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What Is an Ivy League Haircut?

By Rachael Cullins
Updated May 21, 2024
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An Ivy League haircut is a popular hairstyle for men featuring shorter hair at the sides of the head and longer hair at the top of the head. Typically, it has hair length of approximately 0.25-0.5 inches (0.6-1.3 cm) at the sides and back of the head and gradually increasing to 1.5-2.0 inches (3.8-5.1 cm) in length at the top of the head and at the hairline. The hair tapers in length from the hairline to the crown, leaving the hairline the longest part of the cut. This haircut might also be referred to as a college cut, Cambridge cut or Harvard cut, and it is a variation of a standard crew cut.

There are many variations to the Ivy League haircut, including alternatives to hair length. Some styles feature a layered or textured cut to the longest part of the hair near the hairline to give a messy or tousled appearance. The haircut is considered a contemporary style among men and, although its name has collegiate origins, it is popular with men of varying ages. It is often considered a good style for men who have thinning hair, because it can help mask the appearance of thinning hair.

Many men choose to use hair gel or pomade with an Ivy League haircut in order to style the longer portion of the hair to personal preference. The haircut also can be worn dry without the use of styling products. The style can be parted on the middle or at either side. The most popular way to wear this type of haircut is without a part or with the bangs slightly brushed to the side.

The Ivy League haircut became popular with college men because it adhered to crisp dress codes but allowed some flexibility for personalization with the longer hair at the front of the head. This type of haircut is derived from the crew cut style of haircut. The crew cut first became popular in the 1890s.

Nearly all barbers and hairdressers should be familiar with an Ivy League haircut. It is an easy style to maintain, and the time between haircuts can vary depending upon how quickly the hair grows. Men typically wait four to eight weeks between trims to maintain this type of haircut.

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