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The Essential Guide to Quiff Hairstyles: Variations and Styling Options

What’s a Quiff Hairstyle?

For decades, the quiff has prevailed as one of the most fashionable hairstyles for men. This old-school haircut has transcended time and is still as classy as ever. Its variations can be modified to suit almost any face shape, aesthetic, and hair type.

Due to its suitability for a wide range of casual and professional settings, Hollywood elites and sports stars like David Beckham, Zac Efron, Ryan Reynolds, Chris Pine, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Robert Downey Jr. have all worn this hairstyle.

Keep reading to find out how the quiff took hold across the globe, the various types that are trending today, and the best styling products to achieve a long-lasting look.

Origins of the Quiff Hairstyle: Classic to Modern

The similarly styled pompadour was in vogue all the way back in the 19th century, but by the mid-20th century, the haircut evolved into the quiff.

The modern quiff is a combination of two popular ’50s hairstyles—the pompadour and the military flat top—with a little mohawk occasionally thrown in. Recent trends have changed the modern quiff to include more hair on the front top of the head, which transitions into shorter hair on the sides and back.

Origins of the Quiff Hairstyle: Classic to Modern

The Quiff vs. The Pompadour

To the untrained eye, the quiff’s presentation closely resembles that of the pompadour. However, there are some significant differences between the two hairstyles.

Men who wear a quiff brush the hair forward to create vertical volume at the front of the head that is light and airy (sometimes strategically messy) in nature. They can then let the bundle of hair flow to the side.

In contrast, a pompadour is brushed or combed back and has a heavier feel. Many like their pompadour to be tight, slick, and shiny.

Best Face Shapes for the Quiff

Simply getting a trendy quiff is not enough to make a statement—the style has to fit your face. Men with a round face shape will pull off a great quiff in any variation, but the perfect match for a timeless quiff is the square face shape. If you have a thin face, the best option would be to go with a short quiff.

Wearing the Quiff Hairstyle like a King

Like every hairstyle, the quiff depends on a couple of factors, such as the occasion and clothing.

The Best Scene for a Quiff

For special occasions, the undercut with a taper fade plus a full beard will turn a lot of heads because of the masculine look that the beard adds. You can also go with the side-parted quiff or classic quiff for any formal appearance. If you’re wearing a tuxedo, try pairing it with a sleek swept-back quiff.

On the contrary, the undercut taper-fade quiff with a clean shave has a more casual look, draws more attention to your eyes, and is fine for any occasion. For lazy weekends, you can go with a messy quiff and still be in style.

Attracting Romance with the Quiff

You’ve probably noticed how many male celebrities show up to red carpet events wearing the quiff hairstyle. There’s a good reason—they know that it portrays a masculine elegance, good fashion sense, and self-confidence that is irresistible. You’ll attract all of the right kinds of attention while setting the bar high and showing you’re a man of taste and refinement.

Quiff Hairstyles by Hair Length

When styling men’s hair, it’s great to keep hair length and texture in mind as the hair type makes all the difference.

Short Hair Quiff

Short Hair Quiff

The hair is a little bit longer on top, with the longest hair in the front, which you can easily style however you like. For men with short hair, this is the best quiff hairstyle to wear. The short hair quiff is easy to cut and is low maintenance.

A popular short hair quiff is the soft side-swept quiff or comb-over. With both, the sides are kept clean with an old-school look.

Medium Hair Quiff

Medium Hair Quiff

A considerable volume of hair on top with shorter sides and back gets you a medium-length quiff. Medium length hair, which should be about 3 inches (7.5 centimetres), is the ideal length for this quiff haircut. Anything longer would be considered a long hair quiff.

Long Hair Quiff

Long Hair Quiff

The long hair quiff is perfect for men with gorgeous locks. However, it requires more effort to maintain and takes longer to style.

A swept-back cut would most certainly emphasize a receding hairline. However, if this is a concern, you can go for the taper fade or messy haircuts that sweep forward.

Long Hair Quiff with Undercut Fade

Long Hair Quiff with Undercut Fade

Having long hair is a great starting point for creating a classic quiff. However, the focus is still on more volume on the top and shorter sides and back. Finish this look with a clean-cut beard if you want to look your best.

