Everything You Need to Know About The Crew Cut

Published 21st Jul 2023 by Sian Jones
The crew cut remains a popular classic, so we spoke to the experts to find out what makes this timeless style a versatile client favourite.

Just like the buzzcut, the crew cut is another popular military cut for clients who are after a low maintenance style. The term 'crew cut' is likely to have originated when describing the hairstyles worn by members of Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Cornell and other university crew teams, notably John "Jock" Hay Whitney. According to the Yale Alumni Magazine (and Yale–New Haven lore) Jock walked into a local barbershop and asked for a “Hindenburg” military cut to maximise his rowing performance. Due to the aftermath of World War I, the barber suggested giving the style a new name, and to honour Yale oarsmen, they called it a 'crew cut.'

So what is a crew cut?

This easy to maintain cut is similar to the buzzcut but rather than one length all over, it leaves something to play with on top. "Put simply, the crew cut is short on the sides and shorter on top but with enough length to give it some texture and movement," says Miles Wood-Smith, Master Barber at Murdock London, who tells us this classic style is still popular.

Delving into the detail of the cut, Janene Hawkins-Bush, owner of Sir & Co. Barbers explains: "A crew cut is a type of haircut in which the upright hair on the top of the head is cut relatively short, graduated in length from the longest hair that forms a short pomp at the front hairline to the shortest at the back of the crown so that in side profile the outline of the top hair approaches the horizontal."

Keri Blue, founder of Human First UK and short hair artist, adds: "This cut can be used on any hair type and texture. The crew cut doesn’t need any particular shape face to still look very trendy, and is best paired with a low skin fade and focused texture on top." So make sure to recommend the perfect product for your client before they leave the shop!



Sian Jones

Sian Jones

Published 21st Jul 2023

Sian is Editor Modern Barber and Deputy Editor Hairdressers Journal International. She has over ten years’ experience writing for print publications covering Youth & Children, TV & Entertainment and Lifestyle. Sian graduated with a degree in journalism, and whilst studying was nominated for the Guardian Digital Journalist of the Year award in 2011.

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