How to cut a James Dean style haircut

Written by jo jackson Google
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How to cut a James Dean style haircut
A pompadour style has height on top with swept back sides. (Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images)

James Dean was a style icon of the 1950s, appearing in movies like Rebel Without a Cause and East Of Eden. He was well-known for his distinctive pompadour haircut with the sides combed close to the head and the top swept high over the forehead. This style is still popular today and is best achieved by keeping the hair length shorter on the sides and having longer hair on top of the head. Styling gel, pomade or hairspray are requires to hold it in place.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Comb
  • Scissors
  • Blow Dryer
  • Gel, pomade or holding hair spray

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  1. 1

    Comb the hair on the sides of the head horizontally back, and make a part back from the temple on each side of the head. Use scissors and comb to taper the hair below the part so that it is shortest at the bottom of the head, but does not have a shaved look, so that it can blend into the top. Trim the back to match the sides.

  2. 2

    Decide on the length for the hair on the top. If you want a lot of lift, then you want 15 cm (6 inches) or longer, if you want a style that is not as radical then you can go as short as 8 cm (3 inches).

  3. 3

    Cut the hair on top to the desired length using scissors and comb. Make it a uniform length for the best effect.


  1. 1

    Wash the hair and towel it dry.

  2. 2

    Place some styling gel or other product into your hands and run it through the hair. Comb the hair back and up, and create a part if you wish. Push the hair slightly forward from behind as you comb it upwards, to give it height.

  3. 3

    Use a blow dryer while you work on your hair. Once you have the height on the top remember to comb the sides back and blend them in. Mess up the front a little with your fingers if you want a tousled look. Use hairspray when the hair is dry to keep it in place.

Tips and warnings

  • Use a round brush with the blowdryer to create volume in the top bit.

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