The Korean Haircut Guide

Korean haircut

Written by Sonia Su

I don't know about you, but there's just something about Korean hairstyles that seems extra trendy and attractive.

Although Asian hair is known for naturally being straight, Korean hairstyles have gained international acclaim for their versatile, stylish, and contemporary appeal. Reflecting the latest trends in Korea and its vibrant fashion scene and K-pop idols, these haircuts range from sleek, polished styles to textured, casual looks.

As K-pop idols and actors continue to ride the so-called "Korean wave" (Hallyu), Korean haircuts have become popular choices for updating appearances with a fresh, trendy edge.

In this article, we explore the most popular Korean hairstyles, from short to long Korean hairstyles, offering inspiration and tips for how you can pull off these iconic hairstyles.


Popular Korean Hairstyles & Outfit Ideas

Whether with short, medium, or long hair, Korean male hairstyles have gained popularity globally due to their stylish and versatile nature. Here are some of the most popular Korean male hairstyles and what to wear with each hairstyle:

1. Two-Block Haircut

Description: Similar to an undercut, the hair is divided into two distinct blocks. The sides and back are short, while the top is left longer.

Styling: This can be styled in various ways, such as straight, curly, wavy, or with added volume.

Outfit Ideas:

  • Casual Look: A well-fitted t-shirt, slim-fit jeans, and white sneakers. Browse Nimble Made's slim-fit t-shirts.
  • Street Style: Oversized hoodie, distressed jeans, and chunky sneakers.
  • Smart Casual: Blazer, turtleneck sweater, chinos, and loafers. Here is a guide to wearing a turtleneck with a suit.

2. Curtain Haircut

Description: Features long bangs parted in the middle, resembling curtains.

Styling: Usually styled with a natural wave or slight curl in the bangs, often with a bit of volume for a soft, curly or wavy hair look.

Outfit Ideas:

  • Bohemian Style: Floral shirt, relaxed-fit trousers, and sandals. Check out Nimble Made's light blue floral dress shirt.
  • Retro Vibes: Denim jacket, graphic tee, and black skinny jeans.
  • Chic Casual: Long coat, fitted turtleneck, and tapered pants.

3. Caesar Cut

Description: A short hairstyle with a small, straight fringe.

Styling: Low maintenance and looks sharp; often styled with a matte finish product.

Outfit Ideas:

  • Sporty Casual: Track jacket, athletic shorts, and running shoes.
  • Clean Cut: Polo shirt, chinos, and loafers.
  • Casual Everyday: Crew neck sweater, slim-fit jeans, and white sneakers.

4. Messy Haircut

Description: Hair is kept medium length and styled to look intentionally tousled and messy.

Styling: Use texturizing spray or pomade to achieve a casual, effortless look.

Outfit Ideas:

  • Beach Casual: Loose tank top, board shorts, and flip-flops.

  • Urban Explorer: Cargo jacket, plain tee, joggers, and sneakers.

  • Edgy Style: Denim vest, graphic tee, ripped jeans, and combat boots.

5. Comma Haircut

Description: Named for its resemblance to a comma shape, with one side of the bangs curved inward.

Styling: Often styled with a bit of wave in the bangs and volume on top.

Outfit Ideas:

6. Bowl Cut

Description: A modern take on the classic bowl cut, with blunt fringe bangs and evenly cut sides and back.

Styling: This bowl cut can be kept sleek or slightly tousled for a contemporary bowl cut look.

Outfit Ideas:

  • Vintage Look: Striped t-shirt, high-waisted jeans, and retro sneakers.
  • Casual Streetwear: Hoodie, jogger pants, and chunky sneakers.
  • Minimalist Style: Plain oversized sweatshirt, tailored trousers, and slip-on shoes.

7. Pompadour

Description: Features longer hair on top that is swept upwards and back.

Styling: Requires volume and hold, typically styled with pomade or gel.

Outfit Ideas:

  • Rockabilly: Leather jacket, white t-shirt, and black jeans.
  • Sophisticated: Blazer, dress shirt, dark jeans, and Chelsea boots. Here is a guide on how to wear a blazer with jeans.
  • Summer Vibe: Short-sleeve button-up shirt, chino shorts, and loafers.

8. Buzz Cut

Description: Very short and even all around, giving a clean, minimalist look.

Styling: No styling is needed; perfect for a low-maintenance lifestyle.

Outfit Ideas:

  • Military-Inspired: Utility jacket, cargo pants, and combat boots.
  • Simple and Clean: Plain t-shirt, straight-leg jeans, and minimalist sneakers.
  • Athletic Look: Sweatshirt, joggers, and high-top sneakers.

9. French Crop

Description: Short on the sides and back with a slightly longer top and a blunt fringe.

Styling: This haircut is often styled with texture for a more modern finish.

Outfit Ideas:

  • Modern Casual: Denim jacket, basic tee, and tapered jeans.
  • Smart Casual: Blazer, crew neck shirt, and fitted trousers.
  • Edgy Look: Leather jacket, graphic tee, and black jeans.

