It might not look it – compared to a low-key French crop – but the pompadour is easily one of the most versatile men’s hairstyles out there. After all, what other style worked not only for an eighteenth-century French courtesan, but ‘The King’ and David Beckham too?

Styled by sweeping the hair upwards and away from the face – and often worn slick with swept-back sides – the pompadour isn’t one for wallflowers. In fact, it was first popularised by men who saw their hair as a means of standing out: Elvis, James Dean in Rebel Without A Cause and 1950s greasers hell-bent on marking themselves apart from the norms of 1950s middle-class suburban America.

Since then, it’s evolved, changing shape to allow for all manner of tweaks from a short back and sides to fades to less perfectly sculpted, textured looks. Take a look at some of the best pompadours below. Then learn how to perfect yours, with our guide to everything you need to know about this timeless hairstyle – from the right cut to the products to build it.

Medium-Length Textured Pompadour

Modern Pompadour With Beard

Textured Relaxed Pompadour

High Pompadour

Wet-Look Pompadour

Modern Undercut Pompadour

Wavy Long-Length Pompadour

Pompadour With Extra Volume

Classic Pompadour With Stubble

Pompadour With Mid Fade

Slick Pompadour With Disconnected Sides

Pompadour With Extra Volume

Pompadour With Mid Fade

High-Shine Pompadour With Beard

Textured Mid-Length Pompadour

Loose Pompadour With Shaved Sides

Short Curly Pompadour

Extreme Pompadour

Classic Pompadour

Classic Pompadour With Extra Volume

Modern Pompadour With Short Sides

Wavy Pompadour

Extreme Rockabilly Pompadour

Side-Swept Messy Pompadour

Medium-Length Semi-Slick Pompadour

High-Shine Side-Swept Pompadour

Wide Pompadour

Angular Pompadour

Loose Pompadour With Tapered Sides

Super-Slick Pompadour

Elvis-Inspired Pompadour

Undercut Pompadour