How to Master the Peaky Blinders Haircut: The No-Nonsense Guide for Men

by Cressida meale
Peaky Blinders Hair Styles

Reviewed & fact checked: August 31, 2023 by Jamie Wilson BA

Alright gents, let’s get down to business. We’re diving into the iconic world of Peaky Blinders, but hold your horses, we’re not talking about gang warfare or whiskey smuggling here. We’re focusing on the one thing every man notices but doesn’t always nail: the hair. Those classic, vintage styles sported by Tommy Shelby and crew that make you think, “Damn, how do I get my mane to look like that?”

In this no-BS guide, you’ll get the lowdown on how to master these iconic haircuts. We’ll cover everything from what to tell your barber, to the essential products you need to keep that look sharp. Whether you’re a crew cut kind of guy or you’ve got the locks for something a bit longer, we’ve got you covered. So, grab your flat cap and let’s dive in.

The Essentials: What You Need to Know Before the Cut

Before you waltz into a barber shop demanding to look like Tommy Shelby, let’s set some groundwork. First off, know your hair type. Not all of us are blessed with thick, wavy locks, but that doesn’t mean you can’t rock a killer look. Second, research your barber. A good barber is like a good tailor; find one who knows what they’re doing, and half the battle’s won.

Tom Shelby Haircut

Tom Shelby Haircut
peaky blinders tommy shelby” by CutiePieCP via Wordpress

Let’s start with the head of the family, Tom Shelby. Played by Cillian Murphy, Tom Shelby’s hair was not only trending back in the 1920s but is also incredibly popular now. In fact, many things aired in these kinds of shows make their way back to the limelight, including the flat cap which is reported to have risen in sales by 85% since the show came to our screens. Anyway, back to the hair.

Tom Shelby’s hair is a short cropped style, with shaved back and sides and a short textured top. The sides aren’t shaved down to the skin¬†but instead leaves enough to give the head a full coverage. The length of hair on the top is styled forwards, coming down over and across the forehead.

Get The Look

This style is so easy to re-create, just make sure you have the right face shape for it. Cillian Murphy is known for his pronounced high cheekbones which is the right kind of face shape to rock this lid with. Obviously, we aren’t all blessed with these cheekbones, however, our faces don’t have to be this defined – any cheekbones or oval face-shapes will do.

To achieve this look, you’ll need to go to the barbers and ask for about a number two on the back and sides. Get the top cut short enough that it doesn’t fall down the sides, but long enough to add some¬†product in it to give it texture. Brush the top forward so that it gives almost a fringe – the amount of fringe you choose is up to you. Tom Shelby tends to push his to the side giving a side fringe effect, but if a full crop fringe is more you, go for it.

Essential Products

A solid pomade or wax is your friend. You’re aiming for a bit of shine but not too slick. And gents, don’t forget a decent comb.

Arthur Shelby Haircut

Where Tom Shelby styles his hair pushed forwards, Arthur Shelby, played by Paul Anderson, likes his hair slicked right back, and again, this is a popular hairstyle today. Like Tom Shelby’s hairdo, Arthur’s is shaved short on the back and sides. Do you want to know a fun fact? People back in the 1920s shaved the sides and backs of their hair to prevent them from getting nits and lice. Nowadays, people shave for style purposes, but if the shoe fits…

Arthur’s hair is shaved back a lot shorter than Tom Shelby’s, but the top of his hair is longer and straight instead of curly. This slicked-back style is easy to achieve.

Essential Products

A matte clay and a volumizing spray should be your go-to. It’ll give you that untamed, lived-in look Arthur is famous for.

Get The Look

To get this look, you’ll need to shave your back and sides to a grade zero. Make sure the top of your hair stays pretty long so that you can slick it back the whole way. You’ll need a fair amount of wax or pomade to complete this look. You can either blow dry it back after you’ve washed it (or wet it) which will help it keep its shape, or you can use a product.

Take a small amount of product, be it was or pomade, and warm it up in your hands. This will make it smoother to add to your hair. Run the product through your hair with your fingertips, trying to make sure you get it all covered. Then use a comb and comb back your hair into shape, making sure the product runs all the way through. Always start with less product and build it up if you need more. The overall finish should hold your hair firm, but it shouldn’t go hard.

John Shelby Haircut

John Shelby Haircut
Tom Hardy at Locke Premiere Birmingham 16th April 2014” by timcornbill via Wordpress

John Shelby’s hair is almost a combination of Tom and Arthur Shelbys’ styles. His hair is completely shaved off on the sides, but the top of his hair isn’t as long as Arthur’s, although it is still straight. All three of these haircuts used to be styled this way as they were easy to wear with a hat, which, if you watch Peaky Blinders, you’ll know is an absolute staple for them.

These styles are also tidy and easy to maintain. If you want to go for this look now, you’ll have to keep on top of shaving the sides and backs of your head so that it doesn’t become untidy. John Shelby, played by Joe Cole, pulls off this look effortlessly.