10. Side Part

Description: Classic and sophisticated, with hair parted to one side.

Styling: This haircut can be slicked down for a polished look or kept more casual with some volume.

Outfit Ideas:

  • Classic Look: Peacoat, turtleneck sweater, and tailored trousers.
  • Business Casual: Cardigan, dress shirt, chinos, and brogues.
  • Evening Out: Leather jacket, slim-fit jeans, and boots.

11. Textured Crop

Description: Hair is kept short with lots of texture on top.

Styling: Use texturizing products to emphasize the natural movement of the hair.

Outfit Ideas:

  • Casual Chic: Bomber jacket, plain t-shirt, and ripped jeans.
  • Hipster: Flannel shirt, suspenders, rolled-up jeans, and boots. Browse Nimble Made's flannel shirts and check out this guide on what is flannel.
  • Modern Professional: Slim-fit blazer, fitted shirt, and tailored trousers. Check out Nimble Made's slim-fit dress shirts.

12. Mohawk or Faux Hawk

Description: Hair is longer in the center and styled upwards, while the sides are shorter.

Styling: This haircut requires strong hold products to maintain the shape.

Outfit Ideas:

  • Rocker Style: Leather biker jacket, band t-shirt, and skinny jeans.
  • Trendy Casual: Bomber jacket, henley shirt, and ripped jeans.
  • Urban Edge: Hooded jacket, distressed jeans, and high-top sneakers.

13. Mullet

Description: Short in the front and sides, longer in the back. This retro trend has surprisingly seen a resurgence in popularity and is similar to a wolf cut. A wolf cut is a "a hybrid between the Mullet and the Shag Cut. Inspired by the Mullet, the Wolf Cut is heavily layered with short, choppy layers on top and longer, layers around the sides and back, ending just past the nape."

Styling: This can be kept sleek or messy, often with a modern twist.

Outfit Ideas:


Hair Grooming Tips for Asian Men

1. Choose the Right Hairstyle for Your Hair Type

Asian hair tends to be straight, thick, and coarse. Knowing this helps in choosing the right products and styles.

  • Classic Cuts: Styles like the undercut, crew cut, and side part work well.
  • Modern Hairstyles: Consider textured crops or fade cuts to add dimension and style.

2. Use the Right Products

  • Shampoo and Conditioner: Look for products that add moisture without weighing hair down, whether you like to keep your hair short or long.
  • Styling Products: Pomades, waxes, and gels work well. Choose a product that offers the hold and shine you prefer. Lighter products are better for a natural appearance, while stronger products help maintain a complex hairstyle.

Korean male hair shampoo

3. Regular Trimming

Keep your hair neat with regular trims to keep the shape of your hairstyle and prevent split ends.

4. Proper Washing Routine

  • Frequency: Wash your hair 2-3 times a week to avoid stripping natural oils.
  • Technique: Massage shampoo into the scalp and rinse thoroughly. Apply conditioner to the ends, avoiding the scalp to prevent greasiness.

5. Experiment with Texture

Asian hair is typically very straight. Adding texture can enhance your hairstyle:

  • Texturizing Sprays: Use sea salt sprays or texturizing sprays to add volume and movement.
  • Blow Drying: Use a blow dryer with a diffuser to create volume. Blow drying in different directions can add texture.

6. Protect Your Hair

  • Heat Protection: If using heat styling tools, always apply a heat protectant spray to prevent damage, especially if your hair already has a perm.
  • Avoid Over-Styling: Give your hair a break from heavy styling products and tools occasionally.

7. Consider Color

If you want to change things up, consider coloring your hair. Highlights or a full color can add a new dimension to your look. Go to a salon for the best results—bonus if it's in Korea!

hair salon


Frequently Asked Questions about a Korean Haircut

What hairstyle suits Asian men?

Hairstyles that suit Asian guys often take into account their typically straight and thick hair texture. Popular hairstyles include the classic undercut, which provides a clean and modern look, and the textured quiff, which adds volume and a touch of sophistication. Additionally, the side part and the crew cut are versatile and can be easily tailored to suit different face shapes and personal fashion.

What is a 2 by 3 haircut?

A 2 by 3 haircut refers to using two different clipper guard lengths to achieve a specific hairstyle. Typically, a "2" (1/4 inch) is used on the sides and back, and a "3" (3/8 inch) is used on the top, creating a distinct contrast between the shorter sides and slightly longer top.

What is Korean hairstyle called?

Korean hairstyles, often referred to as "Hallyu" hairstyles, encompass a variety of trendy and fashionable looks influenced by Korean pop culture, especially K-pop and K-dramas. Common Korean hairstyles include the "comma hair," "two-block cut," and various forms of bangs and waves, characterized by their sleek, modern, and often versatile nature.

How to style straight thick Asian hair?

To style straight, thick Asian hair, consider using a lightweight leave-in conditioner or smoothing serum to reduce frizz and add shine. For a sleek look, blow-dry your hair using a round brush to create volume at the roots, or use a flat iron for a polished, straight finish. Regular trims and layering can also help manage thickness and add movement to any hairstyle.

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