To grow or not grow sideburns? It’s a question that you’ve probably always tossed out the window because long sideburns haven’t always been an acceptable facial hair style. That’s just the point though, isn’t it?
Sideburns are the strips of facial hair extending from the hairline down the sides of the face in front of your ears. Sideburns come in a variety of shapes, lengths and styles. They may be grown by themselves or used to compliment or connect to a beard, goatee, or mustache.
Before learning how to trim your sideburns, look at some different trending styles, including looks from Hugh Jackman, James Dean, and Elvis Presley.
1. Thin Sideburns
These pencil thin sideburns AKA Ice Pick Sideburns are subtle and understated.
2. Long Sideburns
People often draw conclusions when talking about the lack of hygiene or grooming when it comes to longer sideburns, as they can quickly become bushy and uneven if not trimmed.
Quite the contrary, when done right. Jude Law shows that growing long sideburns is super stylish.
If you were planning on growing out your sideburns to avoid grooming, you should know it’s just like maintaining a thick, full beard.
You still must take out the electric trimmers or barber shears to shore up your sideburns and maintain a professional look if you don’t want them to get too bushy and wild. That’s also perfectly fine if you like it that way—just see our long sideburn celebrity shots below.
3. Short Sideburns
Short sideburns are often cropped just below the top of the ear and no lower than the middle of the ear. They may also be buzzed or faded if your haircut is shorter, such as a buzz cut, crew cut, or undercut hairstyle.
Again, here’s Jude Law showing that short sideburns are just as stylish as the longer version but with a cleaner, but less rugged look.
If you like a clean, short sideburn, then you only need a razor to ensure your sideburns are kept neat and trim.
4. Tapered Sideburns
There are also a lot of looks for men with tapered and faded sideburns. These are best for men who want the trendy look of a clean to stubble sideburn that fades into a longer hairstyle.
These tapered looks are sideburns that extend beyond the bottom of the ear and vary in fade depth. However, this look is more difficult to maintain as you must fade the sides with multiple electric trimmer guards or sharp trimming shears to get the right taper.
Here are some different ways to style, fade and taper sideburns:
5. Sideburn Designs
Sideburn designs include pointed edges, wicked styles and artful patterns.
6. Sideburn Fade
These bald faded sideburns are crazy cool with a fade beard. It creates lots of visual interest without being overwhelming.
7. Beard with Sideburns
We love seeing thick, full beard styles that connect with a mustache and sideburns – it’s the full package. When trimmed and maintained, these beards look amazing and healthy on any man.
8. Mutton Chop Sideburns
This classic mutton chops style is an early traditional American look that stems back to the 1700s, but it came back briefly in the 1970s. You can still see this look on a few actors today.
There are many celebrities besides Jude Law who frequently change up their sideburns, whether that means growing them out or shaping them with their own flair.
Celebrities with Sideburns for Style Inspiration
Long sideburns and mutton chops are rebellious, as many rock and blues musicians have shown us, as well as iconic comic book legends like Wolverine.
9. Wolverine Sideburns
The Wolverine Sideburns were made famous by the X-Men movies.
10. Curly Sideburns
Vintage James Dean with curly sideburns with curly hair.
11. Flared Sideburns
John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd as Jake and Elwood Blues.
12. Elvis Sideburns
The triangle sideburns worn by Elvis Presley was down right remarkable. The corners of the triangle line up perfectly with his lower cheekbones.
13. Sideburns Goatee
Wearing sideburns with goatee creates a separated look that’s clean and stylish.
14. Cowboy Sideburns
The Brokeback Mountain star, Jake Gyllenhaal, with slightly flared cowboy sideburns.
15. Square Sideburns
Colin Farrell rocking square sideburns paired with a pencil mustache and goat’s beard.
16. Black Men Sideburns
Donald Glover Sporting a slick Balbo Beard and sideburns.
17. Big Sideburns
These big and bushy sideburns are reminiscent of old school style with a timeless tradition.
18. Cool Sideburns
I started wearing cool sideburns as a teen because of Dylan McKay, played by Luke Perry in Beverly Hills 90201.
19. No Sideburns Beard
No sideburns and beard creates a cool disconnected look.
20. Bald with Sideburns
Chris Daughtry is killing the bald sideburns look.
21. The Rock Sideburns
Dwayne “The Rock Johnson sporting short sideburns.
22. Shaved Head Sideburns
Brad Pitt with a shaved head and sideburns in Fight Club, 1999.
23. Bad Sideburns
Bad sideburns are poorly trimmed, uneven and don’t square off cleanly.
What Do Sideburn Styles Look Like?
There are a few distinct ways to wear sideburns, including styles that merge with other facial hair.
We’re very passionate about men keeping their sideburns because it helps enhance your facial features. For example, sideburns frame your face and give you a style that doesn’t just blend in with the status quo. Find your perfect style below.
Sideburns have their own lengths, styles, and shapes that can complement your hairstyle, facial features, and overall demeanor.
Trimming your sideburns typically requires an electric beard trimmer or razor. See How to Trim Sideburns guide below.
Find your desired length
Trying to determine your perfect sideburn hair length takes time, patience and little trial and error. So, if you’re unsure about sporting long sideburns, I’d suggest letting your sideburns grow out a little at a time and watch them change your face shape.
You might like how long, thin sideburns outline and elongate your shape and jawline. It creates a subtle but distinct look!
How to Trim Sideburns
Cutting your sideburns is easy once you have enough hair growth. You simply shave, trim and style to your natural facial contours.
However, when you actually pay attention to how you line up your sideburns, you’ll get a totally new look that can be really attractive.
As you groom your sideburns, keep these tips in mind:
- Long sideburns typically extend to the bottom of the ear.
- Fade and blend sideburns at the bottom for a unique look.
- Merge sideburns with a full, thick beard.
- Thick, wide sideburns frame your face better.
- Try a beard shaper tool for a curved sideburn shape.
- Sideburns line up with you jawline.
The length and shape of your sideburns are up to you. Some guys like to create incredibly long bushy sideburns that connect to their cheek and mustache hair, while others simply want a stubbly faded sideburn that shows their expert grooming techniques.