Long Textured Quiff with Shape Up and Beard

Long Textured Quiff with Shape Up and Beard

Handsome and dandy are words that come to mind for this style. As you can see in the image above, the hair flows beautifully to the side and exhibits bundles that admirers will desire to run their hands through. Ideal for the club and the boardroom—you’ll be a man in demand with this hairstyle.

The Best Quiff Hairstyle Combinations

From classic versions to today’s contemporary adaptations, here are the best modern quiff hairstyles for men.

Undercut Quiff

Undercut Quiff

The undercut quiff works best with thicker hair types. The hair on the sides can be disconnected from the top, gradually using the fade or taper style, as well as with a sharp cut to showcase the difference in length.

Classic Quiff

Classic Quiff

The difference in length between the top and the sides is often insignificant. Also, the front of a classic quiff hairstyle is not usually rigidly styled. The implication of this is that you can embrace your hair texture and work with your natural parting while using only your fingers to style it.

The difference between classic and modern quiff is seen clearly in the picture above versus the one below. The classic quiff has a more gradual gradient of hair from the top down the back and sides. In contrast, the modern quiff has a more stark difference between the back and sides versus the hair on top.

Disconnected (Modern) Quiff

Disconnected (Modern) Quiff

As you can see, unlike the classic quiff, there is no slow transition from the top to the sides. A clean, sharp transition to shorter hair is made at a point, and it’s often pronounced.

Taper Fade with Quiff

Taper Fade with Quiff

The taper fade style involves gradually cutting the hair from the sides and back while fading from the fuller hair at the top section to the neck. It gives your appearance a neat look.

Messy Quiff

The messy quiff is ideal for men with a full head of hair. It’s low maintenance and takes hardly any time to style.

How to Get a Quiff

How to Order the Quiff Hairstyle at Barber Salon

The keys to getting the perfect haircut are preparation (knowing exactly what you want) and communication (getting your barber to understand what you want). While knowing all the jargon can be helpful, it’s best if you can find a picture of the specific hairstyle you want.

The next part is having the necessary raw materials for your haircut. When it comes to getting a quiff, it goes without saying that you’ll need to have long enough hair. For the kind of textured quiff that is in vogue nowadays, we suggest clippers be used to achieve a high skin fade on the sides. To avoid going too short, you could go for a longer, tapered number 2.

The DIY Quiff Styling Process

Styling: Apply a small amount of styling product by running your fingers through the hair for a messy yet classy textured style. Center on the bangs and top, then run it sideways. After that, grasp it firmly and pinch it to create a rough yet unified volume. Optional: set it with a careful application of hair spray.

Tip: Before styling, it is recommended to create the base shape of your hair by blow-drying with a hairdryer. Make the front hair stand up straight and flow towards the back or side. Use a roller brush for quicker results. This process makes the creation of the style easier.

Hair Products for Your Quiff Hairstyle

Finding tailor-made products that meet your styling needs can make a difference in how you feel and look—and save precious styling time, too. Here are the best men’s hair products to use for the perfect quiff.

Styling Pomade

It’s perhaps the most essential product when it comes to subduing curly (or permed) hair, irrespective of its length. Pomade is excellent for creating edgy quiff hairstyles and will give your hair volume with its firm hold. It’s also easy to apply and wash out without causing any damage to your hair. A little bit of this pomade evenly spread on your palm and flatted over your hair is all you need to achieve the perfect quiff.

Styling Clay - Recommended by GATSBY

Clay keeps your hair in a relaxed state over an extended period by ensuring that the hair strands are evenly distributed. This gives your quiff a thicker appearance but also enhances the texture to make it look and feel its best.

Clay works well with all hair types and will give your quiff a natural look when applied in small amounts. It’s also excellent for final touch-ups.

Styling Wax

Another excellent option for quiffs with high volume and a lasting hold is styling wax that lets you style your hair however you want. Compared to other styling products, wax excels in creating a "bundle" effect when it comes to quiffs. Be sure to always use it on dry hair and avoid applying it to your roots. For best results, before applying, rub the wax evenly between your palms until it turns clear.

Complete Your Look with a Killer Quiff

It’s often said that your hair is an essential aspect of your personality as it sets the tone for your overall look. To look good, it’s important to always go with a fashionable hairstyle like the quiff.

With perfect hair products and the simple styling steps above, you can maintain the best quiff style to compliment your features.