The top five ‘man bun’ tutorials on YouTube were viewed 4.1 million times from January 2013 to August 2015, according to Google’s Beauty Trends 2015 report.

Which tells us that, a) men are increasingly interested in their hair and hair trends, and b) many of us are so desperate to get on the bandwagon we’ll resort to spending valuable time teaching ourselves how to style what looks like a turd on top of our heads.

Deeply concerned by the prospect of a world filled with man buns, we consulted the experts on the men’s hairstyles actually worth knowing – the all-time classics, the big-hitters, the versatile styles that work everywhere and anywhere. When it comes to men’s hair, this is the holy trinity.

The Buzz Cut

What Is It?

Short. Very short. Technically used to refer to a grade-one-all-over clipper-cut hairstyle, a buzz cut can mean anything from a grade one to a grade four all over.

Who Does It Suit?

Men with good faces. “The buzz cut is a great style for accentuating the face,” says Dylan Brittain, men’s hair expert at Rainbow Room International. So good if your mug’s your best feature.

How Do I Get It?

“Strictly speaking, a buzz cut is a grade one all over,” says Brittain. “But if that’s too short, you can opt for a grade two on top.”

Brittain also suggests breaking ranks by taking the back and sides of the haircut shorter. “It’s important that it’s not cut to one uniform length: a fade [helps] take the style out of skinhead territory, making it appear softer and less aggressive.”

For a smoother, more textured take on the traditional buzz cut, ask your barber to swap clippers for scissors. “That way, they can feel any lumps or bumps you might have on your scalp and cut the hair around them so it’s even,” says Brittain.

What Ways Can I Style It?

There aren’t many. The buzz cut’s appeal is the fact that, once you’ve got it, you don’t have to spend valuable morning coffee-drinking time thinking about how you’re going to wear it.

Still, its minimalist bent means it works for all occasions, and you can make subtle changes using certain products. “Products won’t change the shape of a buzz cut, but they can change the texture,” says Brittain.

“Certain products can be used to give the hair a matte or a shiny finish, while waxes can also be used to flatten the hair and remove any spikiness.”

Key Products

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The Textured Crop

What Is It?

Longer than a crew cut, but still short, the crop is a scissor-cut style that retains the ease of clipper cuts but offers a little more length to play with when styling. (It also doesn’t lay your face as bare as a buzz cut, so one to opt for if you wouldn’t rate yourself cover model-handsome.)

Who Does It Suit?

Everyone. Unless you’re looking for a versatile cut that leans more toward the cool rather than the classic end of the spectrum.

“The crop is classic hairstyle, devoid of contrast but full of sophistication,” says Adam Brady, Ruffians Barbers’ men’s hair expert. “It’s an ideal choice for a more mature gent, not least because it works very well with finer hair.”

How Do I Get It?

First, make sure your barber is using scissors. “The crop should be totally scissor cut, in order to retain texture and to avoid any hard straight lines that clippers can create,” says Brady.

Secondly, nail the length. As a short but not too short hairstyle, the crop requires some skill in cutting-in a smart top to back and sides ratio.

“The length of the hair should be cut to just longer than finger-width to allow for texture to be cut-in using a point-cutting method and/or a feather razor for a softer finish,” says Alan Jones, founder of Alan Jones Men’s Grooming salon.

What Ways Can I Style It?

With a little more to play with than a clipper-cut style, the crop can be subtly switched up to suit any occasion.

Headed to the office? Or a first date? Then try a soft side parting. “Take a bit of water-based pomade and a bit of paste, and rub into your hands thoroughly,” explains Ruffians’ Brady.

“Then rake through your hair from the roots, defining a parting at the side. Finally, pat down the sides with the product residue, and finish off with a spritz of hair spray to set.”

Or, for something a little more laid-back, try a messy, textured finish. “Work some matte clay into the roots of the hair, rubbing your hands around,” says Brady. “For extra hold and texture, sprinkle some texturising dust into the roots of your hair.”

Key Products

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The Quiff

What Is It?

Clipped short on the sides but left long on the top, the contemporary quiff has plenty of length in hair towards the front of the head and the fringe – which gives you ample material to create slick and sharp or dramatic, high contrast looks.

Who Does It Suit?

Men with healthy hair growth who don’t mind putting some styling time in.

If you’re receding, or would rather spend time spent fiddling with your hair in front of the mirror doing, oh, literally anything else, opt for an all-over clipper cut or short crop instead.

How Do I Get It?

Ask your barber. The template for a quiff is cut short with clippers – from skin fades to grades one, two etc. – on the back and sides, and left long on the top. But just how short, how long and how much contrast your hair looks best with are matters to be discussed once sat in the barber’s chair.

For the most modern spin, ask for a texturised take on the traditional quiff. “This is a less polished version to what we’ve previously seen, and a style that offers more versatility,” says Stelios Nicolaou, Aveda’s master barber. “It’s a look that has depth and life, it’s not too structured or stiff.”

What Ways Can I Style It?

Always up. Without being swept up from the face and back over the head, your hair will make you look like a die-hard My Chemical Romance fan.

For a put-together look, Alan Jones suggests styling using a wax to create a traditional pompadour or a moulding cream to create a super-sharp slick back. Which – depending on the length of your hair and the finish you’re after – will need blow-drying, brushing/combing and product (we told you this one wasn’t low maintenance).

For something less rigidly neat, Jones suggests sweeping back the hair on top of your head with a little sea salt spray, leaving to dry to create a looser, softer quiff.

Key Products

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