The elephant trunk hairstyle is iconic. You’ve seen it in movies like Grease, Cry-Baby, and countless other movies and shows set during the 1950s and early 1960s. It’s like a distant cousin of the pompadour, but it’s for bad kids rather than campers. It’s usually paired with a duck’s butt – and yes, it’s a real thing.
When combing the sides back to create the elephant trunk, where they meet at the back of the head looks like the back end of a duck. But don’t care about that. The trunk itself is the more important part.
Thanks to hipsters with an appreciation for past styles, it’s on its way back into fashion. The question is, can you pull off such a rugged retro look? Stay golden, Ponyboy. We know you can.
The best hairstyles for the elephant trunk
Some men combine their elephant trunk hairstyles with a duck back. Others combine their swirling bob with long, carefully styled wigs. There are dozens of ways to style an elephant trunk, but they all contain plenty of vintage appeal.
However, before you commit to the cut, you need to be aware of what you need to style it. For starters, your hair should be at least 3-5 inches long all over your body. It helps if it’s longer in the front.
You also need pomade to spare, a fine tooth comb and a YouTube tutorial or two. Elephant trunks depend on design, and practice makes perfect.
1. Extra long trunk
Guys who want extra long hair should wear their elephant trunk to the middle of their nose. Brush back most of the hair from the sides and a little on top of your head. To create the trunk, take pieces of hair from each side of your head and combine them to create a curl so it looks like it has a lot of texture.
2. Drift cargo from the 1950s
Not everyone is a fan of facial hair, and that’s fine. Take it back to the 1950s and sweep the trunk to the side instead. The rest of your hair should be smooth and brushed towards the back. Combine thin wigs with a beard along the jawline.
3. Hard part with fade
The best thing about modern men’s elephant trunk hairstyles is that you can wear it retro or you can update it. Adding a hard part and fade, then using natural curls to create the trunk, is a great way to bring this style on trend.
4. Messy whirlwind
A swirling style elephant’s tusk always looks good sitting high on the forehead. You can leave a few pages out and not smooth the sides if you want to create a messy look that requires less effort than this style usually needs.
5. Elephant trunk for receding hairline
Guys with receding hairlines but thick hair should show off their hair by creating a big trunk that sweeps to one side in a mighty way. No one will care that your hairline is receding when they see these gorgeous locks.
6. Eyebrow-length trunk
Want long hair but not long enough to fall into your eyes? Stop your elephant’s trunk an inch above your eyebrows. Keep the front soft with a soft hold gel, but the rest should have a hard hold gel to achieve a retro look.
7. Pompadour trunk
Pompadour styles have most of the hair folded to one side of the head while the rest remains straight. Mix and match the pompadour with your trunk so you can wear two iconic styles.
You don’t have to wear wigs with yours Elephant trunk hairstyle, but it doesn’t hurt. As mentioned, long, thick wigs are one of the unique features of the retro ‘do, although they are usually reserved for older bad boys.
9. Cascade curls
Guys, it’s not just a hairstyle. This is a statement. It’s an entire era in one act. to keep yours curls Crunchy, use pomade only on the sides, and define your curls only after rubbing a thin layer of gel on your fingertips. Note the sharp part that separates the elephant’s trunk from the sides – you want to copy that.
10. The OG grease ‘to do
Danny didn’t start it all, but he’s keeping the elephant trunk and duck tail—a more humble synonym for duck butt, of course—at the forefront of fashionable pop culture. Grease is an institution, after all, and Danny Zuko is the hottest T-Bird to ever slip into a leather jacket.
Most elephant trunk haircuts focus on the front, so here’s a modern variation featuring an undercut, which is pretty much the designated millennial haircut. The hair in the front creates more of a smooth pompadour than an elephant tusk, but you can still get that swirl. However, the duck tail is spectacular. This is a perfect example of what it should look like.
12. cut sides
If the duck tail isn’t your thing, that’s no problem. Ask the barber to cut the sides – whether you go with a close buzz or not is up to you. Keep the top long, though, and you can still fit your trunk whenever you want.
13. A single curl
Johnny Depp helped make this grease look popular during his Cry-Baby days, but Zac Efron carries the torch indifferently. Style your elephant trunk hairstyle with a single curl hanging over your forehead, and all the hotties will be screaming at your feet.
14. The 50s haircut
Look at that swirl. It is magnificent. The shine is perfect – that’s what you want when you’re going for a smoother shot of the elephant’s trunk. You just know that the duck tail on the back is fire too.
15. Two-tone trunk
This version of the elephant’s trunk would look right at home in a Hairspray production. Two-tone hair automatically attracts the eye. In this case, it draws attention to the precarious trunk.
16. Blonde duck tail
This duck’s ass is flawless, even complex. The styling, especially the way the hair flows smoothly into the tiered trunk, is fresh to death. See why underwear goes so well with elephant trunk hairstyles?
17. Rockabilly Quiff
The haircut shown here is part quiff, part elephant trunk, and all cool. This guy is almost destined to be the next leader of the T-Birds, you dig?
Some of our favorite hairstyles:
Elephant trunk haircuts from the 1950s evolved into their iconic shapes today. Why not introduce the retro atmosphere here and now?