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Ivy League Haircut: What Is It And How To Make It Your Own

photo of man with pompadour ivy league haircut

Ivy League universities are the top of the pyramid when it comes to education: Very few people ever get to attend them, but a degree from Cornell or Harvard sets you up for life. You know what else does a similar thing? A quality haircut.

The Ivy League haircut is a clean and timeless men’s style that is kept short around the ears and at the neck. The top features a distinct side part (or even a hard part, if you’re feeling ambitious) and a bit more length. While dozens of modern takes remix the style, the OG haircut is a fit for any age. Scroll down for 15 of our favorites.


The traditional Ivy League haircut is a must for conservative offices and clean-cut men. With just a touch of length on top, you’ll have the styling freedom to add texture to the style with pomade or comb it away from your forehead.


In the decades since the Ivy League haircut was created, it’s gone through a number of style evolutions. The most subtle is a fade around the ears and neckline, using a shorter hair length to modernize the look.

Low Fade

Every fade is a little different even though they all technically fall under the same umbrella—just like Ivy League schools. The low fade features even shorter hair on the neck, making it a breezy pick for summer.


Have a little bad boy in you? We like this long version of the Ivy League cut, one that emphasizes the drama. While a full head of long hair can occasionally just read as messy, this faded and trimmed style will keep you looking well groomed.


The modern man’s take on an Ivy League cut places emphasis on the part but isn’t too fussy about the rest of the hair. If you’re new to styling product, this cut is an excellent choice. You can roll out of bed and still look like an adult.


The undercut Ivy League style is proof that less really can be more when it comes to men’s hair. A very short buzz all around the head tapers into more length on the top, providing all the convenience of cropped hair without cramping your style.


Men with curls, don’t worry. You can totally pull off the Ivy League cut, too, asking a trusted stylist to trim some length while still leaving your hair long enough that ringlets can form. For emphasis and focus, a hard part is best.


The pompadour is a clean, fresh style that plays well with a sharp part. Use a medium or high old product all over the longer section of your hair, combing it back at an angle to create the defined pompadour shape.


Quiffs are the shorter version of the pompadour, requiring less length to create a dynamic visual effect. To recreate the look at home, you’ll apply a medium or high hold product through the longer section of your hair before combing it forward and up. The more lift, the better the quiff.

Comb Over

If you’re desperately committed to the length of your hair, the comb over style may be for you. Ask your barber to taper your length, leaving just enough to comb back behind your ears.

Buzz Cut

Longer hair doesn’t always mean a more defined style. We’re pretty darn attached to the buzz cut Ivy League haircut, a minimalist take on the classic look. If you’re not much for elaborate styling routines, this is the way to go.

Flat Top

In case you haven’t heard, the ‘90s are back. What style recalls the decade more than the flat top? The graphic boxiness of this cut perfectly contrasts the preppy, defined part and edges.

Crew Cut

When in doubt, don’t overthink it. The crew cut has ruled the world of men’s styling for decades because it’s short, flattering, and simple to maintain. It’s also an excellent first step into the world of Ivy League cuts.


Many a formerly enlisted man has continued to wear the military Ivy League haircut long after transitioning into civilian life. If you have a strong jawline and chiseled cheekbones, let your face have the spotlight with this understated cut.

Hard Part

If you’re a deft hand with the trimmer, we always advise giving the hard part haircut a shot. Initially, your barber will carve a line into your cut to exaggerate your natural part. This style grows in quite quickly, however, so expect to do touch-ups at home every few days.

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