David Beckham’s Signature Styles Decoded

by Josie kohloff
David Beckham Hair styles

David Beckham’s fashion sense often steals the spotlight, but his ever-evolving hairstyles deserve equal attention. Despite a few missteps along the way—remember the cringe-worthy cornrows and daring Alice bands—Beckham undeniably boasts one of the most celebrated heads of hair globally.

To celebrate Beckham’s hair mastery, let’s journey through some of his standout styles over the years. Additionally, we’ve sought insights from top-notch barbers and hairstylists to help you replicate Beckham’s iconic looks on your own terms.


Buzz Cut

The skinhead style endured a prolonged period of negative perception. Understandably, men steered clear of adopting hairstyles associated with politically-driven aggressors, football rowdiness, or the hairless look reminiscent of infants. However, the narrative shifted significantly when David Beckham opted for a clean-shaven head. His take on the buzz cut transformed the shortest of hairstyles into something fashionable, modern, and far less intimidating. This move marked a turning point.

Beckham’s exploration of the buzz cut varied from simple to boldly bleached, initiating a widespread departure from lush locks everywhere. Suddenly, adopting a shaved look didn’t require association with a confrontational crowd. Men who had perpetually struggled with their hair found freedom in embracing a sparsely populated scalp. Since then, the buzz cut has become a staple for the time-conscious, fashion-aware man.


David Hair

Crafting a Beckham-inspired buzz cut isn’t a spontaneous decision to grab the clippers and take a drastic leap, akin to Britney Spears’ famous hair moment. International hairstylist Joseph Lanzante underscores the precision required, noting, “While it might seem straightforward, achieving the necessary sharpness at the back of your head for this look can be challenging. Rely on your barber if you aim to emulate David Beckham.”

To ensure your barber delivers the 2017 rendition of the buzz cut rather than a generic style, Lanzante advises, “Request a faded edge, retaining some length on top, and finalize the look with a precise line cut throat shave to maintain a polished appearance.”

However, the journey doesn’t end there, gentlemen. Despite minimal hair remaining, it still demands proper care to emulate Beckham rather than resembling a bouncer. Lanzante stresses the significance of product choice, stating, “Selecting the appropriate product is crucial. For a dry appearance, opt for a powder-based product. Embrace the matte trend with a fiber-based product, or achieve the wet look using pomade.”


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During the early stages of his football career, David Beckham’s fondness for highlighted curtains became a distinctive trademark, influencing not just him but numerous others. Departing from conventional male hairstyles, Beckham’s artificially enhanced locks turned bleaching hair into a fashion statement rather than just a domestic chore.

Experimenting with various styles of curtains—swept across the face, parted in the middle, or pushed back—Beckham showcased versatility, despite the impracticality of such a look for a football pitch. So, why are we featuring them in this lineup?

Contrary to the notion that curtains are solely suitable for home decor, they’ve made a comeback as a legitimate men’s hairstyle. Not taking our word for it, but that of Joe Mills, a prominent hairstylist and barber with a client roster including Ben Affleck, Dermot O’Leary, and James Bay. He notes, “For a while, Beckham’s curtains were deemed uncool, but now the tables have turned 180 degrees. This style is presently on-trend, gracing magazine pages and catwalks this year.” The nineties style of curtains is no longer a thing of the past.


How to style

Should your perplexed hairstylist reach for the conventional bowl, halt the mission promptly. “It’s a contemporary rendition of the curtains style, requiring scissor cutting to finger-length around the back and sides while leaving the top longer,” remarks Mills. “Ideally, the top section should lack layers and extend down to the ears and beyond the eyebrows.”

Surprisingly, the use of bleach isn’t off the table, although platinum hues might be better suited for women. Mills recommends, “Adding color works really well, and some dirty blonde tones can enhance the texture of this style.”

Mills emphasizes that maintenance demands a certain level of technique. “To style this, use a hairdryer and a vent brush to blow-dry freshly washed hair away from your face. Once nearly dry, part the hair with fingers (not a brush) and apply a small amount of styling cream through the mid-lengths and ends. For finer hair, a sea salt spray can enhance thickness. Apply it to damp hair and blow-dry to create texture.”

