Currently, there are three fashionable hairstyle choices for men with receding hairlines. All of them involve wearing the hair somewhat short because attempting to grow it long to distract from a receding hairline actually makes the hairline look worse. To be more specific--and a bit blunt--a balding man who grows his hair long on the sides and back in an attempt to appear to have more hair will not look his best.
Slightly Longer On Top And Messy
This style works best for men whose hairline reaches at least to the middle of their scalp or farther forward and whose remaining hair is thick enough to muss around. This hairstyle will not work for men whose hairline is so receded that it is almost non-existent or for men whose hair has thinned out so dramatically that the scalp can be seen underneath.
With this hairstyle, the hair is trimmed relatively short on the back and on the sides, though not buzz-clipped with a razor. This differentiation is important because when the hair on the back and sides are cut short with actual shears rather than a razor, the look is much more natural and less severe, blending in attractively with the hair on top of the head.
The hair on top is not left excessively long but is noticeably and reasonably longer, and there is enough hair to mess up. Essentially, this cut is just the traditional short-back-and-sides cut but done without an electric razor trimming the back and sides, and making sure to--in a fashionable way--muss up the hair on top for a modern, youthful look that also will help to somewhat cover a high forehead or receding hair at the temples.
With a close-cropped style, the individual has his hair cut in one very short length all over. In order to pull this hairstyle off, the individual has to still have hair on top of his head; as with the messy style discussed above, the hairline ideally needs to reach to at least the middle of the scalp for this haircut.
This style is not quite the same thing as a complete shaving off of the hair; the hair remains, though there is often not enough of it to style, per se. Thus, the cut ends up being the style, in and of itself. On a larger man, the close-cropped style can look tough. On a slender man, the cut can look cutting-edge and artsy. This style is a perfect compromise for the man who doesn't feel like hiding his receding hairline but doesn't feel comfortable going completely bare.
This one's for the brave. If a hairline has receded to the point of rendering the messy cover-up style and the close-cropped style impossible, going bare is probably the best option. It involves completely shaving off the hair on the back and sides of the head, down to the scalp. Besides being able to save money by shaving off the hair at home with an electric razor, the person who opts for this choice also manages to avoid paying for and dealing with hair-care products.