Get The Look

To ace John Shelby’s hairstyle, you’ll need to get the back and sides of your head shaved off. If possible, leave a little bit of hair so that there is still some colour, but it will need to be very short. You’ll need to keep a bit of length on the top, but not too much that it starts to curl or falls down on your face. The trick to John’s hair is that it is that perfect length to stay where it is with little or no product, but still flops over.

If you were to use a product to get this look, use a light wax or pomade and go with the same technique as Arthur’s hair. However, don’t use as much on this look, as John’s hair doesn’t have that same slicked back, shiny style as Arthur’s.

Michael Gray Haircut

Michael Gray Haircut
peaky blinders tommy shelby” by CutiePieCP via Wordpress

Here’s another fun fact for you. Michael Gray, played by Finn Cole, is the cousin of the Shelby boys in Peaky Blinders. Finn Cole is also Joe Cole’s (who plays John Shelby) younger brother in real life. How fun was that?

Michael Gray’s hairstyle is probably the most formal of the Peaky Blinders’ hairdos. His hair is slightly longer on the sides and floppier at the top, with less visible product holding it together. This style is the most transferable to everyday life – it easily matches any casual and smart outfits. This is a suave hairstyle that is so common nowadays. Unlike the other Peaky Blinders’ haircuts, this one is much more formal and it suits everyday life. Here, we see Michael Gray wear his Peaky Blinders Suit which goes perfectly with the do.

Get The Look

To achieve this look, you need to allow your hair to grow on the sides. There is still a bit of shave action going on to fade the bottom of the hair, but other than that, it’s all kept a pretty consistent length. Michael Gray has a slight curl in his hair, but unlike Tommy’s, the curl isn’t textured – it’s quite styled and smooth.

This will mean you’ll require some heat to perfect the curl (unless your hair is naturally curly). A round brush will work best for this as it will grab the hair allowing you to dry it easily from all the angles. Add some hairspray or another light product to finish the look – a wax might weight down the curl too much, losing definition. Make sure you keep this style brushed a looking smooth.

Alfie Solomons Haircut

Alfie Solomons
THBD2014 PB” by CutiePieCP via Wordpress

This haircut is all about the beard, and we all know how well Tom Hardy can grow a beard. Beards come and go in trend – sometimes it’s all about the fresh shave, and other times, the bigger the beard the better. Right now, a beard is good. However, Alife Solomons beard is quite full-on – we much prefer a neat, tidy and groomed beard, which is why we stock a whole load of products to help you shape and treat it.

Alfie Solomons has quite a full head of hair. The sides are shaved down but meets the beard, creating a frame for the face. This is a good hairstyle to go for if you have a rounder face as the beard will elongate it. When you have a full beard like this, always try to join your head hair to your facial hair for a cleaner finish.

Get The Look

You’ll need to be able to grow an impressive beard to pull off this look. If you’re still patchy, wait a few years and try again. Tom Hardy sports a pretty rough and ready beard (not just in Peaky Blinders), but we recommend you go for one that’s a bit more tamed. There are plenty of beard grooming kits that will help you cut down and shape your beard, but you can also go to a barber if you need help with this.

To keep your beard healthy, it’s important to wash it as well as your head of hair. There are also beard exfoliators and oils which will keep it smooth and reduce flyaways. Finally, invest in a beard comb or brush. You’ll be amazed at how often these will come in handy, especially when your beard gets bigger. If knots keep occurring, use a leave-in beard conditioner and comb to ease them out, or sleep with a nourishing beard mask in. Keeping your beard healthy is just as important as keeping your hair healthy.

5 Quick Tips To Nail The Peaky Blinders Hairstyles

  • Tom Shelby’s hair is shaved short to bout a grade two on the sides. The top of his hair is long enough to be pushed back and given texture using a product. It’s up to you whether you go for a pushed forward fringe or side fringe.
  • Arthur Shelby has a much more polished look, with his sides shaved completely and the top of his hair long and slicked back. Use a wax or pomade to complete this look and work it back with a comb.
  • John Shelby’s hair is a happy medium between the aforementioned. The sides are shaved off but and the top is textured, just not as long as Arthur’s.
  • Michael Gray has the more formal hairstyle of them all. This is achieved by having the same length back and sides and combing it neatly backwards. Finish off the bottom of the hair with a fade.
  • Alfie Solomons sports one hell of a beard. Make sure you’re able to grow a beard before you commit to this style. There are plenty of shaping and smoothing products to make sure your beard remains healthy, neat and clean.

On That Note

We hope that these style tips have given you hair inspiration to try them out yourselves. From a full on beard to a textured top and shaved sides, there are a few looks here which have dominated the men’s hair scene, even now! Although the means for these styles have changed somewhat (lice preventing to fashion), they remain as good as stylish as ever. Whichever style you go for, check your face shape will suit the cut. If you’re unsure, ask your barber for their advice. It might be that you only take aspects from these hairstyles to work on your own. Take a look at our grooming products to help you achieve your desired Peaky Blinders inspired style.

Feature image from Wordpress

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