You shouldn’t let the name of the elephant trunk hairstyle fool you – despite its rather ungainly nomenclature, this style is the ultimate in embodying creativity and polish. In fact, modern celebrities including blue-eyed soul idol Sam Smith and pop superstar Zayn Malik are huge fans of it. Additionally, it has a rich history dating back to the 1950s when it was popular with Teddy Boys in England and among the rockabilly subculture in America. Today, you can style it in any way that your imagination can conjure – sophisticated and professional, alternative and edgy, or just plain old handsome.
What is an Elephant Trunk Hairstyle
This hairstyle’s most noticeable characteristic is the way that the hair dramatically crests over the forehead in a well-defined arc. The rest of the cut can be whatever you want it to be, although it should feature luxurious length on top. It features short, buzzed, or faded sides, and is varyingly worn to look either natural or teased to the max. It’s generally not a wash-and-go kind of look, so we recommend this maximalist trend for those of you who are comfortable using styling products.
How to Style an Elephant Trunk
This hairstyle is unparalleled in its versatility. Even though it has a specific silhouette, the styling potential of this hairstyle is near-unlimited. But don’t be intimidated – here are a few pointers to guide you through your options.
- Pick the appropriate styling product for your intended look.
- For touchable texture, choose a hair paste.
- For heavy-duty shine and the strongest hold, reach for old fashioned hair gel.
- Run your comb through your hair from the back to the front. Concentrate the volume smoothly towards the forehead. Be gentle so you don’t sacrifice any height.
- Use your fingers for the finishing touch. Gently tease the front of your hair over your forehead in a flattering shape.
#1 Comb Over Elephant Trunk
This older gentleman is a prime specimen of how to nail the elephant trunk hairstyle. His suit and flawless application of hair gel would be too uptight without the addition of his Ray-Ban glasses, nostalgic tattoos, eclectic beard, and rebellious cheekbone dermal piercing. Together, this look is daring, dashing – and fun. This is a perfect vibe for someone with a professional position in a fashion-forward industry, such as the director of an art gallery or a music magazine.
#2 Poetic Curls with Fringe
This style demonstrates that a little styling product goes a long way. There’s only the barest minimum of gel in front to hold his trunk in place and accentuate the drape of his curls. The rest of his dark blond hair is natural to highlight its softness.
#3 Nostalgia Elephant Trunk
This cut starts with an expertly blended fade and then morphs beautifully into shaved sides. The volume on top features two precisely styled waves. One of them crashes over his forehead in a loosely unwinding corkscrew. This jelly roll haircut is a flawless update.
#4 Classic Elephant Trunk
Is there any vibe that the elephant trunk hairstyle can’t evoke? This one is decidedly outdoorsy despite its enormous volume and requisite liberal use of styling gel. Paired with a zip-up fleece, he looks like he’s on his way to winning a rugby match.
#5 Untouchable Elephant Trunk
This look owes its intense shine and holds to massive amounts of hair gel. The curls on top of his head remain in their natural pattern, but the curls in his trunk expand exaggeratedly into a larger spiral. This is an excellent example of how this cut can be both dramatic and polished.
#6 Super Long Elephant Trunk
On the opposite end of the style spectrum, this harkens back to the rough and tumble teenage Teddy Boys. The hair sweeps forward in two distinct crests, culminating in a heavy double trunk that protrudes in front of the eyes. It’s perfect for a night out at a rock and roll show.
#7 Jack-o’-lantern Elephant Trunk
Just in time for Halloween! This cut combines captivating braid-like texture and stunning pumpkin-orange color to create a playful, grown-up reference to the traditional decoration. Note how the precise points of his hair retain a natural-looking finish: this indicates skillful use of hair wax.
#8 Industrial Jelly Roll Haircut
We mentioned that this hairstyle is flexible enough to handle alternative styles and now you can see that we weren’t kidding around. The sides of his scalp are mercilessly bare, resulting in a stark transition to the strip of medium-length hair at the top of his head. This subversively gelled look would be perfect at a Tool concert or in an illegal speakeasy (which are all the rage in these days, by the way).
#9 Cry-Baby Style
Johnny Depp was a style icon in the 90s! This greaser hairstyle is a throwback to his rosier days of fame, specifically, his appearance in the cult classic Cry-Baby. Stay true to this style’s vintage roots and break out your can of Aqua-Net to achieve this level of vintage volume.
#10 Messy Elephant Trunk with Low Fade
Here’s a rare example of the elephant trunk hairstyle looking messy on purpose. This rugged look owes its success to a detail-oriented barber and the wearer’s natural hair texture. His thick beard and otherwise no-nonsense cut balance out the crescendo of curls spilling over his face.
#11 Small Elephant Trunk
#12 Full Elephant Trunk
#13 High And Tight
#14 Side Swept Elephant Trunk Hairstyle
#15 Greaser Hairstyle
Now you know all about the vintage hairstyle that’s suddenly new again. There’s a reason it stands the test of time – the same basic cut has the potential to be manipulated to encompass so many different looks. If you love the variety and are hungry for a creative outlet, you have to try it. When you do, you’ll be joining the ranks of stylish men throughout history. Not bad for a cut with such a humble name!