In a stream of contemporary hairstyles, the offbeat bowl cut arguably stands out among the rest. Often criticized by fashion experts for its antiquated look, the style presents more opportunities to think outside the box than how it looks at first glance. With the right styling techniques, this underrated haircut can inspire you to take cool, one-of-a-kind risks with your appearance.
What is a Bowl Cut?
The traditional bowl cut contains even tresses around your head. It’s commonly compared and labeled as a “mushroom cut.” The modernized version is far more stylish when you infuse it with sleek elements from other hairstyles. The intriguing draw with a bowl cut is how many ways you can break out of the mold and make it your own. Ask your barber to include a taper or fade, asymmetrical fringe, and curly bangs to elevate the eccentric nature of a bowl cut and make it look punk-inspired, futuristic, or casual.
How to Style a Bowl Cut?
This is not a hairstyle that a barber should do a lot of guess-work, especially with the bangs and length. A mushroom cut needs a specific reference for the type of fringe and texture you want. Take examples to a stylist who can use the images as a foundation to bring your ideas to life.
If you want to Do-It-Yourself, ask a friend to section your hair upwards and out of their eye line. Buzz or trim the hair at the neck and sides close to where you want the fringe to fall. Tape a loose adhesive around your head and draw a line as a guide on where to cut the sectioned hair. Try to match up the edges as evenly as possible.
This style is low-maintenance since most bowl cuts lay flat. Your grooming routine will likely consist of brushing your hair as smooth or tousled as you want. A nourishing shampoo or hair clay can give it an extra shine.
Asymmetric and Bald
Asymmetrical bangs offer a dramatic punk-inspired look, especially if you dye your hair and eyebrows blond. A bald fade along the shorter side boldly accentuates the uneven edges.
Retro Bowl Cut
The haircut is a product of the past and serves an inspiration for the future. This retro-style contains a neat trim with the edges. This version adds an avant-garde twist with a combination of wispy and curved bangs with a taper.
Classic Bowl Cut
For the most part, what you see is what you get with this haircut. The medium-length sits comfortably from front to back. It’s not too short across the temple or too low near the eyes.
Helmet Bowl Haircut
Another alternative is a helmet cut. Instead of cutting the fringe evenly, trim a low-to-high dip from the back towards the front. A bald fade shows off the unique curved shape.
Asian Wavy Haircut
Instead of letting the fringe stand on its own with a fade or taper, the bowl shape tousles forward over the forehead. The longer fringe around the side and back will draw out the handsome features of your face.
Dyed Blue Style
The Chili bowl cut appears exactly as it sounds: as if a hairstylist used a bowl to cut the model’s hair. Blue dye and taper in the back help the look stray from the norm.
Curly Bowl Cut
A common feature of bowl cut is brushing straight bangs neatly around the head. Scooping the bangs into a curve offers a slightly edgier take. Run a small dab of pomade through your hair before brushing your tresses in a swirl pattern.
Highlighted Blond Hair
Choose a less tidy alternative with a loose fringe by sweeping your hair to the side. The black dye underneath casts a contrasting shadow to the show-stopping blond dye on top. It’s a small yet effective way to re-imagine a plain bowl-inspired hairstyle.
Layered Haircut with Texture
Mix up your hairdo by adding layers. With a thick bundle of hair and a low fade, it’ll take patience to layer strands on top of each other. The final results will be a combination of meticulous and disheveled.
The Beatles Bowl Cut
The Beatles thick locks and tresses cemented bowl cut into fashion and music history. This interpretation simplifies their earliest looks with a thin trim from front to back, a shorter fringe, and a skinny mustache.
Asian Two-Block Haircut
This example is perfect to show anybody who says bowl cut and casual wear don’t mesh together. The hair for the bowl style is thicker rather than thin and tousled instead of straight. A subtle undercut blends the bowl-shape into the sides to complete the style.
Smooth is the name of the game with this haircut. The Chili bowl neatly wraps around the head with a simple brush from the middle of the head downwards. Instead of shaving the sides or using a fade, the hair hangs a little lower for sideburns.
Shaggy bangs can make all the difference. The hair includes a range of layers, which adds a rugged texture and depth. A low fade in the back highlights the fringe, especially when they’re brushed from the back towards the front.
Cropped Super Short Haircut
A super short Cropped cut with clean lines is far from boring or conventional. Blond highlights add an unexpected shine to the ultra-black dye. A small triangle shape and clean fade break up the silky bangs even more.
Contrary to popular belief, bowl cuts can morph into any style you want. Here, combing the hair forwards from the crown adds a variety of understated texture. Dying your hair blond also makes the cut youthful and confident.
Simple Bowl Hair
Side Swept Haircut
Classic and Short
Modern Haircut with Beard
Red Chili Cut
Short Red Hair
Silver Hair Men
French Crop Cut
Straight Blond Hair
Bowl Cut Mullet
Red Hair Men
Fish Tail Skullet
Highlighted Dyed Hair
Crop Top Fade
From soldiers to religious leaders, men commonly wore this style in medieval times. It remained under the radar, mostly used by poorer populations who couldn’t afford a barber. In the early 20th century, comedian Moe Howard from “The Three Stooges” and The Beatles ushered it into pop culture iconography and generalized popularity.
Bowl cut continues to be trendy. Hairstylists and enthusiastic wearers find new and exciting ways to transform the style and help it remain relevant. Other sources that give the style a creative comeback are fashion models, celebrities, and fictional characters in movies or television shows.
The minimum length is approximately five to six inches. Use your forehead, eyes, and ears as guidelines for short to longer lengths. If your hair grows beyond your ears, however, it’ll gradually morph into other hairstyles and less into a bowl cut.
Various elements of other haircuts enhance this style with newer twists and change people’s minds about what bowl cut can achieve. Ultimately, your biggest challenge is to wear your hair with confidence. When you feel good about how you look, everyone else will appreciate it too.
The best solution to fix a Do-It-Yourself bowl cut is to book an appointment with a hair specialist. If your edges are uneven or the fringe doesn’t look right, a stylist can use the right tools to refine the flaws.