But remember, don’t aim for perfection. “The intention is to appear slightly tousled, giving the impression of hair that’s lived-in and almost unwashed,” Mills advises. “To elevate this look, consider allowing it to grow longer, so you can almost tuck the fringe behind your ears. The goal is to emulate Beckham at his prime, not resemble a Backstreet Boy singing on a stool.




Textured Cut

When evaluating David Beckham’s most celebrated hairstyles, his forward short and textured fringe often doesn’t claim the spotlight as one of the most memorable. Yet, for those in the know, it stands as a severely underappreciated display of hair brilliance. Despite the initial twinning with his wife, this hairstyle remains timeless.

Functionally, it’s a more disheveled and trendier take on the classic short back and sides. Unlike some of Beckham’s more daring cuts, this style is inclusive. Hence, nearly everyone who experiments with it emerges a victor. What’s more, this style doesn’t just rank high on the safety scale; it’s also low in effort, according to Robinson. “This low-maintenance floppy crop was remarkably fresh in its time because while most men opted for slicked-back hair, this crop represented David’s way of embracing something different yet easy to maintain.”


How To get

For an effortlessly stylish David Beckham-inspired hairstyle that won’t demand extensive effort, this particular cut stands out. “Consult your barber for a classic scissor over comb cut on the back and sides. Ensure the hair on the crown is seamlessly blended and left longer towards the front, cut bluntly just above the eyebrow,” advises Robinson.

Once the cut is done, all that’s left is to choose a product based on the finish you desire—whether matte or with a shine. Gently work the product through your hair with your fingers to create texture and separation. And a side note, perhaps it’s best not to pair this hairstyle with a head-to-toe biker leathers look. Just a friendly heads-up, Dave.


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In 2002, David Beckham’s faux hawk became the trendsetting haircut of the World Cup summer, inspiring countless imitations. However, this slim, blonde strip running down the middle of his head marked a rare misstep in Beckham’s hairstyling journey, resulting in a substantial number of men across the country adopting a less than flattering appearance. Yet, fast forward half a decade to his time at LA Galaxy, and his redefined, shaggier version of the faux hawk hit all the right notes.

The allure of this style lies in the stark contrast between the short edges—almost revealing the scalp—and the substantial length through the middle. What made it work for Beckham was the seamless blending and transition of the cut. A word of advice for those opting for the faux hawk: avoid aiming for the Robert De Niro “Taxi Driver” landing strip. Nope, that message isn’t directed at you, mate.


How to get

Achieving a Beckham-inspired faux hawk hinges on the cut and texture. Denis Robinson, Ruffians’ creative director, advises, “Ask your barber for a low fade on the back and sides, with the front disconnected for added length, while the top should be point cut to create texture.” It’s crucial to remember that the lower the guard setting on the clippers, the shorter the sides, and the more the scalp will be exposed. To avoid a more dramatic look, communicate your preferences to the person handling the clippers before too much hair finds its way to the floor.

To complete the look, Robinson suggests drawing inspiration from Beckham’s style: “The dry finish of Beckham’s faux hawk has stood the test of time and remains appealing today. Create a messy style using a matte paste and traditional hairspray, and the look is ready to rock.”




Pompadour look

As David Beckham enters his early forties, it’s fairly certain that his more daring hair ventures are behind him. Yet, his midlife pompadour stands as a shining example of why men in this phase of life need not forgo their style for the ease of a conventional short, back, and sides. Despite its flamboyant title, the pompadour remains a timeless hairstyle. In fact, the swept-back style tends to suit men of a certain age more effortlessly (appearing a bit too ‘Apprentice candidate’ on younger individuals) and strikes a delightful balance between sophistication and ease.Renowned celebrity stylist Jason Collier, known for styling both Victoria Beckham and David’s son Brooklyn, applauds David’s slick pompadour as one of his finest styles. According to Collier, “It’s a contemporary and masculine look, versatile enough to work seamlessly on the red carpet or during casual family outings.” In essence, this hairstyle sets the gold standard for men in their forties.


How to get

Ensuring your rendition of this classic pompadour is more “pompa-do” than “pompda-d’oh” requires paying close attention to Beckham’s styling nuances, as recommended by Collier. “David has chosen a parted style with tapered sides and slightly shorter length on top. To achieve this, request a tapered undercut with ample length on top that can be slicked back, aiming for around four inches of hair as the ideal length.”

