experienced barber is paramount to getting a properly executed French crop tailored exactly to your liking. Invest time into the consultation and be very clear about your personal style preferences.
Tips for Thin Hair
Men with thin or fine hair can absolutely rock a French crop look. Just follow these tips:
- Keep the sides very short to minimize scalp show through. Avoid high fades.
- Reduce the fade height to create less contrast against the top. Go for a simple taper.
- Opt for a slightly shorter crop top, around 2-3 inches. Avoid very long fringes.
- Add layered, choppy texture to help build volume and fullness up top.
- Use volumizing and thickening products to add body to the fringe.
- Go for a textured finish rather than overly slick styles that will flatten thin hair.
- Get regular trims to keep the cropped sides looking fresh, not straggly.
- When blow drying, use a round brush to create lots of volume and lift at the roots.
The key is working with your hair type and not against it. Embrace your texture and strategically boost volume where needed. A skilled barber can tailor the crop to minimize thin spots while playing up your best assets.
Curly Hair French Crop Tips
Guys with naturally curly or wavy hair can also achieve a great French crop look with some adjustments:
- Ask for layers and texture on top to complement natural curls.
- Style with curl enhancing products like leave-in conditioner and curl cream.
- Finger style the fringe rather than aggressively brushing.
- Allow the hair to air dry naturally when possible.
- Use a diffuser attachment on low heat when blow drying.
- Finish with an anti-frizz serum or light gel for definition.
- Schedule frequent trims to prevent the top length from becoming unruly.
Embrace the texture and volume of your curls. Enhance them with curly-hair specific products and styling techniques. The result is a French crop with built-in body and movement.
French Crop Inspiration
To help visualize the many variations of the French crop haircut, here is some inspiration from popular celebrities, models and influencers rocking this iconic style:
- David Beckham: Textured French crop with faded sides.
- Ryan Reynolds: French crop with side-swept fringe.
- Justin Timberlake: Curly French crop.
- Zayn Malik: Long French crop.
- Cristiano Ronaldo: French crop with hard side part.
- Brad Pitt: Classic medium French crop.
- Robert Pattinson: Messy French crop with front spikes.
- Justin Bieber: Blonde French crop + fade.
- Pharrell Williams: Signature textured French crop.
- Drake: Low faded French crop.
- Adam Levine: Disconnected undercut French crop.
- David Guetta: Short textured crop.
- Beckham Jr.: Faded curly French crop.
Use photos of your favorite celebrity French crops to show your barber the exact look you’re aiming to achieve. Star-inspired crops are a great way to communicate the style you want.
FAQs About French Crop Haircuts
How often do you need to trim a French crop?
- Every 4-6 weeks to maintain the signature cropped shape. Regular trims preserve the lines and silhouette.
How do you ask for a French crop haircut?
- Show reference photos with the specific length, fade, and styling you want. Use terms like “short back and sides” and “textured fringe on top.”
Is a French crop good for thin hair?
- Yes, by keeping the crop top slightly shorter and avoiding high contrasts. Add textured layers to create fullness on top.
Can you do a French crop on curly or wavy hair?
- Yes, it’s great for curly hair types. Ask for layers to complement natural texture. Focus on enhancing curls rather than fighting them.
What face shapes work best with a French crop?
- It flatters oval, square, oblong and triangle face shapes in particular. The short sides create definition and angles.
Is a French crop high maintenance?
- No, it’s relatively easy care compared to longer styles. Requires fringe styling and trims every 4-6 weeks.
Does a French crop work for older men?
- Yes, it’s an ageless style. Looks sharp on men of any age when shaped and styled to play up their features.
What hair products work best for styling a crop?
- Pomades, waxes, and mousses add pliable hold and texture for styling the signature fringe. Use a medium-hold product.
The French crop haircut is set to continue being a hot men’s hairstyle in 2023 and beyond. By following this guide, you’ll be well-equipped to tailor and style the quintessential cropped cut for your unique style and hair type. Make an appointment with your barber today to start crafting your signature French crop look!
The French crop is definitely one of the best and most popular men’s haircuts that features short hair on the sides and longer hair on the top. This versatile and stylish haircut works well for men in 2023 and is a perfect choice for younger men looking for sexy, modern French crop hairstyles. Although the traditional French crop gives a straight crop cut, modern variations include a fade, undercut, or skin fade on the sides for contrast. The French crop is a classic, low-maintenance haircut that works for men with thick or thin hair. Everything you need to know is that the length of the hair on top and the textured crop top are key. The crop works for receding hairlines and men with curly hair too. Faded or messy crops add an edgy style. To get the benefits of the French crop, show your barber photos and describe how to style a French crop to suit you. The French crop is definitely one of the best short-hair men’s haircuts for guys and a top choice for men’s haircuts in 2023.