The Right Haircut For A Young Boy

Welcome back to another edition of #BarberTalk by New York Barbers, where we give advice and inspiration on all things men’s grooming - Hair, Beards and Shaving.

This week we are covering the topic of young boys haircuts and what is best suited for most of them! Here at New York Barbers we cut lots of lots of young boys hair, so this is from our experience in what we have found works best!  


It’s all personal preference and whether your son has had long hair as well as shorter hair and can say which they prefer.

In our opinion, shorter hair is always easier for them and their parents.

Short Hair is easier to maintain, keep clean, style and you never have to worry about school rules in regards to longer hair (at some schools). Knits/Head Lice is also more likely in longer hair, and this is because the lice have more hair to live and grow on when it is longer.

We’ve found that longer hair easily knots up among younger boys especially when they are playing and running around a lot. Their hair is still on the finer side (for most) which makes it easier to knot up as well. Long hair is harder to wash and clean the scalp, which is most important.

But we are not here to tell you whether your son should have long or short hair, this is just our advice based on our experience with their hair.

The Right Short Haircuts

Similar to Long Hair vs Short Hair, there is no right or wrong, but here are 3 styles we have found to work well and look great on young boys!

Short Back n Sides with Spikes/Messy Textured Top

The easiest style to maintain and suits most boys. Typically a number 2 or 3 on the back and sides work best, blended into the top on both sides with short spikes on top.

Short Back & Sides with Some Length On Top

Another great style that is quite easy to maintain, but with a bit more ‘style’ on top! Having the top a little longer allows them to push it up and to the side and can be done in a sleek way or a more natural as you can see below. Clipped at number 2 or 3 on the sides, as well as blending both sides allows for a great shape to the haircut as well.

Short Sides and Back with The LINE!

Probably the most popular boys haircut we do on a daily basis. Why? It is modern, stylish, easy to maintain and most important of all, looks cool!

It is basically the exact haircut we explained above, just with a line/definite parting shaved in on one side. We do a short back and sides (number 2 or 3), blending it in on one side and then the side with the line is shaved all the way up (no blending).

We also want to mention that although it is a cool style, there are a couple of disadvantages in some cases with this particular haircut that we have seen.

  • It can take away some shape to the haircut. This is because the hair is shaved all the way up where the line is instead of a gradual blend into the top.

  • The line can end up too high. In some cases, each time a line is shaved in, it ends up higher and higher every visit. This can depend on the hair, how it grows & sits in that area where the line is shaved in, but this is why we always recommend a blended haircut to avoid this all together, but we understand the boys want to be TRENDY, right?

  • The line grows out quickly, within the week usually.

Alternative: You can also have the same haircut, without the line shaved in. It will still be disconnected on one side, just without a definite/shaved in parting. You could call it somewhat of a natural part.

This greatly reduces the line traveling higher and higher every time. 

(as seen below)

‘Fades’ on kids?

When we refer to a ‘fade’, we are referring the sides and back being faded - shorter to longer. Eg: Zero Fade, 0.5 fade, etc.

We have had some questions/requests in regard to this recently, so we thought it would be good to mention it here. 

On Young boys, we do not usually recommend fades any shorter than a number 1. This is because their hair is still quite fine and developing, making it much more difficult to get the faded effect on their hair and any shorter than a 1 can look almost bald (especially on blondes). A number one fade or a number two often suits them much better and doesn't look too severe. 

Fades are very close to the scalp, and a young boys scalp and hair compared to a grown mans is much softer and more sensitive. Hence why fades are difficult on kids but also can be harsh on them and their scalp because of the constant rubbing against the scalp with the clipper - which is what has to happen when fading the hair in. 

Short fades also grow out quicker, because it does not take long for them to lose the ‘fade’ effect, making the haircut look ‘grown out’ a lot quicker compared to a standard short back and sides.

We hope you enjoyed this edition of #BarberTalk by New York Barbers and got some good insight into what haircut is right for your young boy/s. 

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