From laughable fashion fads to legendary style disasters, the eccentric world of haircuts has witnessed its fair share of cringe-worthy moments. As we delve into the perilous realm of questionable hair choices, prepare for a rollercoaster ride that takes us from the infamous bowl cut to the audacious mullet. Brace yourself for a journey that will explore the enigmatic allure of top knots and man buns, reminisce on the era of frosted tips, and even unravel the mysteries behind the scene/emo fringe. Get ready to cringe and chuckle as we unravel the tales of the spiky fringe, the thinning combover, and the daring shaved symbols and patterns. Fasten your seatbelts, brave souls, as we embark on a hilarious exploration of the worst haircuts that have ever graced (and disgraced) humanity!

The bowl cut

Men's bowl haircut

Why it's not successful

Few hairstyles scream DIY as much as the bowl cut. With its absence of layers and texture, this haircut forms an unflattering shape around the head, earning its fitting name.

Not only does it look unappealing and uninspired, but it also lacks practicality, leaving troublesome sections of hair to fall over the eyes and volumize over the ears as it grows out.

At this point in time, the idea of a shapeless and unrefined bowl cut should only exist in ancient history books.

How to make it desirable

Modern men's messy bowl haircut

By incorporating varied lengths around the sides and fringe compared to the back, a bowl cut can be transformed into a contemporary mid-length hairstyle.

While still maintaining its bowl-shaped outline to some extent, investing some effort into refining the shaping around the head will result in a haircut that is more impactful overall and notably more comfortable.

Additionally, applying a texturizing product can enhance the depth and definition even further.

The mullet

Men's mullet hairstyle

Why it doesn’t work

Party in the back, business in the front. Whether you've experienced the 80s firsthand or not, most individuals can vividly envision the quintessential mullet – often accompanied by a handlebar mustache for good measure.

Despite its initial popularity, this haircut now appears rather dreadful in retrospect, mainly due to its rigid and square shape. Moreover, the absence of quality styling products resulted in a dry and wig-like finish, rather than a natural and textured appearance.

How to make it desirable

Modern men's mullet hairstyle

Inspired by a rebellion against the prevailing bald fade trend, the mullet has experienced a resurgence in recent years. As a hairstyle, it is gradually being recognized as cool once again, thanks to a new generation of men reinventing the previously stagnant template to achieve a more naturally flowing shape.

Instead of the traditional harsh and choppy cut on the fringe and back, the modern mullet incorporates textured flicks and curls, bringing a fusion of professional and party vibes to both ends.

To fully redeem the mullet, shaved sides following a clean arch above the ear (similar to a burst fade) can further enhance the shape of the fuller top and back.

Top knot and man bun

Why it doesn’t work

Top knots and man buns fell into the realm of mockery as soon as they became associated with distinctive personality and lifestyle traits. The climate-conscious warrior, the impassioned vegan, the superficial hipster... While these stereotypes may veer into exaggeration, the character attached to them usually involves a bearded individual sporting a top knot with shaved sides.

Nevertheless, many men with long hair can attest that despite the flawed reputation, the top knot does serve practical purposes, particularly for individuals leading active lives or requiring a way to keep annoying strands of hair away from their face during work.

However, the hairstyle falls flat when pulled back tightly and shaved too high on the sides, resulting in only a small portion of hair exposed on top. Alternatively, when there's barely enough hair in the first place, an awkward protruding tip becomes prominent.

Modern men's long hair tied back into ponytail

How to make it desirable

There's not much that can alter the stereotypical associations, but for those with longer hair who need or desire to tie it back, a contemporary ponytail style is worth considering. It offers the practical benefits of a man bun without creating a harsh disconnection between the top hair and the back and sides.

To achieve this look, either maintain a sufficient amount of hair on the sides that can be neatly pulled back or, for a more defined top, gradually introduce a subtle taper fade up the back and sides. This refined solution is perfect for individuals with longer hair and allows for quick styling with minimal maintenance.

Frosted tips

Men's hair dyed with frosted tips

Why it doesn’t work

Why, oh why, did we ever find this appealing? Frosted tips were the go-to summer hairstyle for many of us during our formative years, exuding an air of teenage rebellion and perceived 'edginess.'

Looking back, this trend did nothing to enhance our hair's appearance. This was especially true for those who fully committed to a wet look, which weighed down the hair and created an impression of premature balding in our teenage years.

Overall, it was a messy disaster of a haircut that our parents were absolutely right to discourage us from getting.

How to make it desirable

If you're willing to explore hair coloring to any extent, whether through subtle highlights or full dyeing, it's best to avoid the DIY approach and instead consult a specialist who can recommend and utilize high-quality products.

