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The Art of the Flattop (Flat Top) Haircut

Best Flattop of All-Time

Flattop (Flat-top) Crewcuts

If you aren't familiar with flattops or flat-top haircuts, they are cut very short on the sides with an oh, so slight taper until you get to the top of the head. Then the perfect flattop is about 3/4 of an inch long in the front, but may be a 1/8 of an inch long at the pinnacle of your scalp depending on the shape of your head. The skilled barber will make it perfectly flat with a landing strip that comes down the middle and fades into the front hairline. The landing strip is the hair on the top that is cut shortest and runs from the front to the back. The whiteness of the scalp has less of a shadow from the long hair on the sides and looks like a perfect place to land a toy plane.

Don't confuse flattops with a punk style cut. These are pure clean cuts. Although, nothing screams March Maddness like a freshly cut flattop. A flatop is a very special haircut that few barbars have mastered. In fact, I've only found one. For $7 in San Luis Obispo, you can get the world's greatest flattop at Ray's Barbershop. I've been going to Ray and his daughter Page since I was a little kid. He's worth the trip to San Luis Obispo alone.

The flattop became popular in the 1950s and remains popular with the Marines and midwestern basketball players. We all saw Hoosiers and I think a perfect flattop is a prerequisite to a smooth as butter jumper.

  • Ray's Barbershop - The master of the flattop
    Nobody cuts a flattop like Ray. Head to his shop on a solo mission or with the entire team. The price is right, the cuts are quick, and you can't beat the hot shaving cream around the ears trimmed with a straight razor.

The World's Best Flattops at Ray's Barbershop

Flattops Cure the World

Tired of dealing with curly hair ( Get a flattop, use a little butch wax and your worries are gone. You might not end up with an award winning haircut, but if you're getting dressed up for halloween ( as a basketball player, then you can't go wrong with a flattop to bring the entire costume together.


Erica on April 29, 2013:

It has been two years now that I walk around with a flat top haircut. My husband insists that I get it re-cut evert two weeks or so.

Right from the start I hated to look like that, but he likes me to look like that...

Last year he invited a tattoo artist to our home, after he had fed me several drinks.

Now I wear not only a flattop, but have to go through life with two big tattoos on my lower arms.

I guess you get used to verything, but I will never like it.

Bep on May 28, 2012:

I still have a flattop and now I have been to the tattoo

parlor too. Believe it oe not, I now have a very colorful

tattoo on the left side of my face !

My bf wanted it and I got it now !!

He loves it and I still don't know if I will ever get used to it.

Erica on May 24, 2012:

My husband started to watch this and now I hhave to have a flat top too ...!!

sweetoncher on January 25, 2012:

Scroll to Continue

I have a Flat top and I love it, very low maintenance - have it tightened up every 2 weeks

Paul Edmondson (author) from Burlingame, CA on December 04, 2011:

I haven't had a flattop in a long time, but I'm considering going back to one.

Jill on October 15, 2011:

I have had a Flattop hair cut on and off for over 10 years. Right now I have one started wearing one again in june of this year. My husand love it on me I'm 50 now I think I'm keep it for a few years this time I go every 7 days to get it cut at the barbershop, But I don't have to do anything with my hair from cut to cut. I love my hair.

Karel on September 08, 2011:


I would love to see your flat top haircut! Very nervy!

And i would like to tell you that I love to see arm tattoos on a girl.

Face and neck tattoos are very gutsy and very sexy!

Whatever make sure they are nicely colorful! No stupid tribals.....

Good luck to you.


Bep on August 26, 2011:

Lately I have had a flattop haircut and didn't like it at first.

My boyfriend cut my hair when I had too much to drink !!

But now I'm changing my mind !

He is much, much (!) hornier now and that is a great plus !

At first I hated to go to a barbershop to have it freshened up, but I admit that it makes me horny to sit there and have all these men gawking at me, while I get one of 'their' haircuts !

I am now cosidering some tattoos. I have decided on what I want and also where. I want them visible, but still I hesitate...

I guess one of these days...

Erica on May 22, 2011:

My husband cut me a flattop. I hate it and he loves it.

Sex is a lot better !!


emilybee on March 26, 2011:

I tried giving my boyfriend a flatop last night but he wasn't too impressed. Oh well, I tried. Nice hub.

TITO on August 17, 2010:

i think the flat topon one of the cast members in step up 3 is the best ive seen

BetsyIckes from Pennsylvania on June 06, 2009:

I know that I am getting older because baldheaded men look good to me LOL!

how to increase vertical on December 15, 2008:

Very good stuff to be shared up! Nice Hub and good posts..

dineane from North Carolina on September 10, 2008:

I voted Grace, too...I love finding myself in the majority on the poll votes :-)

Susan Keeping from Kitchener, Ontario on September 09, 2008:

I picked Grace Jones. I love her hair :)

Great hub.

Shirley Anderson from Ontario, Canada on September 09, 2008:

I chuckled when I saw Grace Jones was one of the poll options.

Nicely done, Paul. I always thought they were called brush-cuts because that's what the boys in my grade one class called them.

Paul Edmondson (author) from Burlingame, CA on September 09, 2008:

The flat top hair cut is just a little more work than a buzz because of needing a little wax to get it to stand up perfectly. If you want super low maintenance, go with the buzz or burr haircut

rmr from Livonia, MI on September 09, 2008:

I wore a flat top for years. My wife said it made my head look like a thumb, though. I really miss that haircut. The ultimate in wash and wear.

Dottie1 from MA, USA on September 09, 2008:

I never looked at the flattop as a landing strip before! LOL

Ananta65 on September 09, 2008:

Too bad you don't show us your own flattop ;) Nice hub!

pcjunkychick from OKC on September 08, 2008:

I Luv it!

Thanks for the link I will update mine & return the fav ;)

Jason Menayan from San Francisco on September 08, 2008:

Add a little party to the back of a flat-top and you have a popular variant of the mullet. Great topic! from San Francisco, CA USA on September 08, 2008:

This is almost enough to make me go out and get a flattop . . . almost

Barbara from Stepping past clutter on September 08, 2008:

LOL! This Hub is just plain fun! I have to vote for Forrest Gump- his is a flat top for the record books, haha.

Paul Edmondson (author) from Burlingame, CA on September 08, 2008:

It's Jack Nicholson, sorry about the typo, but I don't want to update it or I lose all the votes.

Passionatepurpose from T.X. on September 08, 2008:

I am going to check around and see if I can find some "Butch Wax". Ah yes, those were the days!

Paul Edmondson (author) from Burlingame, CA on September 08, 2008:

I'm a purest and have to go with Chris Mullen as the greatest flattop of all time. 

Jimmy the jock from Scotland on September 08, 2008:

Nice one Paul, I got a round top being bald lol.....jimmy

Patty Inglish MS from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on September 08, 2008:

Interesting Hub and a great, fun poll to boot.

Ryan Hupfer from San Francisco, CA on September 08, 2008:

No brainer - Kid form Kid N Play gets my vote.

smallbizpro from Toronto, ON on September 08, 2008:

Hehe, takes me back to when I had a flat top - now I just go with the all-over #1 blade :)

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