Hard Part Haircut Styles: Helpful Tips and Inspiration

Written by Sierra Hamilton | Reviewed by Linda Simko Last Updated: March 16, 2024

Do you want a hairstyle that is smart, stylish, and edgy at the same time?

If you do, then you might want to try getting a hard part haircut. There are several hairstyles that go well with a hard part haircut. We’ll give you the info you need to choose one that suits your personality and sense of style.

What Is a Hard Part Haircut?

A hard part haircut is a modern take on the classic side part. In a side part, hair is divided into two sections. The top and sides are cut short and neat. The top is cut to about 2-4 inches while the sides are clipped with a razor.

Unlike the traditional soft part haircut, which requires combing or brushing to separate hair into sections, a hard part haircut shaves into place, thus giving it more contrast, definition, and an edgier look. It is also known as the “razor part”, “razor line” or “side part line.” The hard part is a shaved, clean line on the scalp that can achieve by using a razor or a trimmer. The sides are usually cut short while the top is kept at a medium length.

A hard part is typically worn on the side and will work with different types of hairstyles. However, it also needs to maintain regularly in order to stay neat and sharp-looking. Because of the striking contrast brought about by the shaved razor line, a hard part goes well with fades, combovers, spikes, and undercuts.

How to Get a Hard Part Haircut?

There’s a reason why it’s called a “hard part” haircut. Doing this style on your own is not easy. The “hard part” is shaving that razor line down your scalp, so it’s best to have a barber or a hairdresser do it for you.

Decide For A Hard Part Haircut

Before getting a hard part haircut, you need to be clear about a few things so you’ll get the exact look you’re aiming for. The easiest way to describe the details is to bring a picture of the exact haircut you want to do. Here are some factors you will need to decide on to discuss with your barber or hairdresser:

1. Which Part?

Decide which area of your scalp should have the razor line. The spot should not be too far from the middle of the scalp; there should be a considerable amount of hair left on top for a moderate-length cut.

2. Thick or Thin?

People have different hair types. Some have thick, coarse hair, while others have thin and fine hair. Choose between a thick or thin hard part and let your barber or hairdresser know your preference.

3. How About the Top Hair?

Pompadour? Quiff? Flat top? Comb over? Tell your barber or hairdresser how you want that top hair cut and styled.

The Process for Hard Part Haircut

By using a straight-edged razor, your barber or hairdresser will set the boundaries of that hard part line on your scalp. The beginning and the end of the hard part line will be clearly marked, and shaving gel will be applied and massaged to your hair for easy cutting and shaving.

Your hair will then be trimmed and shaved, and in the process, that hard part line will become visible as the scalp gets more exposed. To create a stark contrast, the hard part will be smoothed and lined. The next step is to do the hairstyle of your choice (e.g. quiff, undercut, fade, etc.) around that hard part line.

Ways to Style a Hard Part Haircut

There are no set rules when it comes to styling a hard part haircut. A hard part haircut is not a hairstyle; it’s a distinct razor line on your head that you can style your hair around. Choose among these recommended hairstyles what you think suits your personality or the shape of your face best:


The Straightforward Approach Hard Part Haircut

You can do styling on your own by using hair styling products (such as hair gel) to fashion your top hair as you deem fit. The sides will be short, so all you need to do is even out any clumps of hair that may form as you style.


The Undercut Hard Part Haircut

The undercut is a popular hairstyle among men these days because of its classy and refined look. It’s clean, sophisticated, and has a unique look that’s distinguished. The undercut is also known for its versatility when it comes to styling. Undercuts can be from short to medium in length and provide a stark contrast between the top and the sides.

Just like the quiff, the top hair is kept long, while the sides and back buzz really short. This puts emphasis on the top hair, making it stand out. This type of hairstyle is recommended for men with square-shaped or diamond-shaped faces because it softens the angles with its rounded and smooth qualities.