Using the appropriate tools will not only bring out the best possible color but also maintain the cleanliness and healthiness of your hair, allowing you to create a desired style rather than ending up with excessively wet, thin, and lifeless hair.

The scene/emo fringe

Men's emo hairstyle from the 2000s

Why it doesn't work

The long, angled fringe held in place by hairspray or left to be dramatically swept away from the eyes. The chaotic upper section pulling in the opposite direction, often styled to significant heights. The pointed tips extending down the sides and even beyond the back neckline, adding further theatrical definition.

Once considered edgy and daring, this signature look that carried the Myspace generation through their teenage years is now more commonly associated with confrontational individuals caught on camera causing commotion in supermarket parking lots.

Men's modern emo haircut

How to make it desirable

Sporting hair with messy texture will always draw attention. If you're determined to embrace a more casual style, you can still loosely follow the 'emo' template. However, opt for a shorter cut with less extreme volume, resembling a high-fashion runway look rather than a grungy teenage house party aesthetic.

It's a delicate balance, but with a cleaner-cut shape, you can transform a messy hairstyle into something truly modern and cool.

The spiky fringe

Men's spiky hair fringe

Why it doesn't work

The rebellious 90s were dominated by the vertical spiked, wet-look fringe. This haircut seemed to be everywhere, with barbers tirelessly recreating it for clients longing to resemble their favorite manufactured boy band member.

In retrospect, the aggressive nature of this hairstyle, particularly when contrasted with a flat top and straightforward back and sides, becomes apparent. Furthermore, as the hair grows longer, an awkward claw-shaped overhang manifests in the fringe, necessitating copious amounts of hairspray to maintain its upright position.

They say less is more when it comes to applying hair styling products, but this simple look demanded the opposite approach.

Men's modern swept back hairstyle

How to make it desirable

Rather than spiking the fringe upright as straight as possible, the easiest way to transform this outdated look into something desirable is to grow the fringe out slightly longer and sweep it back using a traditional pomade or a lighter, matte styling product.

This creates a cleaner, more natural, and sophisticated appearance suitable for both professional and casual settings. It also eliminates any comparisons to the Backstreet Boys. A win-win situation.

The thinning combover

Why it doesn't work

Thinning hair comes with a sense of inevitability. Although some men can style their thinning hair in a way that remains acceptable for a certain period, others refuse to accept their fate and resort to the combover, which screams desperation. Clinging to wispy strands that inadvertently expose the scalp only accentuates its unattractive presence, ultimately making embracing baldness a more preferable choice.

While it's empowering to be in control, there are some aspects of life that cannot be escaped. Attempting to resist the inevitable only worsens the situation.

How to make it desirable

For most men, the solution is simple: shave it off. It might not have been your envisioned hairstyle, but it's the hand you've been dealt. It's better to embrace baldness and adapt a new stylish look than desperately clinging to remnants that only harm your appearance.

If your hair is on the finer side but hasn't reached the point of significant thinning, you can utilize texture-enhancing and volumizing products to style your hair. With luck, this could create the illusion of slightly thicker hair.

However, the majority of individuals should embrace the change and opt for a buzz cut. You'll likely find it liberating, as if a weight has been lifted off your shoulders. Focus on the positives, such as finally suiting hats, saving money on styling products, having an extra five minutes to yourself every morning, or being able to grow a strong beard.

Shaved symbols and patterns

Why it doesn't work

Whether you're an esteemed sports star or not, deciding to incorporate any level of intricate artwork into your hair is a bold choice. Racing stripes possess a playful and innocent charm that aligns with the world of professional sports. However, brand logos, pop-culture characters, and symbols are more suitable for impressive tattoos rather than haircut features—and the road to excessive tattoos can be perilous.

Black man with buzz cut fade hairstyle

How to make it desirable

As previously mentioned, elite athletes can get away with shaved-in artwork solely due to their talent and celebrity status. However, for the rest of us seeking a remarkable buzz cut, it's best to rely on our barbers' clipper skills to create a more sophisticated hairstyle with clean fading. This intricate and attractive look will undoubtedly turn heads for all the right reasons, leaving any desperate pleas for attention at the door.

A buzz cut provides far more versatility than initially perceived.

In hindsight, these infamous haircuts may bring about feelings of nostalgia or amusement, reminding us of the ever-evolving world of fashion. While some may argue that these hair disasters were merely moments of experimentation or personal expression, it's difficult to deny the sheer cringe-worthy nature of these styles. As we look back at the bowl cuts, mullets, and frosted tips, it's a gentle reminder to embrace our current hairstyles, grateful that we have moved on from these notorious hair blunders. And who knows, perhaps in another decade, we'll find ourselves laughing at the trends we thought were so cutting-edge today. After all, it's all a part of the wild and wonderful world of hair.