Haircuts can be terrifying for some people. After all, it represents change or coming into your own – and that can be very scary! But for trans men, haircuts and going to the barber shops are an entirely different experience – mainly because, for most of them, it is part of their gender reaffirming process.
While it’s important for everybody, it’s especially important for trans men to see that their outside matches their self-image. Styling your hair can bring you one step closer to that goal.
Not sure about what hairstyles would best express your authentic self? This guide is for you. From long hair to crew cuts, learn about the best FTM haircuts, plus a few tips for every face shape. We hope that this makes your next trip to the barber less awkward!
What Makes a Good FTM Hairstyle?
If you want a good FTM hairstyle, there are a few things you need to consider. More than the hairstyle looking good, the haircut should also make you feel good and more aligned with your authentic self.
From face shape to length, here are the factors that trans men need to consider when getting a haircut.
There’s no “universal hairstyle” that works on everyone. Ideally, you have to think of the whole or how the hair complements your other existing features. You probably have heard this before, but the main thing you should consider in any kind of haircut is your face shape. We’ll go into detail about this later on in the guide.
Some trans men who have started medically transitioning (e.g. testosterone) may have a face shape that’s much more similar to cisgender men (e.g. sharp jawline, square face). But not all trans men undergo this change, which often means that their face has “softer” features (e.g. weak jawline).
Luckily, whether you have an angular or a rounder shape, there is going to be a hairstyle that brings out your best features.
Many FTM individuals want to “pass” right away, and they think that cutting their hair short is the easiest way to achieve it. However, this isn’t always true – in fact, you could risk getting a haircut you don’t like, forcing you to wait weeks or months for the hair to grow back. This is an especially common experience among trans men who are getting FTM haircuts for the first time, as they’re more likely to rush into a decision to ease dysphoria.
If you want to try a new hairstyle for the first time, we recommend going for it but in a longer length. This allows you to ease into the cut without the commitment. It’s much easier to chop off and fix long hair if you end up not liking it!
Choosing FTM Hairstyles Based on Face Shape
Now that you have learned the things to consider in choosing the best FTM hairstyle, let’s delve deeper into what masculine haircuts for FTM could work for you given your face shape.
Round Face Shape
People with round face shapes have a more or less equal face length and width. The curves and rounded chin look “soft”, giving off a more feminine appearance. Many FTM transgender people with this face shape struggling with finding the right FTM haircut for these reasons, but all hope is not lost. Many cis men have round faces, too – if they can find a style that works for them, so can you.
If you have this face shape, it’s best to go for an angular, masculine haircut with a little bit more volume at the top. Angular styles create a slimming illusion for your face and make it look more balanced. The best FTM haircuts for round faces typically are very short, but you can go for the longer version first by using electric clipper blade number 2 or 3.
Try these FTM haircuts: Pompadour, side part hairstyle, faux hawk, undercut styles, man bun
Square Face Shape
Square faces look proportional, have defined lines, and stereotypically look “masculine”. If you have this face shape, think carefully about the length of the hairstyle you will choose. Shorter hairstyles usually accentuate the angles of your face, while longer hairstyles soften your face’s sharp lines a little bit.
Another tip for those who are already taking hormones for quite some time now: you can grow out your facial hair a little bit to soften your sharp features.
Try these FTM haircuts: Buzz cut, caesar hairstyle, crew cut & fade, side part hairstyle, comb over styles
Oval Face Shape
Oval faces are round but on the longer side than wide. You are quite lucky if you have an oval-shaped face because this shape works with just about any hairstyle!
Generally, what works for a round face shape would work for you. But if you don’t want to elongate your face further, don’t go for hairstyles that add volume on top, such as a pompadour. You might also want to avoid short bangs if you prefer to have a more masculine look, as these soften and round OUT your face further.
Try these FTM haircuts: Buzz cut, caesar hairstyle, crew cut & fade, man bun, swept back hairstyle
Rectangle or Oblong Face Shape
Most guys with rectangular or oblong faces have longer but width-proportional foreheads, cheekbones, and jaws. The key to this kind of shape is to avoid elongating the face further – pompadours are a no-no. Go for even, short hair that is balanced on the sides or styles that round out your features, like bangs.
Try these FTM haircuts: Fringe hairstyle, undercut styles, swept back hairstyle, buzz cut, side part styles
Diamond Face Shape
A diamond-shaped face has a narrow forehead, defined cheekbones, and a narrow chin size. It’s angular and elongated, so the key to this face is to choose hairstyles that “square” it.
To achieve a square shape, a good barber will create more width at the forehead or the chin. We suggest styles with more length on the top and the sides – short hair would just emphasize the narrowness of your forehead.
We understand if it feels awkward to keep longer hair as a trans man. But if you have this face shape, men’s long hairstyles would work really well for you.
Try these FTM haircuts: Man bun, sweptback hairstyle, fringe hairstyle
Triangle or Heart Face Shape
These faces are wider at the top but narrow as it goes down to the pointed chin. Because it is wider at the forehead, the goal is to create the illusion of narrowing the top half of your face.
To get this “shrinking effect”, many barbers will create length on the sides and the top of the hair. The hairstyles that usually work with this shape are similar to the styles that work for diamond face shapes, but shorter. Mid-length hair will “fall” naturally with gravity, creating the balance you need for a more “male” appearance.
Try these FTM haircuts: Man bun, slicked back hair, fringe hairstyle
Best Trans Boy Haircuts
This hairstyle could work for you if you are usually in a formal or professional environment. Style it with pomade or wear it without hair products at home. Remember to avoid gels, as these can make your hair unnaturally hard and shiny.
The style that can give you the most edge. Just choose the length that you want on the top and the sides. Best to use medium to high hold pomade for a clear shape or a medium hold/shine pomade of clay for a messier look.
The High and Tight
If you want a style that is easy to maintain while masculinizing your qualities, this might be for you. This upgraded version of the crew cut or the flat top helps you have a more defined and angular hairline – this is an especially great FTM haircut pre-T if you want to get rid of the soft female hairline. Just wash and go, as it doesn’t need styling!
Medium/Longer Length Hair
Wanting to look masculine doesn’t mean you can’t wear longer hair. There are ways to style this hair that looks good on men – just create a shape, some layers, and texture. You can also try this hair with an undercut if you want to grow it out from the shorter length.
A good haircut could be the line between low self-esteem and confidence. Just remember that to find haircuts that suit you based on your facial shape and other features.
Do you already know what you want? Go to the next available barber to get it done! You might surprise yourself at how much you love your new look. And if you don’t, don’t worry – you have all the time in the world to explore other styles and discover which one makes you feel the best about who you are. You deserve it. For more inspiring articles like this, head over to our Live section.
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