Everything You Need to Know About the Quiff

Published 10th Apr 2024 by Josie Jackson
The quiff is an amalgamation of various styles, including the pompadour, the flattop, and even the mohawk. Like the pompadour, the quiff can be traced back to the 1950s, with famous faces like Elvis and James Dean remembered for this iconic style, but it also gained momentum in the 1980s, becoming a staple of the Teddy Boy movement.

So, What is a Quiff?

“A quiff is characterised by the hair at the front pushed up and backwards away from the forehead, creating volume and height at the front of the head,” explains Dee Biberian, owner of Biberian Barbers. “It typically involves mid to short length hair on the back and sides, which emphasises the volume on the top, making it more eye catching.” However, as Marley Mayer, owner of Marley Mayer Salon points out, a quiff can be quite flexible: “You can use scissors or clippers to trim the back and sides to your desired length – this could be a fade, taper, or simply a shorter length, depending on your client’s preference.” Tayla Brewer agrees that customer preference can influence the style, adding: "It can be a smart or messy look."



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How to Cut a Quiff – and Pressure Points to Watch Out For

The quiff is a particularly versatile style, with Dee explaining: “When it comes to cutting a quiff, I follow the same steps on every client – it’s down to their personality, job and bravery on how they want to wear it.” One such step Dee follows is to always cut more length from the crown, tapering the length to the fringe area so there is a clear definition between the front and back when styled.

Meanwhile, Scott Rice, owner of Onyxx Barbershop, shares his approach, telling us: “The main step to achieving a finished look is to leave evenly distributed weight on the sides, to ensure the style is balanced.” He also adds that his preferred cutting technique is deep point cutting, while the tapered mesh technique is also another great option – both of which can help to remove any unnecessary weight.

When cutting a quiff, there are a few different pressure points to watch out for, with Marley sharing: “The length of the hair at the front will determine the height and shape of the quiff, so take care to maintain the desired length for your desired style. It’s better to leave enough length in the quiff to work with and take shorter later, than taking too much off straight away.” Marley also highlights that a client’s natural growth pattern can impact the style, explaining that you may need to point cut or use texturising techniques to create movement.

How to Style a Quiff

Scott shares his tips for styling a quiff in the barbershop:

  1. Dampen your client’s hair.

  2. Evenly coat the hair in either salt spray or matte clay.

  3. Dry all the hair 40%.

  4. Using a round brush, roll the fringe out away from the client. It should look like a curl.

  5. Put a diffuser attachment on your hairdryer then diffuse the rest of the hair, leaving out the fringe.

  6. Apply a finishing product like texture dust.

  7. Pull any hairs accordingly that would best suit the clients head shape.

Tayla highlights the use of the round brush, explaining: "Styling a quiff in the barbershop is all about the blow dry – using a round brush or a curled vent brush, blowdrying in the direction you want the hair to go, moulding it in place. The type of brush is important as this creates the bend in the hair, which adds the volume."

Tips For Clients

The first step to advising a client on how to style their own hair at home is to talk through the process in the barbershop, explaining what you are doing while they are facing a mirror. Marley also highlights the importance of investing in good quality products – think styling creams and pomades that are specifically designed to create volume and hold. Tayla then shares: "Don’t be shy with the wax, make sure it’s all rubbed through your hair, before styling, as it will hold better."

Why not take this opportunity to direct clients towards your retail offering? You can find out more about the benefits of retailing in your barbershop here.

Meanwhile, Dee advises guiding your clients on how to achieve their desired finish, sharing: “If they want a more formal look then tell them to try using a comb to make the hair look more uniform, but if they want something bolder, they can use their fingers to create texture.”


Josie Jackson

Josie Jackson

Published 10th Apr 2024

Josie supports the team with content for the print magazine, website and social media channels at HJ. Having grown up in a salon environment (thanks to her hairdresser mum) and even working as a Saturday girl before getting her degree in English Literature, Josie feels right at home in the industry. Although she’s experimented with a few creative colour looks in the past, she always comes back to blonde, and loves all things hydrating and bond building.

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