It’s no surprise that a pompadour doesn’t effortlessly materialize with a wake-up-and-go approach. “You need to handle the blow-drying like Beckham,” explains Collier. “Using a comb and hairdryer, blow-dry freshly washed hair while combing backward from the forehead, ensuring you lift the entire hair shaft, not just the ends.”

Collier advises, “Warm wax between your hands and apply it through your hair, then comb backward while shaping with your free hand. To craft the quiff, gently push the hair forward and tease the fringe straight up and back with your comb, creating a backward bend. Smooth down the sides and set the style with a light mist of a strong-hold hairspray.” Pompa-done.




Loss Quiff

As David Beckham has emerged as one of the most stylish fathers globally, his hairstyle has matured alongside his image. When he debuted the loose, falling quiff for his H&M range campaign, it served as a refreshing reminder that Becks doesn’t always stick to the expected. And likewise, no man in mid-life should feel obliged to conform to predictability all the time.

This style might ring a bell—it’s a contemporary update of a hairdo that extends far beyond Beckham’s hair history. “This is a modern take on the short back and sides quiff, sported by icons like James Dean and the King, Elvis Presley,” notes Mills. If it’s a style endorsed by such legends, then it’s undoubtedly worthy of consideration for the rest of us.


how to get

Similar to many of Beckham’s most iconic looks, subtlety in both styling and inspiration plays a crucial role. “Avoid skin fades and focus on trimming the back and sides closely with scissors over a comb, rather than clippers,” advises Mills. “Create a slight disconnection between the top and sides for a square appearance. The longer top gradually shortens toward the crown, blending into the shorter hair at the back, with the front reaching to about your nose.”

While this style exudes an effortless “just ran my hands through it” vibe, there are specific behind-the-scenes styling techniques to do it justice. “To achieve more height, blow-dry the style,” Mills recommends. “Apply a small amount of mousse (about the size of a tangerine) to damp hair. Then, blow-dry the hair away from your forehead with a vent brush, encouraging it to fall to one side and blow-drying it in the opposite direction to create volume and texture.”

For the final touch, Mills advises opting for a low to medium shine product to veer away from an excessively glossy look. “Work in some matte dry paste or hair clay definer (around the size of a coin) into your hands. Use your fingers to style the hair upward and away from your face. This is where a touch of hairspray can assist in holding the style, allowing for natural movement and texture while the hair naturally falls to one side.”




long Hair look

Contrary to assumptions, David Beckham’s affection for long hair hasn’t waned as he entered midlife; he has given his stamp of approval to the adult curtains hairstyle. This time, without a trace of artificial blonde strands, the essence of the style remains intact but with a few age-appropriate updates and some added length.

Barber Joseph Lanzante predicts that Beckham’s long hairstyle is poised to ignite yet another trend in his ever-evolving hair journey. “Long textured hair is becoming the next significant trend in male grooming, and David Beckham is currently at the forefront of this evolving style. It’s a trend that’s on the rise, and as a barber, I’m excited to witness this style emerging, providing an opportunity for a unique approach.” If you’re considering adopting the Becks-inspired long hairstyle before it becomes a global phenomenon, now’s the time to go long.


how to get

Even if you’re growing out your hair, regular visits to the barber are crucial. “My advice would be to take a picture of the desired style to your barber,” advises Lanzante. “Being specific about this hairstyle is important; what you perceive as an inch might differ from your barber’s understanding.” Wise counsel—many of us have ended up with a hairstyle we pretended to love after a miscommunication.

The allure of Beckham’s long hair lies in its ruggedly groomed appearance, yet maintaining it requires some occasional care to prevent it from veering too close to a hobo-chic look. Lanzante explains, “This style demands a bit more attention. Regular trimming is necessary to maintain the ideal length.”

Fortunately, styling is a relatively relaxed affair. “For that rugged Beckham-esque look, let your hair fall naturally without forcing it. Select the right products suitable for your hair type, rub them through your hands until nearly imperceptible, and then run your hands through the ends of your hair.”



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