The Modern Flat Top: Welcoming Back a Classic Look

flat top

Barbers, if you’re looking to be in the know on the latest trends, there’s one style that needs to be on your radar: the modern flat top. 

A super recognizable look, the flat top is a classic that’s finally popping back up on the barbering radar–more importantly, it’s popping back up on clients’ radars, too. 

And we’re not talkin’ about the 50s flat top that’s dated and archaic–we’re talking about a new look that nods to the classic with a 2022 twist. But what exactly is new with the modern-day flat top, and more importantly, which of your clients would be the ideal candidates to rock this revisited look? 

This blog is here to be your flat-top guiding light. Dive into the article for tips on what makes the flat top new and fun, how to get the ultimate look, and what clients should def take the flat top out for a spin. 

 P.S. take a peek at our while you’re at it–your protection matters a ton (and we’ve got the prices that make it an affordable and worthwhile investment).

What’s New with the Modern Flat Top?

Just like its predecessor, the modern flat top lives up to its on-the-nose name–it gives the client a flat-across-the-top style. What makes it different? The attitude. 

A modern flat top is a vintage look, but it’s a little more buttoned-up this time around, making it a popular choice with more than just trend-setters. 

Now, flat tops are a go-to choice for people of all professions, genders, and styles. What makes this a modern take? A little sophistication, a little less volume, and a subdued attitude that reinforces the frame of someone’s face without being too edgy. 

No matter what the difference is, flat tops are becoming a standby hairstyle for lots of barbershops again–that means it might be time to consider adding this updated style to your list of services. 

Who Can Rock a Modern Flat Top?

Truly, the answer is anyone. A modern flat top is a little more subtle than the eccentric flat tops (sometimes) of the past. But, like most styles, face shape will have a little bit to do with who can best wear this look. 

Square face shapes will likely rock this look flawlessly. Why? Because it reinforces that pre-existing face shape. For clients with diamond, round, or triangular face shapes, this look might not be as flattering because it’s working against those semi-harsh and angular lines. 

How about clients with wavy or curly hair? While there’s no reason that a client with naturally wavy or curly hair couldn’t pull off a flat top if cut right, it’s no secret that straight hair is definitely easier to style. 

That being said, if you can suggest the right products to your clients with curly hair, a flat top is definitely attainable. 

How to Cut the Perfect Flat Top

You’re the pro, so we’re not going to tell you the secret sauce to cutting the perfect flat top–but we will give you a few basic tips. 

As you know, the key to this style is flatness. That means the sides and the back of the head should be clipped relatively short (think anything from a #2-#4), leaving length on the top. 

Stand all that top hair up (think anywhere from 2-4 inches high), then use that clipper-over-comb technique to create a flat head of hair. 

Go for an even all-over look but shorten the hair the closer you get to the back of the crown of the head. 

Don’t forget your touch-ups! This look will require some final cuts to perfect this meticulous look. And, of course, you’ll need to make sure your clients know ahead of time that this isn’t a look that can grow out and maintain at the same time–if they want a perfectly flat top look with the angular lines, they’ll need to come in every 2-4 weeks for regular touch-ups. 

Love the insight on top trends like the flat top look? 

We’re glad to hear it. Stay up to date and in the know with the National Association of Barbers' regularly updated blog for all the insight, knowledge, and career-boosting advice. P.S. take a peek at our barbering liability insurance while you’re at it–your protection matters a ton (and we’ve got the prices that make it an affordable and worthwhile investment). 

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