College Guys' Hairstyles

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The classic college boys' hairstyle was an iconic American 1950s look associated with Ivy League style. Surviving the decades, this clean-cut image has changed little, though it has undergone some adaptations for modern college guys who like the preppy style but do not want to look retro and obviously '50s. For classic college style, wear this type of cut with a clean-shaven face and either a suit or casual, clean-cut clothing.


The unmistakably American look of the college boy hairstyle is a variation of a relaxed crew cut with the clipped short at the back and sides. However, unlike traditional crew cuts, the top stays longer. The back and sides may also be softer than the well-known military crew, providing a clean and groomed look.


Style your hair by brushing through it as you blow-dry. A side parting means that the longer top flips down over the face. Your hair should look smooth and well groomed rather than frizzy, so add a dab of styling cream as you dry it. Use a sharp comb to get a clean side parting, and use a little more styling cream if your fringe needs help in sitting away from the face rather than hanging straight down in front of it.

1950s Inspiration

The classic college boy hairstyle popularised during the 1950s went with shiny shoes, a squeaky-clean image and fitted sweaters. Jeans were only just becoming popular after World War II, giving the overall look a formality also reflected in the hairstyles of the time. Hairstyling products used during the 1950s were also less refined, so the college cut would have a stiffer, more formal appearance, styled back with a rich cream. By the 1960s, bands such as The Beach Boys popularised a relaxed version of the college hairstyle.

Modern Hairstyles

While retro '50s looks come into fashion periodically, the basic college cut has stayed the same, with a few modern adaptations that keep it looking up to date. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, those with hair cut in this fashion left it less groomed than before, without the use of so much styling cream and with a longer fringe section at the top. They might be further adapt this style with bleached blonde highlights. As of 2011, preppy college guys have modern styling products at their command; layered tops are easy to separate with wax, and few guys sport sweeping sideways fringe. The deep side parting has also become less pronounced. A clean-cut college boy image remains common among guys of all ages and is still a classic American look.

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