The Quiff Hard Part Haircut

The quiff is one of many hairstyles that complement a hard part. It’s also one of the most versatile because it can modify to suit any face shape or hair type. Whether for a casual or a professional setting, the quiff can be styled to suit any occasion. If you can pull off this hairstyle, you’ll definitely stand out.

The quiff is similar to the undercut when it comes to the basics: long on top and short on the sides and back. What distinguishes the quiff is how the top of the hair is styled: upward and then combed slightly back for texture and volume. The quiff is considered a high-contrast hairstyle because the long top hair contrasts with short hair on the sides and back. Vertical volume is often the focal point of this hairstyle. It is often slanted, wavy, and a bit messy in appearance.


The Flat Top Hard Part Haircut

The flat top complements a hard part by giving it a distinct, retro look. The flat top became a popular look in the fifties and sixties, especially among athletes. These days, the flat top is a style that’s common among older men who have graying hair. Older barbers are especially adept when it comes to doing this type of haircut (all you need to do is ask).

As the name suggests, the flat top makes a head of hair flat across the top and gives the illusion of a squarish look to the face and head. A flat top is recommended for those with square faces but not for those with diamond-shaped or round faces. People with straight hair won’t have any trouble achieving this style, but wavy or curly hair might not yield the same results.


The Fade Hard Part Haircut

If you want a clean and polished look to go with that hard part, the fade will do a wonderful job. This hairstyle has a modern aesthetic that can be approached with an experimental way of styling (although it can also be styled in the traditional way).

Different approaches and combinations with the fade have shown incredible results — the undercut fade, temp fade, taper fade, high-top fade, high fade, military fade, faux hawk fade, and low fade, to name a few. The faux hawk fade is exceptionally distinctive when combined with a hard part since buzzed sides graduate to the middle.


The Comb Over Hard Part Haircut

The comb-over is a classic hairstyle preferred by those seeking a refined and elegant look. A hard part will definitely add that oomph factor when combined with a comb-over. While this hairstyle is the constant choice of salesmen and brokers, a rise in its popularity among celebrities has led to its reinvention, creating a more modern aesthetic. The comb-over is also adaptable to any face shape and may be combined with the fade.


The Pompadour Hard Part Haircut

When it comes to hairstyles, pompadours have always been trendy. A hard part will certainly add a fresh twist to this fashionable hairstyle by emphasizing its fullness and voluminous top. This look was originally meant for females but became popular among males during the 1950s (thanks to Elvis Presley!) Hair is combed upwards and backward to create that unique bulge.


Short or Cropped Hard Part Haircut

Yes, a hard part will also work with short or cropped hair! It will actually add more character to this common hairstyle.

Conclusion for Hard Part Haircut Styles

Even men are entitled to fuss about their hair, and having a hard part done can be the beginning of a wonderful relationship between men and their barbers. Why? Because it’s not practical to do it on your own, you will need to have it maintained regularly if you want to keep that hard part for a long time. But then again, everyone needs to get a haircut from time to time anyway (men especially!) so it shouldn’t be much of an inconvenience to get your hair just the way you want it with a hard part.

Whether you’re sporting a man bun, a refined undercut, or a voluminous pompadour, adding a hard part will surely make styling your hair more interesting.

Featured Photo by Hai Phung on Unsplash


  • Sierra Hamilton

    Hi, I'm Sierra Hamilton, the founder and main author of AllSalonPrices.com. My journey began as a salon enthusiast, and over time, I came to recognize the challenges many face when comparing services and prices across different salons. Tired of the opaque pricing in the beauty world, I was inspired to launch AllSalonPrices.com. My mission is simple: to offer a platform where visitors can access accurate and up-to-date price listings for a myriad of beauty services, streamlining the decision-making process. I'm deeply committed to ensuring everyone can make informed and confident choices about where to indulge in their next beauty treatment.

    https://elicense.ohio.gov/oh_verifylicensedetails?pid=a0Rt0000000riD4EAI Hamilton Sierra

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